Sanlorenzo SX88
Jim Raycroft

Sea Trial: Sanlorenzo SX88

Sanlorenzo's SX88 is one part expedition vessel, one part luxury motoryacht.


ome yachts blend into the harbor like everyday scenery. Others make an impression that’s memorable no matter how many harbors they visit. The Sanlorenzo SX88 is the latter. Her exterior has a commanding profile. Her forward half resembles an oceangoing explorer vessel with a near-vertical axe bow, a metal-capped knockdown rail that wraps around the bow, and a hard chine that begins halfway up the bow stem and rakes aft. Configured to control the pitching of the yacht as well as spray, the design is geared to bust through waves with an easy motion. The superstructure’s styling is also dramatic. Corners and edges are softened to blend with the overall curves and flowing fore-aft lines. A single-pane, ­reverse-raked forward window — atypical on recreational yachts — juxtaposes the vertical rounded flybridge windshield. The sheer line sweeps aft to the stern, ending in arches that flank the swim deck. Cleverly, the port arch is also a davit for the water toys. Enjoying the outdoors is designed into the SX88 in other ways too. The foredeck has a U-shaped settee with twin tables. Split sun pads on bow boxes double as stowage for fenders and lines, and they may be the best seats in the house. Not only are the side decks wide enough for walking without twisting or turning your body, but the gunwales are angled outward a few inches, giving extra space to those, like me, with healthy girths.

Sanlorenzo SX88
Note how the 9-foot-long flybridge windows drop down to let in fresh air. Top speed: 23 knots.Jim Raycroft

And while the side gunwales are about waist-high, Sanlorenzo designed cutouts with railings so people sitting inside can still see the water, and so ambient lighting can still get in.

That design element helps the interior by Marty Lowe feel open. With her signature use of glass, light materials and stone — in this yacht’s case, white French oak soles as well as surfaces of white lava stone from Sicily’s Mount Etna — Lowe developed the space layouts of the SX88 American Edition. There’s a dining area forward with a low-glare panoramic view (through the inverted window), a central floating staircase for accessing the flybridge, and sole-to-ceiling salon windows. The salon becomes an extension of the aft deck via sliding doors, with indoor twin chairs and a table to port, a U-shaped settee to starboard and open space for whatever else owners might want. Along the side windows there are no backrests, but instead pillows and cushions, to maintain the view.

With a dining table that seats 10, the aft deck rises five steps above the swim deck (it’s more than a swim platform; see “Beaching It”). Amidships up one step is a day-head to port. To starboard is a U-shaped galley with Miele cooktop, stove and dishwasher, Sharp microwave and Sub-Zero fridge/freezer.

On the flybridge, the forward windshield is a single-pane, wraparound vertical design component. It provides an unobstructed view from the helm station and blends with the side windows, which are 9 feet in length and electrically open into recessed pockets for a full outdoor effect. The hardtop includes louvered slats that can be adjusted for airflow. The aft area is open and sized for loose sofas and tables, and curtains can be added for weather protection. Under the hardtop are an L-shaped settee to starboard abaft the helm, and a forward bench and twin helm seat. A wood-finished cabinet is to port with a bar, fridge and ice maker. Aft is a three-stool bar and nook. A pop-up TV is forward.

Sanlorenzo SX88
(Left to right) Nice view — and fresh air — from the flybridge. There are multiple alfresco social zones. Yes, those steps are floating.Jim Raycroft

Belowdecks are four staterooms (a main-deck master is available). The VIP stateroom is forward with the berth athwartships, a bench seat and an en suite head in the forepeak. Guest stateroms have twin berths in one, and twins that convert to a double in the other. Amidships, the master stateroom spans the 23-foot-6-inch beam with a walk-in closet, lounge seating, a desk and a TV.

Prior to the SX88’s introduction, Sanlorenzo touted it as a crossover between the Explorer class and flybridge motoryacht models. I’d say that’s accurate. The SX88 has a broad-shouldered, tough-as-nails appearance supported by a bulldog-tough fiberglass and carbon-fiber build. She’s modern without appearing trendy, and she definitely makes an impression.

Sanlorenzo SX88
Take the next step by visiting Sanlorenzo.Jim Raycroft

The Sound of Silence

To reduce noise, Sanlorenzo mounts the triple 800 hp Volvo Penta diesels under the aft deck and platform, away from living areas. The master stateroom is insulated from the engine room not just by the full-beam head, but also by the crew quarters.


Powering the SX88 are triple 800 hp Volvo Penta IPS1050 diesels. My SX88 hit a 23-knot top-end during our sea trial in a 2-foot light chop. Cruising at 10 knots, the yacht has about a 1,000-nautical-mile range from her 2,456-gallon fuel tanks (with a 25 percent reserve). At 10 knots, her motors burned 18.6 gallons per hour. Go to 18.6 knots with a burn rate of 87.2 gph, and range drops to around 400 nm. The numbers are impressive for a 158,700-pound craft with a fiberglass hull and carbon-fiber superstructure.

Beaching It

The SX88’s swim deck measures 200 square feet, with room for multiple Trona floating chairs and a bench settee between the twin staircases to the aft deck. For water access, the midsection of the deck submerges. A MarQuipt staircase extends from the lowered section for main-deck access, and a freshwater shower is ready for a rinse before lunch. When the yacht is cruising, the water toys can be placed on the deck, minimizing the need to tow anything and saving interior space.