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Recent Riva Projects

1959 Riva Ariston

1969 Riva Super Aquarama

Projects

Riva Boats

We restore Rivas the way the original factories built them.
A Riva Olympic ready for delivery to the show

The Riva was originally built in Italy and few companies in US have the qualifications to work on them. Northwest Classic Boats has the qualifications and the expertise to restore these boats. We use the same lumber as in the original boat, so our Riva customers do not have to pay for materials to be shipped from Europe. We reproduce whole sides and decking with the same type of mahogany and to the exact specifications that Riva used originally. The utmost care is taken to produce quality craftsmanship virtually identical to the original.


Restoring a Riva

When restoring a Riva, we take great care in choosing the wood. We have purchased thousands of board feet of the correct woods required to restore any model of Riva. We use light Kaya for the deck plies, Sipo and Sapalee for the covering boards, and Sapalee and Kaya in 39-foot lengths for the hull planking.


Bottoms

As we rebuild the bottom structure prior to putting down the bottom skin, all framework and support blocking is inspected and anything suspect is removed and replaced. All work is glued with West System Epoxy, and either screwed or riveted together, depending on the original type of construction. The bottom panels are then glued down using high strength polyurethane adhesive bedding compound. All thru-hull holes are sealed with epoxy to assure that no water will penetrate the end grain of the ply panels. The inside and outside surfaces of the ply are then sealed with epoxy prior to painting. An outside layer of epoxy penetrated fiberglass cloth is then applied upon request for the ultimate in leak prevention and longevity.

A Super Aquarama ready for new sides and bottom.
A Riva super Aquarama ready for new sides
and bottom.
 
Hull sides & Transom

Hull sides and transoms are molded right on the boat using solid mahogany for the inside diagonals and full-length mahogany, Khaya, Sipo and Sapele for the outer layer. This achieves a seamless hull side with even coloring as done originally. (show wood room of that long piece of mahogany) Fasteners are placed in the exact pattern as the original and plugged from the same board. All is vacuum pressed for a superior bond using West System Epoxy.

New hull sides and transom
New hull sides and transom skin ready to be installed on a Riva super Aquarama
Preparing to vacuum press the new side
Preparing to vacuum press the new side
 
New vacuum pressed hull side
New vacuum pressed hull side
 Screw pattern on the side of a Riva Tritone
Screw pattern on the side of a Riva Tritone
 
Decking

Using the same type of materials as in the original boat, the deck ply is manufactured in-house to exact specifications. Deck plies are hand built and vacuum-pressed and laid up in the traditional three-ply with the top layer all cut from the same board. This produces a seamless and even colored deck.

Light Khaya at 4mm thick is used for the top ply and regular Khaya is used throughout for the other plies. The inlays are cut from straight-grained fir. Cover boards and toe rails are cut from beautiful Sapalee or Sipo depending on the specific model and year in which the boat was built. Fasteners are placed in the original locations and plugged with the appropriate size plug cut from the same boards.

Cross section of the ply
Cross section of the ply
Hand made deck ply being installed on the fore deck
Hand made deck ply being installed on the fore deck

Hand made Riva deck ply
Hand-made Riva deck ply
Deck ply panels for the fore deck
Deck ply panels for the fore deck

Riva deck ply being installed on the boat
Riva deck ply being installed
on the boat
Hand shaping the cover board on a Riva Tritone Aperto
Hand shaping the cover board
on a Riva Tritone Aperto
 
Finish

All finish is applied in our clean 1500 sq ft. varnish facility. The finish will be either traditional varnish or the catalyzed Stoppani used on the later models. When Stoppani is not available due to shipping constraints, a suitable clear polyurethane will be substituted to achieve the desired finish.

A Riva Super Aquarama being finished
A Riva Super Aquarama being finished
A Riva dash being refinished
A Riva dash being refinished
 
Applying the finish on a Riva Tritone Aperto
Applying the finish on a Riva Tritone Aperto
High gloss finish
High gloss finish
 
Water Testing
Water testing a Riva Super Tritone
Water testing a Riva Super Tritone
New sides, transom and deck were replaced on this boat.
 


A Riva Olympic ready for delivery to the show
A Riva Olympic ready for delivery to the show

A Riva Aquarama Special ready for delivery
A Riva Aquarama Special ready for delivery