Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia: Peter Collings had just taken delivery of his new Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge Bluewater when he immediately set himself the mission of tagging 50 marlin in her first year.
“I’m on a ‘mission’ to catch 50 marlin,” he said ahead of starting his personal challenge this week. “I’m a very passionate fisherman so I am looking forward to spending a lot of time on the water to try to accomplish my 50 mission.”
The 50E is Peter’s third Riviera, having owned a 40-footer and a 47 Enclosed Flybridge in the past. In fact he admits he loved the 47 so much that he swore he would never sell it.
Fishing out of Port Stephens (NSW, Australia) in the summer months and travelling north each May to Queensland’s Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and then on to the Whitsundays, the 47 Bluewater had clocked nearly 2200 hours over five years.
But when Peter’s wife Kay laid eyes on the 50 Enclosed … it was love at first sight.
“It was in fact Kay who convinced me to upgrade from the 47 to the 50,” admits Peter. “She fell in love with it at the Sydney International Boat Show last year and had to have one – she loved the layout, was impressed with the comfort of the flybridge, the three spacious bedrooms, roomy saloon and huge aft galley.”
Peter admits he loved these features too … but says “his” needs run deeper than obvious beauty.
“I was uncertain at first – yes the 50 is an absolutely beautiful boat but I wanted some modifications, such as an aft helm on the flybridge to suit my fishing needs. The guys at Riviera were very accommodating with all my requests. Their attitude is: ‘Can do!’ and ‘No problem!’ … rather than: ‘We will see what we can do’.
“I am not an easy customer and admit to being difficult at times – I am very particular about quality and how everything should work … and I have some quirky ideas.”
Another issue to consider was the engines and the pod drive propulsion concept. “I was a little sceptical at first but after exhaustive study and speaking to many pod drive owners I became very comfortable – and when Volvo discussed their extended warranty and their 24/7 service, I was completely convinced the twin Volvo Penta IPS 950s were the way to go,” Peter said. “I am now so impressed – I own a 30-tonne boat that can do 34 knots and the flybridge is so quiet you can talk at a whisper at sea.”
Whilst fuel consumption was not a major deciding factor when purchasing, Peter is pleased that his new, much larger boat is actually more frugal than his Riviera 47. “This is amazing given that the boat is much bigger and over six tonnes heavier,” he said.
“Perhaps the major difference between my previous boats and the new 50 is the boat’s technology – it certainly has come a long way over the past 5-10 years and, in many ways, the new 50 is like comparing the old Commodore 64 computer and an Apple iPad … or the old “brick” mobile phone and the new apple iPhone today. I admit to being a little overawed for a short time but after a few days I became more comfortable and now I just love it!”
Peter was also very complimentary towards the selling dealership R Marine Jones, based at Riviera’s 14-hectare state-of-the-art Coomera factory on the Gold Coast, Australia.
“They could not have been more supportive. We all know that a dealership can be very helpful prior to signing and then can be difficult and less interested after the boat is handed over but this has not been my experience with R Marine Jones – they have met and overachieved my expectations,” he said.
After taking delivery, Peter spent some time on the Gold Coast to get to know his new purchase and set off to Mooloolaba (QLD) and Fraser Island and then finally to Bundaberg where he and a few mates enjoyed a number of fishing events to Lady Musgrave Island and surrounding areas.
“The boat is so comfortable and roomy and has the feel of a boat resembling a 60 footer! It has every creature comfort that appeals to both the ladies and the guys – on one fishing trip from Bundaberg I had six fishing mates aboard and no one wanted to get off the boat when we returned to the Gold Coast 10 days later.”
Peter’s modifications to his Riviera to assist him to achieve his mission included upgraded Garmin electronics, a large live bait tank and tuna tubes, the rear helm with full instrumentation and control features, outriggers, extra rod holders and rod storage, a tackle storage area to store gear for a variety of fishing opportunities, as well as a deluxe “Reelax” preparation station.
“I absolutely love the boat – I am very pleased with the alterations and improvements I have made. This 50 is exactly what I want in a boat and I’m ecstatic with Riviera!”
Next year Peter and Kay plan to travel to the Whitsundays where they can enjoy some time with other boating friends, many of whom also own Rivieras. “With airfares so reasonably priced we plan to have 10-14 days on board and then return home to spend some time with the children and grandchildren.
“I could not be happier with my Riviera 50 and I am so happy that Kay convinced me to upgrade. I loved my previous Rivieras but the new 50 has taken my boating experience to a new level!”
Back to the fishing: Peter admits he has set the bar high in tagging 50 marlin in one year … but he says it’s very achievable!
“I would like to prove that the new Riviera 50 is not only a beautiful, luxurious cruising boat but it can match any boat for hardcore fishing,” he said.
Peter admits he love all types of fishing – from chasing Murray Cod in a kayak, snapper and whiting from his tinny to catching 22 marlin in 5 days out of Port Stephens.
His parting words were; “BRING IT ON!”To take a virtual tour of the 50 Enclosed Flybridge please click here
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