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Legendary and unique Riva Aquarama Lamborghini has been nominated Classic Boat 2014 Powerboat of the Year

June 19, 2015

The Riva boatyard was established in 1842 on Lake Iseo, in Sarnico-Italy. It was a sudden and devastating storm – which irreversibly damaged the boats of the local fishermen, who were left shocked and powerless – that persuaded a young shipbuilder and craftsman who had just moved from Laglio, near Como, to perform a true miracle and repair most of the crafts, thus winning the trust of the locals. This was the beginning of the legend of Riva and that of a man, Pietro Riva, who – immediately after moving to Sarnico – became the master of his own destiny.

This was the place where the first boats signed by Riva were launched and immediately stood out for their unmatched style and personality. Riva rapidly gained great respect and recognition; the boatyard flourished also thanks to the far-sightedness of Ernesto Riva, who had succeeded his father Pietro and introduced internal combustion engines on Riva boats. The era of large cargo and passenger boats operating on the lake thus began. After World War I, Serafino Riva gave Riva products their final imprinting and turned the boatyard’s precious crafts into a real brand, allowing it to take a step into history: production steered from transportation to power boating, which at the time was still dawning. Between the 1920s and the 1930s Riva, through its racing yachts, collected a large number of records and victories in national and international competitions.


The 1950s were the years of Carlo Riva, who had been driven by boundless passion for boats and the family business since he was a child. Riva had by then everywhere become the synonym of elegance, status and perfection. Selected materials of the highest quality, a painstaking care for the tiniest details, unparalleled, long-standing expertise and craftsmanship.


Riva’s creations became the object of desire for the aristocracy, award winning athletes, successful businessmen and movie stars. Even today, these jewels preserve intact all the charm of that time, made of paparazzi, movie stars wearing foulards and glamorous sunshades, celebrity love stories, luxury and timeless elegance.


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In November 1962 the myth was born: it was named Aquarama. Since its presentation, at the third Milan International Boat Show, the Aquarama became the symbol of Riva par excellence, almost “a brand within the brand”. The name of the yacht drew inspiration from the Cinerama system, the American experimental wide screens.


The slogan the yacht was launched with contained several key-words: “Sun, sea, joie de vivre!”


The prototype was the mythical Lipicar no. 1, the evolution of the Tritone. 8.02 meters in length, 2.62 meters wide, capable of sleeping up to eight people, two berths at the bow, two 185 hp Chris-Craft petrol engines, a speed of 73 km/h.


The price: 10 million 800 thousands liras. The year 1969 was another milestone in the history of the legendary brand: it was then that fiberglass production started, finished with wood details, in line with Riva’s tradition. In spite of the success met by fiberglass, Riva’s production of wooden runabouts continued until 1996, when the last Aquarama Special (hull number 784) was built. 

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The Riva Aquarama and Ferruccio Lamborghini

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For years, this speedboat was shoved in a corner of a warehouse yachts, hidden under a tarp. But above all , hidden from the world . Fans knew of the legendary Riva Aquarama Ferruccio Lamborghini, but did not know where he had gone after the death of its owner in 1993. Till a Dutch collector pieces Riva ‘s located and had it restored by Riva World, world-renowned specialist in restoration of Riva boats, which returned to its original state .


Now , the boat  has come to life in all its splendor and magnificence , after three years of restoration work in the yard. And that Riva World could not work the miracle overnight . Before undertaking the work, Sandro Zani , owner of this well known Dutch company dedicated to the restoration of Riva boats , often traveled to Italy in the last three years , including to visit the Museo Ferruccio Lamborghinicon to document all the details and elements of the original .

 25 layers


The total project lasted about three years , during which the Aquarama has regained its original state right down to the smallest detail. The wooden hull has been repaired , sanded and polished ; during the process  have been applied no more and no less than 25 layers of coating. The inner timber is also fixed. The seats have been reupholstered faithfully following the famous Riva design . All buttons and controls have been dismantled , repaired and reinstalled . All chrome shine again as the first day .


And how could it be otherwise , has found a new heart for Riva Lamborghini : one that makes this rescued Aquarama of the fastest past of the world , thanks to two exquisite engine V12 Lamborghini from the 350 GT , the first Lamborghini to be built .

riva lamboBob Wallace

A unique collector adopted by Carlo Riva


After some testing in the Netherlands last summer this legendary sport boat was transported to Italy to take the limit in the waters of Lake Iseo . The tests were carried out under the watchful eye of Carlo Riva, founder and father of all Riva boats and the man who , in 1968 , Ferruccio Lamborghini requested to build a Aquarama within just three months .


 With the restoration of this Riva Aquarama Lamborghini, unique in its kind , Riva World has resurrected a legend. This is a superb piece collection , unrivaled in terms of trim level and restoring state , with the hopes that Riva World once again captivate connoisseurs of water sports and why not , also lovers the fiery Italian sports

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