Lot 227 - 1967 Riva Junior
|Estimate||£55,000 - £65,000|
|Result||Sold - £48,000|
The Riva Junior was introduced in 1966 to replace the Florida. Conceived for utility use and ease of maintenance, both for fishing and water skiing, it was typified by a large cockpit that could be walked round, protected by the bulwarks, around the engine cover and driving seat. Its distinctive features include the open design of the cockpit and sundeck and the white painted sides for ease of maintenance – a clue to its principal target market, the USA, where owners tended to take care of boats themselves. The sides and transom were painted white for easy maintenance and the style winked at the USA fashion for ‘utilities’. The design of the transom, also used for the Olympic, had the purpose of protecting the passengers from spray from the stern. The upholstery was turquoise and white and was also used to cover the dashboard. It was launched with the slogan 'It's the young people's rocket'. The instruments were again SW/Chris-Craft. The cockpit was also equipped along its sides by a large mahogany grab rail with an elaborate front stay of chrome plated bronze incorporating the engine air intakes. It also had great success as a tender for large yachts. In 1972, by which time 626 had been built, it was replaced by the Rudy, exactly the same design except that it was made of fibreglass.
This Riva was purchased in the Summer of 1998, from a dealer in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France. She had been dry stored in a huge underground space, for what looked like a fair while. Upon leaving the Cap, it was clear the original cross-ply trailer tyres needed replacing. They were replaced in Nice and the boat was towed back to the UK, in a day without any issues. The boat was dry stored at Douglas Boatyard, near Preston, before being moved to a workshop to start the rebuild. On inspection, it was decided to replace the bottom because it had deflected in places, ‘gone soft’ where it had rested on the cradle. The Junior was stripped of all hardware and then turned over to start work on the bottom. The panels had been replaced before, but they had used 10mm Marine flexi ply, typically only used in the bow section of the bottom, making it easier to get the sweep, but it had been used for the length of the bottom. After the bottom was removed the frames, stringers, chines and keel were inspected, the keel was not hogged but was soft in places and needed replacing. The Riva’s original ‘steel’ nails, yes steel, had seen better days, so the keel was removed and a long scarf joint was cut, from a sound stem. Two frames were also soft and were replaced. Some of the wood knees and buttress’s joining the frames from each side under the keel needed replacing. The stringers at the bow were re-bedded with 3M-5200 adhesive and refastened. All the fastenings along the stringers were checked and replaced were necessary. The keel was made in mahogany strips, laminated together with the very strong, but flexible 3M-5200 adhesive and a lot of clamps, to keep shape while the adhesive cured for seven days. After the adhesive cured, the keel was removed to be cut and shaped. The keel was then bedded down on 3M-5200 and fastened with new silicon bronze screws. The bottom panels were sourced from Italy via a Dutch company called Wooden Classic Boats. The sheets of 10mm Italian Navy grade Marine ply are manufactured in the factory that still makes panels for classic Riva boats. They cost over £680 just for four sheets that measured three meters x 1.25 meters each. Two sheets used for both sides, with a long scarf joint over a frame. West epoxy used on a long scarf. The plywood once shaped and fitted was left to settle into shape, due to the sweep and curve of the bow. It was then bedded on with 3M-5200 and fastened using new silicon bronze screws. The P bracket was fitted and the new prop hole and rudder tube was drilled. New stainless steel lifting bolts where made; these are set into the keel. The bottom was then filled with International Interfill epoxy, sanded and faired in. All below the waterline was stripped and then sealed and primed with Eposeal 300 primer, then SP106. The brass bands were fitted and bedded on the chines followed by three coats of International Primocon. The bottom was finished with two coats of International hard antifoul. Blue and red. She was then turned over to start work on the deck. The decks were stripped of all old vanish and stain, then sanded down. The foredeck varnished first and then masked off for the staining. All paint products were from Skipper paints, again Italian. The decks were stained with 2 pac mahogany paste ‘Pasta Mogano’ thinned down and applied with a rag to achieve an even finish. The first of Skipper ‘Poliglass’ 2 pac varnish was thinned down and applied with a brush. With 15 coats sprayed on, flatting down between coats after the first five. Then five coats of ‘Agriglass UV’ 2 pac varnish was applied. The original fleck finish on the hull was kept, prepped and painted with International paint, ‘Toplac’ and International matting agent was used. The inside of the hull was very sound. It was sanded, stripped and painted with Skipper ‘Interno scafi’ bilge paint, two coats, three on bare wood. The cooper exhaust’s were painted and the ends where re-chromed. The spacing buttress’s where the exhaust’s pass through the transom where replaced. The rest of the transom was sound. The fuel tank rubbers, rudder gear and exhausts where fitted, as was the stern gear, self-bailer and wiring. The vinyl covering the aft deck was replaced and the ski pole socket was re-chromed. A fuel tank was fitted and piped in with new copper fuel line. The side deck piped padding fitted. Then inner panels and the floor were fitted, then aft locker fitted and a new locker lid made, as the old one was missing. The steering wheel was refurbished. A new bilge pump was fitted with a new auto switch. With the engine out, it was partially stripped and the sump and manifold were removed as were the headers. The rocker covers were removed and re-chromed. The alloy sump was professionally alloy welded where it had pitted between the gearbox and engine. The manifold was acid cleaned before painting. All waterways in the block looked clear and the carburettor was cleaned. New gaskets fitted throughout, new thermostat and outlet valve fitted, new cooling hoses fitted, a raw water pump was serviced, new impeller, seals and bearing. Also, new spark plugs, points and condenser, new HT leads, new Varta battery, new engine oil and filters and the gearbox oil was changed. The starter motor was serviced, and the alternator was checked. The seawater filter has new plexi-glass and seals fitted. All seacocks serviced. New exhaust hoses and the engine was installed and lined up. It was then given an out of water wet run. The engine started easily after a few turns and ran smoothly. All hoses checked for leaks and the timing was then checked adjusted to specification. The hours for the engine is 250hrs. The rev counter and odometer all working. All new gaskets for the deck hardware were fitted, nav lights etc. New gaskets rubbers for the screen, new chrome air vents in aft locker etc. A new fuel cut out fitted and the bathing ladder was rebuilt, with new hinges. The upholstery and furniture are in excellent condition. The Riva comes on her original numbered cradle, on a period Balbi two wheeled, braked trailer. The original Riva cover is also present. Copies of all invoices for parts and materials are available. This is a truly stunning example of the ‘golden era’ of motorboat building, synonymous with Hollywood stars and European aristocracy who often graced Monaco, the famous Lakes Como and Garda not forgetting the floating city of Venice. Stunning and ready to be used!
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.