The roots of classic Riva yachts go right back to 1842, when a young Pietro Riva began repairing and building yachts on Lake Iseo in northern Italy. But it was his great-grandson, the legendary Carlo Riva, who had the vision to create a range of wooden-hulled speedboats that were to become the epitome of the jet-set era of the 1950s and 1960s.
Carlo Riva was inspired by the products of the American yacht builder Chris-Craft, for which he was an agent, and he used Chris-Craft and Chrysler engines in his classic Riva yachts before developing the firm’s own Crusader power units that prevailed from 1967 to 1996.
The arrival of fiberglass as a boatbuilding material sounded the death knell for the viability of wooden Rivas. After decades in the doldrums, Riva was bought and revived in 2000 by the Ferretti Group, which today uses the Riva name on a new range of high-end yachts – some runabouts that capture the essence of the original classic Riva yachts, and other contemporary beauties, such as the recently launched Riva Mythos, which stands far apart from that first wooden-hull speedboat.
Inspired by the design of sports cars, the Riva Rivamare Speedboat carries the tradition of Italian speed to the water. Measuring 39 feet long and 11.6 feet at its widest, it’s powered by a pair of 400 hp Volvo Penta D6 400 engines, capable of propelling the craft to a cruising speed of 31 knots and a top speed of 40 knots. On the mahogany panelled deck, you’ll find an intuitive control system with joystick and docking mode functions that make navigating narrow passages a breeze, as well as a rear hatch with mahogany steps that extend to form a faux “beach” area with water access. Meanwhile, the downstairs is as luxurious as up, with a kitchen, bathroom with glass shower, and living area that converts into a double bed for sleeping.