January 21st, 2018 by James Ferris

PERLITA TOO  a very special Italian speedboat. She was the FIRST Riva Tritone, and the prototype for the iconic Riva Aquarama, an object of lust for 50 years.  She was the FIRST Riva sold outside of Italy, and she was the FIRST Riva sold to the USA, arriving in Los Angeles in 1953. 

PERLITA TOO was the FIRST, and is now the only remaining of 4 Scripps V12 – powered Tritones, one of which set a world speed record in 1953 with Carlo Riva himself at the helm.

She was designed and built by the legendary Carlo Riva, whose 90th birthday was celebrated during Riva Days at Lago Iseo in Italy 30th August – 3rd September, 2012.

Here she is finally back in the water for the FIRST time in over 30 years, after the completion of a 5-year “Pebble Beach” quality restoration.

JUST IMAGINE finding a Riva Speedboat in a barn…….follow our journey (below) of discovery and restoration of the most significant classic Riva speedboat, “the Ferrari of speedboats”  PERLITA TOO.

Infographic icon The Italian Speedboat Connection:
Carlo Riva I LOVE MY PERLITA TOO!  said Carlo Riva at Riva Days. We can’t agree more as we go on our finale summer cruise on Lake Washington ~ lots of pictures!
That Italian Speedboat THE FIRST TRITONE On June 22nd, we have now added another ‘first’ to the list; PERLITA TOO slipped into the water for the first time in over 30 years……..
Quality that Shows QUALITY THAT SHOWS Real perfection is more than skin deep, and even the things that don’t show must be as perfectly executed as what can be seen………
CARLO RIVA MAKING MR.RIVA PROUD Who knew? Little did we know, when we discovered a derelict Riva in a leaky barn, that we would embark on a deep restoration that would catch the eye of the legendary Mr.Riva himself……
DETAILS GOD IS IN THE DETAILS When does obsession overwhelm passion?  Some may conclude that we have gone overboard with our attention to detail on the restoration of Perlita Too. Do you care about the shape of your horn ring? Read the gory details here…
ECLECTIC THE ECLECTIC COLLECTOR Nearing the end of a good run, Perlita found Alan Furth, the Eclectic Collector. Lucky boat yet again, she became a part of Alan Furth’s expansive wooden boat collection. Alan did have an eye for beauty…..
LOUD When LOUD is not enough On the subject of research, it seems that either you come up with nothing, or you come up with too much……which often gives you your choice of viewpoints! How exactly did they do it in 1953?
PERFECTION WHEN PERFECTION IS NOT ENOUGH Chris Casparis of Sea Sonic Boats is taking out all the stops in restoring Perlita; as far as he is concerned, mere perfection is not enough.
SPEED SPEED COSTS MONEY; how fast do you want to go? Does PERLITA have a “supercharged soul”, and did she set a world speed record? What happens when 2 faces of “authenticity” collide?
COMPANY In Good Company Long after fiberglass won the popularity contest, some guys still appreciated the soul of wood boats, and Robert Burnand was one of them. Lucky girl Perlita; she came into a family with truly sterling wooden boat credentials!
UPS Ups and Downs of a Hollywood Star Serious signs of aging, including failing joints, hundreds of broken and corroded fasteners, and evidence of many poorly done repairs and modifications ~ sadly this is what we faced in the resurrection of Perlita Too.
MANAGING MANAGING PERFECTION The history of this exceptional Riva speedboat inspired us to do an over-the-top (when-is-it-perfect?) restoration. Had we known…..
ESSENCE OF ESSENCE OF ITALIAN DESIGN We decided to strive for perfection; however we should be very happy if we achieved excellence!
BARNFIND Barn Find Riva A threatening encounter with NHL (no, not the sports league!) persuaded me to start this challenging restoration of an important Riva Speedboat.

It should be noted that some posts/articles above were first published on CASUDI’s blog Designing Success.

If you have any comments,  suggestions+ or require any additional information feel free to contact me directly by email at tritone@BarnFindRiva.com. James


In the end we have restored a rare and collectable icon, for family enjoyment; to grace a megayacht; or embellish a collection. With Hollywood good looks, PERLITA TOO really is “that Italian speedboat”

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