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A woman’s perspective on the cruising lifestyle aboard a Riviera

Loyal Riviera motor yacht owners Ray and Jenny Haddrell have enjoyed many boating adventures over the years, and the adventures continue today with their seventh Riviera, Rayz Away, a 645 SUV. Experience magazine recently caught up with Jenny to reflect on her boating journey and what she loves about Riviera. Although originally not from a boating background, Jenny’s experience today spans 15 years and multiple Riviera yachts. She shares her story.

“I love boating and the quality of life it offers as I’ve done things that I never thought possible,” says Jenny, speaking from the Haddrells’ home in Melbourne, Australia.

“I was a bit nervous in the early days; just leaving Port Phillip Bay used to feel a little scary. But you learn as you go along – about the boat and about yourself as you develop confidence and capacity.”

Jenny and Ray Haddrell at the helm of their new 645 SUV – a lifetime of adventures aboard.

To date, the Haddrells have sailed the wilds of Tasmanian waters three times, including a three-week circumnavigation of the island state aboard their former 575 SUV. They’ve also cruised the Queensland coast and the length of New South Wales numerous times.

“It takes a lot of courage at first; you learn a lot about yourself because you’re challenged, and it did take a while for me to get my sea legs, because I do get a bit seasick. But we had a gyro stabiliser on the 575 SUV and your confidence builds as you go along.”

Melbourne’s R Marine Jacksons had a hand in supporting Jenny gain the maritime self-assurance and skills she sought.

“They run short courses for lady skippers and it really helps you to get so much more out of your boat. They ensure you become as capably involved as you’d like to be and it’s handy to know basics for docking or in an emergency. You learn new skills and terminology to be able to help out – Ray and I work as a team.”

Whether on their own or with friends, the Haddrells make the most of their Riviera lifestyle.

The Riviera lifestyle

For the Haddrells, the Riviera lifestyle is an experience best shared, whether it’s a raft-up at Metung, a social get-together up the Yarra River, or sailing with experienced skippers in Tasmania.

“The number one thing about boating is that it’s social. The best days are shared with friends and family, and new contacts are made at the events organised for the Riviera family.”

“Half the fun is having other people around and sharing ideas and input in different situations. Men can be quite gung-ho but with ladies aboard there needs to be a little more consideration.”

A nature lover, Jenny admits that while she may now have the skills to be at the helm, she’d rather leave skippering to ‘capable Ray’ and be on dolphin watch instead.

“Boating means you can go further and have different experiences, whether you take a paddleboard, throw a line in for a fish or pick up the binoculars. I love to be on dolphin watch; looking for seals and bird watching.”

Boating gives you the opportunity to go to so many more places and see so many things. New adventures, new experiences, new you! - Jenny Haddrell

Easing yourself into the water
With a love of the outdoors, it’s no wonder that one of Jenny’s favourite areas of the 645 SUV is the large boarding platform that lowers into the water.

“You can ease yourself into the water from there without even getting your hair wet! The more adventurous may prefer fishing, kayaking or exploring in the runabout boat tender.”

Naturally athletic and of ‘small stature’, Jenny says everything on a Riviera is at hand.

Ray and Jenny Haddrell with R Marine Jacksons principal Stuart Jackson who has been a great support for Jenny gaining her maritime self-assurance and skills.

“You have all you need once you’re out on the water. The galley contains all the necessary essentials and accessories to produce light snacks or three-course dinners. The convenience of everything at arm’s length is a winner.”

“One can’t help but feel pampered by the elegance of the finishes in the vessel: the luxury of the woodwork, the softness of the carpet underfoot, the smooth feel of the teak floor zones. Those with flair can select their own soft furnishings colour scheme on new boat purchases, otherwise it can be reliably left to the expert Riviera interior designer.

“The en suite to the master stateroom is another favourite area of mine. The designers have done well here; after all, a woman’s needs are greater than a man’s in this department. There’s a place for all your bits and bobs. Speaking of storage, the lockers throughout the boat allow maximum stowage.”

“The layout of the 645 offers room to converge together in a convivial group or find a quiet area that may be warm, cool, dry, sunny or shaded, but all afford safety and security.”

Jenny Haddrell says she can’t help but feel pampered by the elegance of the finishes of their 645 SUV, Rayz Away.

Having the confidence to stay out at anchor for longer has opened a new world of possibilities. “We’re travelling further now, for longer periods of time and often with more than four people aboard.”

“Boating gives you the opportunity to go to so many more places and see so many things. New adventures, new experiences, new you!”