Access More Boat Tests

Captain's reports and/or test numbers for this model are archived.

To Get full access to this content, please:

login   or   Register

Riviera 39 Open Flybridge (2019-)

2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600

Brief Summary

The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge (formerly the 39 Sports Motor Yacht) is a flybridge cruiser powered by twin 435-hp Volvo Penta diesels driving through IPS pod drives. It has two staterooms and one head, four entertaining venues and a large flying bridge and cockpit. She has been designed for easy single-handed operation by an owner/operator for coastal and near-island cruising and watersports.

Key Features

  • Joysticks in 2 locations
  • Pod drives
  • CZone system
  • 3 beds in the mid cabin
  • 9 kW generator, standard
  • Seatorque anti-vibration shafts

Test Results

600 4.5 3.9 0.6 7.5 6.5 2673 2324.3 68
1000 7.3 6.3 1.7 4.4 3.8 1577 1371.1 64
1250 8.8 7.6 3.1 2.9 2.5 1022 889.1 71
1500 10 8.7 6 1.7 1.4 591 513.9 73
1750 11.1 9.6 9.3 1.2 1 423 368.2 69
2000 12.3 10.7 13.5 0.9 0.8 323 281.2 73
2250 15.7 13.7 19 0.8 0.7 294 256.1 72
2500 19.6 17 21.5 0.9 0.8 325 282.5 75
2750 24.3 21.1 27.5 0.9 0.8 315 273.9 77
3000 29.2 25.4 31 0.9 0.8 336 291.9 81
3250 33.8 29.3 37 0.9 0.8 325 282.7 83
3500 37.7 32.7 42.5 0.9 0.8 316 274.5 83
3570 38.5 33.4 44 0.9 0.8 311 270.8 85


Length Overall 43' 6''
13.25 m
Beam 13' 9''
4.19 m
Dry Weight 28,219 lbs.
12,800 kg
Tested Weight 31,219 lbs.
14,161 kg
Draft 3' 9''
1.14 m
Fuel Capacity 396 gal.
1,499 L
Water Capacity 103 gal.
390 L
Total Weight 31,219 lbs.
14,161 kg


See the price by becoming
a BoatTEST member.

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 10.8 sec.
0 to 30 27.1 sec.
Load 4 persons, 3/5 fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 60 deg.

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
Std. Power 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600

Captain's Report

Contents of Report


The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge was designed for an active family engaged in watersports and who desire to go coastal and near-island cruising. She is versatile and can be used for sportfishing and for scuba diving. But her main mission is cruising and entertaining. She is designed to be easy to handle by a single owner/operator and to provide accommodations for a family or two cruising couples.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht profile

The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge is intended for the broad market of cruising boat owners all over the world.

Performance Test

Her dry weight is 28,219 lbs. (12,800 kg). With 58% fuel and 100% water aboard, four people and light gear, we had an estimated test weight of 31,219 lbs. (14,161 kg). She comes standard with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS DuoProp drives with joysticks – the only power package offered.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht handling

Handling of the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge is docile and she handles easily in all conditions. Because she has an IPS system, her turns are wide and sweeping – which keeps the lean-in at the flying bridge safe at all times.

Top Speed. We recorded a top speed of 33.4 knots at 3570 rpm. With pod drives, we often don’t get a bump in performance at mid-range, but with this boat we did and it came at 84% of full throttle.

Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm at 25.4 knots, where we burned 31 gph, getting .8 nmpg for a range of 291 nautical miles. Sometimes conditions may dictate a slower speed. At 2750 rpm we went 21.1 knots, getting .8 nmpg for a range of 273 nautical miles.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht running

She is fuel efficient at trolling/displacement speeds which gives her excellent range and low operating costs.

At trolling speeds, fuel efficiency is maximized. At 6.3 knots and 1000 rpm, the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge could get 3.8 nmpg. Theoretically, she could travel up the Australian coast from Sydney to Cairns, more than 1,300 nautical miles north without refueling.

The acceleration times we recorded were: time-to-plane 10.8 seconds, 0-to-20 mph in 13.2 seconds and 0-to-30 mph in 27.1 seconds.

Operational Aspects of the 39 Open Flybridge

Flying Bridge Helm

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht fly helm

Access to the helm is via these resin-molded steps which are non-skid and no-maintenance. Below is a refrigerator/freezer for beverages. To the right is the optional third joystick.

The helm pod on the flying bridge has been designed in a symmetrical manner with a raised gray center panel which looks attractive and compartmentalizes functions to some degree. The two navigation screens maximize the space at 12” (.30 m) and the control binnacle is on the left side of the wheel.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bulwark

The bulwark height of the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge's flying bridge is one of the elements that differentiates this boat from many Euro designs which have minimal bulwarks and a toad stool seat on the flybridge.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht helm pod

The helm pod is simple and symmetrical. There is clearance for the binnacle controls at left and the wheel. The CZone screen is just below the compass. The Muir windlass control and chain counter is just to the right of the accessory toggles.

The joystick on the left is handy for port side docking, and it and the wheel can both be reached while standing. This is any important consideration, as on some Euro-styled boats, the operator must bend over to reach these controls.

Anchoring. To the right of the wheel is the standard Muir anchor control and chain counter, so the amount of chain out is known precisely. A chain counter is an absolute necessity for night operation, and eliminates the need for marking chain, which usually becomes hard to read (and remember) after a couple of years.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht captains seat

The plush captain’s seat of the flying bridge serves double duty. Here we see it in its operating mode.

The standard VHF radio has been mounted to the right. The seat is 39-1/2” (100.33 cm) wide, which is wide enough for an adult and child. There is a recessed tray on the aft edge of the console that is a good place for cell phones, cameras, and binoculars. We would like to see Riviera install an electrical outlet and USB port here.

Bulwark Height. It is important to note that the frame of the wind deflector forward is 30” (.76 m) off the deck and the fiberglass bulwark is relatively high for this class of boat, which is trying to keep a low profile. This makes the boat more practical for cruising European canals and rivers. Aft the top of the seat back is 28” (71.12 cm) off the deck.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht overall

Proportionality is important for the overall look of the boat and Riviera has made its bulwarks, seats, and wind deflectors as high as possible without destroying the look of the boat in profile.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht seating

The seating area on the flying bridge is large. The low placement of the radar does not have any harmful effects on people, a myth that we often hear along the dock.

CZone System. There are not many gauges or switches at the helm because a CZone system comes standard. A 5” (.13 m) CZone screen is in the middle of the dash which makes it handy for both the captain and a companion to monitor and activate electrical equipment.

Riviera has been installing CZone systems for 10 years and this piece of equipment makes managing the boat’s electrical operation simple. Few builders in class make the CZone system standard, but Riviera does it to make boat operation easier for both new and veteran boaters alike.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht czone

With a Bluetooth connection, the CZone system can be controlled from an iPad from anywhere on the boat.

A CZone key fob allows an owner to light up the boat even before getting aboard. Upon entering the 39, there is a 10” (.25 m) CZone just inside the door to starboard. It has connectivity with an iPad and so from any place on the boat, all of the boat’s electrical systems can be monitored and controlled. That includes all lights, tank levels, air conditioning, generator, engine diagnostics, battery charge, electronics, refrigerator temperatures, underwater lights, watermaker, stereo, TV, and much more – and turn it all off with one touch.

Functions that CZone Controls/Monitors Include —

  • Interior lights
  • Navigation lights
  • Exterior lights
  • Tank levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Generator
  • Engine diagnostics
  • Battery charge
  • Electronics
  • Refrigerator temperatures
  • Underwater lights
  • Watermaker
  • Stereo
  • TV

Main Helm

Overhead Height at Helm? This is an important measurement because many European-designed/built boats of this size do not have full standing headroom at the helm and the operator must be sitting at all times. Most boaters we know prefer to alternate between sitting and standing or at least leaning at the helm and not be locked into sitting all of the time.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht helm height

One of the most important measurements on the boat, in our opinion, is the height of the overhead at the helm. Most skippers like to have a choice of standing or sitting at the helm.

We measured 5’10-1/2” from the helm deck to the overhead, which means most people driving the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge can stand at the helm — or lean on the bolster — and see out of the windshield. The forward overhead brow comes down 6” (.15 m), which means that height-of-eye can be 5’4” (1.63 m).

Located on the starboard side, the plush helm seat is 42” (1.06 m) wide, which is large enough for two adults and has individual bolsters. A footrest has been placed ergonomically forward under the dash panel for sitting or leaning. The seat is securely anchored to a wood cabinet, which means that it cannot be lowered or raised.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht helm seat

The vinyl-covered helm seat is 42” (1.06 m) wide and is plush and comfortable. The bolster when up is fully padded and comfortable. Note that the seat is divided in two parts so that one bolster can be up and one down.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht arrow

The arrow points to the location of the VHF radio which is unhandy. In this image, the bolster is in the up position. The seat is affixed to the stationary cabinet.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht vhf

The VHF screen cannot be easily read from the sitting position. We’d like to see the screen relocated, although the cubby is a good place for the mic. The outlets are also unhandy here and would be better in the tray in the helm pod, in our opinion.

The standard VHF radio is in a cubby outboard at the level of the captain’s seat which southpaws will like, but the screen is difficult to see. Right-handers will find the placement problematical.

The helm console has a similar design to the one on the flying bridge, but is upholstered in a leather-textured vinyl and has a padded stitched raised median strip that houses a compass, the 7” (17.78 cm) Volvo Penta display, the Fusion stereo control and two rows of lighted accessory toggle switches.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht lower helm

The lower helm instrument panel and pod is a symmetrical design identical to the one on the flying bridge. However, the screens and controls placed here are slightly different.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht screen

The Volvo Penta diagnostic screen replaced the CZone screen at the top of the center panel. A CZone screen on the main deck is located just to the right when entering.

To the right and under the leather-wrapped wheel is a recessed tray for cell phones and other things. We’d like to see an electrical outlet and USB port both here.

The control binnacle is to the left, squeezed in between the wheel and the bulkhead and just barely clears the wheel. The control binnacle has several functions, including Trim Assist, Cruise Control, single lever operation, and low-speed control — all at the touch of a button.

The joystick is forward of the control binnacle and is in a good position for port side docking. In front of the wheel is a welcome air condition vent and a 12” (.30 m) navigation screen. To the left is a sliding window that helps with docking and fresh air.

Anchoring. To the right of the median strip is a second Muir anchor control and chain counter.

Forward of the helm console is a dark-colored dash to reduce glare on the windshield just as we find in an automobile. There is a defogging vent and three pantograph windshield wipers with freshwater washers.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht dash

The dash below the windscreen is covered in dark vinyl to reduce glare. Note the defogging vent. The twin pantograph windshield wipers have freshwater spritz to clean the glass of salt spray.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht cockpit awning

Our test boat had the optional cockpit awning ($6,722) which we recommend.

A third joystick is optional and on our test boat was located at a control station on the starboard side of the cockpit which gives the operator a clear view of the boat’s starboard hull side as well as the stern. It operates just like the other two and makes backing into a slip easy. We recommend it for owners with limited experience in this size boat.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht profile

Riviera will be happy to add an optional handhold along the house side. Note the engine room air intake on the side of the superstructure, and not in the hull side.

Working on Deck

The side decks on each side of the house are 9-3/4” (.25 m) wide and the bulwarks are 5” (.13 m) high, something we rarely see on this size boat. The safety rails are 24” (60.96 cm) high aft and even higher forward. Although the outboard safety rails are solid, we’d like to see a handhold bar along the house-wide, which Riviera will be happy to supply.

The engine room air intakes are relatively high on the side of the house, and not on the side of the hull, close to the water.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bow

The business end of the 39 Open Flybridge has two 11” (27 cm) cleats straddling the anchor chain which can serve double duty: as cleats for both the mooring lines and the anchor rode.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht hatches

Port and starboard hatches open to storage bins. To port is the locker for the chain and it is fully accessible. A raw water bib is located there. To starboard is a bit for fenders and line and it also holds the windlass control.

Ground Tackle System

At the bow we find a standard electric Muir vertical windlass, which has an overload circuit breaker. Also standard is a 35 lb. (16 kg) plow anchor with 114’ (35 m) of galvanized 5/16” chain, among other things. We’d add another 150’ (46 m) of chain, giving the boat 264’ (80 m), the minimum a boat of this caliber should carry.

The chain locker is accessible on the port side, which is important. After a rough passage chain, it can be hopelessly entangled because of the washing machine-like tumbling in the bow. There is a raw water washdown bib located there. To starboard are controls for the windlass and storage.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht hydraulic ram

With the touch of a button, a section of the cockpit sole rises up on a hydraulic ram. The table and transom console rise with it.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht engines

Fully opened, the raised hatch allows access to three sides of the engines. Getting down into the engine room is possible but tight.

Engine Room

The most important part of the boat is the engine room, and we find it under the cockpit sole. There is an electrically-actuated ram that picks up the center section of the deck, the table, and stern console all at once at the touch of a button. When the deck is up, the engine room can be accessed from three of its four sides and has virtually unlimited headroom.

The engines are Volvo Penta 435-hp D6 diesels mated to IPS pods and with twin joystick control and other features. The props are forward-facing DuoProp twin sets. The complete system of engines, pods, joysticks, and related equipment carries a 5 year/1,000 hour warranty from Volvo Penta. In order for the warranty to be valid, the maintenance requirements must be assiduously followed.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht sea strainer

The sea strainer is mounted at the top of the engine and has a transparent top so that it can be easily checked from the deck. Note that both the water and oil levels can be checked from deck level.

From the deck all major fluids can be checked as well as the two raw water strainers, because they are mounted high, and not down in the bilge. This is a very good idea because it provides instant verification of obstruction (or not) from the deck, without having to get down in the bilge.

Nevertheless, we’d like to see a step put in to help access this tight space.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht exhaust

Arrows point to the red and yellow dots on the engine exhaust hose clamp that ensures proper torque.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bolts

Bolts on the engine mounts have both red and yellow lines attesting to their proper torque. Observant owners can tell at a glance if the bolts have backed off.

Proper Torque on Bolts and Hose Clamps. Riviera has one of the best systems of any boat builder we have seen of making sure all bolts and hose clamps are properly tightened. First, each boat going through production has a manifest of equipment to be installed as well as specifying the exact torque for every bolt and hose clamp on the boat.

Look closely, each installation is marked with a red line crossing the bolt and the mounting plate by the installer. Later, a QC inspector puts a torque wrench on the bolt and checks to make sure it is at the correct setting and then marks the bolt and mounting plate with a yellow line. The same is true for the hose clamps. With these lines in place, a conscientious owner can periodically visually check the bolts and know they are tight.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht pod drives

Here we see the tops of the IPS pod drives, which are mounted on a tough donut rubber gasket that goes through the bottom of the boat and is secured by a score of closely spaced bolts. Engine exhaust is routed through the lower drive unit.

Accommodations and Amenities Inspection

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht layout

There is a lot of seating on the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge's flying bridge, as seen represented in this drawing with dark gray color. The grill and sink in the transom are standard, as is the sink on the bridge.

Flying Bridge

The flying bridge is reached from the cockpit by non-skid composite steps that require no maintenance. There are welcome handholds at the top of the steps just behind the wet bar console. It has a sink with a faucet, food prep counter, refrigerator, and a trash basket under the sink. Forward of the console is a bench seat that faces the helm. Under the seat is dedicated storage for filler cushions that we’ll see again in a minute. A voluminous storage compartment is behind a hatch forward.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht wet bar

At the top of the stairs to the flying bridge is the entertainment console with sink, icemaker/refrigerator, and food prep counter.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bench seat

To the right of the helm pod is a fore and aft bench seat which means a total of four people can sit forward on the flying bridge and interact with the captain. Below the bench seat is dedicated storage for the sun cushions.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht helm seat

In this image, the double-wide helm seat back is placed in the aft position for running the boat…but it serves double duty…

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht table

Seen here with the table mounted into the deck, we see that the back of the helm seat has been moved forward, creating a U-shaped settee.

Dinette/Settee. Immediately behind the helm is the large portside settee. With the helm seatback shifted forward, a U-shaped settee is created with seating on three sides. A fiberglass cocktail table and pedestal come standard and have dedicated storage.

When at anchor and it is time for some sunbathing, three cushions can be pulled out from under the forward seat to a chaise sun pad for two. For those who don’t like shade, a Bimini top comes standard and is held rigidly in place even in 35 knot apparent wind during our test.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht filler cushions

With the filler cushions in place, the settee converts into a chaise lounge or sun pad.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht flying bridge

Here we see the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge which has a flying bridge for navigation and seating for guests.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht profile

Here we see the Riviera 395 SUV which is an express design without the flying bridge. Otherwise, the boats are nearly identical.

The Difference Between the 39 and 395 SUV is the Flybridge

No matter how the 39 Open Flybridge is used, we think that the flying bridge — which is the primary difference between this model and the Riviera 395 SUV — is well worth the 8% upcharge because of the vast improvement in living space and utility it gives the boat. While it does add weight and windage, therefore requiring more horsepower and getting lower fuel economy, it offers quite a bit of added utility for the money. In good weather, there is no better place from which to drive the boat, and guests will enjoy the views and breeze. At anchor, it is an ideal venue for a cocktail party or a cookout.

The settee makes into a double chaise for sunning or relaxing at anchor.


Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bow sun pad

The standard bow sun pad for two is plush and comfortable. The back raises to form chaise lounges.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht chaise lounge

With two substantial supports under the aft cushions, the sun pads are transformed into chaise lounges.

Another comfortable place for sun worshipers when at anchor is on the foredeck. The cushions come standard and two chaise lounges can be created.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht stern platform

The stern platform extends 3’11” (1.19 m) and it provides both watersports, fishing, and entertaining functionality. The safety rail aft is optional, but the bait prep table affixed to it is optional. There are rod holders here and a place for tools. It looks odd when the boat is running but it's quite functional.

Swim Platform and Transom

The 39 Open Flybridge comes standard with a stern platform and our test boat had an optional bait prep station affixed to the platform safety rail. The table is a fun place to stand when fishing at anchor in calm water at slow speeds and it holds both rods and drinks. The standard platform itself measures 9’10” (2.99 m) wide by 3’11” (1.19 m) fore and aft and has four freeing ports, but we’d like to see more.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht bait prep

An optional bait prep table with five rod holders is a comfortable way to fish the flats or for casual coastal or protected water fishing.

When drift fishing offshore, the boat can rock, the platform can become submerged, and then be bent by the weight of the water when the boat rights itself. Freeing ports in the platform reduce the weight of the water.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht grill

By placing the electric grill, food prep counter and sink, in a transom console accessed only from the swim platform, the builder has added great utility to the boat without using room in the cockpit.

Versatile Transom. In the transom is a convenient storage bin that opens aft, ideal for fenders and lines. Above it is the concealed sink and BBQ grill. By giving access to the grill from the platform, valuable space is saved inside the cockpit for guests to mill around at a cocktail party.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht transom platform

The bin in the transom platform is a perfect place to stow fenders and lines. Note the book hook stowed there.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht shower

A standard cockpit hot and cold freshwater shower head is located in the transom walkthrough.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

View of the cockpit with the salon door and aft bulkhead window open. The top opening bin in the starboard gunwale can be used for tackle or other gear. Below it is an insulated fishbox in the cockpit sole. The BBQ and sink are in the closed console on the centerline in the transom.

The Cockpit

Through the transom door to the cockpit, we can see the aft-facing bench seat which has an insulated cooler or optional cool box underneath. The teak table has height adjustments — for lunch, cocktails or down low for sunning with the addition of a filler cushion.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht side view

In this side view of the cockpit, we see the transom gate at left, the shower outlets adjacent, the console for the BBQ and sink, and the compartment that holds the fold-out seat in the port gunwale. Note the step to the side deck.

Aft Bulkhead Window Opens. Just behind, is a window that opens out on a powerful gas-assisted strut. It brings the outside into the cabin. Since the galley is located aft, food and beverages can be passed outside easily. And the chef will enjoy the fresh air.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht aft bulkhead

The aft bulkhead opens on gas-assisted struts and has polished stainless steel, just like the starboard aft window and the door.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht sun pads

Two sun pad cushions which have dedicated storage inside the boat, use the table as a foundation for a sun pad.

Cockpit Seating. When having a cocktail party in the cockpit, men won’t mind hopping up to sit on the coaming which is 28’1/2” (8.55 m) high off the deck. But ladies will appreciate the fold-out seat on the port side, in addition, there is more seating against the forward bulkhead.

Extra Seat? To port is a top-opening bin in which to stow gear, but for those who are going to use the boat predominately for entertaining, we would consider having Riviera install an optional fold-out seat, which can be done in its post-manufacturing facility.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht aft

In this view, we see the aft bulkhead window open and the blue courtesy lights begin to appear. The BBQ and transom stowage hamper are accessed from the swim platform.

Cockpit Amenities. Tucked inside the transom at the gate is the hot and cold shower wand and mixer control. On the starboard side of the cockpit is an in-deck fishbox that is insulated and drains overboard, and in the starboard gunwale is storage for tackle boxes and gear. There is an insulated bow under the forward bulkhead seat that can turn this into an icebox. An optional electric refrigerator or freezer is available.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht cruising canvas

The cruising canvas is relatively inexpensive and adds lots of utility to the boat. In this image, note the optional cockpit awning which is in place and which is ordered by nearly all 39 Open Flybridge buyers. The dotted lines indicate where the cruising canvas can be added to make the 39 a three-season vessel.

Awning Recommendation. Forward, on the starboard side under the steps to the flybridge was an icemaker on our test boat. We recommend Riviera’s optional, very well-made, rear awning. It extends over much of this cockpit, providing shade but it also includes strata-glass quarter curtains that protect the cockpit from wind and spray and a stainless stanchion that makes a good handhold when using the side decks. We also think the Riviera-made awning enhances the look of the boat.

Cruising Canvas? Taking that a step further for owners with short summers, we would consider having isinglass made for both the cockpit and the flying bridge for added utility at a very low cost. Evenings can become chilly at night, even in the tropics. Having isinglass that can be easily zipped or snapped into place ads utility, and more dry space when it rains at anchor.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

The cockpit is large for entertaining, fishing or scuba diving, and the interior is comfortable and efficient.


The 25” (63 cm) wide door to the salon and galley has a robust polished stainless steel frame with tinted glass. All glass in the main cabin is tinted and the side windows and aft bulkhead window are covered in 3M film to reduce UV damage and heat transfer.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

Headroom in the main cabin is 6’7-1/2” (2.01 m) and it is 5’10-1/2” (1.79 m) at the helm. The riser to the dinette platform is 9” (22 cm) high. The 32” TV rises at the push of a button and is standard. Note the handhold on the centerline of the overhead.

As we enter the yacht’s main cabin, we find an L-shaped settee on the port side and an L-shaped galley on the starboard side. Headroom is 6’7-1/2” and Riviera has placed its signature polished oval stainless steel handhold mounted on the centerline overhead.

A built-in sofa is forward to starboard and it communicates well with both the galley and the settee to port. The port settee and table are on a raised platform that is up one step. The hi-lo table can be lowered to make into a fourth bed on the boat with filler cushions. This area of the salon has been raised to create headroom in the mid-cabin below.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht interior

This publicity photograph of the interior of the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge shows how the light wood cabinetry blends with the earth tones in the carpet and upholstery to produce a cozy feel in soft light. Note the single burner stovetop at right and the refrigerator drawer under it, and the microwave near the sink.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht hand holds

Overhead are Riviera’s signature stainless steel oval handholds that are vitally important when far offshore and seas become a bit unruly.


The galley comes standard with a single electric induction stovetop, a deep stainless steel sink, and to the left are grooves in the solid countertop to drain drops of water from a dish rack. The counter has a high back-splash with electrical outlets and a shallow groove is routed out near the counter’s edge to contain dribbles. Like virtually every builder in class, Riviera does not add substantial fiddles around the counter, something we’d like to see.

Below the counter is a microwave convection oven and two refrigerator drawers. There are two cabinets for pots and pans, and five soft-touch closing drawers for cutlery, utensils, and sundry items, but there are no fiddles. Three cabinets above the window have dedicated space for the ship’s serving ware.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht galley

Looking aft in the 39 Open Flybridge's salon/galley.

Main Cabin Amenities. On a panel to the right, just inside the door, is the standard CZone screen that monitors and manages all of the vessel’s electrical systems. On the aft bulkhead is an attractive vertical grate for the optional air conditioning system, the inside of the swing-up window, and note the pelmet above the window which hides a rolling shade, just as the pelmets on the side windows do.

Forward is a standard 32” TV that rises from the dash at a push of a button. A stereo also comes standard with speakers all over the boat, including the flying bridge. Power for the galley and the rest of the boat’s lights, equipment, and appliances is supplied by an Onan 9 kW genset that has a sound shield, a 5-year warranty, and is EPA and Lloyd’s certified.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht love seat

Opposite the helm and facing it, is this love seat just forward of the galley on the starboard side. Note the two drawers under the cushions.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

The two-cabin sleeps five people and is ideal for a family or two couples.


The companionway to the accommodations level is on the centerline. Down a few steps the guest stateroom is on the left, the yacht’s single head is on the right, and forward is the door to the master stateroom.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht master stateroom

Master Stateroom

It has 6’2-1/2” (1.89 m) headroom and a bright overhead hatch with a shade and screen. The island bed which measures 60” (1.52 m) wide in the middle. Below are four drawers, all of which are deep and long with soft-touch close. There is a mirror as a headboard which makes the cabin look larger.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht usb outlets

In this close-up of the head of the bed, note in the mirror of the headboard, the electrical and USB outlets near the foot of the bed. This is perhaps a convenient place for the outlets as they can be reached from the foot of the bed.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht head

Cabin Details. Importantly, there is plenty of light in this cabin, thanks to both the large horizontal windows in each side of the bow, and to the overhead escape hatch. To port and starboard are reading lights and shelves for books, wristwatches, cell phones, and the like. There are two electrical outlets and a USB port on each side at the aft end of the shelves, but we’d like to see them near the head of the bed. The stateroom’s bulkheads are all covered in padded fabric that is chosen by the owner.

To starboard is a carpet-lined deep hanging locker with a small overhead storage cabinet forward, and there is another to starboard.

The Head

The master stateroom has a private entrance to the boat’s single head. There are two cabinets with mirrors and shelves inside and a deck light overhead. The horizontal hull side window brings in even more light, making this space bright.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht head

The ceramic wash basin is on a solid surface countertop and the electric-flush toilet is to the left. Aft is a separate walk-in shower stall with glass door, European-style adjustable shower head, temperature mixer, and a teak-covered bench seat outboard. There is a standard exhaust fan.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht guest cabin

Guest Cabin/Mid Cabin

Entering the guest stateroom from the passageway, we measured the entrance headroom at 6’4” (1.93 m) and then it goes even higher before we step down into the cabin itself. The hanging locker at the entrance is carpet-lined and deep. Moving down inside, we find a full-beam cabin with three single beds. The cabin has large horizontal windows on each side that bring in light and round opening portlights that can bring in fresh air.

The headroom is 5’3” (1.60 m) beside the bed along the port hull side. Between the two beds, it is 3’6-1/2”(.94 m) high, which is a stooping height for most people. But, you only stoop for about 2 seconds before reaching the head of the beds, which is higher, and then falling into them.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

Because of the headroom at the heads of the two athwartships beds, one can comfortably sit up for reading at night. These two beds are both 29” (73 cm) wide and both have reading lights. There are electrical outlets and a USB port by the nightstand between the beds.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

The portside bed is 24” (.61 m) wide and also has an opening portlight. While we were aboard, the pillows were at the wrong end of the bed as obviously at its head is a nightstand with two drawers and electrical outlets with a USB port.

This stateroom is versatile, but obviously, it is best suited for a couple with a small child, or a larger family with two to three children. Of course, children will love having their own cabin.


Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht

There is no production line, per se, but rather the boats are moved around the yard from bay to bay so that they are brought to the team involved in a particular aspect of the build. For example, engines and plumbing are installed in one bay, interior cabinetry is installed in another, the deck is affixed to the hull in another and so on. In this way, the number of people working in a hull is minimized for efficiency, and all of the parts and tools needed are easily at hand.

All Riviera hulls are laid up in the conventional way by hand. It does not use vacuum resin injection. All of its boats have a watertight crash bulkhead and a foam-filled hull below the forward floors, something we rarely see in class. This acts as a sound barrier as well as limiting water intrusion in case of serious grounding by the bow.

We found that Riviera used industry “best practices” for the installation of electrical and plumbing. All stainless steel installed is 316, fabricated in-house, and Riviera takes great pains to polish its stainless and make sure all welds are smooth – something that sets it apart from many builders.

Of particular note is Riviera’s system of bolt and hose clamp torque installation. In each boat’s build manifest are the torque requirements for each of these fittings and when they are at the proper spec, the installer then puts a red dot or line on them. A QC inspector later verifies the torque and puts a yellow dot or line on the hardware.

Customization. After the boat is built, it is moved to a customization building where some optional equipment not normally used can be fitted to the boat. Here is where the boat can be painted or unusual modifications can be made to suit an individual owner’s desires or application.

Options to Consider

The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge comes remarkably well equipped as standard. Here are a few major items we recommend for most applications:

  • Cockpit joystick — $13,895
  • Reverse cycle A/C for accommodations, 27,000 BTUs — $, $7,648
  • Cockpit Awning — $6,722
  • Trim Assist — $2,975
  • Stainless Steel Safety Rail bolted to Swim Platform — $1,542


The base price of the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge is $809,900 equipped with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta engines with IPS pods and two joysticks. The price of the boat as tested in this report is $858,988, FOB Brisbane, Australia.

Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht profile

The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge has a classic powerboat profile and the low top hamper of the flying bridge blends into the attractive soft lines of the boat.