Rio Yachts

3 MINUTES READ

Rich history of the Italian classic

From gliders to the prestigious boats made in wood, all plastic heat-formed boats, to modern cruisers in fibreglass – the story of a business, that in fifty years of existence, has created schooling of Italian Style world-wide

In 1961, Luigi Scarani – a lover of fine boats – decided he and his wife would spend their honeymoon in the French Riviera. When they came back, after spending much more time studying yachts and marinas, than enjoying France, the Scaranis made a decision: their passion would no longer be just a hobby. They founded a shipyard (still owned by the family) and named it Aeronautica Rio, as they originally planned to produce both boats and gliders. Still, the yard concentrated primarily on speedboats – made from the same wood as gliders, mahogany – and soon developed their iconic models Colorado, Espera, Parana and Bonito (all names were inspired by Mr. Scarani’s other passion; South America). This golden era ended in 1965, with the fabulous Rolls Rio wooden speedboat powered by the same Rolls-Royce L410 V8 engine that powered the legendary Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. As the 1960s ended, Scarani decided to follow the trend – the yard partnered with AINC and ENI to start building boats in plastic, ending the era of wooden boats. Gliders became a thing of the past as well, and the yard dropped the Aeronautica part of their name. Rio first focused on smaller boats; day cruiser ideal for fishing trips, powered by outboard engines. Although not as glamorous as their wooden predecessors, those boats were a huge hit, especially the Rio 310, sold in 50.000 units.

Rio Yachts
At the beginning Rio was building gliders and motorboats in mahogany with Chris Craft and Rolls-Royce engines along with striking names such as Colorado, Parana, Bonito and Espera

Around the same time, Rio, this time partnered with Italian scooter maker Piaggio, made the first European jet-powered boats. Toward the end of the 1970s the yard began building larger plastic boats: especially popular were models Rio 11.50 and Rio 14.20, luxury fly bridge cruisers of significant size for the era. In the 1980s the yard expanded their portfolio with open cockpit cruisers, the most popular boat type of the decade, opened 440 dealerships and production plants in Spain and France and started their annual dealers’ meet-ups. In the 1980s, one of their models, the Rio 400 Goal, was made in Croatia, on the island of Vis. In 1986 Rio debuted their innovative model Rio 12.90, with a cockpit closed by a movable roof – the sunroof, as it was called back then. That model later became the basis for the yard’s largest model, the 16.90. In the 1980s Rio became one of the main suppliers of Italian police boats, and to this day they have delivered more than 200 boats to the carabinieri. In the 1990s, Rio began producing closed cockpit fishermen, which turned out to be a real hit on the domestic market, but the most popular of all was the 13-meter long open-cockpit Rio 1300 Cruiser.

Rio Yachts
In the 1970’s, the popular 310 was produced in more than 50.000 units. Later in the decade, the yard began building open-cockpit cruisers

In the 21st century, mid-2000s Piergorgio Scarani took over from his father and almost immediately changed the name of the yard to Rio Yachts. Under the new motto ‘Navigare alto’ (Sailing with class), Rio Yachts entered the luxury segment of the market. New series ART (open cockpit), AIR (hard top) and BLU (center console cruisers) were all based on that new philosophy. In 2011 Rio Yachts celebrated their first fifty years with new versions of their classics Colorado, Espera and Parana, as well as brand new models Colorado 54 (16-meter hardtop) and Espera 34 (center console sport cruiser). Their latest model, the lovely Rio 44, was shortlisted for the European boat of the year 2016. With their new models, equally fresh and innovative now as their namesakes were fifty years ago, are evidence that Rio Yachts is still powered by the same passion as when it was founded and equally dedicated to excellence in design and building techniques.

 

 

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Porto Montenegro Sunset View 00 Marinas

Porto Montenegro introduces new sustainable measures

Porto Montenegro is the world’s first marina to receive the Platinum accreditation from The Yacht Harbour and Marina Industries Associations Porto Montenegro, the Mediterranean’s leading …

Sirena 88 Yachting

Sirena Yachts sells five flagship Sirena 88 in five months

After an excellent debut at the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival, the Sirena 88 has proven its global appeal with sales to owners from around the …

X5⁶ Yachting

The new X5⁶: Designed with serious cruising in mind

The X5⁶ is a fifty-six-foot performance cruising yacht designed with serious cruising in mind; be that crossing the Atlantic, or exploring beautiful Mediterranean islands. The …

Montecristo Yachting

Spadolini’s pocket superyachts Montecristo 30 and 43

Italian designer Tommaso Spadolini has revealed details of a dynamic series of pocket superyachts, all-aluminium Montecristo 30 and Montecristo 43. “The name was inspired by …

Extra 93 Yachting

Extra 93: Three decks of extra comfort

With the addition of Extra 93, the Extra line gains a new 28.5-metre model and confirms Palumbo Superyachts’ determination to build something special and unique …

Axopar Brabus Yachting

New 37 range and Brabus Shadow 900 from Axopar

In less than four years, the ground-breaking Axopar 37 has revolutionised the market for outboard-powered sports weekenders and cabin boats with its unique concept. Axopar’s …

This is photo of a Only&Only Portonovi Travel

One&Only Portonovi’s Winter Wonderland Awaits for You

Surrounded by secluded beaches, picturesque islands and medieval towns, a stay at One&Only Portonovi offers water-front relaxation, world-class dining, and pioneering wellness Located at the …

This is photo of a RSY 38m EXP M/Y Emocean Yachting

Rosetti Superyachts: First Superyacht Project Emocean

Built for an experienced couple who were closely involved in all aspects of the design and construction of the yacht, the RSY 38m EXP M/Y …

This is photo of a new Sealine S390 Yachting

Sealine Expands the S-Class With the S390

Sealine is closing the gap between the S335 and the S430 with the launch of the new S390 in its sporty S-line The S390 is …

Yachting

Carl Rand: Boating Visionary

Being innovative isn’t always easy, it takes a lot of determination and faith to endure numerous challenges. When you put yachting and sustainability in that …

This is photo of a Candela C-Pod electric boat motor Yachting

Candela C-Pod: Most Efficient Boat Motor Ever

It will last a lifetime without maintenance, is four times more efficient than the best electric outboards and makes for a totally silent boat ride. …

This is photo of a Cantiere Rossini Repainting Sheds Yachting

Cantiere Rossini: Opening of Its Repainting Sheds

Cantiere Rossini celebrated the grand opening of its industry leading new repainting sheds Both sheds are identical and are entirely built in sustainably grown Alpine …

Scroll to Top