The commercial success of Palumbo Group has continued with the signing of an 80m Columbus Classic motoryacht. The news comes swiftly after the group announced the sale of a 36m Sport ISA 120 in October – the eleventh hull to be built at ISA Yachts’ facility in Ancona, but the first under the governance of Palumbo Group since its acquisition of the yard in July this year.
Construction on the 80m project began two months ago at the group’s facility in Naples – a facility launched in 1967 as a small carpentry and welding workshop for commercial ships, before it branched out into luxury yachting in 2008, launching its first superyacht, Prima, in 2011 – and is set for completion before the end of 2018. “We have significant expertise and experience of building large commercial ships, so the client has faith in the shipyard”, begins Gianpaolo Lapenna, project manager at Palumbo Group’s Naples facility, in an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews.
“It’s a new adventure for us and it’s an important contract because the Columbus Yachts project was originally established for large yachts like this. We started with a 54m in 2011, before moving up to a 57m in 2015, so an 80m project is a big stepping stone; we want to be competitive in the market that goes from 70m up to 100m and beyond.”
The minutia of the project remains confidential at this point, but Lapenna describes the profile as “a contemporary classic that will last through the years”. The interior and exterior designers are Italian and she will measure approximately 2,250gt, which is 222gt above the average 77.5–82.5m motoryacht currently on the water. He adds that glass plays a big role in the design and the sun deck, with its distinguishing dimensions, is also a key feature of the vessel.
“The next step in our future plans is the continued consolidation of ISA Yachts and Columbus Yachts”, he continues. “We’ve worked since 2009 to create the platform to expand into luxury yachts, and from our point of view, we have the strength now for Palumbo’s new era.”
Asked as to whether the group – which has superyacht facilities in Naples, Messina, Ancona, Malta, Marseille and Tenerife – will seek further expansion, Lapenna says, “You never know; only time will tell.”