1964 Riva 28’ Aquarama Powered by 2 Chevy 283’s 185 hp

Owned by Paul Hastings of Little Rock, AR

Champagne Taste was delivered to a Mr. Sluiter in Seabrook, New York near the end of 1964. Ten years later it was transported to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Roger Morton where I found it in rough condition at Shirt Tail Charley’s Marina. A Riva Aquarama is a continuous plank, all-mahogany, constructed boat. It is powered by two Chevy 283ci 185 hp V8 engines.

Since owning the Riva, I have personally fully restored the entire vessel, except for the upholstery. This has consisted of replacing the bottom, fore and aft decks; stripping, staining and varnishing the boat with a total of fifteen coats; and overhauling both engines and transmissions.

The boat’s name, Champagne Taste, is symbolic for me as I, along with my family, am in the wholesale liquor business and all my antique boats sport a liquor related title. This Riva has been hauled all over the country from its home base in Little Rock, Arkansas to boat shows in Lake Tahoe, Ocean Reef and beyond. Additionally, I have taken cruises on the St. John’s River, Tennessee River and the Upper Mississippi. While Champagne Taste has brought me many trophies and recognition, the biggest reward is to be the owner of such a beautiful treasure.

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