Boating NZ - - Feature -

This boat is mod­elled on the Aquarama – the most fa­mous of Carlo Riva’s de­signs and the undis­puted flag­ship of the beau­ties that rolled from his fac­tory. She fol­lowed an ex­ten­sive line-up of smaller mod­els. They in­cluded the: Cor­saro (1946 – 1955) Tri­tone (1950 – 1966) Aris­ton (1950 – 1974) Scoiat­tolo (1950 – 1957) Se­bino (1952 – 1957) Florida (1952 – 1969) Aquarama (1962 – 1996) Around 769 Aquara­mas were built af­ter the model de­buted (Novem­ber 1962) at the third Mi­lan In­ter­na­tional Boat Show. The widescreen ‘cin­erama’ movie for­mat, pop­u­lar in the early 1960s, is com­monly-ac­knowl­edged as the source of the ‘Aquarama’ name – most no­tice­ably re­flected in the boat’s wide, dis­tinc­tive wind­screen.

But the Riva leg­end ac­tu­ally dates back to 1842, with Pietro Riva build­ing boats at Sar­nico, a small town on the shores of Italy’s Lago d’iseo. The com­pany passed on to his grand­son, Ser­afino, and then, in the 1950s, to Ser­afino’s son Carlo. Carlo was the master ma­gi­cian.

Sadly, it all came to an end in the early 1970s when var­i­ous fac­tors con­spired against Carlo’s artis­tic sen­si­bil­i­ties – chief among them ram­pant union­i­sa­tion in Italy, the avail­abil­ity/sus­tain­abil­ity of the high-qual­ity tim­ber and the ad­vent of fi­bre­glass, which was the fi­nal death knell.

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