The first edition of the Sanlorenzo Elite Days in Porto Carlo Riva, in the Italian seaside town of Rapallo, took place over the weekend of 5-6 April with 10 models on display. Making her debut was the SL118, the new 37m flagship in Sanlorenzo’s semi-displacement range. attended the first day of the event and was able to test-drive the yacht christened H1.

With interior and exterior design by Francesco Paszkowski, the 118 presents the same sleek lines as her smaller cousins in the SL range, but features some new styling elements such as a semi-wide body, large salon windows that slide up and down for natural ventilation and a glass bulwark with a teak handrail on the fly deck looking over the stern. Much of the design work went into the exterior styling of the wide body in the forward part of the superstructure to avoid it looking front-heavy and the result is typical of Sanlorenzo’s handsome lines. 

“The exterior styling is extremely important, because it provides brand recognition,” says project manager Alberto Mottino. “An owner who has had an SL104 or SL108 will immediately recognise the family feeling.”

The yacht is powered by twin MTU 2000 (1,966kW @ 2450rpm) main engines for a top speed of 28 knots and cruising speed of 24 knots (there is also the option of installing the more powerful 4000 series). To ensure this high performance, the entire hull is made of infused E-glass with a hybrid carbon/composite superstructure for lightness, while the moulds were CNC-milled and the whole yacht was designed in 3D for millimetre-perfect piping and cable runs.

Large tenders, even on mid-sized yachts, are now a standard request from owners and the tender bay aboard the 118 can accommodate a 6.5m RIB with room for a jet ski and other toys (a drive-in tender garage was considered but rejected as it leaves little space for storage beyond the tender itself). Two layout configurations are available with crew quarters forward or aft of the lower deck guest accommodation. On H1 the full-beam owner’s suite with study area is on the forward main deck to make the most of the wide body and fold-down balconies. These open in two parts, so just the upper window section can be raised without lowering the floor section. 

The main salon features side windows, each weighing around 140kg, that can be raised and lowered vertically at the touch of a button, a solution requiring some precision engineering to ensure a watertight seal when closed. Another novel feature is the suspended staircase aft leading to the sundeck, which has a stylish glass wall into the salon.

Innovative use of glass also appears on the lower deck where the guest cabins have double-glazed walls looking onto the central corridor. In between the two panes are electrically operated venetian blinds. When open they allow light from the cabin windows on either side to flood the corridor and reveal the full extent of the 7.6m maximum beam. The wheelhouse features a modern glass bridge instead of the standard console. Consisting of four slim, tablet-shaped monitors that the captain can individually program to call up navigation or monitoring data, they introduce a welcome airiness to the wheelhouse and improve visibility forward.

The contemporary interior décor of H1 relies on a colour palette of pale grey and white punctuated with colourful accessories. Furniture and fittings are supplied by high-end Italian brands such as Paola Lenti, Edra, Minotti, Boffi and Artemide, while the flooring (mounted on a floating aluminium frame) has an unusual polished resin finish.  

In the latest Global Order Book published by The Superyacht Report, Sanlorenzo figured at the top of the list for yachts of 30-40m based on the number of units in build in 2013. This is encouraging news for chairman Massimo Perotti, who took over the brand in 2005 when it was not even appearing among the top 20 builders. The GOB figures also revealed that the 40-50m segment is still a major market for the average owner and one that Sanlorenzo is looking to penetrate further.

Last year Sanlorenzo signed a joint venture with Sundiro Holding, a Chinese company listed on the Shenzen Stock Exchange, to produce boats from 10-20m in China, as well as to distribute Italian-built Sanlorenzo motoryachts in Asia. The agreement, which provides a capital increase of €30 million, does not affect Perotti’s majority shareholding.

Last month the regional newspaper Il Terreno reported that Sanlorenzo was in negotiations with the Fipa Group over a possible merger. CEO Fulvio Dodich confirmed the discussions, but denied that a formal merger was being considered. Instead, Sanlorenzo is looking to enhance its construction facilities with waterfront access, which Fipa has in Viareggio, as production focuses on larger models.

“Together with the 118, this morning I received a photo of the new semi-displacement 110 that has just come out of the shed,” said Perotti in Rapallo. “This is concrete evidence that the market is reviving and we are doing all we can in terms of investment opportunities to ensure that the brand grows with it.”

Profile links

Sanlorenzo - Cantieri Navali di Viareggio

Francesco Paszkowski Design

MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH

Fipa Italiana Yachts - AB Yachts

Fipa Italiana Yachts - CBI Navi SpA

Fipa Italiana Yachts Srl - Maiora

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