Aquarama Special

Aqurama Special – The last of the mahogany boats, in production all the way until 1996.

With a obvious heritage from the Super Aquarama, this was still not Carlo Riva’s creation. When the boat replaces Aquarama and Super Aquarama in 1972, the CEO role at the shipyard has been taken over by Carlos’ nephew Gino Gervasoni. Behind the design of the new boat stands Giorgio Barilani, who Carlo hired back in 1957 for his skills as a draftsman and designer.

In production:1972 – 1996
Total #:278
Length: (m)8.78
Width: (m)2.60
Engine: (Hp)2 x 320 – 350


As early as 1968, Barilani began sketching a successor to the Aquaraman that would make the boat more practical and give it a more modern design. The focus was on the stern, which got a flatter slope and squarer shape with a small integrated bathing jetty.

When the boat went into production in 1972, the instruments were the same as on the yard’s Riva-Bertram fiberglass boats. The first boats were allowed to retain the Aquraman steering wheel but were soon replaced by a slightly simpler version with a chrome steering wheel center with the text Riva. The pull switches on the instrument panel were also changed to rocker switches with rubber covers.

The engines are the same as in the Super AQ, Riva Crusader 320 Hp, but the last 2 boats for the year are fitted with an updated version of 350 Hp, which will then become standard throughout the boat’s lifetime. A total of 46 boats are manufactured this year.

1973 – 1976

The boat gets a new stern lantern and in 1974 the inner ceiling below the deck is completely covered with vinyl upholstery. During the 4 years 112 boats are manufactured.

1977 – 1979

New dashboard with a MOMO steering wheel of the same type that the fiberglass boats use. The same applies to the instruments, which are changed to a plastic variant. The police siren is replaced by a regular electric horn and the beautiful lantern is replaced by small side lanterns on the windshield frame. It is quite clear that no extra money will be spent on specially designed details.

From 1978, the beautiful cleats (torpedo design) are also replaced with simpler standard cleats from Riva Super America. In 1979, the classic gear levers get a new design.

A total of 45 boats are manufactured over 3 years.

1980 – 1996

The last series gets combined instruments which means that there are now 5 instruments behind the steering wheel and only one at the center of the dashboard.
During these 16 years, production runs at a low level and only 75 boats are produced, of which the last 10 in 1996. The very last boat is kept in the shipyard’s possession.

Sources of facts:

  • Carlo the legend, Riva the myth. Book I-IV by Piero Gibbelini.
  • Vivariva. Riva Historical Society quarterback magazine.
  • Pictures from my own and others archives, RHS and other miscellaneous sources.

/Olle Erlandsson
Riva Club Sweden