May 23, 2008

Boat Review: Riviera 3600 Sport Yacht

A personal detailed review for May, into one of my preferred 11 metre sports cruisers the Rivera 3600 Sport Yacht. Renowned and largest Australian yacht builder, Riviera got a strong fame for building seaworthy, well built sport fisherman cruisers and yachts in over 25 years, so when the Australian builder went to built a modern hard top cruiser, everyone was curious of the out come. The 3600 Sport Yacht was the answer, as it did keep the all important Riviera lines added with some modern design and construction touches. It did respond well with the professionals, winning two important awards in 2 years: 2006 Overall Cruiser of the Year by Prestigious Yachting Magazine Australia and 2007 Best Motoryacht under 40 ft by Christophle Asia Boating Magazine. A success announced at the start!
A comfortable Sport Cruiser, which scores a lot of points thanks to the very intelligent living area on the upper deck, which with the full opening of the patio door and swing window, joins the interior with the exterior and the L-shaped saloon settee, galley entertainment area with the cockpit deck, making it a single area for spacious socializing. This practical interior saloon is also filled with natural light, air and views, thanks to the 2 opening sunroof hatches, and big opening side windows when the weather is nice and if it is does get bad, don't worry you can close it all in a few seconds, and make it a cosy place for chilling out.
As for the lower deck, this is all dedicated to the sleeping quarters, with a spacious owners cabin forward featuring a central located double island berth, a spacious head with separate shower stall and a second double bunk cabin. I like the solution used of creating an entertaining area up top with cabins only below, as especially in warm climate zones the lower saloon does not get used much.
Derived from a sport fishing hull with design from renowned Dutch architect Frank Mulder, the small of the Sport Yacht series does offer the goods. Its hull shape is a very deep vee forward section with a moderate vee aft, with the propellers running in tunnels for maximum efficiency, better handling and smaller turning circle. Exhaust is also an underwater system, which does add additional lift and gives lower planning speeds. The Riviera is surely not the fastest 11 metre sports cruiser, but I am sure that when the sea starts breaking off, it may come out as one of the most secure.
Patio door joining outside with inside
Upper saloon with adjoining galley
Small bunk second cabin
Only 2 Port Hole windows
If you really like the 3600 Sport Yacht, it is very difficult to find something replacing the practical features of this sports cruiser. As I say the 3600 Sport Yacht is a wild card on it's own, but you can still try to have a look at these before deciding:
Cayman 38 WA - 3 layout options inside, no patio door, safe walk around deck
Galeon 390 HT - spacious saloon, 3 cabins, stern drive or shaft option
Intermare 36 Cruise - similar interior space to Riviera with modern European looks
Portofino 37 HT - soon replaced by new IPS drive 11 model, comfortable walk around
Sciallino 34 Cabinato - seaworthy with Ligurian Gozzo lines, similar interior plan
Tiara 3500 Sovran - no patio door, spacious lower deck and second cabin, IPS drives
WILD CARD: Fratelli Aprea 36 Hard Top - Sorrento Gozzo, 2 cabins, spacious flush deck
Many are big fans for American sport fisherman yachts, admiring them in harbours and seeing the way most perform at sea is always an experience to anyone who loves planning motor boats. But somehow if you live in Europe and you don't do fishing you will always find it difficult to purchase one of these so called beasts! Riviera with the Sport Yacht series have to be praised for completing a circle, creating a new breed of cruisers, with hull lines derived from the Sport Fisherman with all the sea qualities included and adding a classy profile of a timeless Sport Yacht as the title says. By joining these 2 boating Worlds and putting the bonus of a super practical all weather hard top sport cruiser, Riviera did create the revolution and the success obtained by this range is testimony to this.
Technical Data
LOA. 11.73 metres (38.6ft)
Hull Length. 10.13 metres
Beam. 3.83 metres
Draft. 1.00 metre
Displacement. 9,200 kg loaded
Fuel Capacity. 1000 litres
Water Capacity. 390 litres
Accommodation. 4 berths in 2 separate cabins
Engines. 2 x Volvo D6 370 hp, 2 x 380 hp Cummins
Propulsion. Direct Shaft Line
Speed. 32 knots max, 28 knots cruising with bigger Cummins engine option
Range. 200 nautical miles approx
Project. Frank Mulder, Riviera Design
Picture Copyright Riviera. Data Riviera.


  1. This yacht was a big shot when it first apeared. For the curious minds, the price is somewhere betwen $170,000 and $260,000. You can't find a new one because because it isn't manufactured anymore but still, most of them are in good shape.

    1. According to Riviera website the 3600 in its 2009 introduced Series II variant is still available.

    2. Indeed, you're right! Sorry for the misinformation. I checked some yacht directories, they gave me 0 results for new ones so I assumed that it isn't available anymore. Next time I'll make sure to check on the official page also ;)

  2. It is possible you are half right, or they are building it to order. To know this you need to send an e-mail to Riviera. I would not be surprised if a change is in order, as recent Riviera models last about three to four years, and the new Sport Yachts have taken a more European flavour unlike the more American of the 3600. The 3600 Series II has been going on for seven years now. But may it still selling how it is, so if it did not break why fix it!