History, anecdotes and curiosities about the most beautiful and celebrated boat of all time.
Still today, in films, commercials and social media, when the aim is to communicate an idea of navigation that fully expresses the style and glamour of "Made in Italy", the boat portrayed is the Aquarama.
Not only the symbol of an unrepeatable period in the boating world, but also a masterpiece of inventiveness and fine craftsmanship, a vision of mahogany and aquamarine, with sleek lines and a legendary grandeur.
The first Aquarama was test driven by Gianni Agnelli in August 1962, in Monte Carlo. Noticing the Turin businessman's daring driving style, Carlo Riva challenged him by saying: "If you manage to capsize her, she's yours". But in the end he didn't have to give him the boat because it didn't capsize. The first Aquarama, although still a prototype, already had the technical characteristics, stability and safety that form the core of the boat's technical prowess, together with styling that was revolutionary for the time.
In November 1962, the production model of the "Aquarama" was officially presented at the Third Milan International Boat Show, and a legend was born. The name derives from American Cineramas, because just as cinema-goers were immersed in a total sensory experience by this technology, the passengers sitting in the cockpit with the roof open felt as though they were in a "Cinerama of the sea".
Some of the distinctive features of the legend are the bow cap, the stern passage that makes it easier to climb out of the water, and the separate front seats, which offer greater mobility and comfort in the cockpit.
The varnished mahogany hull expresses the craftsmanship and attention to detail typical of Cantiere Riva's boats.
The influence of the automotive sector and Carlo Riva's passion for engines is reflected in the twin 185 hp Chris Craft engines - usually used for cars - and the Chrysler steering wheel. Another example of meticulous care is the addition of salt water-resistant cushions, essential in a marine environment.
The 1962 model had a length of 8.02 metres, could accommodate up to eight people including the driver, and was fitted with two bunks.
Over the years, it was upgraded on several occasions. The subsequent Aquaramas were 8.25 metres long and fitted with two 220 hp Riva 8V engines.
A few years later, the Super version was introduced, with a length of 8.45 metres and engines rated 320 hp each. Aquarama Super's performance moved up to the superlative category, with a top speed of almost 90 km/h.
In 1971, architect Giorgio Barilani introduced a modification to the boat's transom, adding a corridor that made it easier to climb back up the swim ladder out of the water. This new version, christened Aquarama Special, was a full 8.75 metres in length. The boat's two engines were also increased in power to 350 hp each, with 6 hours of autonomy allowing longer cruises to be undertaken.
Taken out of production in 1996, Aquarama was the company's crowning achievement, with a total of 765 boats built.
The attention to detail, the chrome-plating and the excellent durability made it Riva's most popular and famous powerboat. A brand within the brand.
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