Eng. Carlo Riva

Eng. Carlo Riva

Carlo Riva is born in Sarnico on 24 February 1922..

Art’s son: great-grandfather Peter is a shipwright from Como, trade that goes to the grandfather Ernesto, migrated in 1842 in Sarnico, and subsequently to father Serafino, a great lover of motor boating.

In the 20’s and 30’s the Riva inboard and outboard engines write glorious pages. In 1931 Serafino Riva ranks as 1th ones in the 3rd Edition of the Pavia-Venice at an average of 51.660 km. Champions and trade names are always on sports press covers around the world.

It’s the 1950, when the rudder of the shipyard passes from father Serafino in the hands of Carlo Riva. 3 October 1954, the new large shipyard is opened, that today still bears the marks of the unmistakable Carlo Riva style and the signature of its rational organization of space, functional to work in craft-based series.

Here were born the mythical 4,098 mahogany boats that have supplanted a prestigious brand as that of Chris-Craft. From now on the new ‘must’ will be RIVA.

Anticipating the needs of the Riva owners, after a few years of each other, are born 42 Riva Boat Service for technical support and sales.

Starting from R.A.M. Sarnico in 1957 until Monte Carlo Monaco Boat Service and so on in the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) and in many parts of Italy and the world.

In parallel, Carlo Riva invests in image and advertising with catalogues whose personally take care every detail because RIVA means class, lifestyle, and everything must be at the top Disturbing the great photographer Federico Patellani with which care the refined and exclusive print RIVA catalogue 1956.

The Riva shipyard participates in fairs and boat shows in Italy, in Europe and America. In ’52 exposes in a Motor Show in Milan in Durini Street, in ’59 attends the Miami Boat Show, in ’64 open a Boat Showroom by Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. New York Mayor gives him as award the ‘keys’ of the city. The press called the Riva boats ‘Italian Stradivari’.

The two-time ‘nautical pioneer’ invests in innovative materials research, like marine grade plywood, an invention that changed the way to build pleasure boats. From chrome covering to varnishes, upholstery, engines, screws, Ship’s instruments everything is the result of meticulous research and innovation to achieve maximum quality, durability and safety.

But the ‘nautical pioneer’ invests in innovative materials research, like marine grade plywood, a technological invention that changed the history of pleasure boats building, thanks to the collaboration of Remo Lodi, the great technician of Incisa di Lissone.

In the late 60’s the first 2 fiberglass models, 20′ Bahiamar and 25′ Sport Fisherman, 50 boats built and sold in less than two years. The desire to set ourselves new objectives, leads Carlo Riva in the early 1960s (1961-1964) to compete in the construction of large displacement steel yachts, able to face the sea perils. In collaboration with the great Dutch shipyard ‘de Vries Bros-Shipyards’ by Aalsmeer, builds 7 legendary Caravels.

In 1970, places the construction of large steel yacht in Ancona at C.R.N. Later he founded the ‘Carlo Riva Yachting Corporation’ making the Marco Polo and Vespucci series, in total 8 steel specimens from 24 to 30 Mt.

The name Riva become legend and synonymous with perfection and beauty, enter on Olympus of worldwide boating’s excellence; fall in love with her celebrities, princesses, Kings and rulers, entire generations of fans of the sea.

A Riva myth was born this way. These were the years of stardom and Hollywood dream, of movie stars with big glasses, the head scarf on and loves passionate and fragile, the years of princesses and rulers, of politicians who were conquering the covers of magazines for their summer passions. Carlo Riva’s life was rightly compared to human and professional parable of Enzo Ferrari and his boats to flaming red of Maranello. It was with him that the Riva boats became a legend, an icon of success as they were actors, major industrial and political figures and the jet set that caressed the wood, upholstery and enjoyed the speed.

Carlo Riva’s life was full of accolades and success: an honorary degree in engineering HONORIS CAUSA, ‘NAUTICAL PIONEER’ in 1988 and in 2003, and ‘PERSONNALITÉ DE LA MER’ in 2005, received accolade from the hands of S.A.S Prince Albert II of Monaco. Carlo Riva name towers in the lobby of the MONACO YACHT CLUB, the most exclusive in the world, among the greatest men of the sea, including the legendary Navigator Tabarly and King Juan Carlos of Bourbon.

Many, in the last few years, articles and publications dedicated to him worldwide and countless television reportage, from Rai5 to Japanese TV to National Geographic.

His story, so emblematic of Italian entrepreneurship, has been the subject of thesis and university studies, from the Sorbonne University to Bocconi University.

In 1971, following the example of Pierre Canto Cannes Port, Carlo Riva gets excited about the idea to give its customers a ‘Marina’ in Riva style. After numerous bureaucratic obstacles, the 26 July 1975, it opens happily the new marina.

Carlo Riva Harbour, the first private tourist landing ever built in Italy, is considered the most prestigious in the Mediterranean.

Porto Turistico Internazionale di Rapallo SpA
Calata Andrea Doria, 2
16035 Rapallo – Genova – Italia
Tel: +39.0185.6891
Fax: +39.0185.63619