The late Leopoldo Colombo would no doubt be proud. His sons keep wooden boatbuilding alive and well at Colombo Leopoldo boatyard, which he established in 1943. Now, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth, they’re building the Poldo 23. The 24-footer (7.36-meter) is suited as a megayacht tender or day cruiser.
Situated on the shores of Lake Como, the boatyard has long built and restored wooden boats. Leopoldo Colombo, who died in 2006, launched hundreds in his time. In fact, the Dinghy 12 is Colombo boatyard’s most famous creation. More than 350 saw delivery within 75 years. Leopoldo’s sons Roberto and Giorgio (below left and right, respectively), each born in the 1950s, joined the family business after a while. They contributed to the launches of several more Dinghy 12s, some of which went on to win races. The brothers now run the yard, which can count a third generation of Colombos under its roof, too. Having grown up surrounded by experienced builders, Giorgio’s son Giovanni (center) came aboard in 2008, at age 19.
Even though the brothers added fiberglass construction within the past decade, wooden craftsmanship remains alive and well. The Poldo 23 features a mahogany hull and sides, with West System epoxy—not screws—holding everything together. Just like other traditional boatbuilders, Colombo Leopoldo employs an ash wood frame, too.
Aldo Gatti, a Milan-based designer, penned the lines for the Poldo 23. He also specified a 20-knot top speed, thanks to a 110-hp Yanmar turbo diesel inboard. With a beam of 8’1” (2.48 meters), the Poldo 23 provides room for eight passengers in a single cockpit. A large sunpad sits on the bow, too, atop an equally large locker. Drawing just 1’2” (0.35 meter), the mahogany boat can get you into plenty of skinny water if used as a tender. She’ll serve as a head-turner for shuttling you and your guests to shore, too.