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Crossing Over

San Lorenzo SX88 Makes a Splash

 

Text by ZUZANA PROCHAZKA Photos courtesy of JIM RAYCROFT/SANLORENZO

 

There’s always a bit of trepidation that comes with innovation. Doubts swirl about when it comes to building something new. Will it work? Will the market accept it? Will it be too radical a departure from what we’re already offering? These questions must have been top-of-mind with Massimo Perotti and his team at San Lorenzo as they contemplated (and quietly designed) the new SX88 that debuted in Miami earlier this year.

Dubbed a “crossover”, the new concept is midway between an explorer yacht and a flybridge cruiser. The design is a collaboration in many ways with engineering done by ex-Olympic sailor Luca Santella, hull lines drawn by American naval architect Lou Codega and a refreshing interior envisioned by designer Piero Lissoni. If the finished product doesn’t snap your head around, nothing will.

Vast Deck Space

The wow factor begins right as you board from the dock. Due to the open design, the aft swim platform must do triple duty. First, it serves as a beach club that can be populated with loose deck furniture and even a pop-up shower. Next, a 50 square-foot section of this teak-clad platform lowers hydraulically into the water with integrated steps easing the way up and down. Finally, this space serves as an open garage, able to carry a Williams Jet tender and one or two PWCs. The really sexy thing is the way these toys reach the water: The aft sections of the hull have distinguishing arched rails on either side that add to the swanky lines. But the port side rail serves as convincing camouflage for a 2,000-pound, 10-foot swinging davit that literally does all the heavy lifting. This keeps the foredeck clear and available for an enormous lounge and sunpad where you could almost play tennis.

If the aft deck doesn’t get your attention, the flybridge will. Constructed in part of carbon fiber to reduce weight, the flybridge carries the only helm station aboard, tucked into the starboard forward corner. A proper command pod, this station took a bit of creative engineering including the wrap around window that lowers hydraulically for an open-air feel, or raises when it’s time for climate control. This 10-foot section of glass is a mechanical marvel that serves to connect all those aboard with the environment in a most impressive and yet unobtrusive way.

Open Interior

The idea of an open concept with combined multi-use interior spaces is nothing new in the way we live on land, but aboard boats, walls still proliferate. Lissoni changed all that by creating a cavernous main deck where sightlines stretch from the reverse forward windshield all the way back to the open aft deck. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the sides add to the nearly uninterrupted views all around. Walls are few and corridors are no more. Even the floating central staircase that leads to the flybridge is made up of cantilevered steps encased in glass. Furniture is free-standing so it can be rearranged and the galley on the starboard side may be moved or extended as necessary. Although all accommodations thus far have been tucked one level lower, an owner’s suite may be added on the main deck, giving its occupants phenomenal views out over the bow and beyond.

Because the SX88 (like most San Lorenzo models) is highly customizable, the layout and finishes inside are a matter of personal preference. Most styles are likely to feature natural fabrics, stone surfaces, dark wood and a generous use of brushed stainless steel accents and Carrara marble.

A Beast Below

As sophisticated and evolved as the SX88 is above, it’s a beast below. She carries three Volvo Penta IPS 1050 (800 hp) diesels with pod drives so no rudders or thrusters are required for precision maneuvering. Designed to live somewhere between planing and displacement, the hull has well defined chines, some leading all the way aft. The target top speed is 23 knots. She’ll cruise nicely at 17-18 knots and at 12 knots, she has a 1,000 nautical mile range.

A Good Thing

San Lorenzo owner, Perotti, must have breathed a sigh of relief when 11 orders were booked (each at $6 million+) even before hull number one splashed in the Med. By the time hull number 2 crossed the Atlantic, a healthy buzz had developed around the design and the rest is history since other lengths of the concept (including a 72-footer) are already on the drawing board. Sometimes the butterflies of trepidation in your stomach are just an indication that something really good is about to happen. Bravo, San Lorenzo.