RIVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 
 

TRITONE

It was the boatyard's top model for many years and even the Aquarama, born in 1962 using the same hull, as a replacement for the Open Tritone, was to have trouble despite its greater practicality in ousting the Tritone from the price list for several years. It was designed as a twin-engine, with name AQ, but the next four to be built had a single Scripps engine. The windscreen was two-part glass, the wheel had two spokes and the instruments were black SW/Chris-Craft. As with the other models, the windscreen soon became single piece without a frame.

From 1954 it was built with twin Chris-Craft engines coupled to Chris-O-Matic electrohydraulic controls. The windscreen became wrap-around with a chrome plated frame uniting four glass panes. A green canvas covering the passenger compartment could be fitted to it and to a removable frame, it was the hood in embryo. Wheels of various origin taken from car production, with two, three or four spokes, were fitted.

In 1955 the centre distance of the frames was reduced to 24 cm and adhesives were used for fixing the side planking. Steering box, propeller shafts, bearing bushes and hull screws were upgraded in common with the other models. Control instrumentation was enriched (electric rev. counter, petrol gauge and water temperature gauge).

The upholstery was of yellow vinyl surrounding checked Saran. Finally, in the 1956 series, an original two-spoke wheel produced by Reina was fitted, of heavy type and with the three little sailors in the centre. # 33, with the same hull as the Tritone, is Tritone Cadillac, a variant in production until 1960. The last one had a longer hull.

In 1957 the fore deck was enhanced by two hatches for ventilating the cabin. Jaeger instruments were used while awaiting the new ones from America. These had a black dial with white figures protected by a glass inset into a plastic rim chrome plated outside and black inside and with a slight curve against reflections. The deck was of ply from # 40, and the transom of three layer diagonal planking from # 44.

In 1958 the Tritone benefited from all the technical improvements made to production (new dashboard, instruments and wheel from # 88) with the exception of laminated sides. (The sides were to continue to be of carvel construction – solid planking glued to the timbers until 1964). Furthermore, there were two blowers, a fan was installed in the cabin and a locker created under the stern seat.

Experiments with a new resin to replace glue for fixing the planking to the sides were made on six examples. In view of the results, Aerodux resin was used from the 1959 series. The external modifications, similar to the Ariston ones, involved improvements to the hood and the hatch hinges, as well as installation of the new dashboard with the new instruments, the deep-centre wheel, the Plexiglas article tray, new fairleads and wooden side pockets. Starting from # 95 the upholstery was of zebra pattern with pastel green trimming. Inside, the air vent for the bow locker could now be opened.

In 1960 the Tritone had all the improvements common to the Ariston and Super Florida, also as a result of the use of engines with hydraulic gearboxes and 12 volt electrics. Thus the Chris-O-Matic controls also disappeared. All screws were now of Phillips type. The plastic covering the cockpit sole boards was more textured and the dashboard was enhanced with a cigarette lighter. The optional sunbed, which had been the same as the Ariston's (94x140 cm) was enlarged (120x150 cm). Modifications were made to the aft deck of boats # 128, 129 and 130 to create a recessed sunbathing area.

15 examples, called the Open Tritone, were built up to 1962. # 127, on the other hand, saw the birth of the Super Tritone, with the hull lengthened to 8.25 m. Only one of these series, from 1962, was open. The 1961 series had new upholstery, still with pastel green trimmings but redesigned as a ''V'' on the backrests and with ribbed ivory coloured insides. The dashboard control knobs were changed. The lines of the hull were modified at the stempost and the length was increased from 7.94 m to 8.02 m. Below decks the forepeak hatch was no longer of netting but of wood, with the fretwork of an anchor. The capacity of the Super's fuel tanks was increased from 400 to 500 litres.

In 1962 the bow edge was narrowed starting from # 169. Icebox and ladder became standard. There were improvements below deck in 1963 (step and bunk 7 cm wider), soundproofing of the engine bay and new exhaust silencers. The cutwater was 40 cm longer. Moreover, in the super, the roof of the fore cabin was padded and aesthetic modifications similar to those of the Aquarama were made: Honduras dashboard and profiled lip above, as well as part of the deck, between windscreen and dashboard, of plain mahogany without inlay. The anchor and winch in the bow, raised boards on the edge of the foredeck and a bow cap of new design, forming two air intakes with a single central fairlead completed the introduction of the Aquarama characteristics in the prow of the last Super Tritone.

In 1964 the hull of the Tritone, still identical to that of the Aquarama, was lengthened by 1 cm and the ''V'' of the bottom was accentuated in correspondence with the midship section, which became deeper. From # 223 laminated sides and VDO instruments, screws, upholstery and internal sides followed the updates of the other models but the dashboard remained of Formica. From # 239 the ''V'' of the bottom was further deepened. The Tritones of 1965 and 1966 were end of production completions and some of them, at customer request, were finished in Aquarama style.


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