Sanlorenzo used other clever space planning to give the owners of Onyx (and, of course, owners of future 40 Alloys) more room to enjoy. On the main deck, there are two terraces over the sea: one in the saloon, and the other in the master suite. Each is a section that folds down from the yacht's structure; this way while Onyx is cruising (top speed is reportedly 22 knots), there's no aerodynamic drag or aesthetic interruption of her lines. Watertight double-glass doors yield access when the terraces are in place and accentuate the airiness of the rooms when they're folded up. Sanlorenzo's philosophy behind the terraces is simple: Why should an owner and his guests have to pull into port to experience the seaside at their toes?
The owner's stateroom showcases additional space versatility. An office runs fore to aft along the port side, next to the bedroom. Usually owner's offices are directly inside the suite, along the starboard side, and therefore the first room you encounter. Perhaps it's because no one ever thought to arrange it differently, but it strikes me as making more sense to segregate a workspace from a relaxation space, the way the office is aboard Onyx. Of course, not every owner wants an office on his or her yacht, so Sanlorenzo alternately arranges the area as a private gym; it did this to good effect aboard the first launch in the 40 Alloy series, in fact, which was christened 4H. Aboard both 4H and Onyx, a walk-in wardrobe is directly abaft the bed.
Even with the emphasis on owner and guest comfort, Sanlorenzo does not forget the crew. As mentioned earlier, their mess is noticeably larger than that of other yachts built overseas. It's also finished to the same level as the owner's areas, as are the three bunk staterooms. To ease servicing the guest staterooms, which are three twin-bedded cabins and a queen VIP, a door leads from the crew area to the guest hallway, and a laundry room is just inside the door on the crew side. When Onyx pulls into port, gull-wing doors to each side of the helm yield entry to the side decks. And should they need to work on the twin MTUs, the crew will enjoy walkaround access.
Full access is something Sanlorenzo also wants to provide its clients. Whether they're meeting with the management or naval architecture team, Giornati says, the yard wants owners to feel they're getting a tailor-made yacht. The yard prides itself on in-house technical and decorative departments. Indeed, Sanlorenzo counts multiple generations among its craftsmen. Some of the current stone and woodworkers, for example, are the children and even grandchildren of the first employees of the yard.
In most cases the tools and techniques they use to ply their crafts have changed, but the philosophy that guides them has remained the same. It's a goal that's as good as gold.
Sanlorenzo of the Americas
This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.