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Remembering the Riva Rivarama 44, the Most Elegant “Floating Suite” in the World

Since 1842, Riva has been writing naval design history both with boats and yachts, so picking a model or project that best embodies the shipyard’s approach to boatbuilding is beyond complicated. Even so, the Rivarama 44 is a standout.

This year marks the 180th anniversary of the Italian shipyard, which now functions as a subsidiary of the Ferretti Group. To celebrate the milestone, Riva is launching a special Anniversario limited-edition speedboat and hosting live and online events, while also highlighting some of the most memorable products in its impressive catalog. And impressive it is, by all means: with such a long and profitable history, Riva is now the most famous and well-established builder of luxury boats.

The Rivarama 44, celebrated by the company in the most recent post on its social media channels, is the closest thing to the personification of sophistication, artistry and incredible attention to details. It’s a “floating suite” that bridges the gap between European-styled dayboats and U.S.-made power boats, delivering unprecedented comfort and luxury, at no compromise in terms of functionality and impressive performance.

The Rivarama 44 was first introduced in 2002 and spanned the upgraded Super variant. To this day, it is a very popular charter vessel and, in this day and age in which trends tend to live and die by the day, remains as elegant as ever.

Measuring 44 feet (13.4 meters), the Rivarama is smaller than the Aquariva and offers sleeping for two people and a small crew of two in a separate cabin. Considering it’s styled as a dayboat, the addition of a crew quarters seems surprising, but in reality, the cabin can just as well serve as a children’s room, especially since it includes its own head (or, as we regular folk call it, a bathroom).

The Kevlar-enforced hull has a thick teak deck covered with no less than 22 coats of varnish and polished to perfection. Furniture onboard is either solid mahogany or a combination of wood with stainless steel coating, and each piece is described by reviewers and happy owners as a piece of art – even though, by all means, the higher appeal of the artwork is dependent on its one-off condition.

This is a series product, but each item is labored over in such a way as to warrant that one-off-like status. The Rivarama is a sportsboat for the sophisticated, one that stands out for its minimalism – one specifically tailored to be luxurious and welcoming. Below deck is the master cabin (the “night area,” as Riva called it) and galley, which includes a dinette. The double berth seems to levitate from the ground and creates the feeling of a different area from the fully-equipped galley and dinette, while the master bathroom is, again, a gorgeous combination of stylish and functional.

The main deck offers a beach club aft with two sun loungers, a small lounge with a fold-out mahogany table and its own wet bar (which, yes, includes a BBQ grill), and the state-of-the-art cockpit. Access to the secondary and much smaller cabin is done through the cockpit.

Standard features on the Rivarama included a retractable awning, a wine chiller in the wet bar, custom porcelain china and silver-plated cutlery, glasses, and monogrammed linens. The Riva experience is one that is clearly not limited just to the boat, but encompasses everything else you might need while onboard, as well.

Twin 700 hp diesel MAN engines (later upgraded to 800 hp each in the Super variant) and the lightweight construction take the Rivarama to a cruising speed of 30 knots (34.5 mph / 55.5 kph) and top speeds in the 45 knots (51.8 mph / 83.3 kph) area. Riva loves comparisons to automobile design so much it often invites them unprompted, and the Rivarama is a good occasion to dish them: driving is intuitive and the ride is smooth, with this elegant “floating suite” handling like a well-behaved supercar.

Riva Rivarama 44 boats were initially offered with a “price on request” note, but can now be had for prices ranging between $400,000 and $1 million on the specialized market.

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