D'Agostino also thought a lot about the way he wanted the hull constructed. As with the houses he builds, better insulation keeps things warmer in cold weather and cooler in the hot sun, so he used a double sandwich of fire-rated material and lead barriers for interior walls. For the hull sides, he used a combination of honeycomb and Soundown insulation.
Also worth noting is that D'Agostino located each air intake valve as high above the waterline as possible, to avoid contaminants infiltrating the engine room. He says the setup provides double the fresh air needed to cool the engine room properly. "You can run your hand along the engines," he says, "and there's not a speck of salt."
Inside, the 88 feels spacious thanks to a 21-foot beam and 7'2" headroom. Even in the engine room, which has slightly less headroom, Timm—who is 6'2"—could stand up straight with room to spare. In fact, the only place I thought space might have been better utilized was in the galley, where a prep area sits below a bank of cabinets that are flush with the cabinets below. Usually, overhead cabinets are inset so that the cook doesn't smack his or her head against them while slicing and dicing dinner ingredients. D'Agostino agrees that this small structural change would be good to incorporate on Hull No. 3.
He also agrees that the handful of imperfect finishes that I noticed, such as veneer seams and uneven grouting, are unacceptable. He attributes them to a last-minute scheduling conflict that required Hull No. 2 to be finished faster than anticipated.
The interior in general is thoughtfully laid out, including three large closets (one about eight feet long!) in the master stateroom alone. The stairway that leads from the country kitchen-style galley to the guest accommodations is easily three feet wide, and the entrance to the master cabin features double doors that give a grand impression. Even the crew quarters are nicely sized, though there is no crew mess—something that future owners may consider changing.
Another change future owners might consider is the dining room table, which is built to seat four people. As the yacht sleeps six, a larger table, or at least one that expands, is in order. To my eye, a larger table may pinch the available space in the dining room in terms of crew service, but that's something future owners will have to consider based on their own cruising needs.
"It's pretty much a semicustom boat," Timm explains. "If you want more staterooms, less staterooms, they'll do it. And it can stretch to 96, even all the way up to 118 because of the 21-foot beam. It's still proportional."
Timm sees the San Marino 88 as an entry level-priced competitor to Azimuts, Cheoy Lees, Grand Alaskans, and Browards. San Marino will build just one yacht at a time, each taking 12 to 14 months, and there are no plans to start Hull No. 3 until a buyer is found. Meanwhile, Hull No. 1 is with her Japanese owner, while Hull No. 2 is for sale in Fort Lauderdale.
As for D'Agostino, at the end of the day, he still hasn't built a dream yacht to call his own—though he now says he's living a different dream, one that takes his boating hobby to a whole new level.
"If I go and build five [yachts], I can afford to buy them, so I can do that," D'Agostino explains. "But I want to see what the marketplace says first. I'm using a lot of my skills, and I'm having a great time."
For more information on San Marino Custom Yachts, including contact information, click here.
This article originally appeared in the July 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.