Riviera’s 46 Sports Motor Yacht is the first step into the company’s five-model lineup of flybridge multi-purpose yachts. She’s a three-stateroom/two-head yacht ideal for entertaining or cruises to a weekend retreat. She’s built on the same hull as the 46 SUV but with a boatload of added features.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Load||3 persons; 660 gal. fuel; 50 lb gear|
|Climate||84 deg., 75 humid; wind: 10-15 mph, seas:<1|
2 x 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 IPS-950
2 x 600-hp Volvo Penta D8 IPS-800
2 x 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 IPS-950
Riviera 46 Sports Motor Yacht
What’s surprising about this beautiful yacht is that there’s so little competition for her. There just aren’t many flybridge boats in the sub-50 category. They’re either sedans, a more sportfish style where you climb up a ladder that doubles as supports or the Euro style with an open operating station and a small windscreen but not much else. The true flybridge category of boats, where there’s entertainment in that elevated bridge, is reserved for larger boats. This one also doesn’t have the factory-built fully enclosed flybridge, as Riviera does with the 50’+ size boats, but she can be surrounded in a full enclosure that is offered in the options list.
She’s the last of the open style of flybridge boats before moving up to the fully enclosed models. But make no mistake… although this is a smaller yacht in the big scheme of things, she’s lacking for nothing. That’s what makes this yacht so appealing to the customer moving up from the smaller day boat. She’s easy to handle, easy to be on, and easy to manage without putting your yard’s maintenance department on retainer.
The Riviera 46 SMY was designed to be a do-anything, go-anywhere type of yacht for the cruising couple or small family. She fishes just as well as she entertains and cruises off to a coastal destination. She’s easily seen as a replacement for the smaller 40’s range of sport cruisers and certainly those with the brand loyalty that has made Riviera so appealing.
- IPS powered for joystick functionality
- Interceptor trim system
- 24,000 BTU Air Conditioning (Salon, Galley)
- Lithium-Ion House Batteries
- 13.5-kW Onan Generator
- C-Zone control for electrical switching
- Standard TVs (32” (81.28 cm) in master, 43” (109.22 cm) in salon)
- Molded fixed swim platform
- Cockpit-mounted joystick control
- Elevated Mezzanine seating with starboard side conversion to daybed
- Interior stairs to flybridge
The Riviera 46 SMY has an LOA of 52’2” (15.9 m), a beam of 15’7” (4.76 m) and a draft of 4’8” (4.44 m). She has an empty weight of 48,325 lbs. (21,920 kg) and with full fuel, 55% water and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 53,471 lbs. (24,254 kg).
With twin 725-hp Volvo Penta IPS 950 engines turning P4 prop sets and run up to 2570 RPM, our speed topped out at 34.7 knots. With the engines so well matched to the hull, there’s really no best cruise as the yacht gets .5 NMPG from the time she’s solidly on plane at 17.3 knots on up to her top speed. That’s a pretty remarkable claim and it means that her speed can be set based on comfort level and the current conditions. That said if we pick a midrange level of 2200 RPM and 27.1 knots, her fuel burn was 52 GPH for a range of 309.4 nautical miles. All while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 660-gallon (2,500 L) total fuel capacity.
You know that comfy pair of shoes, those sneakers that you wear every day, and they just fit. They're all broken in and comfy. That's what this yacht feels like. It's such a comfortable size and an easy boat to handle. Driving it is an owner/operator's dream. The systems are so simplistic. For example, the captain can control everything onboard from the helm with the C-Zone system.
As far as her handling goes, our departure was in extremely tight quarters and her maneuvering was just spot on. The joystick was dialed in perfectly. We had a roughly 20 knot crosswind trying to blow us off the dock and into the adjoining boats, but I just gently held us in position while the lines were coming off. Once I got a thumbs up from the crew, I eased us ahead, rotated and drove out. Nothing to it.
She has tight turning characteristics and that surprises me because you don't usually find that in an IPS-driven boat. The pods have a limited swing of arc when you're at speed, so that tends to widen your turn, and I suppose the idea is to make it more comfortable for everybody on board. But this feels more like a sport boat. But when she’s put into a turn, she comes around nicely and she leans into the turn comfortably. So your drinks are still going to stay nice and steady on the table. It’s just a comfortable boat to drive.
This cockpit, at 13’7” x 4’3” (4.14 m x 1.29 m) may seem smaller than on a dedicated sportfish yacht, but it’s not meant to be a sportfish yacht. It’s a yacht that also has cockpit space aft of the raised mezzanine deck, where we can do some fishing or enjoy all manner of other watersports. It’s also a nice place to relax. If fishing is on the list of activities, then it accommodates withdedicated fish boxes and livewells from the options list.
There’s easy access to the swim platform through large doors to both sides of the transom and we can even add staple rails that surround the platform to basically increase the size of the cockpit gathering space. The platform has a hydraulic option with a lift capacity of 300kg.
There are modules to the forward cockpit that include a freezer bin and refrigerated drawer to starboard, and a grill with sink and storage to port. Overhead there’s the optional extended awning that we see so frequently. An LED spreader light is underneath and illuminates the cockpit.
There are side decks to both port and starboard, accessed from two 10” (25.4 cm) steps. The side decks measure 16” (40.64 cm) with rails topping out at 23” (58.42 cm). There are two 10” (25.4 cm) cleats to each side.
Socializing continues at the bow with dual 68” (172.72 cm) long sunpads with backrests that can elevate on a ratcheting hinge that allows for five different locations. This is brilliant since we’re fed up with the backrests that are either in fixed positions or are supported with a bracket that allows for one position only (and that one position is too far-reclined). Stainless steel grab rails have integrated beverage holders.
If a tender is to be accommodated, it can be placed here in lieu of the sunpads and a 350-kilo lift capacity crane is on the options list. But it makes more sense to put a small tender on the platform or otherwise tow it behind the yacht if necessary. And who doesn’t love a tender behind?
The ground tackle is between a pair of hatches. The port hatch conceals the fresh and raw water washdowns and a high-pressure washdown. A wired remote controls the windlass. To starboard there’s storage and the rode locker containing 50m (164’) of 3/8ths (9.53mm) chain. In the center, a Muir windlass leads over a roller and out the flush-mounted stainless-steel anchor holder. The standard anchor is 27kg but an upgrade to 35kg is available.
The raised mezzanine deck has become a Riviera signature feature and it’s a welcome one. It’s two steps up from the cockpit deck and features opposing couch seating, each one 78” (198.12 cm) wide. There’s an expandable table in front of the portside seats and the starboard side converts into a daybed without having to pull anything out of storage. Storage under the portside seat can be converted into a refrigerated compartment. There’s a 32” (81.28 cm) TV mounted to the forward bulkhead. Above there’s the hardtop 6’9” (2.06 m) off the deck with a grab rail running down the center.
The engine room is accessed from a hatch in the upper mezzanine deck. It’s important to recognize that Riviera didn’t fall into the trap of moving the engines aft because they’re IPS driven, just to create more space below for larger, or additional, staterooms. Instead, the drives are connected to the engines via jackshafts, and this keeps the weight and balance of the boat intact. And by having the balance correct translates directly to a more efficient cruising yacht.
The main engines are 725-hp IPS 950 by Volvo Penta. Checkpoints are to the left sides of both engines and there’s plenty of room to get to both sides without having to be a contortionist. Single fuel filter sets are standard but duals for each engine are optional. Choose from the standard 13.5kW generator or an upgrade to 17kW. An optional Seakeeper 6 was installed on our test boat, but we didn’t notice much difference in the stability with it on or off as the 46 is a naturally stable platform.
Everything is labeled properly in this compartment and that is part of what makes this an easy boat to own from an owner/operator’s standpoint. There’s no guessing and no complex systems to take up all the attention.
There’s also a clear sightline back to the lazarette, where the pods are. These components can also be accessed by hatches to both sides of the cockpit deck.
As we move inside, it’s easy to see the immediate benefit of having a single control station in the flying bridge. There’s more room to socialize here thanks to the additional seating. And it’s done while maintaining the open atmosphere of a much larger boat.
The galley is up and aft to starboard, directly in between the forward and aft serving areas. We can open an aft window to blend it with the mezzanine deck. The galley is U-shaped with Corian counters that include a channel around the perimeter to contain spills. The usual features are present and include an electric two-burner cooktop, a single basin stainless-steel sink with a reversible cover, a microwave, an under-the-counter refrigerator and an optional dishwasher. Alongside the overhead cabinet storage is an electrically actuated hatch in the ceiling that opens to reveal rod storage.
The salon consists of opposing seating areas, thanks to the absence of a lower helm station. To port, there’s a U-shaped Ultraleather upholstered dinette with a solid wood table on a single hi-lo pedestal. The table can be lowered and a filler cushion allows conversion to a berth. It’s all in a 9” (22.86 cm) elevated platform so there’s an improved sightline, already impressive thanks to the large surrounding windows. There’s drawer storage under the aft seat. Forward, there’s a 43” (109.22 cm) TV on an electric lift.
Transitioning to the flying bridge is via the stairs that are to the aft port of the interior. This may seem an unlikely place to take up space with stairs when others may have the stairs outside, but this works for a couple of reasons. We’re not taking up space in the mezzanine seating and we still have ample seating forward in this interior space thanks to eliminating the lower helm position.
Additionally, by having the stairs in this interior position, Riviera was able to not only utilize the space underneath for storage and refrigeration but angle the stairs aft as they go up making for a much more comfortable transition when underway when the bow may be slightly elevated. It’s still a walk up, not a climb.
As for the layout, it’s old school with the helm located well aft and to starboard with the gathering taking place ahead of the operator. To our eye, this is a much-preferred arrangement to having the helm located forward and all the enjoyment taking place behind the captain’s back, who in most cases is also the host, shut off from the action. This is more social.
The helm has two large displays providing the information. Two smaller screens accommodate the Volvo Penta display and the C-Zone control panel.
The helm seats are from Pompanette and because the helm is to the starboard side of the console, someone can join the captain without having to have him/her stand to let someone else in. The captain also has a clear sightline of the starboard side of the yacht.
The layout of the forward social zone features opposing seating, much like below. There’s a bench seat to starboard facing the J-shaped seating to port that wraps around a table on a hi-lo pedestal. There’s snap-in carpeting throughout.
Overhead there’s a standard hardtop of molded GRP. The headliner is vinyl and there are two hatches to allow a breeze to flow through for those that choose to enclose the deck in Isinglass, or similar solution. An electric sunroof can be optioned to replace the two forward hatches.
Aft, and across from the helm, there’s a refreshment center with a Corian counter surrounded by a stainless-steel grab rail. A sink is recessed into the counter. Below is a cockpit refrigerator and storage. Behind, the rear of the deck is surrounded by a padded bolster.
The master is located at the bow and includes a 78” x 60” (198.12 cm x 152.4 cm) island berth in the usual configuration. A mirror is over the headboard and hull side windows add natural light. It’s nice to see that Riviera takes advantage of the space above these windows for storage solutions. Headroom is 6’4” (1.93 m), which leaves 3’3” (.99 m) over the berth. Hanging lockers are to both port and starboard. Drawer storage is under the berth. A 32” (81.28 cm) flatscreen TV is at the aft bulkhead.
There’s a private entrance to the head. This features a vessel sink atop a Corian counter. A hullside window adds natural light. There is a mirrored cabinet just above with storage behind the mirrors. An opening hatch adds ventilation overhead and there's a walk-in shower right alongside the electric flush toilet.
At the corridor, there is an entrance to the day head that is located to port. It includes the same features as the master, with the addition of the extra entrance. There’s also a private entrance to the portside stateroom.
Continuing aft, there are two guest staterooms located amidships — one to each side — and the compartment sizes are a mirror of one another. The differences are in the berths where the one to port is a queen and the one to starboard has twins but can be optioned for another queen. Because the port stateroom has access to the shared head, it can also serve as a second master. For the queen berths, the mattresses are on a hinged platform that lifts to expose compartmentalized storage, including storage for a Dyson vacuum. The starboard stateroom also has an option for a combination washer/dryer.
Notable Optional Equipment
- Twin IPS 950 propulsion
- SeaKeeper 6 gyrostabilizer
- Volvo Dynamic Positioning System
- Volvo Penta Park Assist
- Air Conditioning upgrade to accommodate deck and flybridge
- Dual Fuel filters
- C-Zone upgrade to 10” (25.4 cm) display in galley 3
- C-Zone configuration to iPad
- Generator Upgrade to 17kW
- Wireless remote for Cablemaster
- Full flybridge enclosure
- Replace two forward hatches in the flybridge with electric sunroofs
- Washer/Dryer combination
- High-pressure water cleaner at the bow and cockpit
- Hydraulic swim platform
- Swim platform rails
- Transom fold-down seat
- Transom baitwell
- Bow crane
- Foredeck sunpad
- Anchor upgrade from 27kg to 35kg
- Coolbox under portside Mezzanine seating
- Portside stateroom to twin berths
Please contact your local dealer for pricing.
Riviera is all about trying to make things easier as you use its yachts and it shows throughout the lineup. This 46SMY is another example of that mindset. There are no complicated systems that require an engineer to diagnose. No poor sightlines as we move about and certainly not from the navigation stations. She’s just… comfortable, all the way through. And that is what separates her from being a pretty girl at the boat show to a beloved companion that supports the family… and her owner. She’s very reminiscent of the older 42 or 47 but with new technology and, to our eye, a better looking profile.