Posts Tagged ‘classic boats’


Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Little did we know, when we discovered a derelict Riva speedboat in a barn in California, that we would embark on a journey of discovery, research, and restoration, spanning more than 20 years. The actual restoration of PERLITA TOO only started in September 2007, but I think we had been mentally gearing up for it since 1990 !

And little did we know how it would all turn out when we asked Chris (Sea Sonic Boats) to visit Mr. Riva in Italy in January 2008.  This is the legendary Carlo Riva, who designed and built the fabulous mahogany Rivas, often called the “Ferrari” of speedboats.

Here are a couple of pix from my most recent visit with Chris at Sea Sonic Boats.

Nearly 700 linear feet of painstakingly hand-laid spruce  inserts…..can you say eye-strain?

Overview during final hand-fairing of decks

Hull still rough-faired; spray rails being test-fitted

Experimenting with the windshield shape….

…..great fun extrapolating exact shape & dimensions from 50-year old B&W photos!


Midway through the 2nd go ’round of reshaping the bow cap (after having spent over 40 hours massaging the surface and the shape the first time….)

Without doubt Mr. Riva would be very proud of what Chris is doing with Perlita Too.

Chris and Mr. Riva in Jan 2008

As promised some early shots of stain & varnish …….

I can’t believe we’re going to cover up this fabulous craftsmanship with gray paint……

…..but here it is, gray bilge paint covering it all up, never to be seen again….

First few coats of sealer after final fairing and sanding…..

Encouraging to see the finishing stage, after 3 years of painstaking restoration and reconstruction….

This is the eleventh entry in our series about the discovery, history and restoration of PERLITA TOO; starting with “BARN FIND RIVA” in summer 2008.

Perlita’s followers span the globe; everyone anticipating the completion and debut of PERLITA TOO. We hope you enjoy the story…and as usual…. we welcome your comments below, or email me at