BY ALEXANDRA GROOM
Riva’s latest yacht knows where it stands and isn’t afraid to shout about it.
“I always feel a deep pride and sense of responsibility when a new Riva comes to life,” says Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group. “The Riva 76’ Perseo has inherited the brand’s 173-year-old history and poured it into a product that is state of the art from any and all points of view.”
It is not just the unique colour of the yacht that sets it apart – although the distinctive Riva Bright Black paint is given a modern twist with the use of the newer Moon Grey – but the sleek lines of the 76-foot coupé by Mauro Micheli of Officina Italiana Design give the yacht a real vitality.
The sporty look is no accident of design – Riva has always been known for its boundary-pushing style. The classic wooden Rivas we admire today were in their day at the forefront of yacht design, and just as radical-looking for their time as the Perseo is today. And as it should be, as with a top speed of 37 or 33 knots depending on engine options, the Perseo does not hang around.
The Perseo has been developed to fit seamlessly into the Riva family of yachts, which provides a consistent platform for those who wish to upgrade to larger models but stay with the Riva styling and finish.
The main deck salon is a masterclass in open-plan living. Nearly 6-square-metres of open space greets you as you walk in through the sliding doors, with distinct lounging areas strategically placed around the space, and 360 degree views thanks to the enormous windows. Immediately, accents of stainless steel, dark lacquered surfaces and caramel teak catch the eye and give the interior a polished, contemporary feel. Furthest aft, a large L-shaped sofa makes the most of the lowered gunwales, so even from a sitting position there are uninterrupted views of the outside. In the middle of the salon on the port side is a dining table with seating for eight, with chairs by Poltrona Frau and soft furnishings in Armani Casa by Rubelli. Neutral tones in creams, taupes and greys ensure the interior does not detract from the outside views, all the while remaining chic and inviting. A pilot station completes the salon, with top of the range equipment and electronics and stylish ergonomic chairs.
The well-appointed galley has been placed on the lower deck to maximise the usable guest space on the main deck. Next door is a utility space which includes a washing machine and extra storage facilities, enabling guests to stay at sea for long periods of time.
The stand-out feature of the lower deck however has to be the enormous master cabin. Full-beam and located amidships, it is reminiscent of staterooms usually found on much larger yachts. Above average-sized windows bathe the room in natural light, whilst a large mirror running along the bulkhead behind the bed makes the room feel open and bright. A large sofa and walk-in wardrobe on the port side mirror a unit on the starboard side that can be used as either a vanity station or a writing table. The colour themes from the main deck are replicated below, with light woods, dark lacquered inserts and soft leathers giving the yacht a contemporary and fresh feel. A large bathroom contains his’n’hers sinks in Port Saint Laurent marble, and a separate shower and head unit.
Two more cabins complete the lower deck, both with their own en-suites. The VIP cabin with double bed is located in the bow, whilst a twin cabin is adjacent to the galley. All the cabins have been extensively sound-proofed and insulated, ensuring incidental noises from other cabins and the galley do not penetrate. As with other yachts in the Riva family, much thought has been put into the usability of outside spaces. The flybridge, or sundeck, has three distinct lounging areas, divided by a sofa bench. The unmistakeable Riva colour palette of Bright Black, Moon Grey and turquoise give the area a sleek, clean aesthetic. A driving console can also be installed on this deck for an owner/captain who would like to pilot, as this is a deck that proves a popular spot for guests while under way.
On the bow is further lounging space and a slightly sunken sofa behind the sunpads. This unique arrangement allows the space to be shielded from the worst of the elements whilst still providing a fantastic view of the surroundings.
The most versatile outside space however has to be the cockpit and swim platform. The cockpit is surprisingly large, and aids the transition between the inside and outside spaces with its large protective overhang. Easy movement between the interior and exterior enhances the feeling of being on the water, and makes entertaining that much easier. A continuation of the interior décor of a teak table and cream sofas and chairs into the outside spaces pulls everything together, giving a finished feel to the yacht.
The bathing area also punches above its weight in terms of usability and looks. Hidden hydraulics allow it to lower into the water to become a submerged platform, perfect for swimming and sunbathing, and also enabling easy launching of the 3-metre tender from the garage. Unlike some of its peers, the Perseo has two symmetrical teak staircases joining the transom to the cockpit, which not only works aesthetically but is more practical for mooring.
The Perseo is a rare beast, a yacht that feels intrinsically part of a family but that has its own dynamic. It uses all the know-how and quality craftsmanship that the Riva brand can bring, but creates its own niche in the coupé market. It does not fall into the trap of its size range of not being quite one thing or another: it is beautiful, self-assured, and doesn’t care who knows it.
Alexandra Groom is features editor at SuperYacht World.