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By Capt. Steve Larivee
Our first glance at the Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Series II Platinum Edition presents an astounding first impression of a sleek and stylish yacht that also has a touch of muscle with its windshield brow that now seems to define the brand. It also has the single level main deck that we’ve come to expect from Riviera that makes cruising and entertaining so easy. All Riviera models have the premium level fit-and-finish that distinguishes the brand from others in class, but with the newly-released platinum edition models, that bar is now raised considerably.
The exterior is where we get our first impression of the 4800 Sport Yacht Series II Platinum Edition, and as the saying goes, make the first one a good one. Riviera succeeded in this regard with a profile that is at once striking and elegant. Her raked rail supports, and nearly full-length hull side windows create a look of sleek speed, even when at rest. The molded contour lines of her standard hardtop speak of the dedication that goes into all of the company’s products.
The swim platform is as much a play place as it is a functional member of the outdoor gathering. Start with the tender garage that's big enough to hold an 8’8” (2.64 m) rib. The garage is accessed by an electrically-actuated hatch that leads to the aft platform.
The platform is fiberglass and there are choices from either a non-skid texture or teak for the surface. It lowers with electrically-actuated hydraulic rams to create the popular “teak beach” or to serve as a launch and retrieval point for the tender. Removable rails facilitate the inclusion of the tender, or open the space up for swimming.
Just ahead is, what is in our opinion, one of the most well-equipped outdoor grills we’ve seen on any yacht, let alone in class. It includes twin burners with food prep stations to both sides and a stainless backsplash/heat guard, all under a lighted hatch held open with gas struts to both sides. A stainless grab rail runs the length.
The aft deck is accessed by stairs to both port and starboard. If there were any doubts about the 4800’s ability to blur the line between the exterior and interior gathering areas, then this space will further serve to convince.
To the stern, there’s a center-mounted, four-across, forward-facing bench with weatherproof upholstery and storage underneath. Ahead and to starboard is L-shaped seating wrapping around a solid wood table on a stainless pedestal. To port is an outdoor galley with a sink recessed into a solid surface counter, a prep area, refrigerator and icemaker.
All decking is teak and there’s protection overhead from an extended hardtop as well as a stainless-steel framed canvas. Additionally, there are side protection inserts to both sides of the cockpit. In the fixed hardtop, there are two skylights in addition to LED lighting, speakers and cameras for the CCTV system.
Operationally, the cockpit features a stern joystick located behind the starboard seatback of the L-shaped sofa. Cleats are vertically mounted to the two quarters, just below heavy-duty chocks with rollers.
The bow is accessed from side decks to both port and starboard. High side rails and a cabin side grab rail allow for a safe transition even when underway. Forward, there are comfortable sunpads with a pop up Bimini to add shade when the sun becomes a bit too much to bear, but the desire for the panoramic view of the water remains irresistible. Under the windshield brow are concealed weatherproof speakers.
The transition to the salon is via a large sliding glass door on a stainless-steel frame. The galley is to port, centrally located between the dining area and aft deck, ensuring that the chef/host remains at the social hub of the yacht. This also ensures a free flow of traffic throughout the main deck. Additional natural light comes in from the side window that remains unobstructed. Appliances include two refrigerated drawers, a freezer drawer, two-burner ceramic cooktop and microwave. Solid wood cabinetry throughout highlights the fit-and-finish of Riviera’s in-house cabinetmakers.
Opposite is a buffet area with a solid wood top and storage underneath that includes bottle and stemware storage. This serving area takes advantage of the opening aft glass partition that blends the galley with the aft deck. It opens by releasing the lower latches and giving a gentle push. A gas strut takes care of the rest. No electric actuators to fail down the road.
The dining area is across to starboard and consists of a C-shaped lounge wrapping around a dining table that can easily accommodate 4, all on an elevated platform. The opening side windows are situated such that a view to the horizon is always possible, even from the seated positions. This is an important factor in preventing discomfort for those guests that may not be as acclimated to being on the water as others. An opening sunroof further serves to blend the interior with the exterior. All wood is gloss finished walnut.
To the port side is the helm with twin high-backed leather and Alcantara suede seats that are electrically adjustable, and a panel that is nothing short of a testimony to Riviera’s commitment to embrace new technology. A “glass dash” features a pair of 12” (30.48 cm) multi-function displays as the focal point, and these can be used to display everything from the nav data to the engine displays to the radar and closed circuit cameras situated around the boat.
The lower panel includes the Volvo Penta engine display and the dedicated C-Zone panel. The VHF is adjacent to the wheel and the windlass control is just below. A subpanel to the left houses the IPS joystick, the digital engine controls and the remote controller for the forward displays. Having this mounted well aft is a nice touch. We usually see it mounted right between the two displays on other builder’s helms. Why, we have no idea.
Visibility is astounding through the surrounding glass, including the two-piece windshield with narrow mullions. Side windows to port and starboard are opening.
C-Zone touchscreens are in the salon, helm and are also interfaced with iPads to allow for full systems monitoring (with alarms), including AC voltage, current, frequency and kilowatts, DC voltage, current and remaining battery capacity, along with fluid tank levels and indication for systems in operation, is clearly displayed on the touchscreens situated throughout the yacht. There’s also the option of additional iPad connectivity, so you can control C-Zone from anywhere onboard
We move down to the accommodations level via a centerline staircase to the starboard side of the helm. This leads us to a large open atrium with plenty of natural light. The area is also functional as to starboard there is an L-shaped couch that can accommodate up to five adults. This not only makes for a quiet retreat but can also serve as an extra sleeping area. It includes storage drawers beneath. As an alternate layout, this sitting area can be made smaller and the master forward can be expanded.
Opposite is the day head that includes space for a washer/dryer.
The master stateroom is located forward with the usual setup of a queen-sized island berth nestled into the bow. There’s access to both sides via steps. A private ensuite head includes a walk-in shower.
Riviera’s penchant for use of space is highlighted with upper cabinets to both sides of the stateroom and storage access under the berth.
The guest VIP stateroom is located aft and reflects a departure from what we usually see as the location for the master. Instead, more berths are made available by moving the master forward and taking more advantage of the available space here for extra guests. The stateroom includes three single berths, of which two can slide together to form a double berth. Hull side windows allow for natural light and opening portlights are connected to alarms at the helm.
The Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Series II Platinum Edition combines stunning good looks with a grace and poise that seems to be the hallmark of the company. She’s clearly laid out to spend the days above deck and nights below. And with all her entertaining and gathering areas being on a single level, it’s easier and more inviting to circulate throughout the yacht during those many gatherings that her owners are sure to have.