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Timeless Style

The 33 Aquariva Super is your at-sea guide to the good life.

March 6, 2016
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33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

She possesses a stainless-steel bow tip with integrated hawse. Courtesy Riva Yachts

The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show allows me to escape the frozen Northeast and see the wares from the world’s finest boatbuilders. I’m looking forward to Riva’s offerings — the Italian builder will showcase its latest along with an impeccably restored, mahogany-hull 1950s Riva Tritone, a crown jewel in the company’s 173-year history.

33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

The Aquariva illustrates a 173-year tradition of excellence. Courtesy Riva Yachts
33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

The tender’s pod-style mahogany table converts into a larger table. Courtesy Riva Yachts

The Tritone represents what Giuseppe Meneghetti, Riva U.S. brand sales manager, calls “Riva’s tradition, expertise and passion [that’s] been handed down from father to son.” Carlo Riva, the third generation of Riva men, transformed the boutique builder into the epitome of la dolce vita. In the 1950s and ’60s, Hollywood elite and royalty owned Rivas.

From the Tritone evolved the Aquarama, which became today’s fiberglass 33 Aquariva Super. She’s a flawless evolution of style, as the Aquariva retains that gorgeous stem-to-stern undulation of her predecessors. From her stainless-steel bow fairlead with integrated hawse to her mahogany and maple foredeck to her teak toe rails and swept windshield, she’s one of the world’s most elegant runabouts.

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33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

She boasts twin 370 hp Yanmar diesels. Courtesy Riva Yachts
33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

The 33 Aquariva Super has mahogany and maple inlays with interior leather accents. Courtesy Riva Yachts

The standard navy-blue hull sets off the dark brightwork and contrasts beautifully with the cockpit’s creamy leather, U-shaped settee abaft the portside helm. By the way, the steering wheel is unique to each Aquariva and, Meneghetti says, is “a [solid] block of aluminum carved on a control numeric machine.” Fine-grain leather covers the wheel. For the captain, a leather helm chair with flip-up bolster provides standing or seated comfort.

33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

There’s a wet bar and refrigerator and ice maker for entertainment. Courtesy Riva Yachts
33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

She’s got a 35-plus-knot cruise speed and a top end north of 40 knots. Courtesy Riva Yachts

Friends will flock to the Aquariva. Fortunately, there’s room for six on her settee, with a pod-style mahogany table that converts into a larger dining table. For entertaining, there’s a wet bar and refrigerator/ice maker to starboard of the helm. Sun worshipers will appreciate the large transom sun pad, and her swim platform has a hydraulic ladder for easy water access.

Another neat feature is the electrically activated canopy, which works like a sports car’s cabriolet top. Flip a switch and the clever Bimini top shades the helm area and settee.

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33 Aquariva Super

33 Aquariva Super

An exterior glimpse of the Aquariva. Courtesy Riva Yachts

Power is from twin 370 hp Yanmar diesels, providing a 35-plus-knot cruise speed and a top end north of 40 knots. Interested in a 33 Aquariva? Since 2000, Riva has built 250 of them. The model is still under production today as the Aquariva Super, with limited editions by Italian fashion house Gucci and industrial designer Marc Newson.

A 2015 base model runs around $700,000; fully optioned or special editions top $1 million. At press time, I found 13 on the brokerage market, from $241,000 for a 2001 to $795,000 for a 2012 Gucci model with custom white hull.

At any price, few vessels turn heads and capture hearts like a 33 Aquariva Super.

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