For the past several years, Sanlorenzo has been building sleek megayachts up to 40 meters (131 feet), mostly with a mid-20-knot cruise speed. The buyers were, of course, impressed with the layout of relaxation spaces, which have recently included balconies, but they were arguably attracted to the performance aspects a bit more.
But there have been growing concerns, particularly among European owners, over fuel consumption and the environmental impact of burning more fossil fuels than is necessary to enjoy a cruise. As a result, Sanlorenzo decided to develop a displacement yacht, the 44 Steel, while remaining true to its philosophy of maximizing living space.
Nearing completion at the 50-year-old shipyard’s Viareggio, Italy facility, the 44 Steel is, as the name suggests, a 44-meter (144-foot), steel-hulled yacht, with an aluminum superstructure. To address the more leisurely, fuel-friendly equation, the yard equipped her with twin Caterpillar 3512Bs, which should permit a 17-knot top speed at half load and a 15-knot cruise speed, the latter allowing for a 1,900-nautical-mile range. Throttled back to 12 knots, the 44 Steel should see a 4,000-nautical-mile range.
Ten people in the owner’s party (catered to by nine crew) should also be treated to a voluminous interior, more along the lines of one aboard a superyacht 30 feet longer. In fact, the gross tonnage–a measure of volume–is 499, akin to that of a 50- to 52-meter yacht.
Francesco Paszkowski, who has collaborated with Sanlorenzo on many boats so far, worked with the owner of the first 44 Steel to create a distinctly personal atmosphere. The illustration here give a hint as to what the final design will look like, featuring a decided emphasis on natural tones and particularly “cascades” of light along walls. In fact, this superyacht is said to have a pretty sophisticated interior lighting system, ranging from the upper-deck dining area (no main-deck dining) to the oversize main saloon (pictured) and down to the two VIP staterooms and two twin-bed staterooms for guests.
For waterside fun, the transom garage includes the “Beach Club,” containing a gym, spa/wellness room, and head. The Club can additionally be accessed via stairs out in the cockpit and inside the saloon.
While the flying bridge contains amenities I’d expect to find, like sunning and lounging areas, the feature I’m particularly interested in inspecting is the “under lower deck,” as Sanlorenzo phrases it. It’s a central tunnel running beneath the entire length of the lower deck. It houses technical systems like the engine room and bow thruster compartment as well as the laundry and additional freezer and cold storage space. It’s apparently anything but a crawlspace, said to be large enough for an adult to stand up properly, especially to check and maintain systems.