Many people aspire to own a luxury motor yacht. Not so many have the opportunity to realise their dream nine times over. Yet Steve Butler, a proud owner of Australian-built Riviera motor yachts for over 37 years, has the following philosophy: why stop at one when you can upgrade?
Together with his wife Jo, Steve acquired their first Riviera, a 35 Flybridge, around the same time he purchased their Toyota dealership in Mandurah, Western Australia. “We named it Silverport, after our company. Even back then, Rivieras were regarded as a great boat, very well accepted, and known for being strong and having a good resale value,” says Steve.
Ever since, the Butler’s journey with Riviera has run in parallel to Steve’s success in business. Much, he says, like his clients who acquire a new car with the same brand when the latest model is released. “Owning a new Riviera is a great way to acknowledge your professional achievements – they go hand in hand, really, and there’s always the lure of the next, better model,” he says. “From our first flybridge, we went into other styles; we tried the 4000 Offshore, which was the first model in the line-up not to include a flybridge.”
Over the years, Steve’s naming convention has evolved. Before the Ocean’s series, there was a number of Vibes. “We played on the Vibes for a while – The Vibe, Good Vibes – then we had a 42 Flybridge that we named Kaizen (which means ‘continuous improvement’ in Japanese) which aligned with our Toyota business. After that, we moved to a 47 Fly and have just kept going up and up in size. A Riviera has this ergonomic familiarity about it, and always classic lines. We’ve had so many now that when I step aboard and feel the strength and finish, it’s recognisably a Riviera.”
Steve and Jo say they love the personalised process of building a Riviera. “It’s great fun to build the boat. We enjoy going to the facility on the Gold Coast and getting involved. Jo likes to pick out the colour schemes, we get to see other boats and get a good idea of what we might like. The team’s guidance is great, they take the time to explain and show examples with different options and features that might suit us.”
Steve admits too having a genuine love and loyalty for the Riviera brand. “I’ve never been tempted to move to a different boat. I had a neighbour once, who was a dealer for a different brand of boat, and he tried to convince me to try it. But I will always stay with Riviera because of its character, how it feels in the water, the reliability and resale value – it’s unmatchable.”
Steve’s latest Riviera is Ocean’s 9, a 5400 Sport Yacht. “It’s so stylish to see on the jetty with its silver top, and grey and white colour scheme. It looks good and it feels good. The driving position is in the centre, like a flybridge, and it has great visibility. It’s a smooth ride, gets on the plane easily and is very economical with the IPS. I’d vowed not to have IPS, but after Ocean’s 8 – a 48 Sport Yacht that was so easy to pull up to the jetty with, and quieter and smoother going along – I’ve been transformed; I’m an IPS convert!”
But it’s not just about the ride, the luxury interior design of a Riviera is equally impressive. “People are blown away when they visit our 5400 Sport Yacht. They’re amazed at the spaciousness, the king-sized bed and full-beam master suite with windows on either side. It’s very luxurious. All that room downstairs with a master ensuite, plus a second bathroom, and excellent accommodation; it’s all very well put together with tons of space and storage.”
So, what’s next in the Ocean’s series for the Butlers? The rumour of an Ocean’s 10 is true; the Riviera 585 SUV, recently revealed at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, will be the next model joining the family. It’s clear that for Steve and Jo, the love affair with Riviera yachts is greater than ever.
For more information visit www.rivieraaustralia.com
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