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Iconic Riva’s new stunner

Riva's new 56-footer. Drop-dead gorgeous but a bit of a pig to drive

Riva 56 SportRiva

Length: 57ft 8in. Beam: 15ft 3in. Top speed: 31.2 knots. Test engine: twin 900hp MAN V8s. Fuel capacity: 550 imp gallons. Price: from £1.53m including UK VAT.

Contact: 020-7647 9000, www.riva-yacht.com.

The gospel according to Riva has been a simple one for decades, says Alan Harper in Motorboat & Yachting: to produce "stunningly beautiful" and "iconic" motoryachts. But with no end of rivals now after Riva's crown, most of which are competitively priced and drive brilliantly, Riva must produce "drop-dead gorgeous" boats to stay in the game.

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Its latest offering, the 56 SportRiva, is certainly that, and combines a flybridge boat with an open sportscruiser. It gets even better as you take a closer look, says Harper. The finish is good, and below decks the oak panelling and leather detailing do not betray the boat's light and modern look. There are two twin cabins in addition to the main owner's, and on the main deck, with windows on all sides, the feel is "panoramic and sun washed". The bespoke crockery and crystal stowage provide nice finishing touches to the roomy galley.

It's slightly less impressive to drive: it "really doesn't like turning corners", says Power & Motoryacht, and its "somewhat leisurely acceleration" is "hardly the sort of driving experience you expect from a boat with the word sport in her name". But this "was the only negative in a thoroughly enjoyable test".

"Whether you want a luxurious dayboat or a great-looking cruiser, the 56 will fit the bill."

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