In 1954, he inaugurated the new cutting-edge yard and organised production according to state-of-the-art practices. During this period he transformed the very idea of what a boat was: from a working tool, a means of goods and passenger transport, or the first racing powerboats, to a luxury object designed to give pleasure and a unique product in terms of its aesthetics, function, elegance and attention to detail.
Carlo is the creator of the Riva legend, the mastermind who transformed the brand and its boats into status symbols, with models such as Ariston and Tritone, Sebino and Florida, and of course the legendary Aquarama, presented in 1962, which turned the yard into a factory of dreams and a symbol of boating. His boats became objects of desire for aristocrats, actors, sports champion, businessmen and celebrities in all fields. They include: Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Liz Taylor, Jean Paul Belmondo, Richard Burton and Jackie Stewart. As well as royalty, princes and sheiks from all over the world.
The boats produced under Carlo Riva's leadership are all inspired by a brilliant idea that anticipated a need, launching a fashion that was never an end in itself, but the result of design and construction research that always made the difference.
Carlo Riva once again demonstrated his entrepreneurial vision when in 1969 he decided to produce the first fibreglass boat, proving his ability to innovate while respecting traditional values.
His unique and inexhaustible entrepreneurial spirit can be seen not only in the boats he built, but also in his ability to foresee needs and opportunities.
Anticipating the needs of owners, he created Riva Boat Services to sell his boats and provide technical assistance. After leaving the yard in 1972, he shifted his interests to the Porto Turistico Internazionale di Rapallo (Rapallo International Marina), which was dedicated to him on July 25, 1975 and has since then borne his name.
In 2005, in the Principality of Monaco, Riva's 'home' on the Côte d'Azur, Alberto II of Monaco honoured him with the title 'Personnalité de la Mer'.
Carlo Riva has never failed to provide his advice, solidarity and support to Cantieri Riva and his attendance of the debut of Rivamare in 2016 is an emotion-filled memory for everyone in the company.
Carlo Riva passed away in Sarnico on April 10, 2017, perhaps "with a touch of nostalgia for a great life lived to the full, at high speed and surrounded by boats", as he himself liked to say.