Riva 110 Dolcevita: space, lightness, good views and strength. All the elements are there, but proportions also count. You don’t just need the right ingredients, you have got to know how to mix them together
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Alberto Cocchi
Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was to have had a scene in a nautical setting. Fellini had planned a sequence with motorboats shot at Ischia, but it was never filmed because it was felt to be too expensive. He had already spent his entire budget, and let himself be convinced by the producer Angelo Rizzoli not to do it.
I find that the creation of the Officina Italiana Design and Ferretti Engineering, the Riva 110’ Dolcevita, has a lot of references to Fellini’s work. It is the yard’s new flagship, and has a hull that measures over 33 metres. The size of the interiors, the room on deck and on the flybridge make me think of the voluptuous shape of Anita Ekberg.
Indeed, they are so abundant that they remind me of the female tobacconist in Amarcord, to stay on a Fellini theme. The work by Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta shouldn’t just be appreciated because of the volumes that they have been able to provide. The first thing that strikes you are the incredible windows, that completely envelop the living room on the main deck.
It is striking when you see it from outside, but even more so when you are inside and look out at the sea. This is an approach that has been widely taken. Most of the boats produced over the past few years feature enormous windows around the dinette. But this time the outcome is unusual. I couldn’t say why exactly. Perhaps it is because of the balance between the frames (which are unavoidable) and the glass surfaces.
There is a lot of glass, but not too much. On some other boats I feel as if I were in a bottle. But here, on the Riva 110 Dolcevita, the balance between the elements seems to have been achieved extremely well.
While we sailed to get away from the coast, the feeling is the same that you get inside a skyscraper. There is a 360-degree view. It is panoramic in the true sense of the word. I feel as if I was part of the environment that surrounds me.
Looking at the specifics and the details of the interior, you can nevertheless see that it is fairly strongly built, you just have to look at the thickness of the cabin doors to get an idea. They look like reinforced front doors. As well as sight, the other sense that comes into play is hearing.
In truth it isn’t actually called upon much, or at least not by the noise of the engine. At the helm, and also in the owner cabin, the noise that you can hear is that of the water against the hull. That is in part because of the way things are arranged.
The Riva 110 Dolcevita’s owner cabin is in the bow and on the main deck, whereas the four guest cabins are on the lower deck. The bridge is on a kind of mezzanine floor between the living room and the flybridge. That gives excellent visibility and it too is diametrically opposed to the engine room. That is why the sound monitor shows such low levels.
There are two MTU engines each producing as much as 2,660 hp. So, they too are of generous size. Transmission is obviously in-line, but there is a nice feeling of manoeuvrability at the helm. Because of the kind of transmission, the length of the hull and the displacement when fully loaded, it would be absolutely normal to expect the yacht to not be especially agile. But that isn’t the case.
I realise that when I turn as tightly as possible when at 2,200 rpm. The boat tipped slightly and then the stabilising fins did their work. It is indeed agile, but it never gives the feeling of not being something that you can control. Here too it is equilibrium that reigns.
At top speed you do well over 26 knots, but at that rate no compromise can be made with fuel consumption levels. Over a thousand litres are needed per hour, and you need nearly 38 per nautical mile. It has to be said that you don’t often go at top speed, especially in a boat like this. And if you are a bit more measured, things change a lot. Fast cruising speed is at 22.8 knots, 2,150 rpm and 710 litres of fuel per hour. Then there is more economical cruising – 1,800 rpm which gets you to 17.7 knots and just 460 litres per hour.
And, finally, a displacement mode speed at 1,000 rpm, with the Riva 110 Dolcevita that does over ten knots and uses ninety litres for both motors. That is very little, especially if we remember that we are on board a 33.5-metre-long yacht, displacing 147 tonnes fully loaded.
While we went back towards Cannes harbour, I found myself at the dashboard with Michelangelo Casadei, Director of Engineering at Ferretti Group. The control panel is distinctly original, and I asked him why that was. “That was what the owner wanted”, he explained. I like it a lot.
The displays are fairly small, and it isn’t a panel surrounded by huge screens. I also like it because it doesn’t take away from the view outside. You can see the sea on all sides and it gives you the feeling of really being underway, rather than virtual sailing that has been electronically filtered.
It is an unusual choice, given that a lot of boats of this size are dominated by maxi-screens. Who knows what Federico Fellini would have preferred.
Riva 110 Dolcevita
PROJECT: Officina Italiana Design and Ferretti Group Engineering
HULL: LOA 33.5 3m • Length 33.43 m • Waterline length 28.28m • Maximum beam 7.27m • Draft 1.99 m • Light mass displacement 124,000 kg • Full mass displacement 147,000 kg – Fuel tank volume 15,300 l • Water tank volume 3,000 l
MAIN PROPULSION: 2 MTU 16V 2000 M96L • Outlet mechanical power 1939 kW (2600 hp) • 16 cylinders • Swept volume 37.5 l • Bore & Stroke 135 mm x156 mm • Maximal rotational speed 2450/min • Dry weight 4,020 kg • Transmissions ZF 3070
EC CERTIFICATION: Cat A 20 people
Riva – Ferretti Group Brand
Via Predore, 30
I – 24067 Sarnico (BG)
tel. +39 035 9240111
Via Ansaldo 7
I-47122 Forlì (FC) – Italy
Tel +39 0543 787511
(Riva 110 Dolcevita, questione di equilibrio – Barchemagazine.com – Maggio 2019)