by Steve Lague

In November we bought you the first of our series following the construction of Riviera’s new Sports Motor Yacht collection at its world-class facility in Coomera, on the Gold Coast.

The new Sports Motor Yacht, which will be available in 68ft and 72ft designs and feature up to four staterooms and optional crew accommodation, will make its World Premiere in the middle of the year.

The story so far…

In our first story we outlined the two years of research, design and development from initial consultation through to the design phase, then refinement, tank testing, tooling and the first stages of lamination.

In the second part of the series we continue to share the Sports Motor Yacht construction journey.

Sports Motor Yacht 12

Sports Motor Yacht 11Hull Lamination and Structure

More than a month after hull lamination began, the first Sports Motor Yacht hull has been released from its mould and engineering work has begun.

The hull bulkheads have now been laminated into the hull bulkheads and the structure has been put in place for the drive shafts. Engine and transverse bearers have also been installed for further hull strength.

The 68ft Sports Motor Yacht’s fuel tanks – comprising two 3500 litre wing tanks and an optional 2000 litre tank aft – have also been constructed and installed in the yacht’s expansive walk-in engine room.  The 72ft design will have another additional 2000 litre fuel tank aft as standard.

Also in the engine room – which has acoustic and thermal insulation – the construction team has been meticulous covering the rudder and exhaust tubes in a very strong laminate.

Sports Motor Yacht 9A ‘strong-back’ reinforcement has also been laminated in position at the transom for further strength, while engine bed caps and mounting point preparation has been completed, and a final engine room flowcoat and seal has been applied.

Releasing the hull from the mould was an extremely delicate process and revealed for the first time the elegant lines of the hull with its window plants that were attached to the mould prior to the initial gelcoat application.

These window plants have now been removed and the recesses carefully cut in preparation for the installation of the windows. The picture (below) shows how the hull windows will flood the accommodation deck with natural light as well as be a key design aesthetic to the sweeping sheerline.

Since the release of hull No.1 the mould has been prepared for hull No.2, also a 68ft design, and lamination of the second Sports Motor Yacht is now underway.

Back in hull No.1, which sits confidently in a specially-built cradle, the engineering is about 50 per cent complete, with final works to begin shortly. Brass rudder stocks, shaft skegs and 152kg rudders have placed into position and the bow thruster tube installation is complete. The stern thruster and the fibreglass exhaust system have also been installed.

Sports Motor Yacht 6

MAN V123 -1550 engines, which have been selected for their high tractive power were temporarily fitted to ensure everything fits neatly prior to engineering work continuing. Before the engines are re-fitted dry fitment of engine exhausts and quality checks of every process, including air-conditioning and generator set mounting points and frames will be conducted.

Deck Mould

Lamination of the deck mould has involved the initial application of a green tooling gelcoat layer and then three hand-laid layers of vinylester matting to a 25mm core laminate schedule, followed by further layers of vinylester.

Sports Motor Yacht 3

Sports Motor Yacht 4Each layer of laminate is then hand-rolled to extrude any small air pockets and remove any imperfections. The time taken on this stage results in the mirror gelcoat finish.

The deck lamination for Sport Motor Yacht No.1 is now 40 per cent complete. When it is released from the mould it will also be placed in a specially built deck cradle.

Flybridge and Hardtop

Tooling for the flybridge and hardtop commenced in November 2015 with the precision cutting of foam using Computer Numerical Cutting (CNC) routers which provides great accuracy in the translation from the Computer Aided Design (CAD) files from our in-house design team.

The tooling was then hand-assembled and handcrafted via a sanding process that achieves an ultra-smooth finish.

The completed tooling for the Sports Motor Yacht flybridge and hardtop was then wrapped in plastic to protect the mirror-like surfaces prior to the commencement of lamination of the moulds in December.

Sports Motor Yacht 2

The flybridge moulds are now around 70 per cent complete with lamination of the flybridge expected to begin shortly.

Tooling for the smaller fiberglass parts including cockpit floors and windscreen componentry is now in their final stages.

Interior prototype

While all this construction is underway, the product development team has also been building a full-scale interior prototype of the 72ft design in preparation for private and public viewing at the Riviera Festival of Boating on the weekend of March 17-19.

This walk-through prototype will be a highly detailed replica of an actual Sports Motor Yacht interior, with much of the major componentry of a finished yacht fitted and operational.

Sports Motor Yacht 1

This extends from the varnished timber cabinetry with soft-close stainless steel runners and positive locking hardware all the way through to the upholstered leather lounges, galley appliances, saloon detail and upholstered headlining. It will also feature interior lighting and white goods.

The prototype, which is 95 per cent complete, will remain open for viewing by prospective Sports Motor Yacht owners until after the Sydney International Boat Show in early August.

Next month we will share with you images of the entire interior prototype.