Any time a company deviates from “the norm,” eyebrows raise. This is especially true in yachting, which remains a fairly conservative industry in terms of design. Traditional looks still sell, so many builders play it pretty safe, as is evident at any boat show where attendees are incredulous upon seeing a radically different yacht.
Massimo Perotti, the chairman and CEO of Sanlorenzo, knows the feeling. When the shipyard announced the addition of Asymmetric models to its SL series, the news was met with “a bit of skepticism,” he says. These Asymmetric models push usable interior space out to the full beam on one side—and only one side, where there’s no traditional side deck.
Captains and crew accustomed to having two side decks to handle lines and get around the yacht were worried. Customers could have been too, but funny enough, the customers liked it. Then, the captains and crew came around.
“The market has been receiving the Asymmetric idea very well,” Perotti says, adding that acceptance came partly because the side deck isn’t actually removed; it’s just moved. When owners see and feel the difference in the interior, and how much it enhances their connection to the cruising environment, they’re sold.
The idea behind the Asymmetric line dates back several years. Sanlorenzo was wrestling with how to provide owners with more usable interior space. An initial idea was a widebody design, in which the main-deck interior spans the yacht’s full beam. Sanlorenzo quickly decided that wasn’t practical for smaller to midsize superyachts. So, Perotti sought the input of designer Chris Bangle, with whom Sanlorenzo has been working since 2015. Bangle is known for shaking up the designs of Fiat and BMW. He came up with the notion of a widebody to one side to benefit owners along with a full side deck opposite, as well as an over-the-widebody passage from the flybridge to the bow to benefit the crew.
Sanlorenzo then tapped Zuccon International Project and its own design department to make the concept float. The first Asymmetric model, the SL102A, debuted in May 2018, with about a dozen contracts coming in less than a year. After that, customers began asking for a slightly longer aft deck and swim platform, which resulted in the creation of the SL106A.
If you’re still trying to wrap your brain around the asymmetry, rest assured that the SL106A doesn’t look lopsided. In fact, unless you know to look for the difference, you may not even notice it at first.
There is still a side deck to starboard, and the twin stairways leading from the swim platform to the main deck aft are what you’re used to seeing. The same is true when you view the vessel bow-on or in aerial photos. Handrail-lined side decks—truly dedicated passageways outboard of the leisure areas—on the flybridge lend aesthetic balance.
For the remaining skeptics, consider that most flybridge yachts don’t provide a way for the crew to reach the foredeck from up top. The SL106A has a few stairs on the widebody side. Crew also can access the flybridge via an alfresco floating stairway aft and to port on the main deck, or by way of steps from the raised pilothouse (a configuration that’s hidden until you step aboard).
As for the extra interior space, the one-sided widebody adds nearly 108 square feet to the main deck. Much of it is used in the open-plan salon and dining area, where most owners and guests spend their time when they’re not swimming or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors. Additionally, a nearly sole-to-ceiling window is on the widebody side. Guests can practically stand right up against it, lending the sensation of hovering directly above the water. Sliding glass doors and a deploying balcony opposite, along with the 23-foot beam, add to the roomy feel.
The main-deck master stateroom also feels airy because of a rectangular port forward, directly over the bed. (Where so many builders position the en suite head; Sanlorenzo situates it along the portside entry.) This stateroom has a door to the starboard-side deck. Push a button, and there’s access to the foredeck settee with a table for a private breakfast or snack. A few steps up on the port side are a sun pad and the stairs to the flybridge.
In challenging conventional notions of how a yacht has to look and function, Sanlorenzo actually includes new ways to get around. And the SL106A is still a 10-guest, 28-knot yacht. That is about as traditional as they come.
Fueling the Future
Sanlorenzo is exploring alternatives to traditional diesel fuel. In partnership with Siemens Energy, it’s developing a superyacht with methanol fuel-cell systems to generate electricity—a proven technology that has never been used in yachting. Delivery of the 164-footer is expected in 2024.
Recognizing that its customers regularly attend major art fairs, Sanlorenzo has a global partnership agreement for the Art Basel events in Hong Kong, Switzerland and Miami through 2023. The shipyard created Sanlorenzo Arts to better connect its brand to the art world, collaborating with artists for special exhibitions.
Sanlorenzo created its High-End Services division in 2020 to enhance customer relationships. Services include leasing and financing, crew training at the Sanlorenzo Academy, as well as maintenance and refit through Sanlorenzo Timeless. The builder is augmenting the division this year to increase client loyalty and attract new buyers.
Take the next step: sanlorenzoyacht.com