Riva Boats The Legend continues

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Last month, we were introduced to the exciting, luxurious, and very elite group called Riva Boats. Although they’ve only recently become available in Southern Africa, the group has been building spectacular works of contemporary art for 169 years — making the shipyard one of the oldest in the world.

The elite group of workers in the factory take pride in their workmanship, and building for Riva Boats has become a sort of family tradition. For that, the majority of the workforce are continuing the same excellence in skills levels that was set for them by their great grandfathers! This month, we take a look at just a few of the boats in the Riva range which makes the brand so exciting, and of course, so sought-after…

AquaRiva Cento

The AquaRiva Cento (Italian for “Hundred”), is a special edition model created to celebrate the hundredth unit of the main AquaRiva model, and is hot property. In just two days, the 10 limited edition units produced by the shipyard on the base model of the 100th hull were sold out. In fact, the Cento which you see in the accompanying photos is the exact same one as owned by King. The gleaming wood Italian cruiser is the ultimate in elegance. This ‘Bentley of the sea’ comes complete with a leather picnic basket and classic wood bottle holder. The craft is complete with some of the most exquisite features, including the canopy, which folds down electronically and is stored under wooden finishings.

More than any other model, this 33-footer testifies to Riva’s natural style evolution over the years. Its soft, elegant lines reflect a taste for tradition. The valuable, beautifully carved wooden decks (mahogany inlaid with maple) and leather trimmings of the dashboard and helm, highlight the pleasure of sailing in a timeless classic — offering unique, incomparable emotions and comfort. The innovative, electronically-controlled, two speed gearbox reveals all the gritty passion of the two powerful 380 hp Yanmar motors featuring exceptional performance: 41 knots of maximum speed and 36 knots at cruising speed.

AquaRiva Gucci

The world was given the first AquaRiva back in the year 2000. It was seen as the epitome of luxury and elegance and fast became the pin-up poster for boaters the world over. However, after a decade of gracing the water, the Italian shipyard unveiled the exclusive made-to-order “AquaRiva by Gucci” — a model customised by Gucci creative director Frida Giannini. This unique partnership between two of Italy’s most renowned design houses celebrates the era of La Dolce Vita, when a joie de vivre, glamour and elegance defined an attitude and a lifestyle. In their respective sectors, Gucci and Riva have similar stories, each with a tradition of excellence in design and craftsmanship that has led to international notoriety. Tradition and innovation combine to create authentic maritime gems that are an expression of pure Italian elegance and allure thanks to artisan workmanship and attention to detail, utilising only the finest materials. For more than 20 years Riva’s design has been entrusted to the creative inspiration of Officina Italiana Design, which under the direction of Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta, focuses exclusively on the definition of the Riva style.

Defining the AquaRiva by Gucci is a fibreglass hull and detailing, painted in Gucci’s own hue of glossy white. Riva’s signature use of mahogany with classic varnish finish — 20 coats in all, 10 by brushing, 10 by spraying — is also the signature material for the cockpit and walking decks and awning cover hatch. The waterproof fabric covering the seats and sundeck features the emblematic Guccissima print, while the bed upholstery is defined by the beauty of Gucci white cotton. The iconic touch is provided by Gucci’s green-red-green web detailing which edges the floating line, perfectly complementing the unique green crystal windshield. Completing the Gucci customisation is a series of exclusive Riva by Gucci accessories.

The innovative two-speed electronic gear reveals all the power of the two 380-horsepower Yanmar engines, ensuring an exceptional performance. According to the manufacturer, this craft has a maximum speed of 41 knots and a 240 kilometre range at cruising speed.

Riva Iseo

Riva finally launched their long anticipated new model, the Iseo, featuring elegance and ease of transportation as distinctive characteristics. This “baby Riva” is a 27-foot day cruiser, destined to become a must-have for lovers of design and boating on dams and lagoons, as well as in the open sea.

The new Riva Iseo is an important innovation for the celebrated nautical brand due to its size and design elements. The new model has been devised so the owner can “live” on his boat on any occasion. The Riva Iseo has its own custom-made car-trailer, allowing easy transportation of the yacht, wherever the owner wishes to go. In just 27 feet one can enjoy the perfection and style that has made Riva a true icon of timeless glamour and elegance. Soft, clean-cut lines, thorough space-planning, careful attention to detail and the use of highly sophisticated materials are the distinctive characteristics which make Riva Iseo the noble heiress to a centuries-old history of excellence and meticulous craftsmanship. This bond with the past is evident in the extensive use of mahogany throughout the boat, true to the Riva hallmark, the Riva Iseo is also skilfully crafted with its masterly 20 coat varnish finish.

Besides responding to an increasing demand for on-board infotainment, Riva Iseo is also the very first yacht of its kind to be equipped with both infotainment and GPS charts built for the Apple platform for iPad. This software has been specifically designed for Riva Iseo and also features a number of interesting applications, such as browsing the Riva Iseo owner manual, viewing the weather forecast and other information, as well as listening to live stream radio, TV, or one’s own playlists with high quality sound. The new Riva Iseo is a model which encompasses the values that have made Riva the legend it is today — meticulous craftsmanship, uniqueness, elegance and painstaking attention to detail …

Riva Iseo has been designed with painstaking attention to furnishing, accessories and detailed space planning, with clean-cut lines and high-performance features. The standard version of Riva Iseo is equipped with a Yanmar 260 HP engine. In the petrol line, the Iseo is equipped with a Mercruiser 8.2 MAG 279kW 380 HP engine with a Mercruiser Bravo Three X stern drive, providing a top speed of 38 knots.


The RivaRama is my personal favourite from the Riva range. Nicknamed “the floating suite”, the 44-foot RivaRama is not only technological and innovative, but also naturally elegant and stylish. A number of features make this model unique, such as its futuristic driving seat — which is an example of design and ergonomics, transforming from one seat into three in by means of a hydraulic system.

Like AquaRiva, RivaRama is the only standard yacht with an electronically controlled two-speed gearbox, giving quick acceleration — much like a real sports car — and a faster cruising speed, with higher fuel efficiency. RivaRama’s innovative design as a yacht for two with one master cabin (located in the bow), offers all the comforts of a five-star hotel, including a unique rapid cooling system for a bottle of champagne and a couple of fluted glasses. Thanks to the use of good materials, the hand-made finishing touches, high livability and the yacht’s performance, RivaRama is the ideal yacht for even the most demanding owner.

The model is available in several colours, ranging from the more traditional, such as Riva Cream and Navy Blue, to the metallic shades, like Chocolate Brown, Gray Sand or Atlantic Blue, that are still enjoying huge success. It also has a deckhand cabin with its own access and private bathroom, making it completely independent. Even the exterior cockpit is equipped with all the necessary accessories to ensure the very best in comfort: an electro-hydraulic bimini provides shade from the sun even when at sea, the folding teak table can seat eight guests and the spacious stern sundeck provides safe, easy access to the water by means of three comfortable steps in non-slip treated mahogany.

The classical design, the inspiration of Mauro Micheli and Officina Italiana Design, and the significant use of wood even on the deck, completely panelled in mahogany, make this model the natural evolution of the legendary AquaRama — larger and with cabins — as it retains its predecessor’s same sense of style.
Riva’s full range is now available in Southern Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius.

For more information, sms “RIVA” to 083 709 6688, or point your web browser to


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