Yacht Class n°14 (sept-oct-nov 2018)
During the last Cannes Yachting Festival 2017, the Sanlorenzo SX88 stood out from the other novelties and caught even the most expert eyes. Considered by the brand CEO Massimo Perotti, as a “little revolution” (which is a euphemism), she is really full of innovations.
Written by Alain Brousse – Photos : All rights reserved
Her profile only immediately arouses curiosity. Her lines make it tempting to describe her as an Explorer unit. But in fact, she has other ambitions. Some have even borrowed from the automotive terminology to qualify her as SUV (sport utility vehicle) or a crossover. Let’s just say that in many ways, she stands out thanks to her original solutions. We can see her from far and when approaching, all we want to do is to discover her. But before stepping on her teak, remember the SX88 owes her existence to the naval architect Luca Santella, known for his “Bluegame”, but also to the Officina Italiana Design (Sergio Beretta & Mauro Micheli) – a studio that needs no introduction – for the exterior design. As for the interiors, they were entrusted to Piero Lissoni, recently endorsed by Sanlorenzo CEO as the brand’s new design manager. The SX88 undoubtedly began her career with strong references.
The highlight of the visit: the stern
The undisputed star of the Elite Days, early May in Sanlorenzo’s superyachts facilities in La Spezia, had a line-up of candidates wishing to sail a few miles onboard. Obviously, we were among those determined to discover her, from bow to stern, via the flybridge and of course the engine room… As we embarked via the accommodation ladder, we were irresistibly attracted by the aft of the SX88. We stopped there to enjoy one of her strengths: a huge, entirely open, terrace, just above the water surface (hence no transom, nor garage). This concept has an obvious advantage: the tender, strapped on this platform (partly hydraulic), and the two scooters of the seas are launched thanks to a retractable davit crane hidden into the stern portside handrail… (smart, practical and discreet). Its 30 m2 can be transformed into a beach club with deckchairs and coffee tables. At anchor, the SX88 should undoubtedly arouse envy. Overlooking this recreational-relaxation area, the cockpit hosts a lounge with sofas and coffee tables. But it can also be fitted with a dining area for eight, partly protected by the sundeck. Each side of the yacht features a wide and “secured” teak walkaround (with stylish grey joints!), leading to the foredeck and its dinette with a U-shaped sofa and a teak table big enough to accommodate six guests. Note that the telescopic base of the table can convert this lounge into a sunbed, in addition to the standard ones on the deckhouse. We were eager to discover the flybridge of the SX88, especially since it features on its starboard side its only helm station. It can be reached internally through an aesthetic and discreet staircase located between the living and the dining room. This upper deck is partly covered by a carbon composite hard-top with a retractable canopy. Tanning enthusiasts will enjoy the deck chairs (there is room for three) located aft. It also hosts a table and six chairs, perfect to enjoy an al fresco meal with an amazing sea view. Note that each side of the protected area feature low pieces of furniture, creating useful storage. Finally, the side windows can be lowered or raised.
Very pleasant to pilot
The fly helm station dominates with a two-seater bench perfectly fitting with the general style. The dashboard is sober, its finish meticulous. The three inclined screens immediately provide all the essential information, including the GPS dynamic positioning. Which is quite convenient on a temporary mooring or when waiting for a berth without having to drop anchor (optional). The SX88 hull is well suited for the three Volvo Penta IPS1050 diesel engines, each unit delivering 800hp. The manoeuvrability test showed a precision that positively surprised us! Using the joystick, the helmsman left La Spezia, past dyke, before switching to the traditional levers and calling on all the power. The SX88 culminated at 22.5 knots: slightly less than the 23 knots announced by the yard, but nothing to worry about since La Spezia is famous for its micro seaweeds and shells that quickly squat the hulls. According to us, the most appropriate economical cruising speed would be 16 knots (2 000 rpm), for a range of 480 miles. As during all IPS tests, the consumption curve remained relatively flat in the last range of engine speeds. The noise level is tolerable wherever you are on the yacht. As for the hull, it stays imperturbable on a barely awake Mediterranean (insignificant chops). We expected no less.
Minimalist but luxurious interiors
Before this trial, Sanlorenzo communication team had informed us of the innovative nature – not to say downright original- of this model. We were eager to discover Piero Lissoni’s lair starting with the main deck. It is surprising, to say the least. Where there is usually a living room with sofas, low furniture and TV, we discover an area gathering on portside a round table and its chairs (the dining room) and on starboard a huge brushed aluminium range cooker by Boffi. We immediately understood the concept: the guests will converse a few metres away from the Chef preparing some refined dishes. As this cohabitation might not appeal to everyone, they can also opt for the pleasant lounge located farther ahead during that time. Note that this layout was obviously defined by both the commissioner and Piero Lissoni, as this is a “custom” yacht. In any case, our test unit, described as “loft” by her creators, presents a major asset: the lateral glazed surfaces of “galley-dining area” bring lots of light and the sought-after sea view. On this unit, the sleeping area is located below decks with the central master and its en suite on starboard. We can admire this fine room through the glass partition separating it from the cabin. Controlled opacity glass is also available. In addition to the forward master cabin, the SX88 also offers two en suite twins. Since her presentation at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2017 and earlier this year in Düsseldorf and Miami, the SX88 has a priori already won over about ten owners. Building on this success, Massimo Perotti mentioned the upcoming launch of the SX76, which we can only imagine was designed in a similar spirit.