Macatawa Bay Boat Works Restoration 

updated: February 18, 2011

1960 Riva Ariston

A complete and total show restoration!

In its current condition, the boat has been stripped of the hardware, motor, interior and finish.  We have rolled the boat over and removed the bottom to assess the condition of the structural members.  We have new bottom, hull sides and deck directly from Europe and were shipped in a large container.  The original engine has been completely and professionally restored.  

Original dash and the meticulous factory wiring that Riva is famous for.

When finished, the boat will also have a new interior kit, all rechromed hardware, and will be complete with all the Riva parts and accessories, just as it came from the factory.


The roll over in progress, carefully ...

MBBW has removed the bottom, cleaned up the hull frames and inspected for damage.  Structurally, the hull is very sound.

View of the Stem

Interior view of the hull frames

Starboard hull side removed and frames exposed.

The new hullsides await installation.  

All frames are cleaned, scraped and sanded in preparation for repair and painting...

We dry fit hull sides and trim to final size

The interior side of the hull sides were sealed for protection, the location of the frames were determined and screw holes pre drilled.  The area where the sides will contact the frames, chines and shear were masked off prior to painting to allow for better adherence of 3M-5200 adhesive

We paint the interior of each hull side prior to installation

We also paint the hull frame work prior to hull side installation when access is easy. 

One of the prep and painted sides ready for installation. 

With a great deal of clamps, screws and some 3M-5200, the starboard side is installed.

Both sides screwed in place and glued to the frames with 3M-5200, the screw holes are bunged over with bungs made in shop to match hullside wood as close as possible.

We carefully use a chisel to cut each bung down to almost flush with the hull side.  It will be sanded to the same height as the hull, and spot stained as needed to color match the surrounding wood. 

A new transom was laminated in house with three ply mahogany.

The finished laminated transom pictured below, the back side pre painted and ready to be permanently attached to the framework. 

Time to roll the boat over for the new bottom installation.

Leveled up and plum on the floor.

New 10-ply forward bottom panels were made in shop using the hull framework as a form.

Pictured above is the finished forward panel sealed with scarf joint.

Bottom panels being installed.

Painting the bottom the correct Riva red aft and gloss white forward 

Roll back over upright for the final time, we start the removal of the old decking, king plank and covering boards, a new laminated sub king plank was made to replace the cracked original constructed by Riva of pine.  Original deck frames look good. 

Stripping the original hatch frames and dash board

Throughout the restoration we were able to correct Riva design flaws such as a weak 

sub king plank and reinforcement of the port and starboard hullside framework midship to

better support the laminated hullsides and prevent their failure as seen on many unrestored Rivas.

Above we see the beautiful mahogany stock that will make the

 covering boards and king plank.

A bright but COLD! day for the first water test (only 27 degrees Fahrenheit), 

launched from its new MBBW Classic Trail Custom Inboard trailer, 

the boat and engine performed well --no leaks!

With a successful water test complete, we will now begin installation

 of the interior and final assembly.  

Complete and in the water, pictured here at the 2008 Spring Lake Wooden Boat Show

 where the boat received both "People's Choice" and "Best of Show" awards

With a successful water test complete, we will now begin installation

 of the interior and final assembly.  

Many thanks to Customers the Pohlman's and to Team MBBW for all their fine work! 


Contact us today to see what we can do to help with your restoration project. 

click here: to see other restoration projects by MBBW



Macatawa Bay Boat Works, Inc.
297 S. Maple Street  Saugatuck, MI 49453
Phone:  (269) 857-4556  Fax: (269) 857-4218

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