Boat International contributor Maria Roberta Morso recently joined the first unit of the new Sanlorenzo SL118 in Rapallo, Italy, for a sea trial.
The new 36.5m Sanlorenzo SL118 superyacht H1, launched this February, was moored at the Carlo Riva marina where the company's Chairman Massimo Perotti and CEO Fulvio Dodich, welcomed us to introduce their newest model and present Sanlorenzo's current activity. Perotti stated that the sales activity of the yard is improving and they are working full steam ahead, whilst Dodich was more focused on the SL118 explaining in detail the stylistic evolution of the SL line, which, after the launching of the new flagship, includes a cohesive series of models from 62' to 118'.
'Our strength is flexibility', Fulvio Dodich told me when I asked how they stay successful in a market segment that is suffering due to the decrease in the popularity of fast cruisers. 'We are able to deliver made-to-measure boat, and the SL118 is an example of our approach. We don't ask the client to chose veneers or fabrics, we build the yacht together. The SL118's GA, as developed by the yard, has four guest cabins on the lower deck amidship, and H1 has the guest quarters in the bow section with crew and technical areas astern!'
H1 belongs to a German family and her German Captain, Frank Hesse, knows well both the owners and Sanlorenzo having been the yard's captain for years. I've known him from 2000 when he was Captain onboard the Benetti Classic hull No 3, Felidan, and he has a great reputation for being extremely demanding, skilled and dedicated to his job. 'The Owner followed the building of H1 closely. We are still fine tuning a few things, but the yacht performs as expected,' he told me during a sea trial, carried out in perfect sea and wind conditions.
Designed by Francesco Paszowski in collaboration with the yard and the owner, the interior layout and decoration feature a limitless interior space concept. Walking through the yacht, what impressed me most are the double glazing bulkheads on the lower deck (pictured) letting the light flow through the space and allowing a total view of the full beam. Privacy is obtained lowering the venetian blinds integrated into the glass sandwich. Glass is indeed a prominent feature onboard H1 where a minimalist, grey and white, decoration dominates throughout the decks. The large main saloon boats huge windows (140kg each glass!) that can be fully opened thanks to a sophisticated raising system that makes them disappear into the superstructure at the touch of a button.
As I was visiting her interiors, the yacht smoothly navigated at cruising; from the raised pilothouse with an 'Apple-like' configuration, Captain Hesse pushed H1 at a top speed of around 26 knots bringing us back to the harbour.