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Carlo Riva’s Heritage

Carlo Riva’s Heritage


Ingegnere Carlo Riva is definitely one of the few men who left their print on the motorboating field of the second half of the 20th century, together with some proeminent names like Richard Hunt, Dick Bertram and Sonny Levi.

As soon as the late 1940’s, he has a clear vision of what a high quality serial runabout should be, taking lessons from his mentor, the famous American “Chris-Craft”. He eventually visit the Algonac, Michigan, huge industrial boatyard in 1952 to secure the exclusive importation of its powerful and reliable engines in Italy. Then, departing completely from his family traditions, he designs and builds in 1954 a very modern plant in the outskirts of Sarnico which is to be enlarged several time as production increases. This unique set of buildings is considered today as a remarkable example of advanced industrial architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is from this efficient base that Carlo Riva starts the construction of his legendary mahogany models, from the single-engined Florida to the world famous Aquarama. Visionnary as ever, Carlo Riva invents in 1957 a most modern way of expanding his international sales and assistance dealer’s network by creating RAM, the first Riva Boat Service.

While expanding his business worldwide, in 1961, he also launches a line of larger yachts, starting with the 72ft Caravelle, another sign of his pioneering spirit. When Carlo Riva leaves the company in 1971, he has built more than 4,100 boats bearing the most sought-after chromed signature in speedboating history. A new life begins, still devoted to his passion for the boats and the sea under the flag of Carlo Riva Yachting Corporation. In 1973, the construction of Porto Carlo Riva, the first private marina in Italy, begins in Rapallo. In the 1970’s is also launched a new venture based on a much innovative stepped hull that Carlo finds in the US and that will be developed in Italy, the Monte Carlo Offshorer while, in the 1980’s and 1990’s several large yacht projects are also finalized by his Sarnico’s yachting corporation.

In 2012, Carlo Riva, industrial pioneer in boating and yachting, is also recognized as a major contributor to Italy’s international reputation of excellence in design and luxury as well as Gianmaria Buccellati and Ottavio Missoni by the Fondazione Altagamma, directed by some of the best names and brands in fashion and design (Bulgari, Versace, Gucci, Flos…). Innovator, engineer and artist in his own way, Carlo Riva may be considered as the continuation of a tradition which begins with the great masters of the Renaissance.

With its “work of art restoration” and boat service, RAM is proud to be the center of such legendary heritage of excellence.