Prince Rainier's Riva boat to auction for $686,000 in Monaco

A Riva Tritone boat that once belonged to Prince Rainier III of Monaco will be sold as the centrepiece of RM Auctions' annual sale in the principality on May 10.

Prince of Monaco Grace Kelly Riva boat
An important artefact of Monaco's cultural history

The boat [known as VIA] was ordered new by the prince and his actress wife, Princess Grace Kelly, in 1958 for their personal use. Described as "one of the most significant motor boats to be offered to the market in recent years", it is estimated at $411,747-686,245.

"This wonderful Riva, VIA, is a unique piece of Monaco's cultural history, and it is the ultimate privilege to be able to bring this beautiful boat back to its original home," commented RM Auctions' Augustin Sabatie-Garat.

"It would be particularly satisfying if VIA could return to Monaco on a permanent basis, but wherever it goes, the boat is surely the ultimate prize for any Riva enthusiast".

Boasting its original pair of Chris-Craft MCL inline six-cylinder engines (each capable of 175 hp), the boat has had just three owners from new, and was recently given a ground-up restoration by Woodcraft in Amsterdam.

The Riva name shares the prestige, and price tag, of top Ferraris

Italian yacht builder Riva produces some of the most luxurious motor boats, and they are certainly among the most coveted by collectors. The finest models are praised as the Ferraris of the boat world.

With the Prancing Horse marque riding high on the classic car market, its water-borne counterpart is expecting strong bids. Both Ferrari and Riva share the joint appeal of prestige combined with iconic design and technical brilliance.

RM Auctions has developed a reputation for selling some of the finest boats on the market, with the Ferrari hydroplane ARNO XI starring in the auction house's 2012 Monaco auction.

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