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Boating: Satisfying the Id

Marilyn M. Mower

The name of the latest launch from Riva, the Ego 68, might reflect the swagger in parent company the Ferretti Group, which, including its purchase five years ago of Riva, now owns nine distinctive brands of quality boats. That acquisition and those that preceded and followed it are part of company president Norberto Ferretti’s benevolent plan for world dominance, which, by all accounts, is proceeding on schedule.

Or perhaps the Ego’s name suggests the character of the person who would own the high-power open motor yacht. “It’s not for the timid boater,” says Bob Fritsky, CEO of Ferretti Group USA. “You need an ego to own this boat, and I mean that in a very positive way. This is a bold, sophisticated yacht with the power and performance of a Lamborghini.”

Continuing a practice begun by Carlo Riva, the brand’s designer, the builder names all of its models rather than referring to them just by length. And yes, the word ego has the same meaning in Italian as it does in English, although it is pronounced more like a-goh. The Ego, which is priced at $4.2 million and will have production limited to 10 per year, fills a niche between Riva’s 59-foot Mercurius and its 85-foot Opera. The first Ego scheduled to arrive in the United States, hull number seven, will be delivered to a Fort Lauderdale Marine Max dealership this fall.

In addition to its striking color scheme—from pewter to dark blue or dark red—the Ego is distinguished by a deck salon with two sliding roof sections: one forward over the helm and one over the lounge. These are not hatches, but huge slabs of tempered, tinted glass that open the space to sun or stars without sacrificing privacy, quiet, or the comfort of a living room, albeit one capable of achieving 38 knots. “It’s a very new product for us,” says Alberto Perrone Da Zara, Riva’s U.S. product manager. “It has the excitement and functionality of a flybridge motor yacht, but within an air-conditioned living space. We know Americans love their air-conditioning.”

From the deck salon, a few steps descend to the accommodations area, where a skylight stretches nearly full beam forward of the helm, eliminating the disconnect between a sunny deck and a cave like below-deck space that many performance boats suffer. This clever architectural feature makes the lower living area appear more spacious, and its geometric shape suits the modernist style of the joinery.

The Ego’s standard configuration includes a lower salon with a sleek table and chairs, a compact galley to starboard, and a U-shaped seating area to port. What Perrone refers to as the American configuration also features a master stateroom that spans the entire beam, a VIP cabin in the bow, and a twin cabin on starboard (in place of the table area). “Europeans, however, like to fill up the boat,” he explains, “so there is a version with the master forward, and a double and two twin cabins aft [instead of the table and chairs]. In between is the three-stateroom standard version, with the master forward, double and twin cabins aft, and the more spacious salon.” All versions have either elm or walnut joinery and include one crew cabin aft of the engine room and enough fuel capacity to give the Ego a range of 311 miles at her 39 mph cruising speed.

The Ego is powered by a pair of new-generation, cleaner-burning MAN V-12, 1,550 hp engines. “There are no options. This power plant and the high-end Rolla props are the right package for the boat,” says Perrone. “It’s a Vee-hull, but not extreme, and optimized to work well in a wide range of sea conditions. Going above 42 knots is not our politics.”

MarineMax (Riva’s exclusive U.S. dealer)
954.618.0440
www.marinemax.com

Photo by Darin Schnabel
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