How to build a unique yacht for a potential buyer, guessing exactly his taste?
The level of customization is one of the most important factors when deciding whether to buy a production yacht. Truly “deep” customization allows you to make completely dissimilar boats based on one model: with different interiors, equipment, driving characteristics. You can theorize for a long time, looking at the specifications and lists of options, but it’s better to see what a living example looks like – a custom model Sanlorenzo SL86 by designer John Vickers. The project was implemented by West Nautical, the official representative of Sanlorenzo in Russia.
The Sanlorenzo SL86 is a very successful model in itself and is in great demand. Its predecessor, the SL82, was produced for almost two decades. In 2015, the shipyard commissioned designers Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta (Officina Italiana Design) to revise the concept and they did a great job. On the one hand, they retained the corporate identity of Sanlorenzo, on the other, they significantly changed it both inside and out.
The superstructure’s highly enlarged and elongated glazing makes the SL86 sleek on the outside and light on the inside. The main salon is almost transparent thanks to the “windows” in the entire height of the room and a partial cut of the bulwark. Inside, the deck layout has been completely revised. Firstly, all areas of the team’s work are concentrated in the bow to provide guests with privacy, and secondly, there are only two stairs on board, which has increased the living space.
For the SL86 there is an alternative, the so-called “American” layout – with a galley in the saloon, but in other markets the European one is more in demand, where the galley, cabins and crew dining area are combined into one zone in the bow of the hull. These areas are accessed by a gangway from the helm station, which can be accessed directly from the deck, so that the entire work area is outside the door and isolated from the saloon.
“This layout is so successful that it does not need to be changed, everything is already perfect,” says West Nautical. “But on the lower deck in the custom SL86, we tweaked something: slightly enlarged the master cabin by slightly reducing the lockers in the lobby. As a result, their capacity was almost not affected, but the shift of the bulkhead increased the distance between the TV hanging on it and the bed. This makes the cabin look more spacious than on other SL86 hulls. ”
Dossier Sanlorenzo SL86
2 x MTU 12V 2000 M96 (1947 HP)
Main Deck Salon: Unique bleached American walnut floor with ebony inlay reminiscent of a teak deck
The interior of the master cabin: here it looks more voluminous than on other SL86 hulls, due to the slight relocation of the bulkhead and the use of contrasting colors in combination with dark wood
In addition to the side-to-side master cabin and a separate dressing room (like on superyachts), there are three more guest cabins on the lower deck. The VIP cabin, closer to the bow, along with the bathroom also occupies the entire width of the hull; two more guests with separate beds (and their own bathrooms) are located on the sides. Well, in the bow there are two more than comfortable crew cabins for 3-4 people, depending on whether to equip them with bunk beds only or to provide the captain with a separate cabin with a large bed.
Sanlorenzo initially offers stunning and varied designs. If you flip through the brochure with a description of any yacht of the brand, you can see a lot of options: the basic version, options, and also, if the models are already several years old, those customized options that were built, since Sanlorenzo has individual orders.
“If you build a yacht not for a specific client, but with a view to a future buyer, as in this case,” comments Dmitry Lukin, head of Sanlorenzo Russia at West Nautical, “you can take a ready-made concept. But, since we work for a Russian customer, we want to anticipate his taste, be in trend and make the yacht special, which has never been before. Starting work, we only decide on the equipment of the yacht, but do not interfere with the creative process. If you force a designer into frames, he may not come up with a beautiful idea “from the heart”. Therefore, first we want to see his opinion on the combination of colors and materials, some original interior elements. If suddenly something does not seem ergonomic, we start to discuss and correct it, but the primary ideas always come from the designer. “
Sanlorenzo initially offers not only a sophisticated and varied design, but also the possibility of further customization
As a result of this approach, this custom version of Sanlorenzo SL86 received a number of unique interior features, taking into account not only the latest trends, but also the mentality of the Russian client. What does mentality have to do with it? West Nautical recalls the story of how the European client Sanlorenzo once chose a brown wood finish for his yacht, just like the Soviet furniture walls. There was nothing wrong with that for him, because he never lived in the USSR, but our people have a real allergy to this. If they order a dark lacquered wood in the finish of the yacht, then with a pronounced texture and in combination with chrome details or marble, although Europeans are often afraid of such flashy solutions.
Dmitry Lukin, Sales Director of Sanlorenzo Russia at West Nautical
We do not want to create an average product, so long ago we started to involve designer John Vickers in the work on yachts of our other brands. He always guesses, with him we get successful projects that customers like, so he is a talisman of good luck for us.
For John, this is his first work with Sanlorenzo, and as an Englishman, he wanted to make an Italian boat, not an English one. It was a joint work taking into account the views of all parties. We, as distributors, advised what customers like and what configuration to choose. The shipyard designers ensured that Sanlorenzo’s style and brand awareness were respected. Well, Vickers acted as a creative generator who comes up with something that did not exist before.
In this case, matte American walnut was chosen, complemented by chrome trim along the glazing and furniture lines. And to brighten and expand the space, all leather and textiles are finished in white. For the same purpose, the floor in the salon was made to a special order: long panels of clarified walnut are inlaid with thin strips of ebony. This visually lengthens the space and gives rise to a direct analogy with a teak deck, adding a sense of sea and summer. The carpet was put only in the sofa area – for comfort.
On all SL86s, a ladder to the flybridge leads upstairs directly from the saloon. It would seem that a waste of scarce space, but in fact the ladder looks like a valuable element of the interior: the “air” steps in the transparent glass “well” do not clutter up the space, but they allow you to solve several problems at once. First, the cockpit aft is symmetrical and more spacious; secondly, going into the bow of the flybridge, the ladder allows you to expand the “beach” area at the top; finally, continuing down from the saloon, it leads to the lower deck cabins. Thus, on board it was possible to do with only two ladders to connect all parts of the yacht. On this custom version of the SL86, the ladder has received a further “upgrade”: each step is upholstered underneath with genuine leather, the same as in the cabinetry. It is both beautiful and practical: while climbing, you do not risk hitting the edge of the step.
Sanlorenzo has a huge collection of finishing materials: there is absolutely everything you need
The decorative panel on the bulkhead is made of leather and mother-of-pearl according to a sketch by John Vickers himself: this part is not included in the basic version of the model. However, it is removable: if the future owner wants something different, the panel can be easily replaced. Other unusual details invented by Vickers include lamps in the cabins on velvet vertical inserts or mirrored surfaces. And absolutely all beds are equipped with comfortable drawers upholstered in leather.
All finishing materials were chosen from the huge collection of Sanlorenzo: there are about 50 types of onyx alone, not counting hundreds of options for fabrics, wood and leather. But even if with such an abundance you did not find what you need, the shipyard will select the desired option from the supplier, including taking into account the price.
The flybridge of the SL86 is one of the largest in the class – 41 sq. m. From above it is covered with a hardtop with electric shutters in the central part, which allows you to adjust the balance of light and shadow. This custom adds a stern awning to the hardtop; an additional awning is provided for another open recreation area – on the bow deck. The layout of the flybridge was changed from the basic one: for example, a huge U-shaped sofa was installed in the dining area – again, taking into account the wishes of Russian customers. As many of them note, the seats on the sofas are the most popular; they sit on the chairs according to the leftover principle. However, there is also a bar with three high chairs and additional equipment (they added not only a grill, but also a Japanese stove – teppanyaki): it was used for zoning the space to make the dining area more comfortable.
Flybridge: dining area with a U-shaped sofa increased and separated from the aft bar
Open dinette in the aft cockpit: the tables are combined and can be lowered electrically to the level of the sofas, transforming into a lounge area
Main control post
Unlike all other hulls of this model, on the open decks, not Italian furniture was used, but British Summit – on the advice of John Vickers. And absolutely all the seating areas (in the cockpit, on the flybridge and on the bow deck) are made transformable: tables drop down to the level of sofas and turn into sun loungers – the space is used as flexibly as possible.
Technical details and options
Yacht technical equipment issues often come into contact with design. For example, if shower cabins are equipped with dimmable electrostatic glass, then this is both a design idea and a technical option. The equipment was additionally ordered for almost all areas of the yacht, which required certain changes in design and layout: these were additional household appliances for the kitchen, a wine refrigerator in the saloon for 23 bottles, and bookshelves in the master cabin.
As for the large options, in accordance with the preferences of Russian customers, the most powerful engines offered by the shipyard for the SL86 were selected for this version: a pair of MTUs of 1974 hp. allow speeds up to 32 knots. Another 25 kW generator and electric fin stabilizers are installed, dampening the rocking both on the move and at anchor. A garage under the aft cockpit can accommodate a jet tender up to 4.45 m in length and more. The yacht is already equipped in the basic configuration with a hydraulic stern platform with a standard width of 1.2 m. By ordering an enlarged platform (1.6 m), you can hold a tender there, and give the garage for water toys.
Of course, this custom approach to equipment and finishing makes the yacht more expensive, but West Nautical tries to approach this issue realistically, maintaining a reasonable balance between the base price of the model and the cost of the selected options. Although the opportunity to immediately get a perfectly equipped yacht with a unique finish is worth it.
“The desire of the client is a law for us,” comments Dmitry Lukin, “but there is still one“ but ”in the case of the Sanlorenzo brand. Since the shipyard “subscribes” to all decisions, it has no desire to put gaudy yachts on the market. Each hull is supervised by the shipyard to ensure brand awareness and elegant design. High taste is one of the hallmarks of Sanlorenzo, and the yachts of this shipyard are usually liked by people with already established good taste. Therefore, in case of any wishes, there will always be a search for the golden mean, which will please the client and at the same time preserve the style of the shipyard ”.
Sanlorenzo, West Nautical