Riva 82′ Diva Reviewed

With an express cruiser profile, flybridge functionality, the high-performing Riva 82' Diva is 31 knots of fun on the water.
Riva 82' Diva
Even at rest, the yacht’s sweeping, sinewy profile hints at its performance capabilities. Courtesy Riva Yacht

Full disclosure: I carry my car keys on a Riva fob as a constant reminder of where I want to be. I’ve always appreciated Riva’s design and execution, and the Riva 82′ Diva only strengthens my admiration for the brand.

Flybridge motoryachts of this volume do not get any more elegant. Mauro Micheli and his team at Officina Italiana Design—which has penned every new Riva for about three decades—tell me their brief this time was to create a modern flybridge yacht that’s also sporty and streamlined. And haven’t they just? The 82′ Diva’s proportions are precise, and it is the first Riva with fold-down quarter platforms that turn the cockpit and hydraulic swim platform into a beach club. That guest space has a table and a pair of inboard-facing sofas, as well as a sun pad above a tender garage that you would never know was there, given its low profile. The fold-down platforms add more than 10 feet to the almost 20-foot beam.

Riva 82' Diva
Teak side decks provide safe transit to the U-shaped foredeck lounge. Courtesy Riva Yacht

More alfresco lounging is on the 430-square-foot flybridge. It’s partially protected by a hardtop that covers the cockpit stairs, a wet bar with a countertop, an L-shaped sofa and a table to port, and the two-seat upper helm to starboard. The hardtop’s forward edge is notched to provide headroom en route to the forward sun pad above the pilothouse. More lounging and sunbathing areas are forward on the deck below.

Inside, the salon has picture windows that make it a naturally bright space. The 82′ Diva’s standard decor is high-gloss “rigatoni” veneers—strips of Italian walnut—with other options available, including a chocolate wenge. Regardless of the wood choice, the varnish work can be 25 coats deep. And the accents are equally tactile: polished stainless steel, satin lacquer work, stitched leather, marble, and contrasting carpets and furnishings. It’s a marvelous fusion of light, midrange and dark tones. Everything craves to be touched. While the salon’s layout is conventional enough, with a lounge area aft and dining forward, the dining space is two steps up to enhance guests’ views during meals. They’re probably the best views I’ve seen on any motoryacht less than 100 feet long. The custom dining table I saw was faced with an optional Port Laurent marble top and sides. The standard one comes with black crystal. The eight chairs are from Molteni.

Riva 82' Diva
That’s high-gloss walnut with 25 coats of varnish. Other wood options, such as wenge, are available. Courtesy Riva Yacht

Also on this deck are a single-seat lower helm and an adjacent galley beneath the windshield and skylights, which can be screened. The idea is to place these crew areas together with doors to the side decks, which are protected by nearly full top-deck overhangs. The helm and galley can be partitioned off for privacy too.

Performance is also notable. The 82′ Diva is based on a new hull form with standard twin 1,800 hp MAN V-12 diesels. The builder promises a top speed of around 29 knots and a 26-knot fast cruise, at which range should be about 300 nautical miles with the yacht’s 1,700 gallons of fuel. The 82′ Diva I got aboard had 1,900 hp MAN V-12s, which Riva says deliver a top speed of around 31 knots at half load. We couldn’t quite manage those numbers in calm seas off Cannes, France, where the yacht topped out at around 28 knots, but the boat was heavy with a big generator, 88 percent fuel, 100 percent water, a Williams SportJet 395 tender and 16 people aboard. I ran it with the Humphree dynamic trim system active and the Sleipner Vector Fin stabilizers on, and I turned the Seakeeper 18 on and off. I thought the props could use some fine-tuning, or perhaps the bottom needed a scrub, costing us a knot or two. This 82′ Diva had logged around 2,000 nm in most types of weather. At a fast cruise of 27 knots, range with the bigger engines should be 250 nm to 270 nm. The driving positions are great inside and out. Each console has standard 16-inch Simrad multifunction displays (three below and two up top), with the option of 19-inch displays. The electrohydraulic steering is nicely responsive. Wind the wheel over hard, and the yacht heels gently into any turn, but comes around surprisingly quickly, given a displacement of more than 170,000 pounds.

Riva 82' Diva
More alfresco lounging is on the 430-square-foot flybridge Courtesy Riva Yacht

Guest accommodations are conventional, with all four en suite staterooms on the lower deck. The owner’s stateroom is amidships with a corner sofa and a whopping 7 feet, 6 inches of headroom (beneath the elevated dining table). The forepeak VIP stateroom has 6-foot-7-inch headroom. The two other guest staterooms have twin berths; the starboard one converts to a double. Crew’s quarters are between the owner’s stateroom and the engine room, with discreet access to the starboard side deck. The standard layout is for three crew in two cabins, with a head-shower and an optional washer-dryer.

Rivas are also good with what can’t be seen. For a planing design with big, powerful engines, the 82′ Diva is fundamentally a quiet yacht. I registered just 67 decibels on my meter in the owner’s stateroom at maximum speed, and around 65 decibels at a fast, low-20s cruise. That’s the same noise level as laughter or normal conversation.

Riva 82' Diva
The 82′ Diva’s fold-out sections add more than 10 feet of beam. Courtesy Riva Yacht

Long-term success for any brand can be measured by its consistency from product to product, year in and year out, as well as its ability to evolve with its customers and attract new ones. The Riva 82′ Diva hits bull’s-eyes on all these elements. It has first-rate fit and finish, impressive performance, and many examples of luxury, performance and sophistication. Riva’s production line should be buzzing for years to come.    

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