Rio 60 GTS

Power & Motor Yacht - - NEW BOATS - Rio Yachts, 954-448-6289; ri­oy­achts.com

If you’re in the mar­ket for a cookie-cut­ter yacht that will blend in at the dock, the Rio 60 is likely not the boat for you. Hull No. 1, which de­buted at Ft. Laud­erdale, was com­mis­sioned by a world­fa­mous restau­ran­teur who learned to love the brand af­ter ex­ten­sively char­ter­ing a Rio 56.

The owner, I’m told, is a man who built his suc­cess by be­ing hands-on with his busi­nesses, so he was look­ing for a builder that would work with him to bring his vi­sion to life.

“He [the owner] has a se­ries of high-end restau­rants and his own in­te­rior de­signer,” says Rio Yachts USA CEO Marc-Udo Broich. “He picked ev­ery­thing, down to the mil­lime­ter of thick­ness of the mar­ble to the ac­cents in the teak in the ceil­ing.”

From an ex­cep­tion­ally dark color scheme to the ex­ten­sive use of Ar­gen­tinian leather, the owner and his de­signer had in­put on nearly ev­ery de­tail of the boat. “Sounds like a tough cus­tomer,” I said to Broich.

“That’s the type of cus­tomer we like,” he replied em­phat­i­cally. “We want the owner in­volved in the en­tire process. We want to build their dream, which is why we mostly tar­get ex­pe­ri­enced yachts­peo­ple. We’re not look­ing to build a mil­lion boats, we want to build 30 to 40 a year for cus­tomers who know what they want.”

And the cus­tomiza­tion on Hull No. 1 doesn’t end with fab­rics and color schemes. The owner is 6 feet 8 inches tall and his wife stands around 5 feet tall. For him they raised the over­head through­out the en­tire in­te­rior, el­e­vated seat­ing so he could sit at the proper an­gle, and even ex­tended the berths in the state­rooms, while mak­ing sure grabrails, coun­ter­tops, and con­trols were at a com­fort­able height for his wife.

The dark, mas­cu­line feel be­lowdecks in Hull No. 1 is con­trasted by an ex­cep­tion­ally open and bright salon and cock­pit, aided by one of the big­gest sun­roofs I’ve seen on a boat this size.

The ex­te­rior of the 60 en­hances the boat’s mas­cu­line feel with lines that are both sleek and sporty. The hull color is a strik­ing me­tal­lic gray that matches the owner’s pri­vate jet. Pow­ered by twin 1,000-horse­power Cater­pil­lar C12.9s the boat has a 36-knot top end. It’s worth not­ing that the boat would likely have a 40knot top end if there weren’t so many cus­tom ad­di­tions.

With such a cus­tom build comes fea­tures that, as ex­pected, are not to ev­ery­one’s taste. Leather in the head, for ex­am­ple, was a fea­ture that both­ered me to my core. And the grabrails walk­ing to the bow are so low they al­most do more harm than good. I’m told that Hull No. 2 will be a more con­ven­tional model with the black and leather re­placed by a white color scheme and more wood.

“I’ve been ask­ing our new own­ers (there are two more 60s cur­rently in build) to send me pho­tos of homes and other stuff they like so we can build the boat of their dreams,” says Broich.

The de­sire to have cus­tomers in­ti­mately in­volved with the de­sign of their boat—and the builder’s will­ing­ness to match their vi­sion—com­bined with the per­for­mance pedi­gree for which Rio Yachts is known might just be a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. — Daniel Hard­ing Jr.

LOA: 63'4" BEAM: 16'7" DRAFT: 4'4" DISPL.: 57,200 lb. FUEL: 790 gal. WA­TER: 185 gal. STAN­DARD POWER: 2/1,000-hp Cater­pil­lar C12.9 CRUISE SPEED: 22 knots TOP SPEED: 36 knots PRICE: Upon re­quest

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