Boatyard Preps ‘Riviera’ for Summer of Fun


Charter Boat Riviera Gets Ready for Summer Cruising Season

It may be the first day of spring, but with temperatures hovering near 80 degrees lately, it’s easy to swing right into summer planning mode. That’s exactly what Riviera Cruises is doing in having its classic tour boat prepped for the season.

Riviera, an all-wood Grandy, is at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard this week getting a few routine service and maintenance needs taken care of ahead of the busy touring season. Tom Drohan, owner and charter cruise operator, brought his “dandy Grandy” to the yard for its annual spring update.

That’s what Drohan affectionately calls his classic wooden Grandy built on Lake Union in 1964. He and his wife Mary are heading into their fourth season operating Riviera Cruises and 12th year running Destiny Harbor Tours out of Gig Harbor.

“The feeling is more than just a boat ride….” – Capt. Tom Drohan

“We like to say she is a ‘dandy Grandy,'” says the captain of 46-foot Riviera. “She is a classic Northwest design built as a charter fishing boat in Seattle and she is awesome for charter cruises.”


Tom Drohan, owner and operator of classic, all-wood Riviera, checks out the Grandy’s maintenance work at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.

Drohan was at the boatyard this week checking on Riviera’s progress and admiring her new bottom paint job. Among other maintenance tasks, both hull sides and the bottom were treated with new coats of paint, said Boatyard Manager Hartwell Champagne.

Other service on Riviera includes:

  • Sections of the main deck and fly-bridge deck replaced and treated with epoxy resin and new paint
  • Sections of the bulwarks replaced
  • Domestic heating system updated for those cold weather touring days
  • Tubing added to the deck railing to enhance safety

‘Dandy Grandy’ is Perfect for Cruising on the Sound

Read more in my previous blog on Riviera, posted when this dandy vessel was launched by Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard for cruising last season.

In that blog I mentioned how the popular Riviera, billed on its website as a “Gig Harbor, Seattle, Tacoma charter, party and tour boat,” offers wonderful guided sightseeing tours and charters throughout the summer on Puget Sound.

Riviera Cruises depart from the Maritime Pier in downtown Gig Harbor for half-day Puget Sound tours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and for three-hour sunset cruises from 6-9 p.m. The comfortable, spacious boat is also available for private parties, weddings, memorials at sea and other special events.


Riviera cruises past the lighthouse spit in Gig Harbor as it embarks on one of its popular Puget Sound tours. (Photo courtesy of Riviera Cruises)

See Riviera Cruises for more charter offerings, schedules and pricing and start planning your own memorable outing on the water. You will join a boatload of other delighted customers who have enjoyed the Riviera experience.

“People who have used Riviera for parties just shake their heads and say, ‘it’s such a great boat,'” says Drohan, whose passion is getting people on the water and enlightening them on the local surroundings. “She has five distinct areas for people to spread out to and enjoy the sights.”

U.S. Coast Guard-certified Riviera can take up to 34 guests. She features wide, open fore and aft decks and a buffet table perfect for entertaining, covered and heated lounging areas, plus an open-air fly bridge promenade and convenient restroom facility.


Riviera offers several spacious areas on board, including a covered buffet area. (Courtesy of Riviera Cruises)


Passengers enjoy the open-air fly bridge on a Riviera cruise. (Courtesy of Riviera Cruises)

People enjoy the boat’s wide deck and heavy-duty railings, said Drohan, who has been a boater all his life, adding: “My mom says I was on a boat pretty much two days after I was born.”

Riviera is a very stable — we like to say ‘stout’ — boat,” explained Drohan. “While it’s running it’s sensational in the water because it has a lot of power. The feeling is more than just a boat ride; it’s a sensory experience. It moves through the water like a tugboat and it has a slight rumble to it. And being a wooden boat, the engine is big and it has a comforting confidence.”

Summer is coming, so start planning your special cruise on this “dandy Grandy.”

boat prep



Leave a Comment