Riva has been building boats for 170 years. During those years, the company has distinguished itself as the creator of very fashionable wooden runabouts, the timeless Riva designs used by the rich and famous. But this reputation for quality and style has grown well beyond the classic launches that first established the Riva brand. The 63 Virtus is the latest yacht in Riva’s Open range of highly regarded express cruisers. If visual appeal is what counts, the 63 is already a winner.
This sport cruiser seems to be all hull. Only the windscreen and the mast rise above the deck line, which makes for a very tall structure above the static waterline. To reduce the apparent height, the designers have divided the topsides with a long line of recessed windows and a scalloped channel that leads into the air intakes aft. The pronounced reverse sheer line adds the final element to this yacht’s high-performance aura.
She’s also two yachts in one. For open-air living, day or night, everything is in the cockpit — a dining area, a sun pad, a barbecue counter and the helm station. Two opposing settees with a fold-out table between them invite guests to chat over cocktails, and later, the starboard-side settee can be moved across to close up the table seating for dinner while still leaving a clear passageway behind it. Nearby, the barbecue and bar counter lets the owner (or crew) prepare a casual meal. The full galley below, equipped with Miele appliances, can serve as the backup if the party topside overtaxes the barbecue. There is more seating around the base of the curved mast, which rakes forward to support the antennas, radome and the like. The sun pad aft looks supremely comfortable.
Located below the sun pad, the tender garage features a simple fold-out slipway system that makes vessel launch and recovery quick and easy. Ring fairleads aft look very sexy, but their sharp edges could lead to lines chafing if moored up for any length of time.