Bespoke Riviera 78 for Phuket


Thailand dealer Lee Marine is working with Riviera and Italian superyacht designer Luca Vallebona to develop hull two of the flagship 78 Motor Yacht for Phuket-based owners.


The Phuket owners have chosen the enclosed flybridge


Hull two of Riviera’s flagship 78 Motor Yacht is expected to arrive in Thailand by mid-2022, revealed Lee Marine, the Australian builder’s longest-serving international dealer. The hull destined for Phuket will feature the enclosed flybridge option and be powered by upgraded MAN 1800hp engines.


The first Riviera 78 Motor Yacht for Asia has been ordered by a couple, Jacky and Rudi, who are upgrading from a 68 Sports Motor Yacht they purchased in 2016, which they first used in Australia before shipping it to Phuket and cruising extensively in Thailand and Myanmar.


The 78 Motor Yacht has an overall length of 80ft 8in


The 78 is Riviera’s biggest-ever model, usurping the 72 Sports Motor Yacht, and offers greater room for customisation than any other model from the builder, which worked with Italian superyacht designer Luca Vallebona on the interiors.


“Riviera really wanted to step up their game on the 78 Motor Yacht, which is over and above anything they’ve done before. The interiors are clean and stylish, and already show a new and fresh direction for Riviera,” says Martin Holmes, General Manager of Lee Marine, who has been with the company since 1997.


The open aft deck of the flybridge


“For Jacky and Rudi, the build quality and reliability of Riviera was never in doubt, and the yard were listening closely to their suggestions and feedback about the 78 Motor Yacht. With the knowledge gained from cruising aboard the 68 Sports Motor Yacht, the idea of designing a bespoke Riviera flagship made for a confident choice.”


As Jacky says: “The opportunity to personalise the interior of the 78 Motor Yacht was particularly attractive. It allows us to make it very much our own yacht.”


The enclosed flybridge houses the upper lounge and helm


Rudi is also excited about the exterior styling. “I love the impression of a single long window sweeping forward from amidships,” she says. “And I love the aft deck covered all the way to the stern. It’s really just like a superyacht.”


Lee Marine, which has represented Riviera in Thailand since 1998, was first introduced to the future flagship in 2019. A full-size mock-up was later built at the factory, so Holmes, Jacky and Rudi had the opportunity for a guided tour and to get a feel for the space, albeit via a Zoom call.


The roomy aft cockpit on the main deck


“As with all new Riviera models, owner and dealer feedback was closely listened to and it was fascinating to see the design evolve,” Holmes says. “The 78 Motor Yacht takes Riviera’s proven, trusted characteristics of a great hull, offshore capability and superb build quality, but now focuses more on becoming a ‘yacht’ where the spaces are more generous and sumptuous.


“Every corner of the yacht has been studied and refined, so this promises to be the best Riviera yet, with bigger generators, bigger tanks, increased soundproofing and now a toy garage aft.”


The saloon features interior stairs to the enclosed flybridge


Lee Marine has been working closely with Riviera but also Vallebona, whose portfolio includes the 42m Mondomarine Serenity, a winner at the 2016 World Superyacht awards. All involved are working to create an interior reflecting the desires of the Phuket-based owners, who have a strong idea of what they want in the 80ft 8in motor yacht, which has a 72ft 6in hull and a beam of 19ft 8in.


“Riviera’s collaboration with Luca has been a great success in my opinion and provided scope to create a highly personalised interior. He has brought a very clean style, with Italian touches, and we’ve talked a lot with him directly on behalf of the owners,” Holmes says.


The full-beam master suite is among four lower-deck guest cabins

“In terms of construction, we are studying small changes to the [hull two] layout to suit the owners’ specific requirements and these are being studied by Riviera. The interior décor and finishes are another strong focus. We are also working through the specifications, but we can say that she will be fully equipped and fully bespoke.”

Riviera to launch flagship in 2022

Australia’s largest luxury motor yacht builder has already sold several units of its 78 Motor Yacht including to Thailand through long-time dealer Lee Marine.