A Riva for 150,000 euros? It is the forgotten gem, the little big Riva Olympic (6.5 m)


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Riva Olympic
Riva Olympic – Image Credits Robbe & Berking Classics : Baum & König

Finding someone I don’t know
, in the boating industry, is a difficult task. But the tendency is to stop at the iconic (or contemporary). And so there will be talk of Aquarama, Triton, and perhaps the occasional Ariston. But, as may seem obvious, the Sarnico construction site is also much more than that. And, among the “forgotten” goodies, great joys lie instead, such as the Riva Olympic, alittle wonder (6.55 m) in production from 1969 to 1983. And you can find some for sale at even “attractive” prices, 150 thousand euros “barely,” versus over 700 thousand for an Aquarama (contextualizing, let the barely be granted)…

A forgotten Classic Boat: Riva Olympic (6.5 m), the versatile and fun option

The Riva Olympic. A Classic Boat as little talked about as it was enjoyable and exciting, it was a small success story for the shipyard, which produced as many as 264 units from 1969 to 1983. The formula was very simple, a declination of the already popular Riva Junior But with more focus on elegance and luxury, 6 seats on board and an impressive 38 knots of top speed, on a small, versatile and classy hull.

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Riva Olympic
Riva Olympic

Riva Olympic – History of the project

By the late 1960s everyone knew what a riva was. The Aquarama had become perhaps the most emblematic status symbol of the dolce vita and, probably, the not-so-secret dream of thousands of people. But the Aquarama, like other Rivas, was certainly not a boat for everyone, let alone a versatile boat. Thus in 1966 a more “flexible” model was born, a boat that winked at U.S. fashions, different market segments and differentiated uses. At the same time, it lends itself to replace the Florida line, now dated (’52 design) and nearing the end of production (1969).

Thus was born the Riva Junior, with painted still life and transom and a more utility boat allure. It can be a commuter, it can be a tender. In short, it is intended to be a more utilitarian and easier to maintain hull. Small and versatile, it is introduced as “the youth bomb.” It is a simple boat, less refined than standard, but it will be a success from 656 units produced.

Riva Junior

In 1969 Carlo Riva decided to replicate, but offered the elegant alternative, the genteel version, if we can call it that. The Riva Olympic, a little forgotten masterpiece, is born.

Riva Olympic
Riva Olympic – Image Credits Robbe & Berking Classics : Baum & König

Layout and deck

Clear bow, curved dashboard, double settee serving the wheelhouse, and full-beam sundeck to the transom. All wrapped in the class and elegance that only a wooden Riva can have. Here, with touches of white paint to crown it all. That it was a shore there is no doubt. Yet, family feeling aside, in some ways the layout differs from the standards to which the iconic Aquaramas have accustomed us, and indeed, looks to the past, offering solutions closer to the 1950s design of the Florida, a boat that, with the Junior, lends itself precisely to replacement.

Riva Olympic – Image Credits Robbe & Berking Classics : Baum & König

These influences come to life mainly in the aft portion, which is not equipped with recessed sundecks as on the Aquaramas, but is strong with a large internal sundeck, positioned in a cockpit that runs from the helm station to the transom, without the interruptions then present in Florida itself, where the wheelhouse and cockpit are separate. A solution, this one, that is intended to serve its purpose: to be an all-purpose boat, usable both as a tender and as a boat capable of taking the whole family for walks, swimming or fishing, while lending itself to sports, water skiing or chartering.

Riva Olympic

Riva Olympic – Data Sheet

Length Over All (LOA) 6.55 m
Baglio Massimo (B.max) 2.25 m
Fishing 0.47 m
Displacement 1280 kg
Motorizations Riva V8 220 hp (1969)

Riva V8 270 hp (1973)

Maximum Speed 38 kn
Fuel Tank Capacity 135 lt.
Passengers 6
Years of production 1969 – 1983
Hulls produced #264
Construction site Riva

Discover Classic Boats from previous articles

At this link you can find all the other great Classic Boats, and if you have one and want to tell us about it, here are the instructions for uploading it to our dedicated section so you can celebrate it with us and all the enthusiasts

  • Here is one of the last articles in the series:

Rolls Rio (6.7 m): questa barca bellissima è una Rolls Royce dei mari, letteralmente



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