RIVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY | Amateur sports and cultural Association founded by Carlo Riva.

Riva Historical Society

Piero Maria Gibellini Carlo Riva The Riva Historical Society is a non profit amateur sports and cultural association, federation of  Riva Clubs and Riva Societies, recognized by CONI and recognized by the Riva Yard.

The Riva Historical Society was created at the end of 1998. This non profit organisation was founded by Engineer Carlo Riva, B.A. and Architect Piero Maria Gibellini, B.A. (biographer of Carlo Riva and creator in 1996 of the Riva Historical Registry) with a group of admirers of the legendary figure of the Pioneer of Boating.

The main objectives of the association are:

  • the conservation of the boats designed or built by Carlo Riva or, more in general, those that are part of his world and the conservation of the technical and cultural wealth that they represent;
  • the promotion and collection of research and studies;
  • the encouragement and the assistance for the conservation and restoration, in the full respect of the original criteria;
  • the registration of the boats of members in the RHS Registry

because they constitute an asset to Italian nautical history and hold an important position in international nautical culture.

For this purpose, the RHS intends:

  • to help the owners to maintain and restore their Riva runabouts in the best possible way and assist them in their needs;
  • to keep in touch with members through a periodical magazine, “vivariva” in English and Italian - with news, suggestions, information and the members’ mail - and through the internet and the media;
  • to help build and develop the RHS Chapters, as Clubs and Societies, in the countries where there is a significant number of Riva owners;
  • to help build the friendship and interchange among the owners, all over the world, through the organisation of or participation at social meetings or international events;
  • to spread the knowledge of its activities through the media, thus getting the necessary visibility to reach the highest possible number of new members.

Also, many owners of vintage Rivas address their questions to the RHS because, thanks to the memory of Carlo Riva and the thorough research effected by its president, it is able to provide technically accurate answers. So the RHS gives an essential service for the conservation of vintage boats.

Another purpose of the RHS is to protect the mark “Riva Days” chosen by Carlo Riva for the annual event of the Riva Historical Society.

The RHS is the federation of the non profit clubs and societies which have signed the Statutes and who are members of it along with the Founder members and Senators.

The Riva Historical Society is

  • a member of  the FIM – CONI (the Italian Motonautical Federation)
  • a member of the UIM (the International Motonautical Union)

The Riva Historical Society name and its instrument of incorporation were deposited by the notary at the Registry on 6th November 1988.

The RHS members are inscribed in the following 13 Chapters: Club Riva de Catalunya - Riva Club de France - Riva Club Germany – Riva Club Lake Garda – Rica Club Lake Maggiore – Riva Club Norway - Riva Club Suisse – Riva Club Sweden  – Riva Club U.S.A. - Riva Society GB – Riva Society Italia – Riva Society Nederland – Riva Society Tigullio.
Members are in 5 continents, so RHS is today the only really international vintage boat association.

Thanks to the activity of the RHS, the owners have taken out of storage boats they had forsaken, giving them a new life and a new splendour. Many collectors of vintage cars or antiquities have started seeking abandoned boats, with the idea to restore beautiful objects the value of which is guaranteed by a strong, independent association. The promotional activity of RHS results in the enthusiasm of members, who keep founding more Chapters.

Over 10 events per year, organised or patronised by the RHS and its Chapters, have shone the spotlight on the Riva mark again, as reflected in the main international nautical magazines.
The attention of photographers all over the world has focused on the Riva wooden boats, which have also been used as objects of desire in many prestigious publicity campaigns: in 2004 the Aquarama has been classified by the English magazine Motor Boat and Yachting as number 1 of the 100 best boats ever built (the photos in the article, by Keith Pritchard, were shot at our events).

The market has become lively with many international exchanges, both of  boats and of spare parts and the value of Rivas has noticeably appreciated.

Thanks to its supporters the Association publishes its own quarterly magazine, “vivariva”, distributed all over the world.
The traditional Photographic Calendar has become one of the most exclusive and sought after collectors items.