The name Riva is synonymous with class, quality and the highest of European standards. Introduced in 1963, the Riva Aquarama is the last of the traditional Italian mahogany runabouts. It is an object of desire and an expression of dreams. Nothing came near to matching the superb quality, style and prestige of the Riva. Always innovating, always ahead of its time, and always exhibiting a style and quality beyond comparison, Riva triumphs at all the boat shows and on all the markets in the world. Kings and emperors, princes and sultans, actors, sportsmen and celebrities headed straight to Riva to choose their boats in the same way as they went to Rolls-Royce or Ferrari for their cars.
The Florida design, first penned in 1952, was another enduring classic in the Riva range, as well as the most popular of the wooden boats to be produced on the shores of Lago d’Iseo. Between 1952 and 1969 1,137 boats were built, comprising 426 normal Floridas and 711 super Florida slightly larger and more powerful.
Named after the American state most closely associated with water-skiing, the Florida design features a cockpit and a large sun-bed astern, divided by a bridge of mahogany deck, filleted with maple. Early models were fitted with Chris Craft engines, followed by Chrysler and latterly Riva’s own 220 hp unit, built around a Crusader V8.
Baby Bootlegger is perhaps the most beautiful wooden boat ever built. She was designed by George Crouch and built by the Henry B. Nevins yard in City Island, NY for Wall Street bachelor, Caleb Bragg. Caleb Bragg was an ultimate sportsman, as the 70th licensed pilot in America, he pioneered speed records in the air and on land before turning to the water. After coming in second place overall, Baby Bootlegger won the 1924 Gold Cup race on a technicality, however, took home all the wins at the 1925 races on Long Island. Her Hispano Suiza aircraft engine was state of the art. She is the epitome of all speedboats.