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Riva Super Florida Restoration
Riva and Boesch, water Cadillac; best European wooden motorboats runabouts.
"Nuvola Rossa"-Red Cloud an early Riva Super Florida mahogany planking topsides&plywood bottom; gas engine Chris Craft 235 hp, gearbox Thermocon Develvo, Hull Number 735.
Was transported by truck the boat from lake Como-Italy to our yard in Bucharest month of April 2003.
The restoration started April-ended December ; 9 months.
A careful restoration job requires long term commitment ; day to day dedicated craftsmanship; mastering of various wood finishing techniques.
Nonetheless the ownership of a wooden runabout requires constant care and careful maintenance.
Condition of the boat when arrived at our shop was bad but without missing parts, varnish and paint degraded or gone on most surfaces, engine out of functionality since decades; cracks in the bottom, rotten frames heads ; corroded fasteners; upholstery seriously degraded ; chrome on hardware gone, instruments panel and electrical wiring badly damaged.
Brief restoration log:
*Windshield frame,Syren, lights support, cleats, all other hardware were taken off ; cleaned and rechromed.
New pads cut to exact shape to be placed under deck hardware.
Chromed side strips , chine copper strips, stern copper strip, metal lettering - Riva insignia are also removed.
*Upholstery restored using Riva materials; front settee, rear settee, cockpit all round white cushioning, engine box cushions.
*The 235 hp Chris Craft gas engine was taken off the boat , taken apart, parts cleaned, gasket set changed , damaged parts ordered from USA.
Pumps taken apart, cleaned , painted; Thermocon Develvo gear box taken apart, cleaned , reconditioned.
The cooling System and exhaust system same ; copper exhaust , welded, treated antirust, exhaust pipes rechromed , exhaust thruhulls.
Gas tank cleaned , painted, gas filter and oil filter changed.
*Riva Restoration completed; the "Nuvola Rossa" was shipped to Haarlem-Holland Dec 2003.
At Right fotos of the "Nuvola Rossa" taken 2007; kindly sent recently by current owner.
Follows an internet article on RIVA SUPER FLORIDA design/model :
"The Florida was a longer version of the Sebino,its broadsides and deck were made from Honduras heartwood. It measured 5,40 x 1,91 metres and was powered by 95-hp or 120 hp Chris Crafts .The 1957 version,with Honduras laminate deck,replaced the Sebino. In 1961 it was fitted with the new 160 hp 8V Chris Craft .The hull finally totalled at 5,59 metres. This model went out of production in 1964. A total of 426 were sold. Current availability on market: Fair ( in Italy ) .
Florida Super & Super Florida
The first Florida Super was built in 1953 and was a larger version of the original,measuring 5,85x 2,15 metres. The 158 hp Chris Craft was replaced by a 175 hp in 1957 .In 1960,the name was changed to Super Florida. This was 5,9 metres long and powered by a 177 bhp Chrysler .
Between 1964 and 1967,it was changed again,ending up at 6,27 x2,2 metres with a Riva model 220 hp Crusader. It went out of production in 1968. 711 were sold in all. "
The restoration proves to be a lesson in boat building.The framing proportions and dimensions are perfect as are the engineering of all parts of the motorboat.Every design and construction solution went towards simplicity , strenght and durability.
Here A Short Movie featuring a Riva Ariston Motor Boat .
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