Sanlorenzo introduces yachting’s luxury SUV

Lifestyle — 13.11.18 BY Steve Chalmers

With its compact dimensions – 26.7 metres in length and 7.2 in width, the SX88 is the perfect size for a fun, stylish and innovative crossover vessel. Styled by Officina Italiana Design, the Sanlorenzo has a distinctive silhouette with its mix of explorer, sport fisher and trawler, making her completely recognisable in Cannes’ Vieux Port where we put her to the test. Despite her mini-explorer looks, the 88 hasn’t been designed to conquer the Northwest Passage, instead, thanks to her reinforced fiberglass, semi displacement hull and a superstructure made of lightweight carbon, she’s an incredibly manoeuvrable boat that is happy cruising the waters of the world’s favourite lifestyle anchorages.

Adding to the Sanlorenzo’s performance are the three 800hp Volvo IPS’ which give her a top speed of 23 knots and a 1000 nautical mile range travelling at 12 knots. Compared with traditional drives, the configuration of the IPS 1050’s make it possible to move the units closer to the stern freeing up space for the a compartment for three of the crew.


The SX88 is full of fresh thinking and clever executions, all of which came courtesy of yacht designer and Olympic sailing champion Luca Santella. Back in 2014, he approached Massimo Perotti, the owner of Sanlorenzo with his bold and audacious concept, which were initially perceived with some apprehension and scepticism. This soon changed when Officina Italiana Design and Lou Codega joined the project, working on the hull and exterior design of the yacht, and with it, 11 units sold before the first SX was even completed.

“Placing the wheelhouse on the flybridge has opened up the forward section of the main salon, allowing guests to lounge at the windscreen.”

There’s no waiting around for garages to open on the 88, instead, the aft lower deck is dedicated to carrying a 4.4 metre tender and several PWCs – which is an impressive spread for a 27-metre yacht. These are launched by the davit, which is hidden in plain sight, as it is actually the port handrail – genius! Of course, once the fleet has launched the whole area becomes an incredible beach club with more than 30m2 of entertaining space. Housing the water toys at the stern means the bow space has been completely dedicated to lazing around in the sun. Even the deck equipment has been hidden in lockers, meaning the colossal sunpad covers most of the foredeck. Opposite there is a C-shaped sofa, complemented by a table on an adjustable chrome leg. This zone can serve as a small, open air dining area as well as a second sunpad.


Heading in to the SX88 you can admire the simple elegance of Piero Lissoni’s interior. Open and uncluttered, his design removes any traditional ‘unpopular’ areas, keeping the deck functional but unpretencious. It has the feel of a trendy loft more than of a yacht interior, with huge windows and a studio approach to room separations. At the entrance to the salon there is a small dining room, with a kitchen compartment opposite. Functionality is again the word, as it features a built-in hood with lighting, a bar counter, microwave, coffee machine, refrigerator, ice maker and a wine cabinet – all built into niches and masked by panels.
As you can probably guess, the furniture on board is loose, meaning guests can congregate wherever they wish – another great feature which with the huge glazing gives it that unmistakable penthouse feel. In some ways, the central staircase is one of the main salon’s main static features, although courtesy of its glass panelling, adds to the Sanlorenzo’s minimalist feel. Last but not least, placing the wheelhouse on the flybridge has opened up the forward section of the main salon, allowing guests to congregate at the windscreen, essentially making it a panoramic lounge.


All the SX88’s cabins are located on the lower deck, with the aft full-beam mastercabin finished with green glass panelling, glass partitions, all highlighted by Carrara marble. The VIP cabin is located in the bow of the Sanlorenzo, with two twin cabins making up the four-cabin layout. Interestingly, the second bed in the twin room can be folded up Pullman style to create a compact suite.


Flybridges are normally pretty straight forward, but with the SX88, you have a number of options. For winter/summer the aft section can be covered and heated/cooled respectively. But when the sun’s out at the perfect temperature, the glazing can be dropped, the sunroof opened and the skylounge becomes a traditional flybridge/sundeck. As expected, there’s a bar, a lounge area covered by the roof, with a pair of sun loungers out under the sky for the sun worshippers.


The SX88 is like no Sanlorenzo before it and you have to congratulate all the parties involved for having the foresight and willingness to put an all new concept into production. From the moment you step on board the SX, with its minimalist layout and open plan design, you soon realise that this is no ordinary yacht. It may upset the traditionalists, but that’s just fine, as this Sanlorenzo is firmly aimed at the younger yacht owner. There’s nothing else quite like the SX88 on the water, although with the sales already generated for the 88, we expect to see more LSUVs emerging from shipyards over the next few years.


LOA: 26.7m
Max beam: 7.20m
Draught @ full load: 1.7m
Exterior design: Officina Italiana Design
Interior design: Piero Lissoni
Engines: 3x Volvo IPS1050 (800hp)
Max speed: 23 knots
Fuel capacity: 9,300ltr
Shipyard: Sanlorenzo, Ameglia, Italy