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Riva Rivale (2010-)
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Brief Summary

We’re told by fashionistas that the latest trends that are paraded on the runways of Milano and Paris are inspired by the styles offered by small boutiques in the south of France which are sometimes owned by designers that are also the seamstress, tailor and store clerk. They cater to self-assured clientele, women like Brigitte Bardotb, but not as famous, in towns like Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez. That may or may not be true, but if you have ever wondered where the large builders of sportboats and express cruisers draw their inspiration – and design courage – there is little doubt where that is. It is from the small town of Sarnico on Lake Iseo in northern Italy, just south of the Alps. That is the home of Riva. It is there in the workshops of second and third generation boat builders that marine artwork – and fashion -- is created. And the sign of great art and great fashion is that it never goes out of style and it always looks thrilling – even 100 years later.

Key Features


Length Overall 52' 11''
16.12 m
Beam 15' 1''
4.61 m
Dry Weight 44,092 lbs.
20 ton
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 4' 7''
1.40 m
- Draft Up N/A
- Draft Down N/A
- Air Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom 16.5 deg.
Max Headroom N/A
Bridge Clearance 13' 7''
4.15 m
Weight Capacity N/A
Person Capacity N/A
Fuel Capacity 661 gal.
2,500 L
Water Capacity 132 gal.
500 L
Length on Trailer N/A
Height on Trailer N/A
Trailer Weight N/A
Total Weight
(Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Std. Power 2 x 900-hp MAN V8
Tested Power Currently no test numbers
Opt. Power 2 x 1100-hp MAN V10
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Riva Rivale (2010-) Line Drawing


Captain's Report

The Back Story

Riva Rivale
The 36’ (11.28 m) Riva 2000 as she looked in 1977. 54 were built between 1975 and 1981.

The Riva factory is situated at the south end of Lake Iseo, just 20 miles (as the crow flies) east of Lake Como, playground and summer retreat for many of Italy’s wealthy families the last hundred years or more. The Riva family history and involvement with boat building goes all the way back 1842 when 20-year-old Pietro Riva impressed a local fisherman with his ability to repair boats. He was commissioned to build several row boats, and the rest, as they say, is history.Sometime around the turn of the 19th century Pietro’s son, Ernesto, built his first motorboat and turned it into a tour boat on Lake Iseo. In 1919 his son, Serafino, built a boat with an outboard engine made in Genoa that went 24 km/hr. With that, the Rive family was off to the races, which was a sport in vogue at the time both in Europe and North America.

Riva Rivale
Carlo Pagliano sets an endurance record in 1938 in a Riva with an average speed of 58
Riva Rivale
The mahogany Sebino in 1951 built by Carlo Riva was the first mass-produced Riva.
Riva Rivale
The factory in Sarnico received the mahogany trunks in one door and finished boats issued out the other in the early 1950s.
Riva Rivale
Swedish actress Anita Ekberg in her Riva Tritone #142 in 1960. Only a few boats adopted the zebra pattern, Riva says.

In the late 1950s and ‘60s movie divas, protagonists of high society from actors to crowned heads, from playboys to sporting champions “all had a passion for Riva boats, irreplaceable status symbols in all fashionable marine locations,” says Riva's official history.

Riva Rivale
Riva introduced its first two fiberglass boats at the Paris Boat Show in 1970. (Yes, they do look remarkably like Bertrams.)

In 1969 Carlo Riva sold his shares to the American Whittaker corporation which owned Bertram and Trogan yachts. For over 20 years Riva continued in the innovative and stylish direction begun by Carlo Riva under a succession of Italian managers. The crushing U.S.10% luxury tax of 1991 forced Whittaker to sell its marine holdings and Riva was bought by Rolls Royce. Then it 1999 Riva was sold to Stephen Julius who a year later re-sold Riva to the Ferretti Group, where she remains today, back in the hands of one of Italy’s most talented boat builders.

Riva Rivale
In 2000 Norberto Ferretti bought Riva for the Ferretti Group and has maintained and expanded the best traditions of one of the world’s most enduring and cherished brands.
Riva Rivale
The Riva factory today on the shore of Lake Iseo.
Riva Rivale
Notice the radar tower, which is more of a sculptured piece of art that would make Brancusi proud.

Curvaceous and Toned

The past is prolog. When it comes to Riva, its past lives in every boat the company builds. Its history and tradition give every Riva boat its dignity. And the new models are the latest examples of man’s finest marine fantasy. If you have ever had the urge to just rub your hand across the curvaceous fiberglass hull and superstructure of a Riva, you are not alone. For most yachtsmen we know, such a tactile sensation is second only to the real thing. That is the sort of reaction Riva’s have always elicited. They are simply the sexiest boats on water. The Rivale’s sweeping high topsides curve gracefully inward towards the cockpit. Her sheerline incorporates the curves of her integral air intakes, and just below, the portlights are blended into a black accent that offsets her hull color. Access to the cockpit deck is via the rounded swim platform that offers entry steps both port and starboard.

Riva Rivale
The helm lies to port and features a double wide helm seat. The low-profile smoked windscreen may present a visibility problem unless standing and looking over the top of the frame. There is plenty of real estate on the dash for adding your choice of electronics.

The entryways flank a massive sunpad that is overseen by a stunning radar tower. Rather than the usual arch, this tower is a very interesting, and visually appealing use of space. It consists of twin curving towers topped with a horizontal mount for the electronics arrays. Under the electrically actuated sunpad is a garage housing a low-profile Avon RIB.

Praise The Sun God

The cockpit features entertaining options that aptly enmesh the Rivale’s place in the Mediterranean limelight. A quarter-round settee/dinette lies to starboard that has guests mixing with the aft bench seat occupants. The usual accoutrements of sink, refrigeration, barbecue grill and storage are located to port midships and starboard forward. Externally, the Rivale is a wide open layout that offers a lot of possibilities, and if you’re a sun worshipper, then you’ve found your dream boat. In addition to the pad aft there is another on the bow. If you are of the more fair-skinned variety, you can still have that functional layout, but an electrically actuated Bimini will serve you well.


The Riva Rivale measures in at 52’11" (16.12 m) which gives her a couple of options in the layout, basically, either a three stateroom or two staterooms, plus crew quarters – if you want to live with your crew. Thus, the third cabin is more aptly described as customizable, whether you’d like a single berth with ensuite head, or twins with no head.

Riva Rivale

Riva Rivale
This is the layout that Riva refers to as two staterooms plus crew quarters.
Riva Rivale
And this is the three stateroom layout. Virtually identical except for the twin beds to starboard and no head.

Engine Details

The engine controls are connected to your choice of either standard MAN 900-hp V-8s or optional 1100-hp V-12s. Riva reports speeds for the V-8's of 37.5 knots max and 34.5 knots cruise, while the V-12's deliver a reported top end speed of 40 knots with a cruise of 36.5 knots. We have not tested the Riva Rivale so we cannot verify these performance numbers. When it comes to a Riva, performance is not a big issue: the fact that you simply own one is proof enough that you have arrived.The Rivale is no lightweight. Under that slim exterior is solid muscle. She weighs in at 44,092 Lbs. (20 tons) dry or 52,101 lbs. (23.63 tons) fully loaded. Props are tucked into tunnels to reduce draft, and the rudders are also in the tunnels to maintain the clean lines of the hull. Looking lengthwise at the hull reveals a warped geometry ending in a 15-degree deadrise.

First Class Comfort

Moving below, the main salon reflects the curving lines and stylings found elsewhere onboard the Rivale. The layout lends itself more to entertaining than fine, full-course dining, and that’s probably appropriate for the mission of this boat. Another quarter-round settee/dinette lies to starboard with the galley off to port. The galley is fully equipped, and as if to reinforce the entertaining heritage, when not in use, the sinks and appliances are hidden from view. The master takes up the forward space, and the guest/crew cabins are aft.

Riva Rivale
A quarter-round dinette will serve better for entertaining and hors d'oeuvres for a mid-afternoon lunch.
Riva Rivale
The day head, which also serves the port guest cabin, is comfortably sized with a chrome and glass vanity, trendy bulkhead-mounted faucet, and shower with circular sliding door.
Riva Rivale
The forward VIP cabin is a study in simplicity.

The forward master features an island berth and generous storage above the portlights. Natural light is entering from the overhead hatch, and the now obligatory mirror is mounted to the headboard (designers seem convinced that this makes the space look larger than it actually is). The master head features the same chrome and glass vanity and bulkhead-mounted faucet that are seen in the day head. With a generous 15’1” (4.6 m) beam, the Riva Rivale allows for plenty of room for guests while not making them feel crowded or confined. Her lines and styling speak volumes for her ability to hold her own in the classy and stylish ports of the world, and that nearly always has more to do with a boat’s popularity than performance and handling.

Riva Rivale
A boat’s lines are important, but so are its blood lines. Riva’s are as blue as they get.


The Riva Rivale is not a cheap date, to be sure. With a base price of €1.6 million ($2.3 million), she is well grounded in the realm of the well to do. If you are looking for a value for money, there are a lot of attractive 53’ express cruisers that you can buy that are far less money than this one. And, if speed is your thing, we can show you some boats in the class that are much faster. If you are looking for something glitzy that is a bimbo magnet, then again, you can do better elsewhere. On the other hand, if you have just sold your hi-tech company for a gazillion dollars and you are wondering what is the most prestigious day boat to buy for cruising the docks of St. Tropez and Cannes, then you have come to the right brand. The name Riva will hold you in good stead with both old money and new, as both appreciate the name, however for different reasons. Perhaps as you can tell by some of the low production numbers given above in “The Back Story” that even Riva’s small boats in the past did not sell in great numbers. Each year it only builds a relative few number of boats. Given the times, those numbers are probably lower than ever before. These days Riva ownership makes one a member of a very select yacht club, indeed.

Standard and Optional Features


Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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