Reviewed: Sanlorenzo SL 102 Asymmetric

An offset design makes the Sanlorenzo SL 102 Asymmetric stand out from the crowd.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
Part of the SL102’s asymmetric design is single side-deck access on the starboard-side.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

We are used to symmetry, from our bodies to reflections on the sea, but the essence of the Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric is that it is a “half-wide-body” design, with a full-width salon to port and a side deck only on the starboard-side of the main deck. The design is so neatly executed that you would have to look hard, ideally with a pair of SL102s side by side, to see the asymmetry.

There is function behind this form, to be sure. The result is a yacht that is considerably larger both in the salon—Sanlorenzo claims an added 110 square feet of space there alone—and in the on-deck master stateroom forward. As you’d expect on a 102-footer, there is a salon entertainment area with facing couches as well as a formal dining area for eight. But on the SL102, these setups are side by side, rather than fore and aft, as with conventional layouts.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
Glass-enclosed steps lead to the SL102’s flybridge and help enhance the interior’s open feeling.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

Sanlorenzo also brought the outdoors into the salon with 8-foot-4-inch sliding doors to the starboard-side deck, and with a fold-down terrace that creates an aerie for a pair of chairs and a table above the sea. To further enhance the open feeling, the builder engineered electrically operated sliding panels in the bulwark to port, resulting in an unobstructed 6-by-7-foot picture window next to the 8-foot-long dining table.

But does that mean the crew only has one side deck to work the yacht while anchoring or docking? Al contrario, because Sanlorenzo’s design team created a crew walkway to port that departs the cockpit via stairs and goes up one level, passes the bridge and then comes down on the foredeck. Aside from requiring the crew to ascend and descend, the design’s only change for operating the yacht is the need for longer fender lines to port.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
Sanlorenzo also brought the outdoors into the salon with 8-foot-4-inch sliding doors to the starboard-side deck.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

That cockpit stairway, in a corner of the salon, is enclosed in glass as a stylish feature, and its teak steps extend through the glass into the salon with the ends also functioning as shelves.

Forward, the lack of a side deck means the master stateroom has complete privacy to port, while a pantograph door leads to the starboard-side deck and a lounge area forward. The space can be made private with a door to close off the forward deck.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
Windows on each side of the stateroom add to the breezy feel.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

And the master, reached via a companionway that includes the door to the day-head, continues the theme of airiness with a glass-enclosed 36-by-42-inch shower that’s open to the stateroom. Windows on each side of the stateroom add to the breezy feel. The extra width of the SL102’s house allowed room not only for a vanity/desk in the master but also for a pair of Minotti wicker chairs with a cocktail table. They complement detailing such as leather-faced drawers, an inlaid-leather writing pad and fine joinery.

The symmetry of design returns with the accommodations belowdecks, where four guest staterooms mirror one another with athwartships queen berths and en suite heads. One option is to move the master stateroom below, creating a full-beam space plus two VIP staterooms; in that layout, the main-deck space forward becomes a country-kitchen-style galley. Both layouts have two crew cabins and one captain’s cabin, all en suite, with a crew lounge area. The galley can be closed off from the salon with a pocket door and has a pantograph door to the side deck for service fore or aft.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
The SL102’s design may be asymmetric, but the yacht looks balanced from all angles, inside and outside.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

Steps from the galley lead to the raised pilothouse, which has four monitors as well as a pilot berth above and abaft a settee.

An asymmetric feel is also on the flybridge, which covers the side deck below. Two decks lead forward from bridge level, with the port side for crew to transit from the cockpit to the bow via forward stairs. The starboard deck leads to the sun pad covering the forward house. The SL102 I got aboard had an optional slatted hardtop, with louvers that rotate electrically to allow in sun and breeze when desired. A dining table for eight was tucked under the hardtop, with an L-shaped bar with a grill and two fixed stools aft.

The remainder of the bridge is left to an owner’s devices. Aboard this 102, there was a mix of Minotti couches, chaise lounges and chairs.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
The helm has four screens displaying navigation information and vessel-monitoring data. Abaft the helm is a settee for guests.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

Power for the SL102 is either twin 2,216 hp MTU 16V 2000 M86s or twin 2,434 hp M96 16V 2000 diesels. The latter were on this SL102, and she ran just shy of 27 knots with a full load of fuel, water and crew. The yacht settled into a comfortable 20-knot cruise speed at an engine-saving 2,000 rpm while consuming 158 gph total, creating a 400-nautical-mile range.

The fly-by-wire electronic steering created some hilarity aboard, as I could one-finger spin the wheel easily from lock to lock. We each took turns slaloming this 102-footer with wide grins on our faces.

Sanlorenzo has created a yacht that is innovative and creative in the face of yachting tradition. More than a dozen of the SL102s have reportedly been sold.

Sometimes, being off-center can be right on target.

Sanlorenzo SL102 Asymmetric
The theme of airiness continues with a glass-enclosed 36-by-42-inch shower that’s open to the stateroom.Courtesy Sanlorenzo

Outside Thinking

Former BMW chief auto designer Chris Bangle joined Zuccon International Project to break the “rules” of yacht design with what has been called the first asymmetric yacht: the Sanlorenzo SL102. It may be the first production-built asymmetric yacht, but Paolo Caliari actually designed a trio of “half-wide-body” custom yachts for Proteksan starting in 2003 with Camaleon B at 139 feet, followed by two 173-footers.

Starboard Rules

In nautical etiquette, the starboard-side of a yacht belongs to the owner and guests. They board from it, the owner’s flag flies from the starboard spreader, and tenders with arriving guests properly approach from the starboard-side. The crew boards to port, as do service teams arriving for one-off jobs or daywork.

Stocking Up

Sanlorenzo SpA is planning to list on the Milan Stock Exchange by year’s end, with chairman and majority stockholder Massimo Perotti using 35 percent of his stake for the offering. He bought the company from stakes owned by Italian and Chinese companies, and continues to retain a 60 percent stake—with 5 percent held by his management team. Perotti says he expects to close 2019 at about $507 million in sales and 55 yachts built.

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