Riva has launched its 15-metre Dolceriva, a gorgeous open sport cruiser that mixes Riva’s classic dayboat style with the futuristic vision of Officina Italiana Design.

Mo Khatib

The classic Rivas, such as the Aquarama, Aquariva and Tritone are etched in boating history, but the Sarnico shipyard hasn’t reached the heights of motorboat divinity by standing still. Back in 2016, the redesign began with Rivamare, followed a year later, the 56 ’Rivale lineup. And now the revolution continues with the Rivarama’s replacement, the Dolceriva.


The Riva Dolceriva was conceived as an open cruiser with unrivaled on board comfort with a huge dollop of Italian passion. Designed by Officina Italiana Design alongside the Ferretti Group’s in-house engineering department, the creative teams had plenty to play as the Riva has a length of 14.92 metres, and a beam of 4.26 metres. That’s a lot of potential area for creating a new classic and the Dolceriva is just that, being blessed with perfectly balanced proportions. However, the project was not all that easy to implement. “It is very difficult to create something after the appearance of a boat like Rivarama, because its ageless design has been tested for 20 years in the market,” says Michelangelo Casadei, Technical Director of Ferretti Group. “Therefore, in order for Dolceriva to have a chance to be on a par with the legendary Riva, I had to work hard.”

Working alongside Casadei was the dynamic duo of Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta, who have been designing the Riva fleet for over 25 years. The head creatives of Officina Italiana Design totally understand the Riva brand philosophy and at first, they looked at the latest trends in classic runabouts for inspiration. But, after numerous concepts, the decision for the Dolceriva’s style came from another world, that of the sports car.

A defined swage line stretches back from the bow, turning upwards at 38 degrees, before arcing into the rounded stern, itself, styled on that of the Ariston and Tritone models. These are the type of lines you would expect to see on a modern Ferrari, as is the steeply raked, windshield. Made with spherical crystals, it wraps around the interior, protecting the captain and guests from any blustery headwind.

With all the talk of sports car styling and the use of modern materials, there are still nods to Riva’s history, with familiar family traits such as the mahogany deck (covered in 20 coats of varnish), which also features a flagstaff for a Riva pendant.

With all the talk of sports car styling and the use of modern materials, there are still nods to Riva’s history.


Despite its tight, sport cruiser looks, the Dolceriva is still a big open yacht. Almost 15 metres of LOA has allowed Officina Italiana Design to go to town on the Riva’s interior, using space to the maximum and filing it with style, luxury and thoughtful details. At the stern, built-in steps allow you to safely climb aboard. Here you have three choices; stretch back on the two sun pads, open up the garage hatch and grab a SeaBob, or head forward to the Dolceriva’s sumptuous lounge.

Looking forward from the sunpad aisle, the Riva’s main entertainment area features an L-shaped sofa and a table suitable for eight diners, to port, with another sofa, an ice maker, sink and work surface to starboard.

The helm offers a commanding view when standing up and an expanse of leather inserts, chrome steel and carbon fibre trim when seated. Thanks to the low-slung windscreen, the lounge is about as open as you can get, however, an electric bimini top can be erected if the Middle East sun gets too much. It only takes a few miniutes to put up and doesn’t in any way spoil Micheli and Beretta’s lines.


A glass door next to the helm leads down to the lower deck. Layout-wise, there’s two options: VIP with a large lounge, or a VIP and guest cabin with a dinette. The VIP/lounge combo is arguably the most attractive layout, as it basically transforms the area into the Owner’s deck. The VIP at the bow has the typical Riva opulence, with the warm feeling exaggerated by the large hull glazing and skylight. Layout wise, it’s straightforward enough, with the central bed flanked by his ‘n’ hers closets and plenty of storage. It’s the Dolceriva’s colourway that really hammers home this open yacht’s heritage. Light and dark textures and materials are set of by blue details, classic Riva hues that continue through the yacht.

More wood can be found in the lounge, itself bathed in light thanks to the long hull glazing and the skylight and glass door.

A nod to the past: Despite its futuristic design and use of high-tech materials, the Dolceriva is still a Riva at heart.

Opposite the corner sofa is a 43-inch TV with the head and bathroom also to starboard. The feeling is old skool down here. It’s modern, but with a retro twist and the ambience is so laid back that you expect to walk up the lounge steps to see Saint-Tropez, or Portofio. Only a Riva can give you this feeling.

The optional second cabin shortens the lounge area and consists of either a twin set up with access via the salon, or a single with bathroom for the captain, with entrance from the main deck. Of course at under 50 foot, it’s unlikely that a future owner would want to give up the helm so easily, as she goes as good as she looks.


“The design of the Dolceriva is ageless,” commented Casadei. “To achieve this, in addition to preserving the Riva tradition, we have added significant improvements to the propulsive system and controls.” Riva went a pair of inline turbo diesels and V-drives for the Dolceriva, offering a choice of Volvo Penta D13-800, or D13-1000 engines. There’s plenty of torque available for a sub 50-footer and even with the standard 1600hp set-up, the Riva can top 35-knots, cruise at 27-knots and travel 230 nautical miles.

Opt for the D13-1000s and the range drops to 210 nautical miles, but the cruise speed raises to 35-knots, and top speed comes in at a blustery 40-knots. The reason for the Dolceriva’s larger range is explained by Alberto Galassi: “Once I was the owner of the amazing Riva Rivarama boat,” commented the Ferretti Group CEO. “But I was faced with the fact that, for example, the trip from Capri to Porto Cervo, without refueling was simply impossible. It turns out that many owners of that model noted a similar flaw. Therefore, we took this into account with the Dolceriva. ”

Year round enjoyment: The Dolceriva may well be an open yacht, but there is a well equiped and perfectly laid out interior to be enjoyed below deck.

The Dolceriva is controlled by EmpirBus, one of Garmin’s brands. This system can monitor diverse functions, from tracking generator parameters to controlling the Riva’s Seakeeper stabiliser. Or, you can use the 12-inch or 16-inch touch screen for navigating.

Joystick control is an option, which combined with the bow thruster, can turn a fresh skipper into a seasoned captain.

Out on the waves, the Dolceriva is a pleasure to helm. She picks up speed smoothly and comfort is enhanced by the Volvo interceptors. Compared with a traditional trim system, Volvo Penta’s Interceptors, in the optional Auto mode, quickly moves the boat up on plane and stays stable and more upright in sharp turns. Working together, these systems allow the guests to enjoy the ride without any complex actions from the skipper, who can again enjoy the performance safely and with confidence.

Riva Dolceriva specifications
LOA: 14.92m
Beam: 4.26m
Draught: 1.48m
Body Material: Fiberglass
Engines: 2x Volvo D13
Maximum speed: 35kn
Cruise speed: 27kn
Range: 230 nm
Cabins: 1
Shipyard: Riva (Italy)


From its teal foredeck with its flagpole, to the iconic turquoise stripe at the waterline, the Dolceriva oozes Riva. It’s pure Italian class. Officina Italiana Design have gently evolved the Riva open style, giving the Dolceriva a sporty look, while keeping it elegant. However, open up the Volvo Pentas and the character changes from Positano, to Monza, unleashing 2000 horsepower on the waves. The fact that the Riva is as easy to helm as a dayboat, makes it a very tempting purchase for an owner who also wants to get behind the wheel.