Riva 88 Folgore first look: The new high watermark for big boat style

Riva’s new flagship Sportfly, the Riva 88 Folgore, is named after the Italian word for lightning. It’s not quite as fast as a thunderbolt but a top speed of 39 knots is still mighty impressive even with a pair of 2,638hp MTU 16Vs to punt it along.

Extensive use of carbon fibre and a strong focus on efficiency can take some of the credit for that, although the sheer quantity of glass, marble and stainless steel on show must offset some of those gains.

Either way the end result is a fine-looking craft that has to go down as one of Riva’s prettier big boat designs.

The long slash of smoked glass in the hull, the neatly integrated sportsbridge and the seamless way the curved windscreen wraps round into the roof and side windows give it a super smooth, elegant profile.

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And the detailing is off the charts. Check out the polished carbon fibre handrails that dissect the side windows or the elongated LED nav lights framed in stainless steel and recessed into the flybridge overhangs – no stone has been left unturned in the quest for perfection.

It also boasts some pretty funky ideas like a sunroof that opens at the front or back, depending on where the breeze is coming from, and a tender garage door that folds down to deck level to create a beach club but also drops down into the sea to launch the Williams Sportjet 395 and Jet Ski that reside within.

The interior features the usual Riva shrine to the glossy gods of glass, steel and lacquered wood. The open plan main deck is particularly striking, although the vast 20m² full-beam owner’s cabin runs a close second.

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Master suite has space to spare and full length hull windows

The other three guest cabins aren’t quite as lavish, even if the clever use of mirrored bulkheads makes them appear bigger and brighter than they otherwise might.

It’s easy to become blasé about Riva’s ability to knock out one stunning design after another but even in this exalted company, the Folgore stands out as a new high point of the range.

Riva 88 Folgore specification

LOA: 88ft 4in (26.92m)
Beam: 20ft 8in (6.31m)
Engines: 2 x MTU 16V 2,435hp – 2,638hp
Top speed: 36-39 knots