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A Legend Reborn

The Dream

There are those with dreams of building a vessel, but few of building a dream. A man born in the Bronx,  and raised in New Rochelle, New York did both. Brian D'Isernia's childhood wish was to become a naval architect, and building a classic American schooner. After many afternoons spent researching all the schooners American maritime history had to offer, Brian chose the schooner Columbia for her grace, speed, beauty and historical significance. Columbia was a Gloucester schooner built in 1923 to fish the grand banks, and race in the International Fisherman's Cup.


Brian wouldn't grow up to become a naval architect. However, after being a lawyer, a construction foreman, and a long line swordfish fisherman he became an industrial shipbuilder when he founded Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. in Panama City, Florida. Despite his many vocations, Brian never forgot his dream of building Columbia. Eastern would complete close to 300 vessels before Brian discovered the original lines plan of the Columbia in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. Brian began the journey of bringing the Columbia back to life, and returning her to the glory she deserves.

The Reality

Eastern Shipbuilding group and John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts re-engineered  the origional wood hull to be a steel hull. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. The hull lines were redrawn from a copy of the original hand drawn lines plan using AutoCAD™ computer software by John W. Gilbert and Associates. The hull plate, its formed shapes and structure were electronically lofted, nested and numerically cut (NC) using ShipConstructor™ computer software along with 3D-modeling software at Eastern’s Allanton Engineering and Steel Processing Facility.


The vessel’s services, steering and propulsion systems were designed and installed for diesel power. There is a transverse bow thruster for ease of docking and undocking. The twin electrical power generation plants, switchgear and wiring were designed and installed meeting current marine regulatory requirements. Also installed are modern interior and exterior lighting, underwater lighting system, air-conditioning and heating and machinery space electric ventilation with plenty of thermal and acoustic insulation. The onboard electronics, communication and navigational equipment are state-of-the art with two 36 nautical mile radars, wind sensor, navigational LED lighting, electronic charting, electronic compass and autopilot for open water high performance sailing are interfaced with a VSAT broadband Satellite system with phone, entertainment and internet service. 


The dream truly started to become a reality in 2011 when the first bit of steel was cut. Using today’s technology coupled with proven early 1900’s craftsmanship, Eastern’s team of shipbuilders, sub-contractors and vendors collectively constructed and completed sailing trials of this new, modern yet historic schooner on September 18, 2014 from Eastern’s Nelson Street Facility in Panama City, Florida. 


Eastern’s COLUMBIA is truly a robust steel hull replica derived from the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner, meeting today’s USA regulatory requirements, utilizing today’s technology, machinery, materials, electronics and safety equipment. It was designed with modern crew amenities and comfort in mind. It is a vessel designed

with onboard features like no other for a worldwide port-to-port sailing adventure.


Vessel Name: COLUMBIA

Type: 141’ Racing/Fishing Schooner Yacht

ESG Hull#: H981–1st Vessel in Series of 2

Designers: John W. Gilbert & Associates of Hingham, MA

William Starling Burgess of Boston, MA

Hull Construction: Steel – ABS A36

Launch Date: August 23, 2014

Delivery Date: October 2014

Vessel Dimensions:

Length on Deck: 141’-2”

Length @ Waterline: 110’-0”

Beam (Molded): 25’-6”

Hull Depth Amidships (Molded): 14’-6”

Design Waterline (DWL): 15’-9”

Regulatory: USA Flag, Lloyds Registry

Main Mast: One (1) 19” x 124’-10”,Covey Island Boatworks, Douglas Fir Laminated Lower. Sitka Spruce Laminated Top Mast

Foremast: One (1) 19” x 115’-7”, Covey Island Boatworks, Douglas Fir Laminated Lower. Sitka Spruce Laminated Top Mast

Sails: Michelle Stevens Sailloft LTD. Oceanus Sail Cloth

Diesel Propulsion: One (1) Caterpillar C-18 587 HP @ 1,800 RPM

Propulsion System: One (1) Hundested CPG32

CP, 3.07:1 Reduction

Bow Thruster: One (1) Key Power KP-16, 70HP  1,500 RPM Electro- Hydraulic PTO Driven off Main Engine

Generators Engines: Two (2) TAW Power Systems – JOHN DEERE, 65kW, 200AMP @ 1,800 RPM Gensets

Fish Hold Refrigeration: Two (2) Eskimo Ice Makers E1510d-230-WP

Freshwater Makers: Two (2) Cathelco Seafresh H208 Water Makers, 37 USG P/HR., w/ RMF-2 Re-mineralizers

Vessel Speed:

Under Sail: Up to 17 knots

Under Power: 13 knots (max.)

Under Power Cruising Speed: 10+ knots

Under Power/Sail Range: 4,000nm


Accommodations: (4) Guest Cabin’s, (12) Berths, Ensuite Facilities (1) Captain’s Cabin, (3) Berths, Ensuite Facilities (1) Crew Cabin Forward, (12) Berths, (1) head


Displacement: 260 LT

Deadweight Tonnage: 32.5 LT

US Gross Tonnage: 43 Tons

Total Fuel Oil: 6,252 USG, (4 tanks)

Potable Water: 2,050 USG (2 tanks)

Gray Water: #1/#2 188/200 USG

Black Water: 188 USG

Dirty Oil: 651 USG

Main Deck Area: 1,700 ft²

Fish Holds: Two (2) @ 225 ft³, 0

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