Sanlorenzo 104: Chameleon Character

A few months ago, Sanlorenzo Americas welcomed its first 104-foot composite flybridge yacht. It was built on spec and features—as is customary now—an interior by American designer Marty Lowe, who came up with a multifunctional and appealing design for all.

A few months ago, Sanlorenzo Americas welcomed its first 104-foot composite flybridge yacht. It was built on spec and features—as is customary now—an interior by American designer Marty Lowe, who came up with a multifunctional and appealing design for all.

Story by Liz Pasch

When building a spec yacht for a yet-to-be-found future owner, the shipyard can—with its choice of interior design, number of staterooms, sun-deck layout and accoutrements—unintentionally exclude clients in certain demographics. It’s just as risky to stylize a yacht as a swanky South Beach bachelor pad as it is a kid-friendly rumpus room, but surprisingly, the Sanlorenzo SL104, shown at the 2011 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, could be either or both, and more. With enough beds to accommodate kids, stepkids and their friends on spring break, and the Super Bowl-sized TV on the sun deck with enough seating for all the guys, the SL104 is a chameleon of sorts, adapting easily to environment, owner and guests.

Its adaptable characteristics are immediately obvious past the salon’s doors. Just inside, a wet bar (or sink for washing sticky little hands) made of fossilized Italian stone juts out from cabinets that hold glassware and bar supplies but could also accommodate coloring books and Lego building blocks. Contemporary sofas are cloaked with washable—and easily replaceable—slipcovers that can be changed as frequently as the guest roster. Interior designer Marty Lowe applies her design philosophy of “livable luxury” to all Sanlorenzo yachts she designs yet creates each with its own distinct palette, sensible look and inimitable feel. On this SL104, swaths of material from the ceiling and wall create a visual illusion; you cannot easily tell where the fabric starts or stops. Pale leather wall covering, a dark wengé floor and bleached anigre ceiling dotted with LED lights create a sharp contrast that, on other yachts, might seem formal. And while there’s no indoor dining area big enough for sit-down meals, with multiple salon seating groups, the environment encourages casual living and a relaxed lifestyle, which, Lowe says, is what time on the water is meant to be. Two pop-up TVs, one for each main seating area, enable guests to simultaneously watch a movie on one screen while video games are played on the other. Crocodile-leather accent chairs and side consoles with cantilevered and bronze-toned mirror doors add to the room’s interest. A forward stairwell appears to be open, but upon closer look is enclosed in lightly smoked and opalescent glass—another illusion. The dayhead, with stone counter and sink and alligator wall panels, has a carved wengé door that breaks up the hallway, whose hardware-free walls conceal cubbies, drawers and cabinets for every type of knickknack. Every possible space has been used for storage.


Lowe’s emphasis on livable luxury is repeated in the main-level master suite. No unusable heavy bedspreads or decorative pillows here. Instead, a washable white duvet splashed with a spray of blue coral and matching pillows and shams invite an afternoon nap. The king bed is situated under a large window equipped with powered sunshades. Instead of the traditional flat-screen TV at the foot of the bed, a mirrored wall transforms into a television with a remote control. On the other side of the mirror awaits an enormous shower with glass that switches to opaque for privacy.

Lest guests suspect finding subpar accommodations below, all four staterooms—two VIPs and two twins, one with an extra Pullman—boast ensuite bathrooms, silk and cashmere carpeting, practical but beautiful bed dressings and the same mirrored/TV walls as the master suite. But even on this yacht, featuring the maximum number of staterooms available on the SL104, smart design finds space to conceal a washer/dryer and cabinet cubbies accommodating laundry and cleaning supplies.

Lowe used fossilized stone in the galley with the requirement that they’d be beautiful and functional. The galley design incorporates common-sense use of space, such as deep countertops to accommodate up to 10 plates at once for easier service. Additional space under the pilothouse accommodates top-of-the-line steam and microwave Miele ovens.

Outside living spaces are just as practical, usable and adaptable. On both the aft deck and teak sun deck, modular furniture can be moved at will, which affords myriad seating arrangements. On the sun deck, the countertop atop a large console slides to reveal a sink and storage compartments. The back holds a large-screen TV. A family can watch a bedtime Disney movie from lounge chairs under a canopy of stars while forward, couples can gather for an alfresco dinner, seating up to 10 at a time on foldable Roda chairs. An upper helm with bench seat is forward to starboard with a matching settee opposite.

Forward and down from the galley, quarters accommodate a crew of five. There’s no scrimping on materials here; the same Italian fossilized stone is used on the crew’s counters, and solid-core wood doors provide privacy.

While waiting for the crew to arrive for an early morning trial from Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, I looked over the SL104 from the dock. The chilly weather made me wish I were on board. When the moment finally came, I barely noticed when the motors and generator started and we began to head toward Port Everglades. This yacht is equipped with a few mechanical upgrades, such as TRAC fin stabilizers and ABT/TRAC hydraulic bow and stern thrusters.

With a ride this quiet and smooth, depending on the guest list, toddlers’ stacked blocks wouldn’t topple, martinis wouldn’t spill and a couple could dance on their 50th wedding anniversary without losing balance. With or without kids, family or friends, this casually designed yacht can be what you want or need. For me, it’s best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee, Italian-style, on the top deck. ■

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Maindeck Layout A

Maindeck Layout A

LOA: 104ft. (31.70m)
Beam: 23ft. 4in. (7.11m)
Draft (max.): 6ft. 6in. (1.98m)
Construction: GRP
Engines: 2 x MTU 16V 2000 M93 2,400 hp
Generators: 2 x Kohler 55kW @ 60Hz
Speed (max.): about 29 knots
Speed (cruising): about 26 knots
Stabilizers (optional): TRAC zero-speed stabilizers

Maindeck Layout B

Maindeck Layout B

Fuel capacity: 3,302 gal. (12,499L)
Water capacity: 739 gal. (2,797L)
Naval architecture: Sanlorenzo Yachts
Exterior styling: Francesco Paszkowski
Interior design: Marty Lowe Interior Design
Builder: Sanlorenzo Yachts
Year built: 2011

Lowerdeck Layout A

Lowerdeck Layout A

Lowerdeck Layout B

Lowerdeck Layout B