Riva Ernesto, the handmade boat that goes to 25 knots without using gasoline


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A small shipyard on Lake Como with a tradition of over three centuries. This is the “fertile ground” where Ernesto was born, the electric wooden boat handmade by Ernesto Riva shipyard– not to be confused with Riva Yacht from Sarnico – whose project was also worked on by the hand of the famous naval architect, Germán Mani Frers. A story of passion, family and tradition in the name of “made in Italy”.


Silence, we sail

There is a wooden boat that goes to 25 knots without consuming a single drop of gasoline. It’s called Ernesto and it’s the first E-commuter on Lake Como. A daycruiser entirely built by hand by the expert hands of the workers of the Ernesto Riva shipyard, founded in 1771 in Laglio, on the shores of the deepest lake in Italy.

German Mani Frers a sinistra con Daniele Riva in cantiere su Ernesto
German Mani Frers a sinistra con Daniele Riva in cantiere su Ernesto

There is also an author’s signature in the design of the boat, that of German Mani Frers, fascinated by the idea of creating a boat that is completely zero impact. We’re not just talking about emissions, which have been reduced to zero since the boat is electric, but also about the fact that Ernesto has been designed with completely new water lines that don’t generate waves when the boat sails on the lake. It’s not over. Not having a combustion engine also all the noise of a speedboat that passes at full speed is reduced to the mere lapping of the water on the edges.

This prototype, built by the Ernesto Riva shipyard with the support of the architect Germán Mani Frers and the engineer Carlo Bertorello, part of the Slow Commuter project financed by the Lombardy Region, was conceived and designed to initiate and carry out a path of innovation in the nautical sector, focusing in particular on environmental sustainability.

Day cruiser or E-commuter

The craftsmanship for the quality of the materials and details represent the approach of the shipyard to this day cruiser.  An open hull facilitates the livability of the interior spaces, as well as immersing those who sail in the surrounding environment. The entire construction is made of certified wood and other renewable and recyclable materials.

Ernesto is a boat designed to sail on the lake, with a balance between performance and autonomy. The cruising speed is 13 knots (with 3h of autonomy) while the maximum speed is 25 knots.

Ernesto Riva Shipyard

Today the shipyard is led by Daniele Riva – born in 1967 – who represents the eighth generation to carry on this small great tradition of the Riva family. Daniele has skilfully combined the secrets of tradition passed down from father to son with innovative working methods, aiming at excellence in design and quality of materials, with an eye to the environment.

“At this point, we believe it is necessary to focus on the lowest environmental impact and the possibility of offering alternative solutions to mass navigation. A concept for sustainable mobility in our lake and beyond…”

Boat data sheet: Ernesto del Cantiere Ernesto Riva

  • Length: 7.65 m
  • Width: 2.32 m
  • Maximum speed: 25 kn
  • Cruising speed: 13 kn
  • Autonomy at 13 kn: 3 h
  • Engine equipment: 92 Kw
  • Capacity: 7 people








2 thoughts on “Riva Ernesto, the handmade boat that goes to 25 knots without using gasoline”

  1. Robyn Taylor


    I would love to get more information on your electric boats. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Robyn Taylor

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