Lot 375

Monaco 2012

1989 Riva Aquarama Special


€500,000 - €600,000 EUR | Not Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
Addendum: The owner has informed us that this boat is welcome both at Riva Monaco and Riva Saint Tropez and a space in either harbor will be made available for it.

Two 350 bhp, 7,400 cc. RIVA V-8 engines. Length: 8.75 m (28'09?)

• The ultimate mahogany Riva runabout

• Equipped with the most powerful engines

• Expertly and fully restored

• Three owners from new

• Fanatically maintained

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 Laurentiis and Prince Rainier had a Riva runabout was to understand that to own one was to live in a world of paparazzi, parties, sport and luxurious elegance.

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. The most famous of all the Riva runabouts is the Aquarama, produced from 1962 until 1996 as a development of the earlier Tritone model. At a time when most manufacturers of runabouts were turning to fibreglass and plastics in their product, Carlo Riva stayed with the traditional varnished mahogany and in doing so, made a dramatic statement of both style and craftsmanship.

One of the 277 Aquarama Special boats built during a run that began in 1972 and went to 1996, this example, hull 761, is the 23rd from the end of production and was sold new in Monaco in 1989, as a tender for a super-yacht. The Special varied from the earlier Aquarama and Super Aquarama in having a longer hull with a more steeply raked rear panel, or transom, which incorporated a practical, combined bathing platform and step making access in and out of the water for a dip more practical, and therefore, elegant (suitable for use in the Mediterranean sea). A revised dashboard and instruments also marked the new model, and during the production run, further changes would be made to the controls and wheel.

In 2003, when hull 761 had only accumulated approximately 35 hours on the counter, it was sold to a Belgian who registered it in the Netherlands. This second owner was said to have never used the Aquarama and sold it to his friend, the current owner who offers it here for sale. The third owner had the boat registered in Belgium and used it in the summer in St. Tropez (the boat has spent its entire life in the Mediterranean region). The Aquarama Special, equipped as is, this one with twin 350 bhp V-8 Riva engines, is a truly swift conveyance. The powerful engines combine with the carefully sculpted hull design to deliver a top speed of 44 knots and an easy cruising speed of 40 knots–all in effortless chic.

In the current owner’s care, hull 761 has benefited from what can only be described as ‘fanatical’ maintenance (a large file of service invoices and blueprints of the boat are included in the sale). This Aquarama Special has won several awards for appearance in boat shows, (trophies are included in the sale) and that was prior to the extensive restoration performed on it by the respected firm of Giacomo Lazzari at Lago Iseo in Credaro, Northern Italy in 2011. Records and photos for this work on file show that it included, but was not limited to, the complete disassembly and refinishing of the hull, with 16 layers of two-part transparent varnish, disassembly and rebuilding of the engines, propeller shafts, rudder, propellers, replacement of the interior upholstery and floor panels and re-chroming of all bright trim. Lazzari also specified that all materials and colours used were correct and original for this exceptional vessel (the boat has been water tested but has not been used since the restoration).

With its comfortable seats, non-slip central walkway and signature upholstered rear sunning area, the Aquarama Special is perfectly designed for carefree days on the water. Whether on Lake Como or Lake Tahoe, the Hamptons, Monaco Harbour, St. Tropez or Miami, the bravura panache of this boat will make an indelible impression on all who are fortunate enough to ride in it or even see it.

The new owner of this Italian beauty will join the ranks of celebrated Riva owners, many of whom were beauties themselves, including Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot. The Riva Company today, a part of the Ferretti Group, understands and supports its history, with an historical archive containing images, films, drawings and models of past products. The Riva Aquarama Special stands proudly at the pinnacle of that history and remains an unforgettable icon of elegance and flair.

This Aquarama Special is a very rare Riva and considered by many to be the ultimate specification model in the classic range. Hull 761 is offered in impeccably restored condition by one of the world’s leading specialists and is ready to be enjoyed in the long, lazy summer ahead, in the utmost style.