shipyard for yachts (1842)
The Riva shipyard was born on Lake Iseo in 1842. Due to a sudden storm, the boats of the fishermen suffer enormous damage. A young shipwright just arrived from Laglio, recovers and repairs most of the boats and earns the trust of the sebinos.
Thus began the legend of Riva and that of Pietro Riva, who just arrived in Sarnico, opened the shipyard where the first Riva boats were built, distinguished by class and personality.
The shipyard grew rapidly thanks to the direction of Ernesto Riva, who succeeded his father Pietro and introduced the petrol engines on his boats.
The era of large boats for the transport of goods and passengers on the lake begins. Once the war is over, Serafino Riva transforms the products of the shipyard into a real brand, delivering it to history.
Production passes from transport to motor boating, at the time in its infancy. At the turn of the '20s and '30s with his racing motorboats, Riva signed numerous records and victories in national and international competitions.
The '50s are those of Carlo Riva, animated by the youngest age from a boundless passion for boats and for the family business. Riva is now everywhere synonymous with elegance, status symbol and perfection. Selected materials, attention to detail, centuries-old artisan experience.
The boats built in Cantiere Riva are dream objects for royalty, actors, sports champions, businessmen and celebrities of the cinema. Even today they retain the charm of the era intact.
In the decade of the Italian industrial revolution, dominated by the myth of speed and racing cars Carlo Riva gives life to a series of wooden boats with an unmistakable design: the Ariston, of which he says "Designed with love, born strong and pure as a race horse. Unforgettable! My lord of the sea ", followed by the Tritone, the first twin-engine, the Sebino that inaugurates the series production and the Florida, which evokes in the name the American model in vogue in those years.
From 1956 he began working with the designer and architect Giorgio Barilani. His graphic and design activity in the nautical sector became exclusive to Riva, where he was responsible for the design from 1970 to 1996.
In 1962 the myth of Aquarama was born. Since the presentation, at the third International Boat Show in Milan, Aquarama becomes the symbol of Riva, a brand in the brand. The name of the boat is inspired by "cinerama", the great cinema screen experimented in America.
The prototype is the Lipicar n. 1, evolution of the Triton. 8.02 meters long, 2.62 meters wide, can accommodate eight people with two berths in the bow, two Chris-Craft petrol engines of 185 hp each, speed of 73 km / h.
In 1969 another innovation marks the history of the Riva brand: fiberglass production begins. The first composite models are born, the Bahia Mar 20' day cruiser and the Sport Fisherman 25' cabin cruiser. The knowledge of the new material is assimilated with the purchase of the hull from the Bertram shipyard, subsequently redesigned. The finishes of both models are in exposed wood, following tradition.
Between the '70s and '90s, the St. Tropez, produced until 1992 and the Superamerica, the first important cabinet left on the market for over 20 years.
Despite the emergence of fiberglass, Riva wood production continues until 1996, when the last Aquarama Special was built, number 784.
In September 1969, Carlo Riva, embittered by the trade union climate, sold the yard to the american Whittaker, maintaining the offices of President and General Manager, from which he resigned in July 1971. The same positions are assumed by Gino Gervasoni, his partner since 1950 .
The Riva tradition continues. In 1989, one year after the acquisition of the Riva company by the British group Vickers, Gino Gervasoni, who became Carlo Riva's son, left the shipyard after 41 years.
Thus the presence of the Riva family in the construction site ends. In 1991 Riva presents the 58 'Bahamas, the first boat designed by Mauro Micheli, at the Genoa Boat Show.
In 2000, Ferretti Group acquired the shipyard, which is back to Italian ownership. We celebrate the entrance of the Riva brand in the third millennium with the largest gathering of vintage boats in history: over one hundred to represent all the Riva models, parade on Lake Iseo on September 10, 2000. In front of all , the Aquarama with Carlo Riva and Norberto Ferretti on board.
The Sarnico shipyard, created in 1842 on Lake Iseo, in the heart of Franciacorta, gave life to the whole Riva history, through the construction of the legendary wooden hulls up to the current yachts, from 27' to 68' feet.
The heart of the Cantiere is the office of Engineer Carlo Riva, who designs it directly, taking care not only of design, but above all of functionality.
The futuristic architecture of this office is protected with the rest of the building site by the Superintendent of Environmental Heritage and is an architectural example of great modernity.
The site covers a total area of â€‹â€‹36,000 square meters, of which 17,000 are covered, and can count on 10 moorings available, 2 jibs, 4 spray booths and a trolley with a capacity of 50 tons, used for transport on the quay. of finished boats and for the internal handling of shells or bulky items.
Among the protagonists who have owned a Riva: Brigitte Bardot, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Aristotle Onassis, Peter Sellers and many others. Still celebrated today, important businessmen, entrepreneurs from all over the world, great designers, can not resist the Riva charm.