Riva Shipyard was founded by Pietro Riva in 1842. The boat repairman earned the trust of the local residents of the town of Sarniko, after he repaired the ships damaged by a strong storm. With the proceeds, Pietro established his own boat construction business.
In 1880, Ernesto Riva became the head of the plant and the father's successor, thanks to him the boats began to be equipped with piston engines. Later, the shipyard began to create cargo and bulky vessels.
In the 1920s, the leadership transferred to Serafino Riva, in which the company begins to use internal combustion engines and starts the construction of motor boats. The period from the 20s to the 30s. marked for Riva victories in international competitions on their own boats.
The brand gains worldwide fame after the release of Florida, Aristone, Sebino models. In 1962, the legendary Aquarama was created, reaching speeds of up to 40 knots thanks to two engines with a capacity of 185 hp.
In 1969, the shipyard produced the first vessels with a fiberglass hull and wood trim. Despite the popularity and convenience of working with composite material, the company until 1996 continues to produce wooden boats, in particular Superamerica.
In 1969, the shipyard was taken over by the American company Whittaker, and Carlo Riva continued to hold the post of director for the next two years. The last member of the family dynasty was Gino Gervasoni, who left the leadership in 1989, while Riva became a part of the Vickers group.
In 1994, the company signed a contract with the design bureau Officina Italiana Design, and in the 2000s, the shipyard was part of the Ferretti Group.
The lineup consists of runabouts, superyachts, flybridge and sports vessels, open cruisers with hulls made of composite materials, the length of which is from 8 to 50 meters. There are four series in total - Open, SuperYachtsDivision, Flybridge and SportFly.
In 2013, the brand’s flagship debuted - 122 Mythos, which is not only the largest Riva yacht, but also the company's first ship with a hull made entirely of aluminum.
The construction of boats is carried out on a base of 36,000 m2, located on Lake Iseo. In 2003, an additional yacht building site was opened in Sarnico.
Among the owners of the legendary boats are George Clooney, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot and others. The ships created by the Italian shipyard were repeatedly shot in the cinema: "Ocean's 12", "Happy Easter", James Bond films and others.