1953 Riva 26ft Tritone “Perlita Too”

1953 Riva 26ft Tritone “Perlita Too”


1953 Riva 26ft Tritone “Perlita Too”

The Riva Tritone was built from 1950 to 1966 with 258 examples produced. Its production began in 1950 at the request of customers looking for a larger boat that could be used in rough seas.  The original design was for two engines, they were called BQ and the first boat produced was at the end of 1950.

At this time there were not many people who could afford one of these, so it took until 1952 for Riva to get a new order to produce hull #2. Hull #2 was not equipped as intended with two engines. Instead, it had a Scripps V12 delivering 350 hp at full throttle. In 1953 the BQ model is named “Tritone”, and three hulls were produced. Each one of these three Tritone’s in 1953 received the Scripps V12 engine. The first one of these three is hull No. 3 and was named “Perlita Too” by the owner who was the movie producer Roland Reed. Reed used it as a tender for his yacht, “Perlita”.

Reed took delivery from none other than Carlo Riva, who felt the exposure of a Hollywood magnate would boost the Riva image. Sold new for $11,360 U.S., Reed enjoyed being the center of waterfront attention. There were a few who owned her over the years; Alan C. Furth, a Lake Tahoe boat collector and Southern Pacific Railroad lawyer and famed race car builder and driver, Briggs Cunningham III.

“Perlita Too” was the very first Riva ever to wear the “Tritone” nameplate, named for “God or Guardian of the Sea” and equally important, the very first Riva to land on US shores in 1954. It went missing in 1975 before reappearing in a California barn in 1989 in stable but poor condition. In 2007 a muti year restoration begun at Sea Sonic Boats Ltd with restorer Chris Casparis in Kelowna, BC with the aim of restoring this unique boat to its perfect original condition. At the same time the engine was restored by McNeilly Marine Services in Seattle by Jim McNeilly himself. Please follow this link for more information about the restoration, https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/perlitashow/11390951.

“Perlita Too” made her first appearance after the restoration at the 2023 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance wooden boat show where she won the Best of Show award. Carlo Riva himself claimed that the multi-year restoration of Perlita Too could not be matched even by his family-owned RAM Restoration Company in Italy.

This is the single boat responsible for transforming the Riva brand into a status symbol worldwide!

  • Year: 1953
  • Builder: Riva
  • Model: Tritone
  • Length: 26ft
  • Engine: Scripps 302 V12, 350 hp
  • Trailer: Quality Trailers LLC, triple axle
  • Price: $800,000.00