Riva, a name synonymous with luxury. Boat builders with chic whose speedboats typify the glamour and luxury of the 1950s and 1960s Mediterranean jet set. Riva can trace its origins back to 1842 when twenty year old Pietro Riva began repairing and building boats on the shores of Lago d’Iseo, in a small town called Sarnico, in northern Italy.
By the 1930s, Pietro’s grandson, Serafino, was managing the company which had become a leading manufacturer of small racing boats. Serafino raced many of these himself, with notable success, whilst the company itself began the manufacture of pleasure boats. Serafino’s son, Carlo, transformed the business and its image in the 1950s creating exceptionally stylish and elegant wooden boats which became legendary and were de rigueur for the Movie Star set with the likes of Sophia Loren, Peter Sellers and Brigitte Bardot among their many famous owners.Between 1962 and 1996 the company built the mythical Aquarama in various forms.
A legendary boat which is an undisputed classic in the marine world. Superb craftsmanship, elegance and great handling coupled with pure Italian styling produced a speedboat that was a work of art whilst it oozed opulence. It had a sunbathing deck at the prow, twin-engines, separate seats in the front and easy access to the water at the back…presumably for skinny dipping in a secluded sunlit Mediterranean bay in the early evening. Crack open the Champers!
The company, Cantieri Riva, was sold by Carlo Riva in the early 1970s, now being owned by the Ferretti Group. The company has, since, diversified into glass-fibre construction and super yachts. However, the Riva name will be eternally linked to the classic wooden construction Riva’s like the Aquarama which carved their own place in marine history due, in part, to the patronage of the wealthy and the rich and famous. Riva essentially reached the pinnacle of the marine world due to its intense maintenance of superior craftsmanship, classic styling, performance and elegance. If only I had a few quid to spare!