As the Florida sun beat down on the Admirals Cove marina, I had the pleasure of meeting Elaine and David Nord onboard their impressive 54’ Riviera sport yacht named ABBA raz EEE. With the spacious bridge providing a respite from the heat, we sat down to chat. But, before we could begin, I gave into my need to offer Rudy some lovin’, putting a big smile on my face.. along with a bit of doggie drool.
Rudy, the Nord’s lovable bulldog, was a rescue the couple found at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. He has his own Instagram page under the handle @rudypetootie that I would encourage any bulldog fan to follow. While Rudy loves spending time with his humans, long trips on the yacht are not his forte; however, a few hours spent on the water is something that doesn’t generate any complaints. Bulldogs are not known for their swimming abilities, and a dip in the water can be treacherous, so he always dons a life vest before leaving the dock. The Nords keep a close eye on him as he tends to get antsy and fidgety on the yacht after a while, and when longer trips are on the calendar, they make sure he has someone to watch over him back home.
The Nords’ journey with their yacht began when they stopped at the Riviera booth during the 2022 Fort Lauderdale boat show. Despite being told by the salesman that there would be a two-year wait due to high demand, the couple was willing to wait as they were captivated by the yacht’s features and design. However, luck was on their side, and about two months after the boat show, David received a call from Riviera. A previous buyer, who was towards the front of the construction queue, had canceled his order, and the yacht’s configuration was pretty close to what the Nords wanted to be built. So, in May 2022, the boat arrived in Savannah a whole year and a half ahead of schedule.
Once it was in the U.S. and not far from their home in Jupiter, the Nords began some modifications to make it truly their own. The first change was the hull color. After reviewing dozens of shades of the color blue, they chose Marlin Blue, the same hue featured in Riviera’s brochure. They also decided to change the interior color from a rust shade to a more contemporary gray and blue that would better complement the yacht’s style and Elaine’s taste. Additionally, they replaced the carpeting downstairs with wood flooring to match the deck, taking into consideration the unavoidable ocean dampness.
With most of the aesthetic changes completed, the Nords faced the challenge of tackling the yacht’s technology. Despite being reasonably tech-savvy, they found that navigating the yacht’s various functions required patience and a bit of a learning curve. The team who delivered the boat took a couple of hours explaining most features, but, honestly, who can remember everything from a bow to stern overview unless they use each component several times over a few months? The yacht’s interface on screens strategically placed around the vessel was helpful, as well as the iPad app. Still, David spent more than a few hours sitting at the galley table with the manual laid out to determine where the eggheads elected to put specific items and the functioning of various appliances. For example, he learned that using the freezer for ice could potentially freeze the door shut (they were told to only use the ice maker for it) and that the dishwasher could only be stopped mid-cycle by knocking on the door twice. Neither, in my opinion, would be evident to any reasonable person… However, David and Elaine are experienced boat owners and take the quirks of modern technology in stride. They find it pretty funny and enjoy trading “secrets” as they learn them.
Last month, the couple headed out with the Admirals Cove Yacht Club to Bimini. The yacht performed flawlessly with the rough water they encountered nullified by the boat’s Seakeeper system. They brought along their Williams Turbojet 325 tender so they could keep the vessel anchored and pop around to see a few nearby sights. However, Rudy kept his paws on terra firma and was spared from potential doggie-sea-sickness, something nobody would want to deal with.
The Story behind the Name:
David wanted to create a great name for the new Riviera. He eluded to ideas that would include his spouse’s name, but Elaine wasn’t thrilled with the idea. First, she was adamant about not wanting her name on the stern. The thought of something to the effect of “The Lady Elaine” or “My Lainey” was cringeworthy to her ears. Instead, as she was part of the “paparazzi world” as a professional sports photographer, that was her starting point for what would eventually become the yacht’s name. Elaine’s boating friends created a nickname for her based on the familiar term since they expected her to handle the photo duties when out on the water. In addition, Elaine’s grandchildren had a particular name for her, which was “Abba.” Then, she added her initials before marriage which were E.E.E. The name was finally born when she arranged all the elements in succession, coming up with what we now see on the stern: ABBA raz EEE.