Australian youngster Luke McLeod loves his family’s Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht so much he has created an exact replica using Lego blocks.
The 11-year-old from Bowral in country New South Wales spent more than a week planning and building his ‘Lego Riv’, which comes complete with a hydraulic swim platform, functional sunroof, pod drives and tender garage with a tender.
Now he’s shared his efforts with the world by writing, directing and starring in an entertaining short film about his amazing creation, which includes a removable foredeck to reveal the bedrooms below, much to the embarrassment of ‘Lego Mum and Dad’ in one of the video’s amusing moments.
“Seeing Luke inspired by his love of boats and turning it into his Lego creation was unbelievable,” said father Andrew Macleod, who achieved a long-held ambition in January when he and wife Inga took ownership of their first Riviera.
“As the boat is a complex shape, it was quite difficult to make out of Lego but he’s a smart kid with a creative mind and came up with fabulous ways of solving problems. He would sit there with a photo of the boat on his iPad and work out how he could recreate it.
“He had to make the hull out of blue bricks because he ran out of white ones and getting the hydraulic swim platform to work was a team effort, but it was nice because we got to do it together. Most of us grew up making Lego so I think there is that bit of joy that everyone has with Lego.”
“When he showed us the finished product, we just said ‘Wow, that’s fantastic’.”
Luke is proving quite the accomplished filmmaker, having won a Riviera and Belize Photo and Video Competition earlier this year for a short film documenting a week on Iluka, his family’s 4800 Sport Yacht.
“He was so excited to win the competition with his first video,” Andrew recalled. “When Riviera Australia put it on their Facebook page, it soon had more than 1000 views and Luke looked at me and said ‘Oh, my God, Dad – what’s happening’.”
“That fuelled his passion to make more videos and he does it all himself. For ‘Lego Riv’, he wrote a script and he was the one directing. He was telling me ‘I want this angle’ and then he edited it all. You know kids nowadays – something that would take me hours to make takes him five minutes.”
“When I arrive at work in the morning, one of the first things I’ll often do is watch one of Luke’s videos because I’m just so proud of him.”
And while Andrew loves his son’s Lego Riv, he’s even more thrilled about the joy the real thing has brought to his young family, which includes nine-year-old Evie.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said of his Riviera, which is moored in Sydney about 120km from his Bowral home.
“We spend a long weekend on her each month and aim for a week every school holidays, with our favourites spots being Refuge Bay in the Hawkesbury River and Middle Harbour on Sydney Harbour.”
“We always had trailer boats but the dream was to one day own the big boat. We’d be on the water and see the Rivieras and think ‘Wow’. They are just such beautiful boats – Australian-made, class, strength. There is an unmistakable style to them and you just feel proud to own one.”
“It was a dream of mine and, being 11, Luke latched on to the same dream and has now taken it to the next level. He always wants to talk about boats and we’ll go to the boat shows together where he’ll walk through all the different boats and discuss the layout and features.”
“It’s a joy and passion we can share together and that’s so much of what having a boat is. The main reason we bought our Riv is to foster family time and that is just irreplaceable. It brings you together.”