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To starboard and forward is a small day head before entering what Addison refers to as “the awkward spaces” where stairs, doors and companionways meet. Again, the Columbus 90 offers more space than expected in the kind of areas you normally feel cramped in on a yacht of this size.

Going forward on the main deck takes you to one of the special features on this yacht, the main stateroom and adjoining spa bath. While the owner is using this space as a day room, it becomes a choice cabin while on charter.  Wrap-around windows offer an unparalleled view, and one can easily imagine whiling away the hours watching the coastline of southern France slide by. Green linen-lined ceilings and walls help to warm up the space.

A few steps down into the bow bring you to the large and opulent spa bath, with a tiled tub and his and her vanities. This is a large space finished in Arabascato marble and adding some flash to the yacht’s otherwise subtle design. The room is lit with a large skylight, further highlighting the marble finish.

The VIP cabin is on the lower deck, stretching from beam to beam, with larger than standard portholes installed at the owner request. Again, the colour scheme is kept to muted tans and greys. Here, the walls are covered in a painted shipboard to extend the New England feel. This cabin has a sizable ensuite, again with his and her vanities and a bathtub.

The third and fourth cabins, each with two twin bunks, are located just forward of the VIP cabin. Both have ensuite heads finished in Chinese marble. One of the yacht’s most unfortunate compromises is in the port cabin, where a large hatch is located directly underneath one of the bunks.

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One of the biggest problems with cramming so many ship-sized systems into a yacht of this size is that a considerable amount of space has been given over to mechanical areas, and this is where the drawback of that becomes the most obvious. 

At the aft end of the lower deck are the crew quarters, located just forward of the engine room and next to the laundry facilities. This space is finished in much the same way as the rest of the yacht, providing a sizable captain’s cabin with ensuite and a second crew cabin with two twin bunks, also with an ensuite. The quarters are competed with a small galley and dining area.

The wheelhouse is located just above the master cabin. It has a distinctly masculine feel, with a comfortable L-shaped leather bench in one corner from where you can watch the action. The area looks suitably spartan and business-like for a yacht designed for long voyages.

From the wheelhouse one can walk up to sun deck and outside helm. A small seating area and table make this a pleasant, private sunning area. Views from this helming position are not ideal for docking, but the yacht comes with a third remote-controlled position on the starboard quarter to aid in bringing her alongside safely.

The spacious top deck of the yacht is just a few steps down and aft from the sundeck. The owner will be putting sun lounges and dinting table in this area, making easily transformable from a day-time play area to an elegant alfresco dining choice .The deck is completed by a small tiled Jacuzzi and hideaway barbeque This large deck, covered by a canvas bimini, together with the Columbus 90’s wide side decks create the same spaciousness on deck as in the interior. All the deck furniture is solid teak and cushions done in a tan canvas.

This yacht is solidly built, with six-millimetre steel for the hull and an aluminium superstructure. There is no fibreglass used. Mechanically, it’s just as solid as the hull, with many components overbuilt in order to obtain its gold standard safety ratings. Belle Isle comes with an extremely large engine room to house her twin 479-horsepower Caterpillar engines.

That extra space in the engine room was already being put to use even before delivery – the captain had created additional storage areas as well as a roomy workbench. Although considerable space has been given over to the mechanical workings of the boat, the designers have installed a seawater cooling system for the engine room in order reduce space required for air intakes.

The Columbus 90 is an adventurers’ yacht, with its own distinct yet subtle pleasures. While elegantly finished with a sleek, modern look, there are places where the boat borders on a utilitarian ambiance. But the robust mechanical systems and practical layout lend a sense of purpose to its design, and no doubt Belle Isle’s guests will quickly translate that into an eagerness for travel and adventure.

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Technical Specifications – Columbus 90 MY Belle Isle

LOA – 27.22m (89 ft)

Beam – 7.4m (24ft 27in)

Draught – 2.1m (6ft 9in)

Hull construction – steel

Superstructure – Aluminium

Speed (max) – 12 kts

Speed (cruise) – 10 kts

Range at cruise – 4,500 nm

Main engines – 2 x C18 Caterpillars (479bhp each)

Gensets – 2 x 55kW Caterpillars

Zero Speed stabilisers – Quantum QC1200

Bow thrusters – Quantum 72hp

Naval architecture – Vripack International

Exterior design – Vripack International

Interior design – Addison Nelson Design

Classification – Lloyds and MCA

Fresh watermaker – Sea Recovery (2650 l/day)

Fresh water capacity – 4553l

Fuel capacity – 25,935l

Accommodation – 8 guests in four cabins, including owner

Crew – two cabins for four