Riva Tritone (7.9m), the big brother of the Aquarama | Classic Boat
The 1950s, la dolce vita, Portofino, the lakes and the Côte d’Azur. An image that seldom fails to evoke art-house movie settings and, above all, mahogany jewels moored to the docks, strong with an elegance perhaps never seen again. Among them, to triumph, surely the Riva, the masterpieces of Sarnico and emblems of Made in Italy. Yet, we always tend to imagine the “wrong” Riva, the Aquarama, built only since ’62.
If in the previous article we saw a “late” masterpiece in participation of Carlo Riva, the
Montecarlo Offshorer 30
, today we see instead its first definitive jewel, the Aquarama’s older and direct sibling: the Riva Tritone, the 1950s masterpiece that definitively consecrated the shipyard to the Olympus of boating.
The triton was born in 1950 and originally measured 7.6 meters, with a maximum beam of 2.55. A first dozen or so see alternating two 112-horsepower Gray Marine engines or a 350-horsepower Scripps single-engine solution. Beginning in 1953 it took on its own semi-definitive form, lengthened to 7.9 meters overall by 2.62 at maximum beam. In ’54 came the new engines-two Chris Craft makes 145 horsepower each-and the new windshield design, now wraparound and enclosed in a chrome frame instead of made of two sections of crystal as before. This will be the canonical version, the basis for any subsequent update. In fact, the Cadillac, Super (8.03 m) and Aperto variants, the latter of which is destined to become the basis of theAquarama, will also be born on this.
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Riva Tritone – Project
Built of mahogany, first solid planking, then laminated, the Triton was a masterful boat, able to remain at the top of the range for more than a decade. It was not until the second half of the 1960s, in fact, that the Aquarama would be able to establish itself definitively in the market, leading to the end of this excellent production line.
In good Riva tradition, there is no single model of Triton. And just as there are different variants, there are also different specifications and different modifications, including the various customizations required by each individual owner. Broadly speaking, however, the Triton features the iconic sleek line typical of riva production, with a pronounced bow V that recedes as it opens toward the maximum beam, flattening out on the way to the stern, crowned by a very elegant semi-circular mirror.
Starting from the bow, the deck section is classic, unobstructed, until at least 1957, when it was instead fitted with two skylights, to better illuminate and air the cabin below. Forward of the centerboard is the wheelhouse, protected by a double-crystal windshield until ’53, later replaced by a single wraparound windshield.The dashboard varies almost every year, with updated and different instrumentation and inserts. Peculiar is the adoption of Alfa Romeo automobile-produced steering wheels, later replaced by a Riva original starting with the 1956 models.
Serving the dashboard we find a full-beam settee, iconic for its blue-green coloring, which was not actually available until after 1960, with the release of the Super Triton, which now mounted two 275-horsepower Chris Crafts.
Inspiring the Aquarama, finally-which, moreover, has, originally, the same water lines as it-is the “Open” version, complete with classic sundecks above the engine compartment, just behind the second full-beam sofa behind the wheelhouse cockpit.
Riva Tritone – Data Sheet
|Length Out All (1950-53)||7.6 m|
|Length Out All (1953-1966)||7.9 m|
|Length F.T. Super Triton||8.03 m|
|Baglio Massimo (1950-53)||2.55 m|
|Baglio Massimo (1953-66)||2.62 m|
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