Sarnico Classic Boats – Riva Aquarama (3)


This beautiful Aquarama model was built by Riva in 1974, during the first decade of Aquarama Special production. The boat was commissioned by one of Riva’s customers to be used in the sea north of the Belgian town of Oostende and delivered to the buyer by the dealer Riva di Gardone Riviera BS, in 1974. Interesting fact: Riva’s records show that its price was L.17,780,000.

History Notes

The first model of Aquarama was designed by Riva between 1961 and 1962, year in which it made its official début. It was called Aquarama because those where the years of Cinerama, the first widescreen projection system with an angle very similar to that of the human eye. In fact, the boat has an elegantly curved windscreen that offers panoramic views of the water. Its prototype was the Lipicar (a name made from the initials of Mr Riva’s daughter’s names – Lia, Pia and Carla), which was number 214 of the Tritone series, the first Aquarama ever.

Technical Specifications

Name: Aquarama Special
Year of Construction: 1974
Type of Hull: Planing
Dimensions: Overall Length: 8.78 m – Beam: 2.60 m
Engines: Riva Thermo Electron V8 2x hp 350
Net Weight: 3000 kg
Maximum Speed: 46/47 mph

General restoration stages

Sarnico Classic Boats – Riva Aquarama (40)

ENGINES: the engines are one of the most important parts of the boat. Before starting the restoration of the hull, the engines must be removed from the engine compartment for a complete revision. Once the work is completed, they will be put back in place, to carry out tests in and out of the water.


WOOD: the boat is completely disassembled, part by part. The paint is stripped until the bare wood is visible. The sides, bulkheads, hull and deck are the main areas of intervention.

Sarnico Classic Boats – Riva Aquarama (8)

CHROME AND STEEL FITTINGS: all the steel parts of the boat are removed and, depending on their conditions, are chromed or polished. From the single screws to the larger parts, such as the stemhead fitting or the adjustable light, all parts are coated with 30 micron of nickel that protects the steel from sun and seawater.

Sarnico Classic Boats – Riva Aquarama (57)

PAINTING: the hull is first treated with a light coat of mordant, followed by 16 to 20 coats of paint with water sandblasting, depending on the boat’s conditions. Between one coat and the next it is important to wait as much as possible, to avoid marks if the wood moves. The last coat is sprayed on. This is the longest stage of the restoration and the reason why to do a good job requires between 8 and 9 months of work.

Sarnico Classic Boats – Riva Aquarama (59)

ACCESSORY AND UPHOLSTERY FITTING: this is the last stage before putting the boat back in the water and delivering it to the owner. Each accessory is put back into place, following a specific order. From the dashboards to the mooring bollards and all accessories in between; the boat’s name is the last thing to be put back in place.
Then it’s the turn of the upholstery (reconditioned or an exact replica of the original), which is delivered covered in plastic, to protect it from dirt and dust.