Riva Iseo

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The pride of a tradition for over 160 years

The Riva Boats factory in Sarnico, Italy, is one of the oldest shipyards in the world. With little more than a vision to start, Riva has created more icons than a desktop computer, and has given us arguably the best looking craft ever to grace the sea. Today, 169 years since their inception, they are still creating craft with the same age-old hand-built tradition and heritage into each and every boat. Its reason’s like this that continue to make Riva Boats arguably the most sought after craft in the world.

Leisure Boating travels to Italy for our most exclusive launch ever!

Riva Iseo - Leisure Boating MagazineImagine this: it’s 1842 at Lake d’Iseo in Italy. A sudden storm wreaks what appears to be irreparable havoc: damaged boats and disheartened fishermen with no means with which to earn their livelihood. From the midst, a skilled young carpenter who had just arrived in the area from Laglio on Lake Como, accomplishes a near miracle — managing to repair most of the boats. For his efforts, he earns himself the esteem and admiration of all the townsfolk. This is how the Riva story began — from a man who became the master of his own destiny yet the captain of his own fate. That carpenter was Pietro Riva, who had just arrived in Sarnico.

Pietro opened his shipyard here, where it all began. This is where the very first Riva creations were built — and they were yachts like nobody had ever seen before. Riva quickly became a well-known, highly esteemed company and the shipyard’s work continued to prosper under the management of Ernesto Riva, who succeeded his father. Ernesto introduced technical innovations which raised the quality of what was still artisan production. Ernesto was also the person whose intuition led him to fit internal-combustion engines on the yachts. This was the period during which Riva produced outstanding boats for transporting people and goods over the lake.

After the Great War, Serafino Riva made his mark on how the company would continue to be organised, transforming the shipyard’s esteemed products into a true brand, one which would go down in history. Putting the tiller hard over, production veered away from transportation and towards motorboating, which was still at its very beginnings back then. Spanning the ’20s and ’30s, the Riva family broke a number of records, winning several victories with its speedboats too, in both national and international competitions.

Riva Iseo -Leisure Boating Magazine

The ’50s were Carlo Riva’s most positive years, and those of pleasure boating, of the brand which had become synonymous with elegance, status and perfection. Materials were chosen only from the very best available, painstaking care taken over every detail, and many decades of true artisan experience.

Riva creations are objects of desire even for kings and queens from across the globe, as well as actors and actresses, sports champions, businesspeople and celebrities of every kind. Still today, these jewels hold the glamour of an halcyon era, 
with its paparazzi, scarved, sunglassed divas, romantic escapades on the water, undying love affairs, timeless luxury and elegance.
Riva is passion and creation; as it was yesterday and forever.

Today in 2011

A baby Riva (today, part of the Ferretti Group), dubbed the Iseo, has finally been launched. The looks are exactly what you would expect from a yard with celebrated design heritage such as Riva; the Iseo is a call back to the days of the iconic Aquarama. The Iseo features elegance and ease of transportation as distinctive characteristics. This craft is a 27-footer day cruiser, destined to become a must-have for lovers of design and boating on inland lakes, as well as in the open sea.

At around R3 million, the Iseo is not cheap, but its sumptuous lines tug at the heart strings as does the tried and tested formula of sunpads aft, a comfortable cockpit in the middle and a spacious cuddy forward.


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