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Designer speaks at launch of Columbus Classic 80 Dragon

Sergio Cutolo spoke to Boat International about his work on the new Columbus Classic superyacht Dragon, which was launched yesterday at the Italian yard Palumbo Group.

Sold in November 2016, this new five-deck, 79.5 metre superyacht is the biggest the yard has ever produced.

Cutolo and his team at Hydro Tec were responsible for the exterior design, exterior deck arrangement and naval architecture of the steel and aluminium yacht, collaborating on engineering with the yard. “From the beginning we wanted to have a classic modern design, something that could last,” he says. Taking the description rather further, the yard describes the yacht’s lines as having an “almost Renaissance inspiration”, while at the same time evoking the ocean liners of the 1950s and 60s.

But classic looks do not mean old fashioned living spaces. “It is very modern from another point of view,” Cutolo says. “In the saloon, we have four windows which I am told are the biggest flat panels ever built in Europe – 5 metres by 1.8 metres – for one panel. And the problem is not only to build the window, it is to build the structure around the window – the main saloon is 20 metres long without pillars, so all the structure has been designed around this concept.”

In terms of his favourite spaces on board, however, Cutolo points to some special al fresco areas. “I like very much the forward deck,” he says. “The yard managed to do these thick planks, curved according to the shape of the hull. I’m a sailor and it gives you the feeling of an old sailing yacht – standing there and seeing 25 metres of deck with stanchions – not solid bulwarks – so a really unobstructed view forwards.”

In the belly of the boat, the team created a short two-level engine room – picking up tank space that might otherwise have gone to waste – and allowing for a beach club of massive proportions. “It is huge, about 100 square metres, and when the three platforms flip down it’s doubling the size to 200 square metres,” Cutolo says. “It can be used also at sea because we have an independent stair going down with portholes, so it’s a very flexible area.”

Francesco Guida created interiors for the 2,150GT yacht, in a style described as elegant sobriety. Key features on board the Columbus Classic 80 include a huge superyacht sundeck with a seven-metre counter-current swimming pool that is fed by a waterfall. This creates a spectacular partition between the main pool and the hydro-massage area, which will be enclosed on three sides by the superyacht mast.

Accommodation is for 12 guests split across eight double cabins, including a dedicated owner's deck, while the crew quarters features its own superyacht gym and accommodation for up to 19 people.

A glass-sided superyacht elevator will provide easy access between all five decks, and a pair of side-loading garages will allow the Columbus Classic 80 to carry a ten metre tender and a 7.5 metre tender.

Power will come from a pair of 3,044hp MTU 16V4000 M63L engines for a top speed of 16.5 knots. When trimmed back to 12 knots, the Columbus Classic 80 will boast a maximum range of 6,000 nautical miles, thanks to a total fuel capacity of 215,000 litres, while a fin stabilisation system will ensure a smooth cruising experience.

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