Orig­i­nal Sin

Seven Sins, the first 52Steel and San­lorenzo’s largest launch, marks an emo­tional re­turn to the Ital­ian brand for her Bel­gian owner.

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San­lorenzo’s 52Steel, Seven Sins, marks an emo­tional re­turn to the brand for her Bel­gian owner.

HHugo Ver­lin­den bought his first San­lorenzo, a 60-foot ply­wood boat, in 1978. It was close to the ship­yard’s size limit at the time, so when he was ready for a larger boat, he had no choice but to look else­where. He even­tu­ally built two yachts with the Ital­ian yard’s Dutch ri­val Heesen—all the more rea­son why his re­turn to San­lorenzo after nearly four decades was a cause for cel­e­bra­tion.

“After 39 years, we’re back!” ex­claimed Ver­lin­den, punch­ing the air at the Seven Sins launch cer­e­mony in La Spezia. The an­nounce­ment earned him a cheer from the guests on the dock, who in­cluded the work­force re­spon­si­ble for build­ing the 170-foot (52-me­ter) dis­place­ment yacht.

It was a re­u­nion that al­most didn’t hap­pen. Ver­lin­den stepped in only after the orig­i­nal buyer for the first 52Steel pulled out a year from de­liv­ery. A shrewd ne­go­tia­tor who has grown his fam­ily-owned in­sur­ance busi­ness into an in­ter­na­tional con­cern, the Bel­gian re­quested no fewer than 72 changes to the orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tions be­fore sign­ing on the dot­ted line.

In terms of gen­eral con­cept, how­ever, the 52Steel ticked all the right boxes as a fam­ily cruiser and com­mer­cial char­ter ves­sel in a stylish, sub-500-gross-ton pack­age. The yacht con­tin­ues San­lorenzo’s evo­lu­tion of metal su­pery­achts be­yond the 40Al­loy, 46Steel and 460Exp (a 64Steel is also in build). For the 52Steel, the ship­yard worked with Mauro Micheli and Ser­gio Beretta of Of­fic­ina Ital­iana De­sign, best known for de­sign­ing the cur­rent Riva range.

“We took as our starting point the in-house San­lorenzo style, but we were given a blank sheet to cre­ate a to­tally new de­sign,” Micheli says. “The ship­yard wanted clean, bal­anced styling that would re­main rel­e­vant over time, which chimes per­fectly with our own de­sign phi­los­o­phy. The re­sult, in­side and out, is dis­creetly con­tem­po­rary de­sign with­out su­per­flu­ous or friv­o­lous ad­di­tions.”

Micheli points to the soberly el­e­gant lines that in­te­grate the deck lev­els, and the full-height glazing in the main and up­per deck sa­lons with cut­aways in the side bul­warks for unim­peded sea views while seated. The yacht is con­ceived with al­fresco liv­ing in mind, so in ad­di­tion to the cus­tom­ary so­cial ar­eas on the aft decks, there is loung­ing space and a dinette for­ward on the up­per deck. Un­der the shade of the hard­top on the sun­deck are lounge chairs, din­ing and a bar served by a dumb­waiter from the gal­ley. There is also an ex­te­rior helm sta­tion— un­usual on a yacht of this size and one of the many change or­ders re­quested by the owner, who likes to drive the yacht him­self.

The stand­out de­sign fea­ture is ar­guably the drive-in ten­der garage that San­lorenzo en­gi­neered. It trans­forms into a beach club with a full-beam gym, sauna and steam room. When the lou­vered tran­som door is raised and the 26-foot (7.9me­ter) ten­der is floated out, a teak­soled plat­form low­ers from the ceil­ing to cover the bay, and two lat­eral

shell doors in the hull can lower to ex­tend the wa­ter­front real es­tate. More nat­u­ral light fil­ters through the glass-bot­tomed swim­ming pool on the main deck above. (The crew ten­der and wa­ter toys are housed in a side-load­ing garage for­ward.)

“I think Seven Sins is the only yacht of her size with a 15-foot pool equipped with ac­tive cur­rent for swim­ming,” Micheli says. “Most beach clubs can be quite cav­ernous places, but the sky­lights and three de­ploy­able plat­forms turn the space on this yacht into a light-filled sa­loon pied dans l’eau.”

Char­ter­ing was a pri­or­ity for Ver­lin­den from the start. He shared own­er­ship of his pre­vi­ous yachts with friends to al­lay the run­ning costs. With Seven Sins, he in­cluded four part­ners while re­tain­ing a ma­jor­ity share. Frac­tional own­er­ship has met with lim­ited suc­cess in the yacht­ing world, but Ver­lin­den’s ap­proach makes sound busi­ness sense for a yacht also des­tined for char­ter. His first rule is that the part­ners do not use the yacht dur­ing the peak char­ter season; the se­cond is that if they have booked a week on board and a char­ter party wants the same slot, they change their own dates or pay the full char­ter rate.

“The ar­range­ment was based on a hand­shake, which is much bet­ter than hir­ing lawyers to draw up a long con­tract,” says Ver­lin­den, who over­sees the book­keep­ing him­self. “The trick is then to be able to look your part­ners in the eyes and still be friends 10 years down the line.”

Seven Sins’ gen­eral ar­range­ment is de­signed to max­i­mize her char­ter flex­i­bil­ity. In ad­di­tion to the full-beam owner’s suite and of­fice for­ward on the main deck, there are two VIP state­rooms, two twins (one with beds that con­vert to dou­bles) on the lower deck and an up­per-deck staff cabin abaft the wheel­house. A for­mal din­ing room is rarely used on any yacht, so it was re­lo­cated from the tra­di­tional lo­ca­tion in the main sa­lon to the up­per deck, with an­other ta­ble for a full com­ple­ment of guests on the open aft deck.

The pal­ette of ma­te­ri­als for the in­te­rior dé­cor, also by Of­fic­ina Ital­iana De­sign, is ef­fort­lessly stylish. Amer­i­can oak join­ery with five dif­fer­ent fin­ishes is used along­side Car­rara mar­ble, white onyx, bronzed mirror sur­faces and pol­ished stain­less steel de­tail­ing, along with free­stand­ing fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories by Minotti, Flex­form, Gae Au­lenti and Paola Lenti, cre­at­ing an over­all ef­fect that is calmly re­as­sur­ing.

From an op­er­a­tional per­spec­tive, an un­der-lower deck—an­other rare fea­ture for a yacht this size—pro­vides di­rect ac­cess from the crew quar­ters or en­gine room to the sta­bi­lizer com­part­ments. A ded­i­cated laun­dry room and ad­di­tional cold stowage are on the same level.

“Op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency is some­thing we take se­ri­ously, and the un­der-lower deck is a sig­na­ture fea­ture we’ve car­ried over from the 46Steel and 46Ex­plorer,” says An­to­nio San­tella, San­lorenzo’s vice pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing. “It al­lows the crew to go about their work dis­creetly with­out dis­turb­ing the guests.”

As a sea­soned yacht owner, Ver­lin­den has had his share of ups and downs, but now in his mid-70s, his en­thu­si­asm for yacht­ing shows no sign of let­ting up. At the launch of Seven Sins, he was ex­cited to take de­liv­ery of a new yacht that also takes San­lorenzo into larger-su­pery­acht ter­ri­tory.

“A hol­i­day afloat is some­thing you never for­get, and I have friends who, 20 years later, still re­mem­ber it as the best va­ca­tion of their lives,” he says. “That hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence is be­yond mon­e­tary value.”

Seven Sins over­turns the tra­di­tional lay­out by tak­ing the din­ing room, nor­mally on the main deck, and re­lo­cat­ing it to the up­per deck with din­ing fa­cil­i­ties both in­side and out­side (be­low). Low ta­bles for­ward on the up­per deck (bottom) pro­vide an ap­pealin

above: The soberly stylish in­te­rior de­sign fea­tures free­stand­ing fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories by top Ital­ian de­signer brands. Seven Sins is all about al­fresco liv­ing, from the loung­ing area on the fore­deck (be­low) to the ex­pan­sive sun­deck (op­po­site).

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