The Riva boat company celebrates its 170th anniversary in 2012. Pietro Riva started repairing and then building boats on Lago d’Iseo in Northern Italy in 1842 and handed down the company through three generations until Carlo Riva took command of the company in 1954. Notably, 2012 also marks the 90th birthday of Carlo Riva, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Riva Aquarama model. Whilst Riva boats had been very well built and highly regarded for the first 110 or so years of the firm’s existence, it would be the runabouts of Carlo Riva that made the name an international symbol of La Dolce Vita on water, an essential part of life for any would-be jet-setter or style leader of the mid-20th century.
That Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the Shah of Persia, Dino de Laurentis and Prince Rainier had a Riva runabout was to understand that to own one was to live in a world of ultimateglamour
But the reputation of the Riva boat wasn’t built on style alone, although they all have looks to spare. In the 1920s and ‘30s, Serafino Riva built motorboats that set speed records and won many competitions. Their combination of powerful engines and expertly shaped hulls made them both fast and comfortable for cruising.
This boat was first sold to Francesco Graus of Naples in 1957 and was given the name of “ Cranaf II. This was one of the first Rivas to be constructed using prefabrication and covering in plywood. Mahogany was interposed with light maple and a type of glue was used to make less susceptible to water infiltration. This boat was to lead the way towards fully laminated hulls.
The second owner, a Swedish director, with the name “Simone”, brought it to the Costa Brava in 2002. In 2008 he returned to Italy and where it became part of a private collection, and then was the subject of a complete renovation in 2015/2016. This was done by Erio Matteri of Lezzeno, a shipwright who was renown as one of the best restorers of Riva boats such as this. The original engines are currently undergoing a total renovation.
This lovely restored example as shown in the Riva Historical Society was chosen, together with two other historical Rivas, to represent the Association Riva in Milan Autoclassica 2016. A very great opportunity to buy one of the most iconic boats ever built and in such amazing condition. So stylish and exotic with old school charm.