4H, the first of Sanlorenzo's aluminum yachts, could be a case study of the classic minimalist style of design, but everything else about this 131-foot beauty screams maximalist! Appropriately, Massimo Perotti, Sanlorenzo's chairman and the man behind the program, is known to friends and associates as Max, and he is without a doubt the classic maximalist, planning carefully and then jumping in with both feet, whatever the undertaking.
When Sanlorenzo, the venerable builder of fiberglass yachts up to 108 feet, chose to extend its range, the decision included not only a switch to aluminum, but also the construction of a new shipyard in Viareggio, Italy, to build the semi-custom yachts. The second step in the program was the hiring of Antonio Santella, an experienced and respected aluminum-yacht project manager, to oversee the construction of both the yard and the yachts. Finally, the design was entrusted to Francesco Paszkowski, whose talent for marrying cutting-edge style to innovative layouts is well recognized.
The result is a yacht that reaches for new horizons. In profile, 4H looks like a raised pilothouse motoryacht, and in fact, her pilothouse is a half-deck above her main deck, but there's a difference. Abaft the pilothouse, its bulk hidden by a raked housetop that extends from the pilothouse to the radar arch, is an enclosed space that carries the yacht's dining room. Combining the sleek look of a raised pilothouse motoryacht with the greater interior volume of a trideck motoryacht is not an easy undertaking. I expect the innovation will be showing up in the work of other designers and builders, but it is doubtful they'll execute the design with as much panache as Paszkowski has.
The innovations continue with the yacht's interior arrangement. Once the decision was made to relocate the dining room from the main deck to the upper deck, the need for a dumbwaiter from the galley was self-evident, and that opened up another possibility. It's just as easy for a dumbwaiter to span two decks as one, so it was no problem to relocate the galley from the main deck down to the lower deck. With no galley or dining room on the main deck, the space available for the salon and master suite rivals that of much larger yachts.
The salon is spacious enough for a sofa forward, two L-settees aft, and four spacious chairs with cocktail tables in between, as well as a bar as you enter from the aft deck, but Sanlorenzo didn't stop there. Wide glass doors in the salon slide open to the side decks and sections of the bulwark fold down to form balconies over the sea on both sides, extending the effective width of the salon by another ten feet or so. The effect, particularly on the balmy day I visited the yacht in the Mediterranean, with a gentle breeze blowing, is absolutely awesome. What a wonderful place this is for entertaining a sizeable party, or simply relaxing with a smaller group of family and friends.