With more than a little symbolism linked to its ambition to build bigger and evermore innovative yachts, the setting for the global unveiling of the Sanlorenzo SL102 asymmetric took place within its La Spezia construction shed - proclaimed among the largest construction halls for yachts in the Med.
Taking place as part of its Elite Days client appreciation weekend, which itself had paid homage to the builder’s 60th anniversary, the press conference was a fittingly grandiose occasion to premiere this marriage of form and function.
Presented to employees, journalists and Sanlorenzo owners alike, by CEO, Massimo Perotti, the fruition of a project that first germinated in 2012 is that rare thing in contemporary yacht design - innovative.
It’s easy to get carried away with superlatives in this industry; goodness knows, the superyacht media is traditionally guilty of overt sycophantic behaviour. But Perotti’s vision, inspired by a collaboration with “genius”, BMW design luminary, Chris Bangle in 2012, and realised by Studio Zuccon International, is a case of using design as a tool to solve a problem; using design, in a mathematical, formulaic sense, if you will.
The problem: the demands on guest space at the lower end of the size spectrum, and the fashion for full-beam guest spaces, juxtaposed against the need for operational efficiency. In Perotti’s terms, “how do you retain a full-beam inside without abandoning the ability of the crew to move forward and backwards for mooring and [safe] operation?”
The solution: a full beam salon and foredeck area port side, with starboard housing a “safe operational corridor”, for crew and/or guest use. The result is ceiling-to-floor windows, “right next to the ocean, with no passage and lots of light and connection to the sea”, and 25sqm of extra space in the salon and main cabin - as Perotti termed it, “a little miracle - in keeping the symmetry in asymmetry.”
The result is both easy on the eye, and captivating for its vision. It’s rare an operational conundrum is transformed so elegantly into a benefit. It has clearly also been well received by clients, with four units sold, and one in advanced negotiations. Owners stretch from APAC, with two in Europe, to the US. And the first Hull is due to be launched in July, with its premiere at the Cannes boat show two months later. The base price is €9.6 million+options.
There are now plans for a SL112 asymmetric model.
The press conference was also the platform to announce the revered Piero Lissoni as the new Art Director. With his first project -delivering Elite Days 2018 - deemed a success, Lissoni will now move onto the more serious business of overhauling the appearance and professionalism of the Sanlorenzo factories and yards. Perotti put it perfectly when summarising the necessity to do so, for the good of prospective owners, by saying, “Our shipyards must reflect the promise we have made to clients.”
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