Sanlorenzo SX112 superyacht Almax

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The future of yacht design? On board Sanlorenzo's SX112 superyacht Almax

6 September 2021 • Written by Kevin Koenig

Showcasing a deft balance between versatility and cutting-edge style, Sanlorenzo’s SX112 superyacht Almax is a case study in the future of yacht design

Though the word “striking” is overused in marine journalism, it is impossible to describe the Sanlorenzo SX112 without calling it exactly that. If truth lies at the heart of every cliché, then Sanlorenzo and its team have designed a yacht that strikes at an aesthetic truth like few boats launched since the world turned inside out in spring 2020.

The SX line combines old world elegance with more progressive ideals.
All images courtesy of Thomas Pagani.

The intention behind the SX line was to create a crossover vessel that combines Old World elegance with progressive ideals, such as an unfettered connection to the marine environment. Sanlorenzo is renowned for the former, with chic interiors and Italian style, but where it is truly excelling is with the latter. The SX112 melds the innovative use of convertible indoor-outdoor spaces, fold-out terraces and loads of glass to present a case study in where yacht design is heading.

Zuccon International Project designed the yacht’s exterior in close co-operation with Sanlorenzo and architect Piero Lissoni. “The shipyard and our studio strongly believe in this product, whose spaces and environments are designed to fully enhance the sea experience in its purest form,” says Bernardo Zuccon. “On board barriers ‘fall’ and the boat opens up to the sea through a simple and direct interpretation in which everything is connected to the marine context.”

The lower deck opens to the beach platform through the gym, which offers side terraces as well.

The SX112 Almax was at the Palm Beach International Boat Show where it was shown to the US market for the first time. Its location on the edge of the builder’s display allowed passers-by to get a sense of its distinctive transom design.

Any conversation about the Sanlorenzo SX112 begins with her aft deck, which is at once massive and eye-catching. The deck has 92 square metres of usable space framed to port and starboard by the swooping aft portions of the sheer line. Each one of these sections has fold-out terraces that, when activated, form a huge beach club strewn with sunpads and lounges. The furthest aft portion of the starboard sheer line doubles as a davit that blends in with the yacht’s lines. The forward portion of this aft deck is shaded, clad in glass and contains a gym with an exercise bike, weightlifting cables and, of course, views. Side terraces also straddle this space, giving the gym outdoor lounges of its own.

Workouts in the gym come with amazing views. In a layout departure, the engine room is unobtrusively tucked beneath the beach platform.

The glass is of particular interest to Marco Segato, CEO of Sanlorenzo Americas. “The glass, particularly in the amount we used around the gym, was a challenge for us during the build,” he says. “You can work out indoors but feel like you are outside. And that would not be possible without the use of glass that’s all reinforced. It’s structural, and it’s only found on megayachts.” He’s referring to landmark projects such as the late Steve Jobs’ 78-metre Venus, the 90-metre Oceanco DAR with its sweeping glass bulwarks or Abeking & Rasmussen’s 80-metre Excellence and its three-storey-tall atrium. It’s not something you tend to see on a 34-metre yacht.

The master cabin is a similar size to the VIP cabin but offers a bonus – a hidden door that opens to the gym and beach club.

Inside, each SX112 can be tailored, not just in the colour choices or materials but in the way the spaces are used. On Almax, amidships on the lower deck, past the watertight bulkhead, is the yacht’s master cabin. Its starboard-side wall mirror serves a double purpose – it opens up the space and conceals the flat-screen television within. There’s a king-sized bed to port and an en suite head forward, accented with lustrous green marble sourced from Italy. The rain shower offers ample shoulder space, as well as more than two metres of headroom.

All of the SX112’s accommodation is on the same level, which frees up space on the main deck for entertaining. Twin VIPs are both en suite, while a secondary saloon can convert into a cabin for two. When not acting as sleeping quarters, the latter space enjoys generous natural light via an atrium created by the main staircase leading up to the saloon.

All the guest cabins boast large portholes for lots of natural light.

That staircase, spiralling and encased in glass, is what the yacht’s interior designer Piero Lissoni refers to as a “highly technological opening” that helps create the overall impression that the SX112 is a “villa that floats”. An architecturally eye-catching central staircase is a leitmotiv through the SX series and one that Lissoni enjoys. It also is one of the favourite features of Almax’s owner, who happens to be Massimo Perotti, the executive chairman of Sanlorenzo.

The glass surrounding the staircase helps to lighten and brighten the main deck and serves to further a pervading and intriguing theme throughout the deck – that of an interplay between Eastern minimalism and European sophistication. The main saloon could be the Tokyo apartment of an expatriated Milanese businessman. The windows are low and huge (2.2 metres in height), the furniture is understated and everywhere space is put to efficient and creative use.

That glass-encased staircase from above.

The aft section of the saloon is dominated by twin facing sofas to port and starboard, each offering excellent views to seated guests out of the yacht’s massive side windows. The forward section is notable for a mid-century-modern table surrounded by a mishmash of tastefully styled chairs. Segato points out that “the chairs are all antiques bought off the secondary market and restored to their original form”. They were designed by such names as Franco Albini, Hans J Wegner and Norman Cherner, among others, and comprise what Segato calls “an encyclopaedia of style”. The irreverence of the arrangement shows off the firm grasp Sanlorenzo has on the Italian concept of sprezzatura, a practiced nonchalance that appears naturally chic, never fussy. The table itself is a graduate class in style and it enjoys natural light from a windshield with an inverted rake that helps give the SX112 a hearty and masculine profile.

Low-profile furniture set in front of the huge sole-to-ceiling windows give the SX112’s main saloon an exceptionally airy feel.

The yacht’s formal dining area is up top in the upper saloon, where a table can accommodate up to 10 guests. There’s also a cinema area in this space, with a massive flat-screen television and modular cushions that mix and match to create the perfect seating to take in a film. The forward portion of the upper saloon is dominated by the starboard-side helm with its twin 24-inch Raymarine screens and excellent lines of sight through a second inverted-rake windshield that neatly parallels the lines of the windshield below. The entire lounge space benefits from an open-air connection through a sunroof and side windows, all electrically powered.

More gathering spots are found forward on the main deck.

The aft portion of this deck is open and dedicated to sun-worshippers, with more sunpads, as well as the ever-popular optional spa pool. The spa pool can also be installed in the cockpit or on the yacht’s splendid foredeck, an area which holds a special place in Segato’s heart. On a recent trip to the Exumas aboard the yacht, Segato recalls the foredeck was nothing short of “unbelievable”. “Before dinner, there is no better place to be,” he says, “for tapas, prosecco, champagne, whatever you like, and it easily holds 20 people.”

When touring the SX112’s interior spaces, the sheer volume is manifest. Zuccon describes the advantage of this in lyrical style. “[The boat benefits from] more ‘oxygen’ available to convey the stylistic message through a rationale in which the harmony and balance of the volumes can be traced back to languages related to the principles of organic architecture,” he says. “Its design is fluid, almost evoking the nature of large marine mammals.”

The main deck aft offers yet another al fresco entertainment area.

However, from an engineering standpoint, the nexus of yacht’s interior volume is the engine room, which is located below the beach platform. Sanlorenzo chose to equip this vessel with quadruple Volvo Penta IPS1350s, powerful yet relatively compact engines that supply the yacht with a sporty 23-knot top end but also take up very little space in the belly of the beast. This means that 40 square metres that may have been allocated to the engine room space in a more traditional set-up with two large engines, were apportioned to the guest spaces.

The pod drives serve a second purpose besides freeing up interior volume: they also give the yacht a remarkably shallow draught of 1.94 metres at full load. This makes the model an excellent choice for the skinny waters of the Bahamas and Florida.

An atrium lounge on the SX112’s accommodation level offers yet another private nook. It can also be converted into a twin cabin.

“If I had to choose the best [place] for the SX112, then I would go for Florida and the Bahamas because of the spaces that directly open on to the sea, and the extremely low draught,” says Perotti, in part speaking to Sanlorenzo fans in the US. However, he is quick to point out that the yacht will also excel elsewhere. “The SX112’s characteristics make her suitable for all markets. In fact, we have already sold eight units in Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific,” he adds.

The SX112 is powered by Volvo Penta IPS1350s engines.

The early success of this model will come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to get an up-close look. The SX112 is a yacht that truly stands out in her class for her innovative use of space and her distinct styling. And with attributes as avant-garde as this, there’s really no excuse for clichés.

This feature is taken from the July 2021 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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More about this yacht

Sanlorenzo   34.16 m •  2020

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