1969 Riva Ariston #908 is a unique wooden boat in that she is only 1 of 24 Aristons built in 1969 by Riva.
In May of 2001 during a trip to Italy, we made a stop to the boat yard Centro Nautico Salo` at lago d’Garda. BELLA DONNA arrived from Italy on Wednesday, August 7, 2002, two days before the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance Boat Show.
In November, 2011, she was delivered to Northwest Classic Boats in Auburn, CA to have her top deck and transom replaced to original specifications.
A new Bertram 31 built in Italy, at first, is the news for the re-opening of this valued brand. The new business owner is a boater and has a proven track record of investing in boat building and storied brand names in the marine industry. The second model to be made is currently scheduled to be either the 25 or the 28 foot hull sizes.
Seabuddy spent a fair amount of time aboard a Bertram 28 just off the Pacific ocean California coast.
Quick facts- there are some heavy hitters in the boat business in bring this boat to market.
Here is a quote…The AM37 combines the highest degree of technology and innovation in a genuinely unique manner that is sure to delight those who understand the Aston Martin credo of ‘power, beauty and soul’.
Aston Martin is a 103 year old car company that won Le Mans outright with Carroll Shelby in 1959. They are a small car company, but they have $312 million in new funds to expand from investors. The AM37 will be made in the UK is seabuddy’s current understanding, but not inside the Aston Martin Gaydon, Warwickshire UK headquarters. The 1960 film It Started in Naples with Clark Gable seems to bring out another side of her acting skill while still being unsophisticated and lovable.
Laminated (or plywood) hull sides were then used for the balance of the production run of these boats. There at least four minor hull side, bottom shapes and length changes over the years of the boat’s production run. A great book on the company’s history, the boat models, and boat owners of Riva Boats is Riva by Roberto Franzoni.
Got a wooden boat owner in the family and stuck on finding a different but memorable Christmas gift? A six brush Epifanes Brush Keeper metal box is the correct way and professional way to store valuable varnish brushes. No one who gets one of these Brush Boxes for their fine varnish work will ever forget this thoughtful gift.
This runabout is so very much original and, in addition, it holds a special place in history that she is a major marker in Riva Boats history in the USA.
She is a classic wood straight shaft inboard runabout with its engine in the center of the cockpit. This 15th built boat represents the Riva Junior model line that was made from 1966 to 1972. Using all of her 7,200 horsepower, Monokini  is a fast mega-yacht with her top is 34.5 MPH. Wood Rivas seem to seabuddy to reflect Italian passion, smart boat building, and a vision about what a good boat should be. In one of my articles on Riva wood boats, I posted some photos and that started our current discussion.
Some boat model name choices are Tritone, Ariston, Super Ariston, Aquarama, Super Aquarama, and Long Super Aquarama.


I went to print with my model name thoughts in the link I have put into this posting, but I now I believe my I.D. An Ariston and the Super Ariston are the single engine style of the Riva Aquarama classic wood boat. Windshield glass, screws, the metal for the boat’s hardware, and much of the material used in the seating was out sourced from other counties. A great book on the history, boats, and boat owners of Riva Boats is Riva by Roberto Franzoni. Ariston got her name after Carlo Riva attended a showing at the Ariston Theater in Milano, Italy. She received a First Place, Best Riva of Show (non marque) and the 2012 Riva Perpetual Trophy. The 25’ boat was made in Italy before by Riva (with some Riva styling touches) in the 1970s.
The investors and management want to company to expand, particularly with its influence with women. Mercedes may have Aston Martin make their very limited production Mayback models, as it is believed that Aston is better suited for limited production, than a big company like M B.. Currently the thought is to power the gas engine closed deck sport cuddy cabin boats for a 60 MPH WOT top speed and the Diesels for a 50 MPH top speed. These sheets were different from what was being used by higher volume (and lower priced) production boat builders.
They then seasoned all of that lumber that went into the boats themselves, and then  they decided when it was ready for boat building. That is an approximant 50% increase in sales price for that model Ferrari since another one sold roughly six months ago. Your rarest model Chris Craft (they made 4 of this one over the two years of 1929 and 1930) for $250,000? Rumor has it that Bob Bondurant sold his Cobra Daytona coupe to fund the start of his high performance driving school. Made by Riva in Italy, she was displayed in the New York Riva Showroom to example the luxury of Riva boats to all of the tourists that visit Manhattan.
Other interior parts that needed freshening were replaced with what is properly titled “New, Old Stock” pieces. This 44-meter yacht uses an aluminum hull and deckhouse with all of her naval architecture and engineering done in-house by Baglietto. The first two memorable boats were the 1906 boat for Pope Leo XIII at 74’ in length (Giuseppina), and the 44’ motorboat for Giacomo Pucini, the composer of Madame Butterfly, in 1911 (Cio—Cio-San).
The powerboat competition hull shape was developed into an effective anti-submarine naval craft. First they built planked wooden yachts and then they switched to marine plywood constructed wood yachts, much the same path as fellow Italian boat builder Riva followed. These are some additional Riva boat photo images taken by me on the same day of the same boat. These are single and twin engine boat models and perhaps the first point would be to decide if this classic has one or two engines. She is unusal in that she has hatches on her aft deck, not the main stream for this model, sun lounge pad that Ted Kennedy once made infamous. These runabout boats are considered the top classic mahogany, cedar, and oak wood boats that used only the best wood, hardware, glass, and marine parts from Italy, France, Switzerland, England, Belgium and other countries to give a wooden boat owner simply the best product that the Riva Factory could build. They seasoned that lumber that went into the boats themselves; they decided when it was ready for boat building, where on the boat it had its best use, and how it was to be used with screws, glue, and then finished.
He is quoted as saying “You can trust that I will treat Bertram with great, great, great respect — the same as I’m doing with Baglietto.” Note, he owns other businesses and the boating companies seem to be something he wants to get deeply involved with.


While she won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the movie Two Women in 1962, seabuddy remembers her first for being in Houseboat with Cary Grant in 1958. Others are Arabesque with Gregory Peck, El Cid with Charlton Heston, The Fall Of The Roman Empire with Stephen Boyd, Christopher Plummer, an Alec Guiness, and  Man Of La Mancha with Peter O’ Toole.. A limited production boat that stands close up inspection as one would do with a custom boat. Clean each brush with mineral spirits, clip their handles into the holding plate and lower the brushes into a bath of diesel or kerosene for long term storage.
Seabuddy has seen and heard her run and she quietly fills my expectations for Riva luxury in a fast sport boat.
The unique cockpit sun bed takes one’s mind off mundane things and off to dreaming about lovely Italian women, Champaign, and some decadent Pate. She has had two owners in her history and shows rather low hours for 50 plus year old boat.
Look for more info and photos from this RIVA book… and seabuddy thanks them for their photos. Plus, here is a link back to the other write-up and pictures of the same Classic Wood Riva Boat taken the same day as these were. Almost all of a boat was sprayed several time and then hand brushed several more times to a high gloss polished varnish bright finish. She has been a fabulous user boat over the past 12 years and maintained to the highest standards. BTW, the Riva Windshield is outstanding with the lines of this Bertram model, as is all of their hardware on the Bertram boat that they built in this length. The fly bridge was not to my taste based on its seating and how the skipper had to handle to the controls. And that sheet of plywood was molded off the boat to the same sweep as the designed hull’s curve. Almost all of a boat was sprayed several times and then hand brushed several more times to a high gloss polished varnish finish.
Riva sold examples of these 18.5 ‘boats to Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Seller, and Bridget Bardot. Some interior boards were called out on every model for a paint finish, however, and lesser quality wood was used there. They seemed to be misplaced in relation to the seating bases and not enough room for my guests. If he had just waxed that car, rather working daily at showing movie stars and rich folks how to drive fast and safe in the hot Arizona sun for all these years, HE WOULD HAVE MORE MONEY.
Think about areas like the seat frames, under the bow, side, and aft decks for a painted finish. These boats were sold world-wide and seabuddy understands that one size had a multi-year run of something like 43 units.
And I do not have the coin in my jeans for a top shelf boat that is a classic wood Riva power boat. Then the raised toe rail at the outside edge of the foredeck and the presence of a siren are clues. A limited production boat that stands close inspect up to the standard of a custom boat is a show stopper.



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