BOAT REVIEW Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition

October 2019 Launch Reviews
Words by John Eichelsheim. Photography supplied.
Build Quality
MODEL Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht Platinum Edition
DESIGNER Riviera Australia
BUILDER Riviera Australia
PRICE AS TESTED $1,923,274
LOA 17.46M
LENGTH (Waterline) 14.93M
BEAM 4.88M
ENGINE 2 x Volvo Penta D11 IPS950 725hp
Maximum Speed 33 knots
Cruise Speed 18-26 knots
DEADRISE Variable degrees
ACCOMMODATION Three cabins, two bathrooms
  • Sociable living spaces and generous accommodation
  • Strong performance
  • Excellent low speed control thanks to IPS
  • Distinctive appearance inside and out
  • High quality finish

On a windy day in Sydney I experienced three Platinum Edition Sport Yachts back to back, all of them impressive vessels made even more desirable by being given Riviera’s Platinum treatment.

The 5400 SY Platinum Edition is a good example of why Riviera’s Platinum upgrade has been so successful. The 5400 SY is a popular model for the Australian builder, but the Platinum Edition inclusions really give it a lift. The Platinum aesthetic was clear in all three models in Sydney, but the 5400 SY Platinum Edition is immediately identifiable by its visually-striking colour scheme, including the black radar domes on the hardtop roof.


This is a handsome boat with very pleasing proportions and the Platinum Edition’s white, silver-grey and black metallic exterior looks stunning. It’s stunning inside as well, from Platinum Edition grey caulking in the teak decks to high-quality soft furnishings and satin oak timber finishes.
Bound for New Zealand, this boat is big enough to encompass real luxury and it’s clear Riviera has really stepped up in recent years when it comes to the quality of its fit-out. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the Platinum Edition models, which benefit from premium materials, high quality finishes and the latest technology.
I really like the 5400’s layout, especially the cockpit, which is geared for social occasions. A Sunbrella shade awning keeps the sun at bay, there’s an electric sunroof, a generous teak cockpit table with wrap-around seating, more seating across the transom (storage under), and excellent flow to the saloon thanks to the large sliding door and giant awning window. Polished stainless-steel features prominently in window and door frames while the outdoor upholstery utilises the latest, very stylish Sunbrella fabrics, which are more resistant than ever to the damaging effects of sun and salt.

Opposite the seating area, tucked up under the cockpit overhang on the port side, is a sleek, all-electric wet bar with a twin-grill BBQ and a polished stainless-steel splashback fitted with smoke extractors. There’s also a sink and food-prep area with storage lockers, a refrigerator and an icemaker. Cleaning the cockpit, tender garage and boarding area is easy with salt and freshwater washdowns.
Steps either side of the cockpit lead down to the broad swim platform, raised and lowered hydraulically for better access to the water and to facilitate launching and retrieving the tender from the garage between the engines. A teak-covered bench seat across the transom is the obvious place to sit and enjoy a closer connection with the ocean and there’s a hot and cold handheld freshwater shower to wash off under after a dip in the ocean.
Step across the threshold into the saloon and there’s a well-appointed galley aft with Corian benchtops, a full complement of top-of-the-line electric appliances and plenty of storage, including overhead lockers. I particularly like the counter return/breakfast bar and comfy stools at the front.
Saloon and cockpit are on one level, contributing to the vessel’s excellent flow. Blonde timber flooring and the coach house’s large glazed areas with sliding side windows contribute to the sense of spaciousness.

This model features a centrally-located helm station with the companionway leading down to the forward accommodation situated on the starboard side and a very social lounge area located to port. Family and friends will gravitate to the lounge with its great sight lines and comfortable seating whenever the boat’s underway, while at anchor the main seating area will likely get more use, along with the saloon’s surround-sound audio system, Blue Ray player and pivoting 40-inch flat screen TV.
The saloon is light and airy too, with an electric sunroof for fresh air and screens to block excess sunlight, exclude insects and, in conjunction with the window blinds, darken the saloon at night. When it’s too hot or too cold, air-conditioning, individually controlled for every cabin, provides comfort.
The helm station wouldn’t look out of place on an airliner, though it’s much less cluttered and more stylish, with its silver and black livery and a luxury Alcantara-clad Recaro helm seat. There’s plenty of space for twin 15-inch MFDs, in this case Garmin’s glass cockpit. The MFDs are fully-integrated with the Volvo Penta engines, GPS, autopilot and GRID controller, but the console also accommodates the VHF radio, various controls, gauges, monitors and rocker switches. The vessel features plug and play C-Zone digital switching for ultimate control of ship’s systems, and three Volvo-Penta joystick controls: the main one at the helm, plus one either side of the cockpit for easy docking.
With wind gusts sometimes reaching 40 knots, Volvo Penta IPS with joystick control really proved its worth manoeuvring in and out of a very tight berth. With the crosswinds, even proceeding down the narrow fairway required a fair bit of joystick input to keep the Sport Yacht moving in the right direction. Riviera is the largest user of Volvo Penta IPS II propulsion systems in the world.

Built for a New Zealand customer, this boat will feature at the Auckland On Water Boat Show. The owner specified the three-cabin, two-bathroom layout with a twin-bunk cabin on the port side, a VIP guest cabin forward and a full beam owner’s cabin aft under the saloon. All the cabins have their own LED TVs.
The 5400 is also available in two cabins with a second lounge at the bottom of the companionway stairs. This arrangement works well with children or if you value some separation.
The day head is also the ensuite for the VIP cabin in the bow, which features a queen-sized island berth, high-quality fabrics and fittings and ample storage. The shared bathroom is spacious with a separate shower cabinet, full-size vanity and lots of natural light and ventilation.
The owners’ master stateroom is a couple of steps down, past the washer-dryer cabinet. Inside there’s excellent headroom, a starboard side chaise longue from which to enjoy the views through the large windows (with opening portlights), lots of storage in drawers and hanging lockers, including a full-length sideboard to port, and a spacious luxury ensuite bathroom.

The bed is oriented fore and aft facing a flat-screen TV on the opposite bulkhead. This vessel has a king-sized bed with a high-quality innerspring mattress. Carpets are wool, head linings are vinyl and new Sunbrella fabrics feature prominently.
Propulsion for this 5400 SY is provided by a pair of Volvo Penta IPS II 950s, each D11 turbo-diesel delivering 725hp. Access to the engine room under the cockpit sole is by ladder, with smaller hatches providing access to the IPS units and dinghy garage. The engine room has exceptional headroom and the high-quality theme continues under the cockpit sole, with a spotless engine room that’s immaculately engineered for easy servicing and maintenance.
The vessel’s heavy machinery and most of its systems are housed there, including the battery banks, Dometic watermaker, Mastervolt Chargemaster inverter-charger, Cummins Onan 17.5kW generator, fuel system, hot water cylinder, tankage and more, all protected by an automatic fire suppression system. As you would expect from a builder that’s delivered more than 5,600 boats in 39 years to customers all over the world, everything is well laid out and fully-integrated, including the ground tackle, which is fit for purpose in this part of the world, and not just for less demanding markets.

Performance matches the 5400 SY Platinum Edition’s high standards. The vessel is remarkably quiet inside, which can fool you into thinking you are just cruising along, but the review boat reached a top speed of 34 knots at 2,250rpm in windy conditions with a messy chop. At a more sedate 2,000rpm the boats really did cruise along, making 22.3 knots and burning 178 litres per hour both engines together.
Volvo Penta trim assist automatic trim tabs take the guesswork out of trimming the boat. They work seamlessly, as does the digital throttle and shift and effortless power steering. The joystick on the right for close-quarters work falls easily to hand and the helm station as a whole impresses ergonomically. The saloon is elevated, so vision through the raked windscreens is good, kept that way by three serious duty windscreen wipers, which we had need of on occasions when williwaws whipped the tops off the waves and hurled them at us.
On another day it might have been cool to test the sunbed on the foredeck with its adjustable backrests and numerous drink holders, but while the sun was shining brightly, it was a windy Sydney winter’s day and we were grateful for the shelter and warmth of the saloon. An optional bimini shade is available for the sun pad.

Access to the bow is good, with wide side deck walkways, raised bulwarks, hardtop grabrails and a wrap-around railing at thigh height. The ground tackle is substantial – an all-chain rode and 35kg Ultra stainless-steel anchor raised and lowered remotely by a Muir capstan. The deep anchor locker easily accommodates 70m of 10mm chain.
IPS again proved its worth docking the boat at the end of the day. Once again, we had a narrow fairway to negotiate and a tight berth to tie up to, all in strong, gusty winds, but skipper Lee made easy work of it. We were tied up alongside in no time.

Of the three Platinum Edition Sport Yachts I experienced on the day, the 5400 SY Platinum Edition strikes a good balance between luxury, looks, performance and features. Big enough to offer more of everything than the 4800 Platinum Series II, it almost matches the 6000 for comfort and style, though ultimately it doesn’t quite have the larger vessel’s luxury of space.
Powered by the same Volvo Penta IPS 950 pod-drives as the 6000, the 5400 SY Platinum Edition out-performs it, matching the 34.5-knot top speed of the nimble 4800, with its 600hp IPS800 drives.
Riviera’s Platinum upgrade has turned some very good motor yachts into even more desirable ones. On the basis of size, performance and features, the 5400 SY Platinum Edition offers possibly the broadest appeal in the range. Look out for it at the Auckland On Water Boat Show, starting October 3.


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