Two steps further - RAM Offshorer

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Legendary Boats Essai ergjera operug ergpeurp

The renaissance of a Monte Carlo Offshorer

Two steps further


Surging from the past as a famous shark of the cinema, a 1981’s Monte Carlo Offshorer with its legendary stepped hull has just been refitted by RAM with the complicity of the designer Mauro Micheli and Carlo Riva. Text Gerald Guetat - Photos Henri Thibault / Archives RAM


Legendary Boats Essai ergjera operug ergpeurp

The renaissance of a Monte Carlo Offshorer

Two steps further


Surging from the past as a famous shark of the cinema, a 1981’s Monte Carlo Offshorer with its legendary stepped hull has just been refitted by RAM with the complicity of the designer Mauro Micheli and Carlo Riva. Text Gerald Guetat - Photos Henri Thibault / Archives RAM


At the beginning of 1980s, the Offshorer opens a new era and well intend to succeed Aquarama in the legend of Monaco.

ther South, in Florida, where a handful of enthusiasts of big-game fishing try indefatigably to perfect deep V hulls to go to tease more effectively the swordfish in the high seas. As in any good novel of adventure, there is a scientist in the group, Bob Hobbs, a mathematician and naval architect already noticed by the researchers of the US Navy for his complex equations on the theory of planing hulls. Then come on stage a pair of friends embodied by Cal Connell, the founder of the engine make Crusader Marine and by Carlo Ri va, t


n 1975, Steven Spielberg begins his fabulous career with the unprecedented success of his movie Jaws, adapted in French under a title which will stand out: “the Teeth of the Sea”’. But, before their flood on the screens of the whole world, the mechanical sharks giants invented for the shooting near Boston, begin by frightening the team of realization by their defects of functioning to the point that the movie risks several times to be purely and simply cancelled by the producers. Nobody will thus think afterward of producing them in small series. No such thing in the same moment, fur-

Always so comfortable in the waves, RAM Offshorer returns to Monte Carlo after thirty years and lost nothing of its sturdy character.


RAM Offshorer

in search of an innovative continuation to be given to its pioneer’s life of boatbuilder after the sale of its famous Sarnico yard in 1970. Bob Hobbs intrigues the Italian-American duo, him who has already built a first boat called Tridyne tried by the magazine Popular Science in June, 1972. The invention which is declared as «promising» is endowed with a very original V hull very split in three stages with two steps. But, this cold molded wooden prototype realized by a small yard in Miami is affected by severe defects, specially its unstability. Carlo Riva envision immediately all the potential of this design, but, annoyed by the egotic manners of the inventor, prefers to let Cal Connell work alone on a new prototype before sending it in Monaco where The Ingegnere will make all the necessary modifications.

In the files of the Navy The rest is know history with the success we know about the series of Monte Carlo Offshorer (see insert) under the direction of Patrizio Ferrarese, until 1988. When in 2012, the latter, then at the head of RAM, receives a message from a former American customer, it is all the golden age of the Offshorer that brutally resurfaces. Indeed,

More than three thousand working hours were necessary to transform the former hull n°92 into it RAM Offshorer of generation 2.0.

Carlo Riva, at the origins of the first Offshorer in 1973, participated enthusiastically in the challenge raised by Patrizio Ferrarese at RAM.

a lover of boats and of Monaco in the 1980s decided to have an old hull totally restored but by giving it a resolutely contemporary look, an Offshorer of generation 2.0 in a way. At the same time delighted and worried about such a request, Ferrarese gathers then its state-of-the-art management team in Sarnico. One thing’s for sure: the hull of the“machine” did not took a single wrinkle in forty

years. Hull number 092 made in 1981, is carefully selected to lend itself to a delicate operation of plastic surgery. It is not because the speedboat star of the “disco years” aged a lot thanks to a robust health but, the evolution of the fashions and the make-up inevitably dated it. It is Mauro Micheli who is enlisted to become the art director of the project. Founder of the studio Officina Italiana Design, he is the designer in chief of all Rivas since the end of 1990s.

Two steps ahead of its time With this remarkable achievement and an acute sense of the proper harmony between new materials and color, Micheli is going to work on all which is located on top of the waterline. Now after a series of sketches on paper, the artist, armed with a big felttip marker, already draws on the sanded gel-coat, the zones and the lines which he intends to make



Le RAM Offshorer was completely stripped down before receiving a new skin of silvery shark

In front of the model of the prototype of the 1980s, the designer of the Riva, Mauro Micheli, throws the first ideas of relooking..

After the restoration of an Aquarama Special, master craftsmen from RAM concentrate on the revival of the Offshorer.

Facts of the past Industrial adventure at the golden age of the offshore

In the 1970s, playboy drivers, generous sponsors and attractive girls gave to offshore racing a taste of dream. Riding the wave, Monte Carlo Offshorer arrived just at the right moment.

To transform quickly a sketch of a revolutionary hull as creative as it can be, into a high quality finished product requires much method and talent. The latter has never been lacking to Carlo Riva as shown by his role determining in the development of Monte Carlo Offshorer from the 1970s. Hardly «redeemed» after the sale of his boatyard to the group Whittaker in 1970, this boating genius cannot resolve to pass in front of a good nautical idea without trying to realize it. The assiduous attendance of the American pioneers of the offshore as Dick Bertram, Don Aronow, Cal Connell or Bob Hobbs supplies him several opportunities to forge ahead. Between 1973 and 1976, Carlo Riva, staying in the shadow, and his teams are going to produce the

prototype of Monte Carlo Offshorer 28 ‘ then going to industrial production in a all-new construction site in the promising name of « Mare e Sole « built specially in Ventimiglia, in the border and in immediate reach of Monaco by truck. In 1977, the yard becomes Offshorer Marine under Patrizio Ferrarese’s administration who launches the new 30’ in relay of the 28 ‘ (the series of which stops in n°39). The famous 30 feet becomes then a silhouette familiar and very respected in the Mediterranean Sea with 101 units produced until 1988. Monte Carlo Offshorer were very strongly built in fiberglass with innovative reinforcements in carbon as RAM was able to notice it during the revival of the hull n°092 of 1981 into RAM Offshorer n°01. 97

Legendary Boats RAM Offshorer

look younger. Immediately after, the hull is flipped upside-down entrusted to the expert hands of RAM best team of master restorers who have just been photographed in front of the magnificent Aquarama Special whom they hardly ended, even more beautiful than new. Working with the same virtuosity on the precious mahoganies or on modern resins, they are not there nevertheless for their first experiment with plastics. RAM also restores the recent Riva productions as the Aquariva without mentioning also special orders entrusted by its famous neighbor, the Riva yard.

The secret of the swordfish The Offshorer is completely stripped down and all its original equipments are completely unassembled. Most of them will be replaced by new parts or by new accessories specially designed. The 98

In the foreground, Luigi Paltenghi, technical director of the yard, collaborates directly in every phase of the project with Mauro Micheli.

The success of a film is never guaranteed beforehand and the installation of the film chrome-plated of RAM Offshorer asked for a great virtuosity.

Forty years after its launch, Carlo Riva evokes the adventure of the first one Offshorer to Anselmo Vigani, managing director of RAM.

innovations which made the glory of the initial model as the central driver’s console are obviously preserved and highlighted by a contemporary treatment. Faithful to its elegant and bare style, Micheli proposes several palettes of new colors and materials,

among which some as Corian. The deck will be endowed with a much larger hatch. So, as the inside is going to distinguish itself by an effective sobriety, as the outside is going to be the object of an esthetic and technical challenge with this surprising mirror-like



Hidden at the side of the darse at RAM’s yard as in a secret base, the new chrome-plated, almost furtive Offshorer, begins its trials

The beauty of the hull of the RAM Offshorer deserves the most attentive care.


Legendary Boats RAM Offshorer


Thirty years separate these two versions of the Offshorer 30 ‘, the true pioneer of double step hulls, often imitated even nowadays.

affixed on all the hull starting up from the waterline. The concept is to surprise and to fascinate the spectator as if the new Offshorer, with its fantastic hull, was able to abolish any notion of time by running at speed on the water, between dream and reality. Carlo Riva, ninety-one,and which offices are adjoining, does not miss an episode of the process of revitalization of the boat which he finalized with much passion several decades ago. In an industry in constant transformation as the nautical construction, it is rare to see the founder of a yard as prestigious as Riva to be able to discuss thorough questions with the designer who designs today the yachts which still bear his family name!

Nostalgic but ultramodern In mid-spring, 2013, the new unity called RAM Offshorer with a new logo is on the way to completion. The new engines are ready in position, showing the same choice of continuity mixed with modernity which presides over the whole project. It is thus two gasoline V8 with that were chosen, two Mercruiser of 310 hp each, leaving to the museum of good memories the old Riva « 350 « V8s with their heartening tone but with their unquenchable thirst. Therefore, the original specifications are respected as far as power/ weight ratio is concerned but an efficiency considerably improved, 100

The RAM Offshorer keeps a part of a «vintage» style by its propshafts and propellers but the performances are well there today. Pioneer of the 1980s, the MC Offshorer was it in several points of which the central console adopted then by manyboatyards.

The RAM Offshorer shows the evolution of the contemporary design towards very bare interiors in contrast with a blazing hull.

RAM OffshORER 2013 RAM Offshorer 01 - hull # 092 of 1981 Lenght OA: 8.92 m Widht: 2.44 m Displacement: 3.2 t. Power: 2 x V8 Mercruiser 310 hp. Fuel: Gasoline Fuel tanks: 2 x 250 l. Passagers: 8 Speed: 50 knots Consumption at 2800 rpm: 80 l/h Autonomy at 2800 rpm: 185 NM. CONTACT Boatyard Informations

RAM (Sarnico, Italie)

not speaking of lower emissions more in sync with the current regulations. Moreover, from its launching in Sarnico, with its two propshafts and new propellers, the boat is going strong, reaching easily fifty knots, dominating the waves, as in the good old days. Shortly after, the hull polished as a mirror will be delivered from lake Iseo to Monaco for a moving reunion with its native harbour.

The RAM Offshorer is powered by two V8 Mercruiser of 310 hp., a power equivalent to that of the origin but with a much better efficiency.

Before letting it living its new life, it is Patrizio Ferrarese who takes the steering wheel of a boat which he piloted so much in the past but who was transfigured by the audacious esthetic treatment it received. The mirror hull in-


Carlo Riva’s last boat

The dashboard is abundantly equipped with instruments of Riva origin whereas the steering wheel of racing car is signed MoMo. 101

RAM SARnico Master in the art of rejuvenation Known for its restorations of wooden Rivas, the yard is also mastering the treatment of plastic exceptional hulls and one-of-a-kind projects.

With its three planes and double step hull which did not took a wrinkle, RAM Offshorer deceives waves like a duck to water.


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trigues and fascinates, by playing ceaselessly with elements without ever fixing their image a single moment. Become almost invisible as a furtive vessel, RAM Offshorer running at full speed reveals suddenly its presence by a skimming trail. Undoubtedly, its hull still shows its incredible comfort at sea and it is no secret that the stretch of water of the Principality is not never soft for “small” runabouts.

A polished mirror on the sea

Direct heir of the experience and the passion of Carlo Riva for the precision, RAM is the historic specialist of the restoration of mahogany boats, but not only.


AM was established in 1957 by Carlo Riva at the very heart of its famous boatyard to create an experimental site in the maintenance of boats, their restoration and the training of his dealers. While the firm Riva changed several times hands (from Whittaker in 1970 to the Chinese group Weichai today), RAM has never left its premises of origin. Real sanctuary for the collectors, RAM remains in the hands of the family Riva. Carlo still maintains his own office in an adjoining building. His son-in-law Patrizio Ferrarese, the president, is assisted by


Carlo’s nephew Anselmo Vigani. The restoration of wooden Rivas is still the major business, the house benefiting from its unique historical legitimacy. But, RAM, in the daily contact of the Riva yars and its plastic boats, sees entrusting orders of exception, such the transformation of the Iseo chosen as tender of Venus, Steve Jobs’s superyacht. The RAM Offshorer project demonstrates again its capacity of mastering original challenges.

Indeed, what knocks today is the compact size of a boat of only thirty feet in the middle of the armada of the large yachts while forty years ago, it put up a good show in the pontoon. It will be thus doubtless perfectly in its role by playing also the “tender”. The nostalgic often claim that in the cinema, remakes are rarely as good as the original. With RAM Offshorer version 2013, it is very pleasant to contradict them. History will retain doubtlessly also that it is probably the last boat produced with the complicity of Carlo Riva, as the unexpected heir of a long ands prestigious lineage. It is not one of its slightest originalities there, with all the value that will become attached to a unique work signed by the workshop of a great master.