Riva Florida (1952 – 1969)
The Florida was created by lengthening the design of Sebino, with decking of solid Honduras filleted with maple at the seams, with a two-part glass windscreen, with seats and side panels of padded green Vipla and a quilted green fabric sunbed. It 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. 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, filled with maple. Riva Florida has the flip back seat able to converted into a reclined sunbed, perfect for those romantic trysts around lunchtime. Early models were fitted with Chris Craft engines, followed by Chrysler and latterly Riva’s own 220 hp unit, built around a Crusader V8. Between 1952 and 1969 1,137 Florida craft were built, comprising over 420 ‘normal’ Floridas and 711 slightly larger and more powerful ‘Super Floridas’.
With the 1958 series, Riva was first in the world to use three layer diagonal planking for the hull sides shaped in a single piece. The windscreen was now panoramic of Visaterm glass. The 1959 series presented a new dashboard design that used new instruments (S.W./Chris-Craft) from # 288 of 1958, shaped wood side pockets and upholstery of yellow Vipla and black and white check Saran in place of the green tartan. The sunbed was of yellow Makò fabric. In 1960 the Florida was fitted with the new deep-centre wheel, already fitted to the other models and the fuel tank was now of stainless steel with a capacity of 100 litres instead of 90.
The text ”Florida” appeared on the dashboard instead of ”Riva Chris-Craft”. From 1960 Phillips screws were also used on all models for fixing the chrome plated deck fittings. In 1961, with the adoption of the new Chris-Craft V8 engine with power reduced from 185 Hp at 4000 rpm to 160 Hp at 3600, the gear lever was moved to the wheel. The electrical system was also changed from 6 volts to 12 volts. The hull bottom was slightly modified at the midship section to soften impact with the wave and the hull was lengthened by 9 cm. The transom was now made of three layer diagonal planking and was curved. An electric siren was now standard. In the 1963 model the rake of the bow was increased by 7 cm and the chrome plated cutwater was 25 cm longer.
We offer this Riva Florida as a FULLY ASSEMBLED model ready to be proudly display as a piece of history. Master craftsmen hand-built these highly detailed wood models from scratch using historical photographs, drawings and original plan. They are built to scale with high-grade wood such as: western red cedar, rosewood, and mahogany. We are using plank-on-frame construction method to build these model, similar to the building of actual boats.
Each Riva boat model requires hundreds of hours to finish and must go through a demanding quality control process before leaving the workshop. This is truly beautiful model of the Riva Florida with nature wood color and mahogany hull. You can see there are multiple tones of wood decking on the bow. You also can find exquisite details from the leather works to all the realistic gauges. All fittings such as windshield frame, wiper, navigation lights, mirror, flag pole are made of brass then chrome plated. The cockpit has two hand stitched individual leather seats as well as a rear passenger seat. The swimming platform also comes with stainless steel hand rails. The model rests on a wooden stand for easy display.