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Winter 2006

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



Yachting catalogue

Navigation tests

Used boats


Video Nautica

Article by
Martino Motti

Photographs by Martino Motti and from Riva files


The titled and well-known shipyard Riva, founded by Pietro Riva in 1842 in Sarnico, on Lake Iseo (Italy) and today part of the Gruppo Ferretti Yachts, is still producing boats destined to go down in history. After building small and elegant wooden boats for generations the yard increased their size little by little up to Aquarama, its famous motoryacht with fascinating and unmistakable design that today is still considered the yard's flagship. A range of larger deluxe yachts followed, from the 33' Sunriva and Aquariva to the 85' Opera and the 94' Fly (just one unit was built).


LOA: 35.05 m
LWL: 29.05 m
Beam: 7.08 m
Draft from lower tip of propellers: 1.85 m
Full load displacement: 155 t
Fuel capacity: 22,000 l
Freshwater capacity: 3,500 l
Range at maximum speed: 540 miles
Range at cruising speed: 600 miles.

For further information contact Riva S.p.A.; via Predore, 30; 24067 Sarnico (Bergamo, Italy); tel. +39 035 910202; fax +39 035 911059; e-mail:; website

The 115' Athena will be the biggest motoryacht ever built by the yard and for which considerable investments were made, such as the construction of the Ferretti yard in La Spezia. This new location is almost ready and it includes offices, sheds and a private marina where Athena will be built. The first unit will be joined by other two already under construction and by a fourth recently ordered one. But how did Riva decide to build larger yachts? This project resulted to be an imposing group's work and involved different realities and human resources. Actually, it was born to meet the expectations, passions and desires of an important Middle Eastern client who is a real Riva boats collector. The yard picked up the gauntlet even though it had never built such important and large yachts before. Mauro Micheli and the Officina Italiana Design were assigned to do the outside and the interior styling and Luigi Ferretti the technical details. The design is marked by two main lines that meet at the bow, the typical lines of Riva production, an intrinsic signature of the yard's boats. The instinctive impression one has when looking at the drawing is of modern aggressiveness with a slight retro touch. The major difficulty was the creation of a large flying bridge, similar to that of a 130 footer, with the wheelhouse set rather forward and a multipurpose closed-in veranda astern. Much attention was given to the "maniacal" Riva accuracy for details and for technical solutions. The interiors and flying bridge layouts of this first unit are quite special because designed to meet the client's needs, and is not representative of the standard model which will include 4, 5 or 6 cabins depending on the requested size of the living area. The Design staff will work together with the client to find the decor and aesthetics that most please him, without disrupting the Riva imprinting or modifying the timeless lines that demonstrated to be ever fascinating and contemporary. This is Riva, in past and present times. The vessel, lines aside, was built and designed in compliance with the highest quality standards in terms of technology and safety and may be classified as charter ship in compliance with the strictest international rules. In broader terms, Athena 115 should be considered a deluxe and cult object not only by the experts but also by the global deluxe industry. Mr Micheli, the architect, tells us how difficult was designing the flying bridge for the quite aggressive outside lines had to combine with the round shape and soft style of the enclosed area aft. This enclosed veranda with glass windows that may be opened forward as well as aft is quite unusual and innovative and functions as a real wildcard: as home theater, as fitness center or simply as an extra saloon. In this elegant, sophisticated, cozy and relaxing sky lounge ten guests may enjoy the panorama on and around the imposing 20-meter flying bridge. The interiors feature a substantial use of dark black walnut wood contrasting with the elegance and the refined style of white leather sofas and ceiling coverings and ecru floorings. The interior styling is clean and square based on modern minimalism. Even in the galley with parquet flooring, the gray lacquered furniture contrasts with the snow-white countertop. Steel and aluminum transfer one's sensation into the future. Lighting, made with spotlights and rectangular light panels on bulkheads and ceilings, offers a cozy diffused brightness. Bathrooms are decorated with a sober and modern taste: squared tempered glass sinks with steel faucets, wooden cabinets and white marble floor. The ample and cozy staterooms are all different but identical in style. Wardrobes and the special soundproofing panels ensure maximum privacy. The solutions adopted for common areas, passages and deck-connecting stairs are very interesting and were made with a special eye to guests' privacy and easy getting around. From the technical point of view, this is a high-performing motor yacht as revealed by the speeds registered by the yard: a maximum speed of 26.5 knots and a cruising speed of 23. The yacht is fitted with two 12V 4000 M90 MTU engines of 2,775 hp each, with in-line shaft.