By David Robinson

Palumbo Group’s Columbus Yachts has significantly boosted its presence on the international superyacht market with the recent launch in Monaco of four new and expanded yacht series incorporating 22 designs from 25m-140m (82ft-460ft). All of the designs came from Sergio Cutolo of Hydro Tec.

The new Columbus Maxi Line, with four designs from 80m-140m (263ft-460ft), takes the Italian builder into the large superyacht section of the market for the first time. This reflects Columbus’ ambition to expand its new-build activities and to likely extend them beyond Naples to Palumbo’s other facilities in Messina, Malta and Marseille, France – the latter being the ITM yard that Palumbo recently acquired.

The Malta and Marseille facilities can handle yachts up to 160m (525ft) and 126m (414ft) respectively, whereas the new-build activities have always focused on superyachts up to 70m (230ft) to date.

Columbus is currently building three superyachts, with two deliveries scheduled for 2015 and one in 2016. The 2015 deliveries include the second Columbus Sport Hybrid 40m and a 55m (181ft) Classic Line full displacement vessel.

The 2016 delivery is a 68m (223ft) Classic design that is being built on spec. The two 2015 yachts both have buyers.

During the launch the Classic Line was extended to comprise six designs from 44m-75m (145ft-246ft). This series is centred on the 54m (177ft) naval craft platform that was used for Columbus’s first superyacht build. All the Classic Line vessels have received attention to make their styling more contemporary and for them to have more modern technical features.

The new Explorer range offers five designs from 44m-90m (144ft-296ft) and to some extent this series used the same naval build platform. The series combines steel hulls and aluminium superstructure in a full displacement design that is intended to provide quality performance, range and efficiency plus a small environmental profile.

Finally the Columbus Sport and Sport Hybrid range now includes seven designs from 25m-65m(213ft). While all the yachts in this series have a similar ethos, only the larger five designs offer hybrid propulsion. These designs build on the success of the 2013 Columbus Sport Hybrid 40m yacht.

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