For those of us who have experienced the exhilaration of extended coastal cruising with Riviera, every opportunity to stretch our sea legs in the company of family and friends heightens our sense of fun and adventure.
For some, these types of passages help build confidence and skills to use their yachts to their full potential, safe in the knowledge that experienced marine professionals are always close at hand. For others, they are the catalyst for long-lasting friendships with people who share a passion for the rich and rewarding Riviera life afloat.
For members of the close-knit R Marine Crawley family of Riviera and Belize luxury motor yacht owners, it is indeed the camaraderie and sheer enjoyment of blue-water passage-making that keeps them coming back for more.
In early March, four Rivieras departed Queensland’s Gold Coast Seaway in convoy for an 400-nautical mile journey south to Broken Bay as part of the annual R Marine Crawley Hawkesbury Experience, being joined by a further seven yachts throughout the next 10 days.
After an overnight stop in Coffs Harbour, the group cruised to Broken Bay and over the next week explored the natural beauty and amenities of Pittwater, Newport, Refuge Bay and Palm Beach, with many followers expressing both their envy via social media platform, Facebook.
“The clear blue skies, light winds and beautiful blue water were certainly highlights of the trip,” says R Marine Crawley dealer principal Ben Crawley.
“We had a great cross-section of Rivieras – both new and classic models – for the raft-ups and tender explorations, and we enjoyed amazing meals at Peat’s Bite, Cottage Point and Jonah’s Terrace Balcony in Palm Beach and on the passage home by candlelight at Tom’s Chinese Restaurant in Yamba.”
Dave Pollack, owner of the Riviera 5000 Sport Yacht Hokus Pokus, said the Experience passages provided an opportunity to see the East Australian coastline from a different perspective.
“It was absolutely fantastic. There really are some beautiful places that are completely different from the water than compared to when you drive down the coast … and it’s very special to be able to share that experience with people from all walks of life who share your same passion for boating and Riviera,” he said.
“We go on as many of the Experience trips as we can with R Marine Crawley and for the Hawkesbury Experience we were blessed with the weather – it was sensational.”
Ben and his dedicated RMC team, who were awarded the Riviera Dealer and Individual Sales Excellence Awards for Australia and New Zealand in 2015 – regularly stage Experience cruising events, including their very popular winter migration to the Whitsundays.
“Our aim with the Lady Musgrave and Whitsunday Experience is to help people – whether they are new to boating or experienced seafarers – cruise north to enjoy the warmer weather in winter with the security and comfort of knowing help is always at hand if they need it,” says Ben.
“Some owners return with us to the Gold Coast while others make the extended passage north, also in company of fellow owners and members of the R Marine Crawley team, for the next leg to Hamilton Island and the secluded anchorages of the magnificent Whitsundays.”
R Marine Crawley this year opens a new service division at Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach, to support Riviera owners who choose to berth their yachts in the Whitsundays during the winter months.
“Many of our clients fly in from around Australia and the world to spend quality time on their yachts in these beautiful, pristine waters when the southern states start to cool down,” said Ben.
“We’ll have experienced skipper Matt Brown on-hand and on-call for everything from warranty, factory parts and repairs to routine maintenance and detailing, as well as a variety of cruising and social events throughout the year.
“The grand opening celebration is scheduled for June 1.”
R Marine Crawley conducts many social, educational and special Experience each year, both extended passages and weekend getaways. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 5529 5007.