There she was: the Sanlorenzo SX88, becalmed on a dock in the Vieux Port. Her profile was nothing if not eye-catching in that prominent perch and one can see echoes of many of the design attributes that attract Sanlorenzo fans.
But she is different, too. Sanlorenzo is adding to its traditional product lines, which comprise the planing series in sizes from 78 to 118 feet LOA, and a semidisplacement series from 92 to 126 feet. The superyacht range includes the steel hull and explorer lines from 133 feet with designs up to 209 feet.
I didn’t know what to expect. Then I paid a visit to the aft platform beach—and there is no other word for it, other than maybe boatyard, for its ability to ship numerous tenders and toys. The beach/boatyard is bookended by arches built into the aft bulwarks, but the port side arch is a camouflaged davit. “One of its main focuses is the aft platform area, to have the equivalent toys of a 140- to 150-foot boat, only on an 88-footer. That was a big part of the project.”
The SX88 has a single helm station on the flybridge, with a fixed-glass windshield forward, though the large glass side windows power down to open the top deck.
When I stepped inside, my entire conception of what a yacht can be—or more accurately, what one can have as an interior—shifted. If the goal was to showcase the yard’s capabilities in creating something custom, it succeeded. The main deck is an open plan—it felt like a loft apartment—with huge side windows. Most fascinating: The raked, reverse-pilothouse windshield did not surround a command center for the captain. Instead it was another social space.
When the Sanlorenzo SX88 powered onto the international stage, it made waves as the first in a new series of crossover models that pairs the best features of the builder’s flybridge yachts with its explorer series.
The angular exterior lines by Officina Italiana Design captured the ethos of a yard that’s focused on art and aesthetics, and the semi-displacement hull by Lou Codega drew approving nods from serious cruisers. For Hull No. 1, Architect Piero Lissoni of Milan conceived the interiors, and while bold and beautiful, his iteration was very European.
Now, the yard has splashed a version for the Americas, and it too is taking those with an eye for innovative style by storm. Designer Marty Lowe of Ft. Lauderdale put her own fresh take on the SX88, tailoring spaces for the preferences of crews on this side of the Atlantic. The first two hulls of the SX88 show that Sanlorenzo can think as far outside the box as boaters may want to—and build to suit. —Jason Y. Wood
Sanlorenzo Americas, 954-368-9052; sanlorenzoamericas.com
DISPL.: 158,700 lbs.
FUEL: 2,245 gal.
WATER: 541 gal.
POWER: 3/800-hp Volvo Penta IPS1050
CRUISE SPEED: 20 knots
TOP SPEED: 23 knots