“That’s my yacht out there,” he said. “The big one.” I’ve always dreamed of being able to say that – and be telling the truth – but I doubt I could say it as coolly, calmly and matter-of-factly as the owner of Stella, the first Sanlorenzo 120 Asymmetric.
Quietly spoken and smartly dressed, he was answering an enquiry about his presence at Sanlorenzo’s pre-event press conference on the eve of the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival as guests dined on the beach after seeing the 37m motor yacht parade in the bay.
Having briefly had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife, I then had the pleasure of a tour of his yacht a few days later as the SL120A made its official world premiere at Vieux Port. The model was among three Sanlorenzo models making their global debut, along with the SL90A and the semi-displacement SD118.
However, the SL120A gained particular attention as the new flagship of Sanlorenzo’s planing line and because its volume of 280GT means it’s over 55 per cent larger than the SL106A, an extended version of the original SL102A and the second-biggest Asymmetric model.
Featuring a solitary side deck, the SL102A was billed as the world’s first asymmetric model when it premiered in 2018 and was followed by the SL96A, which debuted at Boot Dusseldorf in January 2020.
Developing upon an idea by car designer Chris Bangle, the Asymmetric models are all designed by Bernardo Zuccon of Zuccon International Project. Each features just a single side deck starboard of the saloon and a widebody design to port where the bulwark can slide down to expand the view from inside.
Living By The Water
When you’re on hull one of the SL120A, you’re greeted by the same sense of calm as when meeting her owner. He enjoys space and there’s plenty of it, with furniture used elegantly and selectively.
At sea — or while berthed at the Cannes Yachting Festival — the yacht’s party trick is her stunning beach club, which can open to provide a truly expansive social zone on the water.
The garage door folds down to offer a huge bathing platform aft, while both sides also drop down to provide an almost 500sqft, three-terrace beach club centred around a covered area with chairs, coffee table and sunpads. There’s a bar with ice maker, fridge and sink in the slightly sunken centre zone, while the tender is stored by means of a ceiling-mounted lift crane and a little shifting of the furniture by the crew.
Zuccon says a lot of thought went into this zone, which is among areas that make you feel like you’re on much more than a 121 footer. “The configuration of the aft section, where the side and stern doors turn into a full-fledged beach area, makes use of every centimetre as if it were a larger yacht,” he says.
Symmetrical outdoor staircases lead up to the aft cockpit, where loose chairs and sofas sit around a couple of coffee tables. Like most living areas on a Sanlorenzo yacht, the cockpit can be customised, but on Stella, it gives an indication of an owner who feels less is more and is in no rush to cram social spaces full of furniture.
Inside Looking Out
Like on other Asymmetric models, the port stairs to the flybridge are visible from the saloon, which is where Zuccon’s interpretation of the asymmetric design works hand in hand with the interior designed by his sister Martina.
Thai walnut wood is used for both the floor and the wall panelling, while the entire ceiling has a consistent metallic-effect lacquer finish. The décor and soft furnishings are dominated by neutral tones — wood, creams, browns — offset by splashes of colour or natural colours, such as the large painting of green plants in the saloon or navy-blue stripes on the flybridge furniture.
The saloon can be customised, but layouts include facing sofas to starboard and a dining table arranged lengthways to port. The owner of hull one has chosen just one L-shaped sofa and a chair to starboard plus a couple more chairs to port, with the dining table forward.
The saloon is the focal point of the yacht’s asymmetric design and like sister models, it features a widebody design to port, which adds 8sqm or nearly 90sqft of space to the saloon.
Almost full-height glazing combines with the drop-down bulwark — another range signature — to provide guests with expansive views of the outside and a feeling that you’re hovering above the water when you get close to the windows.
Yet the real focal point is to starboard, where large sliding doors open to reveal a drop-down balcony and this side becomes the natural hub of life in the saloon.
The variety of views and settings are among benefits of the asymmetric design, which Zuccon says allows him to redefine the way people inhabit a yacht, “offering the opportunity to perceive the sea from new and dynamic perspectives, which are constantly changing as you move around on board”.
Masterful Owner Zone
However, Zuccon’s design for the 120A compared to the smaller Asymmetric models (90A, 96A, 102/106A) differs in that the starboard side deck doesn’t continue forward all the way to the foredeck.
Instead, it stops midships, where stairs lead up to the flybridge area forward of the semi-raised pilothouse. This up-and-down stairway allows for a full-beam master cabin forward on the main deck.
“With SL120A we were duty-bound to explore the territory of asymmetry in a different way,” Zuccon says. “Given the increased size, we decided to break the balance of the asymmetry by creating a ‘hybrid’ structure with an entirely widebody port side and a starboard side that alternates between the classic walk-around design of the aft section and the widebody bow area, with the help of a two-level walkway.”
From the saloon, the galley and access to the crew area are forward to starboard, while the port corridor leads to the lower-deck stairs and a lift, a special feature on this hull, as well as a day head.
Downstairs, the four guest cabins comprise two slightly larger bedrooms aft of the stairs and two forward, all with inward-facing beds and beautifully finished en-suite bathrooms. On hull one, the owner of Stella has chosen to turn the forward port cabin into a day area that can convert into a bedroom when needed, a sensible option with so many guest cabins.
Back up on the main deck, the guest corridor leads forward to the master suite, an elegant sanctuary that starts with a hallway featuring a dressing table and walk-in wardrobe.
The master suite enjoys plenty of natural light through the forward angled ‘windscreen’ as well as long windows either side, while there’s a desk to starboard beside the entrance to the en-suite, which is aft. The bed on Stella faces aft, although the default design offered by Sanlorenzo is forward facing, so it’s a personal choice.
Upper Deck Supreme
Like the beach club and tender storage, the SL120’s fun features include direct access through a watertight port door from the owner’s suite to the foredeck, which features a C-shaped sofa and a large sunbathing area protected by the prow.
Starboard stairs lead up to the forward part of the flybridge, which has a C-shaped sofa and sunpads, although these forward areas can be customised and include a jacuzzi and dinette.
Walk across this area to the port side and you’ll find yourself in another example of the asymmetric design, the port side deck on the flybridge, which means the owners can reach the upper deck from their room without having to first walk through the saloon to the cockpit.
The main part of the flybridge, aft of the wheelhouse, feels like an enormous area and again benefits from the owner’s desire for space as much as furnishings. The uncovered aft end can feature up to five sun beds across the width of the flybridge, while forward are two facing sofas, a couple of chairs and a coffee table.
The hardtop-covered area starts with a wide wet bar including Kenyon grill under a lift-up panel, while the starboard countertop slides out to reveal a sink and create a breakfast bar at the end. It’s a smaller party trick, but no less loveable.
Forward is a dining table for eight, 10 at a pinch, while the upper helm to port is nicely designed with a large wooden wheel, two Raymarine screens and a bench seat that’s mirrored on the starboard side, offering a grand view for guests during navigation. Central stairs lead down to the main wheelhouse, which features four monitors and, on this hull, a leaning post as opposed to a chair.
The laid-back vibe and seamless flow on the SL120A are a credit to Sanlorenzo and Zuccon International Project, having taken the Asymmetric series to a new scale by retaining all its key strengths while including a series of innovations that make the most of its three decks.
This article first appeared on Yacht Style.
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