52 Enclosed Flybridge customisation results in ‘singular’ Riviera for Mediterranean

In 2020, Riviera’s Aftermarket team completed one of the most highly customised projects in its history on a 52 Enclosed Flybridge (EF). “Experts think this is the most customised fishing boat in the world at this size,” states Singularity’s captain Yury Istomin. “I had two parameters: to have the best fishing boat in the world and to be able to captain it myself.” To make it happen, Yury had a wish list of more than 100 items to be included in the 52 EF.

“The Aftermarket team was brilliant – brilliant,” says Yury, who is based in Monaco. One might expect new rod holders and bait tanks for a customised fishing boat, but his experience in the Mediterranean gave Yury the knowledge to be more exacting in his desires.

In the luxury flybridge, an aft helm was installed to starboard, new electronics installed in a customised overhead dash, plus breezeway covers fitted to the windscreen, port and starboard windows. The exterior refit included through-hull sonar, a custom water-jet system and extra underwater lights as bait fish attractants. Yury’s most significant addition was converting the foredeck to a very desirable area to fish: a storage-cum-sun lounger, and custom diameter bow rails that go around the bow sprit and encircle a spotting station – all fitted with padded bolsters.

“These are probably my two favourite things on the boat. Historically, the foredeck is an area that is rarely used to fish from. A team of designers in Monaco created the boat in 3D, with all new options including the custom bow rails. We also put soft support on the rails to lean against so that it’s very comfortable for fishing. And the adjustable sun lounge makes it a pleasure to be there. Now the foredeck is a place for fishing.”

Riviera 52 cruising forwards
Chasing the next big catch – Singularity in full flight on the Mediterranean

Cruising the French Riviera

Situated in south-eastern France on the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur), Monaco’s relatively mild climate accommodates year-round use of Singularity.

“The 52 is a comfortable size for me to drive at the moment,” says Yury. “This is also a very good size in the Mediterranean for fishing – it’s probably the maximum size for inshore fishing, and for offshore fishing in Corsica and Sardinia it is very good.”

“The most popular fishing here is for tuna. It’s also very interesting fishing deep for swordfish to 500 metres with an electric reel. Or we try to catch conger eels, grouper and big squid, or smaller fish like red snapper. And it’s very comfortable for all boat guests when we go to sea, for swimming and visiting places like Saint-Tropez, or Portofino in Italy; they are very comfortable on board. The interior has a beautiful walnut gloss timber finish and is very luxurious.”

Naturally, at the end of a great day’s fishing it is a delight to toast with champagne and glassware kept in gorgeous custom cabinetry.

Collection of photos from Yuri fishing on his Riviera
A fisher’s dream, the Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge, Singularity, is used to the fullest by Yuri in pursuits of his passion for fishing

Casting a wide net and landing a Riviera

Initially lured in by Riviera’s supreme seaworthiness and sophisticated style, it was the long hull windows and natural light throughout the 52 Enclosed Flybridge that Yury liked most.

“Other boats feel more closed in, but Riviera has a lot of windows and it is so illuminated by natural light. In the 52 Enclosed Flybridge, the long hull windows and opening port light in the stateroom, and the openness of the saloon and the flybridge – it’s perfect for cruising and fishing in the Mediterranean. It’s easy to close up and use the air conditioner when it’s too hot or we have a Mediterranean chop. Also important was the consumption of fuel and the efficiency for a boat of its kind.”

But to make it his dream boat, Yury had his wish list. He visited the Riviera factory twice and says the team was ready and willing.

“The team had a good sense of humour and it was a pleasure to work with them. What was most interesting for me, what I was most surprised about, is that there were absolutely zero mistakes. For a boat this size and with all the customisations, and no mistakes.”

“It was a surprise for all my friends who are captains of boats this size because they had boats coming from different European shipyards and they had long lists of work not done correctly, sometimes 10 or 100 problems. It’s a cliché among yacht owners here about German or Dutch quality or Italian design. But now we compare their list of problems with mine – and I have zero. Now I have my dream boat because it is the best fisherman’s boat in the world.”

In fact, Yury’s only problem has been agreeing with friends on the dates for their next fishing trips. Meanwhile, he has been acquainting himself with Singularity around Monaco and Sardinia. “In the future I have plans to visit Greece and Morocco and maybe Turkey.”

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