The Riva Super Ariston is a wood boat owners dream

The Riva Super Ariston is a wood boat owners dream

With spring in the air, our craftsmen and craftswomen at Coeur Customs Wood Boats are enjoying opening the shop doors and letting in some sunshine and fresh air. These are the days that make us wish we were out test driving one of our favorite wood boats.

Today’s dream is of one of the Riva Super Ariston ’69 models that we had the honor and privilege of caring for. This boat sounds and drives like a sports car, and combined with the wide open stretches of Lake Coeur d’Alene, creates an incredible experience for her lucky owners.

Here’s a little more about the Riva Ariston line, to help stoke your own dreams of cruising on an incredible wood boat this summer.

Alongside the Aquarama, the Ariston is perhaps Riva’s best known model, considered to be the purest classical Riva shape, and certainly one of its most popular.

The Ariston was available in three different versions. The ‘normal’ Ariston, 804 of which were built between 1950 and 1972, was supplemented by the more powerful Ariston Cadillac in 1956-7, nineteen of which were built. This, in turn, was superseded by the Super Ariston in 1960, which continued to be produced until 1974; these can be distinguished by their larger engines (275 – 350 hp) and a wooden ‘gunwale’ around the rim of the bow deck.

The Ariston was available in three different versions. The ‘normal’ Ariston, 804 of which were built between 1950 and 1972, was supplemented by the more powerful Ariston Cadillac in 1956-7, nineteen of which were built. This, in turn, was superseded by the Super Ariston in 1960, which continued to be produced until 1974; these can be distinguished by their larger engines (275 – 350 hp) and a wooden ‘gunwale’ around the rim of the bow deck.

Originally fitted with a two part screen this was later changed to a wrap-around styled screen that enabled a folding hood to be fitted.

The upholstery was chequered black and white with a yellow trim.  From boat number 235 the chequed fabric was replaced by the famous Zebra patterned upholstery with green trim. A new dashboard and instruments were fitted together with the “Ariston” logo.  Side pockets and a semicircular plexiglass retaining tray were also added and in 1960 the driving seat was made to fold flat. In 1962 the Zebra upholstery was further replaced, with a similar style to that of the Tritone, using ivory coloured ribbing with pastel green trim.

In 1968 the fore deck was modified featuring a raised edge, or gunwale, which improved the look of the fore deck itself and provided a non-slip security for those using the fore deck area. The deck inlay was also changed to being just down the centre section.

Following experimentation with the deeper “V shaped” bottoms, in the 1966 and 1967 series, the new Riva Crusader engine was then installed.

When production ceased in 1974, twenty-four years after the model was first conceived, over 1,000 boats had been built. Over this period, many modifications were made, not least its length – which ranged from 6.2 to almost 7 metres – and the size of the single engine fitted, which ranged from 105 hp to 350 hp in the Super Ariston, powerful enough to take it to a top speed of 80 km/h.

If our team at Coeur Customs can help your boat dreams in any way, let us know! We build the Coeur Custom line of wood runabouts, each one as unique as her owner, and we also help bring wood boats back to life or give them that extra sparkle they need. From new builds to restorations to specific fixes, Coeur Customs is your best ally when it comes to your wood boat.

Reach us directly at (208) 664-8274.