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On board the 21m Riva 68 Diable yacht with a "design from the future"

29 November 2021• Written by Laura Nicholls

Seeing Riva’s Ribelle and the 68 Diable side by side, it is as if one of two similar-looking sisters has just gone out and got a new top hat – and a smart one at that. The hat is of course the bright black built-in carbon fibre and composite hard top. Having evolved from the Dolceriva and Rivale 56, this feature fully embodies her intentions to be a yacht blended with elegance, sportiness and liveability. “She looks like a design from the future,” said Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi.

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Fringed by linear side windows and merging infinitely with the windshield made with spherical crystals, the hard top creates a sheltered space that is inviting and, after boarding from the aft, draws guests immediately in. Here, the main attraction in terms of furniture is the two facing L-shaped sofas – one with life rafts stored underneath – that can also act as a dining area with a 49-inch television and an icebox on hand. The nearby smart-looking helm station is equipped with both pilot and co-pilot seats, two 16-inch touchscreen monitors to oversee the engine panel and Dynamic Positioning System functionality and a manoeuvring joystick.

While the helm station features darker carbon panels, trims of shiny polished steel and a classically fashioned white leather steering wheel bearing the Riva emblem, the neutral, calming furnishings and ice white seating designed for the first unit of the Riva 68 Diable line (as seen on show at the Cannes Yachting Festival) is what brings this welcoming look together. The style continues below deck, where a central space containing a galley and small dinette leads off into a layout that utilises the 5.29-metre beam with a small under stair laundry space and three separate cabins, each with its own bathroom. The materials used for the interiors are in perfect Riva style, with gloss-effect chocolate-coloured wengé wood on the first unit, paired with mirrored and satin-finish surfaces, both matt and gloss-effect steel and lacquer, and leather in shades of blue, white, and light and dark grey.

However, this is all offset with the yacht’s contrasting cool, almost metallic, ‘Shark Grey’ exterior paint job that, as suggested by the name, feels more chaos than calm. And rightly so, because this is a yacht intended for those trendsetters “with a fashion-driven spirit” and who bodes well with the definition of diable (meaning devil in French). The overall look and swagger are further elevated by the trademark Riva touches of mahogany and polished stainless steel that can be seen on the aft wings, garage door, handrails and the low table in the cockpit.

The cockpit, predominantly formed by two comfortable cushioned sunpads, looks down onto the stern swim platform. Well integrated into the hull sides, the platform comes with steps that can be conveniently submerged into the water for guests to use before or after a refreshing swim in the sea and to get back on board after a drive on the yacht’s SeaBob which is stored together in the garage along with the Williams SportJet 345 tender.

Just like her sister, the layout of the Riva 68 Diable’s engine room can house the engine set of choice. For the full works, the MAN V12 V-drive engines rated at 1,650 mhp each will push the sleek Diable to a top speed of 40 knots or a cruising speed of 34 knots. Alternatively, the 1,550 mhp MAN V12 option will get as far as a just-as-good 37 knots at full throttle. At these speeds, the engines fan the water in their wake. All the while, the whole platform is kept steady and balanced thanks to the precise electro-hydraulic steer-by-wire system. This is the in-built technology that gives the 68 Diable her thrilling ability to whip around and turn tightly in any sea condition, even at high speeds. Docking is also made easier due to the combined action of the main propellers and the proportional bow thruster.

The Riva 68 Diable is comfortable underway, particularly around her 30+ knot cruising speeds. For those who enjoy some peace and quiet away from the humdrum of speedy machines, the levels of noise within the lower deck stay around 80 decibels when the yacht is running at full speed.

To date, eight Riva 68 Diable superyachts have been sold to their prospective owners. As the brainchild of Mauro Micheli, co-founder of Officina Italiana Design, together with the Product Strategy Committee led by Piero Ferrari and the Group Engineering Department, the upcoming units of the 68 Diable will come in a variety of the available Riva range colours, all of which will surely go well with that remarkable top hat.

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