The refinement of an existing model created a 30-metre Riva with an elongated, sinuous profile and spectacular outside spaces. Risa Merl experiences the sun-dappled glamour of the 102 Corsaro Super
Perhaps the only thing more glamorous than lounging on the aft sunpad of a Riva runabout while you soak up the Riviera sunshine is doing just that but on a much bigger, more opulent Riva yacht. The new 30-metre Riva 102 Corsaro Super is the first of the superyacht-sized Rivas to introduce an open-air lounge at water level, giving owners a place to lounge by the water’s edge. It’s just one of the design elements that respond to the requests of Riva owners, along with an updated interior layout and improved sound-dampening systems. Add to this a modern exterior design with massive windows, and the 102 Corsaro Super does a fine job of standing out from the pack.
The 102 Corsaro Super is a fibreglass planing yacht with carbon fibre elements. She is an evolution of the 100 Corsaro, introduced in 2017, of which 25 units were built. The 102 is slightly longer than her predecessor, at 30.24 metres versus the 100’s 29.9 metres. Back when the 100 was conceived, the brief was to design a flybridge Riva yacht under 24 metres. “With the 102 Corsaro Super we aimed to further improve the yacht and the experience on board, meeting the needs of our owners, who increasingly desire greater contact with the sea,” says Stefano de Vivo, Ferretti Group CCO. “We focused on increasing the proximity to the sea, the perception of openness to the outside by enlarging the windows in the owner’s cabin and the saloon – and the superstructure was streamlined in favour of more glass.”
Though the Riva 50Metri, from the Riva Superyacht Division, has a beach club, it is only revealed by folding down the transom. The outdoor lounge set-up seen on the 102 Corsaro Super is totally new and gives a nod to the classic Riva day boats. It is fully integrated at the stern, with a large sofa on the transom inviting guests to lay out, while stairs on either side lead up to the main deck. Yet it’s only a few steps away from the aft main deck, so the two exterior living areas blend seamlessly, allowing guests to feel part of the action whether they are at water level or taking in the views from the aft deck above. Riva managed to create this new outdoor living area while still retaining the garage, which can fit a Williams Dieseljet 445 tender. When it’s time to launch the tender, the transom lifts up and the aft swim platform slides down below the waterline, flooding the garage. One of the challenges of this project, according to the Riva team, was designing this new stern and garage area, which contains a tender of more than four metres, a Jet Ski, Seabobs and also the swim ladder.
The new stern design doesn’t just add to the yacht’s useful amenities but has reshaped the look of the exterior, creating an elongated and sinuous profile. The new stern was flattened and lowered to make way for the terrace. “This new architectural element enhances the yacht’s overall impact, lending it an even sleeker, more graceful profile,” says Mauro Micheli, chief designer at Officina Italiana Design. “Achieving this was no easy task because we had to harmonise several very different elements to maintain a sense of stylistic balance.”
The design house, which was also responsible for the 100 Corsaro as well many other Rivas, saw this not only as a chance to update a current model but as a challenge to tie in new RINA rules, add to the yacht’s livability and modernise the exterior. “The yard wanted a restyling of a much-loved model, the Riva 100’ Corsaro, but the fact that RINA set new parameters for boats under 24 metres [the 102 Corsaro has a hull length of 23.97 metres but an LOA of 30.24 metres] led us to do more important thinking than just refreshing the lines of a model,” says Sergio Beretta, CEO of Officina Italiana Design. “Tackling new issues was thus the cue to look for new design solutions, especially in the aft area. That said, these subtle modifications have produced an entirely new craft.”
Officina Italiana Design kept the severity, sportiness and elegance of the 100 Corsaro’s lines, but refined their signature styling cues to give the exterior a cleaner look. The hard top of the flybridge, for instance, is now painted completely black, compared to the 100 which had more silver in the superstructure. “By approaching it from an artistic perspective, we created the impression of a brushstroke of dark colour on the architectural element that melds with the guard rail, without changing its shape,” says Micheli. “This changes visual perception, creating a fluid look that completely freshens the boat’s line.” They also lowered the bow slightly, which adds a feeling of forward movement to the exterior. Because the bow slopes forward, this creates an infinity view from the flybridge as you gaze out at the water ahead. To optimise the routes on board, the 102 introduces a side passage from the flybridge that leads towards a huge stepped bow lounge, with more seating.
Another factor the design team thought long and hard about was how to draw more light into the master cabin whilst keeping the impact on the yacht’s aesthetics to a minimum. To do this, the designers lowered and enlarged the hull windows on the main deck forward. “This produces a knife-shaped window with the dual role of drawing more light into the interior and adding a new styling cue to the exterior design,” says Micheli. It also creates a signature motif that keeps the wide-body, flybridge yacht sleek and streamlined.
This presented a challenge to the naval architects to build a superstructure that could support the largest windows found on a Riva yacht yet. The aim was that the owner, even from the privacy of their own room, could feel at one with the sea. “Never before has one of our yachts had such large windows in the owner's cabin,” says de Vivo. “In order to achieve this, we had to redesign the superstructure to suit our design.” It was also necessary to do a type approval to evaluate the design and test the performance, checking the strength and fit of the glass.
Like the 100 Corsaro, the owner’s cabin is full beam with a full beam en suite forward.
Riva inverts the typical layout and has the guest corridors running along the port side of the vessel and the crew corridors to starboard. The 102 also shook up the layout seen on previous Riva yachts, presenting a new option for the main deck, which sees the dining area aft with a saloon forward. In order to make all of the changes seen on the 102 Corsaro, Riva interviewed crew and owners of previous Corsaros and asked what they’d like to see, and one of the pieces of feedback was a wider dining area with better access to the aft deck, which this layout option speaks to. Of course, owners can opt for the more traditional main saloon layout as well. “The interior layout can be customised quite a lot,” says Riva sales manager, Cristian Boni. “We did a previous Corsaro with only one stateroom! We are really a boutique shipyard, only producing an average of 60 hulls per year, including the small boats. Like a Hermes handbag, if you want to produce high-quality, it must be this way.”
Gleaming wood, supple leather and perfectly polished stainless steel are the ingredients at the heart of every Riva, with a good dose of Italian glamour. When Riva started building bigger yachts than its iconic runabouts, these elements, of course, were at the forefront of their design. In the 102 Corsaro Super, the designers utilised these same materials, but changed some of the ways they were used, opting for a lighter look with more glass. In the main saloon a glass and stainless steel stairwell opens onto the lower deck foyer below. Meanwhile, in the master, steel rods are used to form an unusual headboard over the bed. The designers also incorporated marble not only in the bathrooms, but on the main deck, where a frame of Nero Marquina divides the dining and living areas. The built-in furnishings are complemented by the freestanding pieces selected from top-notch Italian brands, such as Poliform, Minotti and B&B Italia inside, and Talenti, Paola Lenti and Kettal outside. Decorative items and soft goods come from the likes of Loro Piana and Ice Leather, with Besana carpet.
Overall, the interior decor is rich and chic with only a handful of colours and materials used, including chrome metal finishes, matt Canaletto walnut joinery, black and white leather panels and black back-lacquered glass. “The richness comes from the materials used – it’s only wood, stainless steel and leather. A few materials, but used well, so the longer you stay on board, the more details are revealed,” says Boni, who points out that stainless steel is an especially dear material these days – the price has gone up 300 per cent in just the past year.
In the standard version, the yacht is equipped with twin 2,435hp MTU 16V 2000 M96 engines, allowing the 102 Corsaro to achieve a maximum speed of 26 knots and cruise at 23 knots. Alternatively, a pair of 2,638hp MTU 16V 2000 M96L engines can be installed to reach a maximum speed of 28 knots and 24 knots cruising. This speed allows her to zip along the coast to that perfect anchorage in no time. Based on owner requests, Riva also paid more attention to sound dampening and insulation so the yacht is quieter and more comfortable while underway.
The improvements and innovations found on the 102 Corsaro Super certainly up-level the Corsaro offering while keeping the Riva brand appeal. “The 102 Corsaro Super is a yacht undoubtedly created in the Riva tradition – you can feel it immediately,” says Beretta. “We succeeded in retaining the Corsaro’s elegance while crafting redesigned lines, more outdoor living and a sophisticated interior that have turned it into a completely new boat.”