Green Goddess

The Sanlorenzo 460EXP proves that a powerful and luxurious superyacht need not compromise on its green credentials, with designer Francesco Paszkowski producing a yacht that is both ecologically responsible and the pinnacle of stylish boatbuilding.

Written by Frances and Michael and Howorth
Photography by Sanlorenzo

10 September 2016


In case you miss the main theme of the building of Moka, the first 40-metre 460EXP from Sanlorenzo, the builders have thoughtfully painted her hull green and even made sure that the on-deck Chris Craft tender matches that same colour.

Now we all know that the words ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ when used in conjunction with superyachts represents a bit of an oxymoron, but with the Sanlorenzo 460EXP we have proof positive that a builder is making a serious attempt at getting as close as possible to that previously remote dream.

With expedition-style vessel sales increasing exponentially, Sanlorenzo released the 460EXP at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show. Since then, orders have exceeded expectations. At Sanlorenzo Australia, chief executive officer Mark Ali is confident that this is the luxury marque that Australian buyers will aspire to.

Ali acknowledges that the Australian luxury vessel market has matured at a remarkable rate over the past five years. “Moreover,” he says, “the interest in individualising, tailoring and specifying every aspect of a boat purchase has come about as a result of our businessmen conducting increasing amounts of offshore travel and exposing themselves to a different boating culture than they were used to in days gone by in our domestic market.”

As a consequence, the Ensign Brokers international team recognised that Sanlorenzo from Italy could fulfil the bespoke needs of the astute and mature Australian high-end client.


Designer Francesco Paszkowski was called upon to give the yacht her chunky good looks and was charged with the responsibility of finding room for the mini-armada of toys that she carries. The garage can as a result house a variety of PWCs, tenders, sport boats, windsurfers, and even a dive locker.

Since 1958, Sanlorenzo has applied the philosophy that every yacht should be individualised, and since then no two vessels have ever been specified the same. The design team at the shipyard works closely with every client, designing and building to their dreams.

The new 46-metre yacht from Sanlorenzo is no exception. She is an exploration vessel that has design and purpose at the very core of her being. To make her truly world-girdling she needs nothing more than the inclination and determination of an owner who wants to make a circumnavigation. Walking up the gangway of the green-hulled yacht it’s easy to see how an owner might get immediate inspiration.

Classified as Green Plus by RINA for her ability to use battery power and at the same time remain at anchor for long periods without having to make use of generators, the Sanlorenzo 460EXP is able to eliminate emissions, reducing both vibration and noise. She is also very frugal when it comes to gas guzzling. Her range is proving to be better than the predicted 4,000 nautical miles when she makes oceangoing passages at 11 knots. There is tankage for 50,000 litres of fuel that feeds twin Caterpillar C32 ACERTs. Twin MTU 4000 M63 diesels are also an option for this same hull.

Engineering her for long distances and self-sufficiency was not enough for Sanlorenzo. They also wanted her to be large enough to carry an owner’s party of 12, yet small enough to manoeuvre in and out of marinas and the more intimate and therefore more interesting harbours. Even with her steel displacement hull, she carries a relatively shallow draught of 2.5 metres at full load. While too deep for the Bahamas, she is going to be fine in most off-the-beaten-track destinations she is likely to encounter.

Designer Francesco Paszkowski was called upon to give the yacht her chunky good looks and was charged with the responsibility of finding room for the mini-armada of toys that she carries. The garage can as a result house a variety of PWCs, tenders, sport boats, windsurfers, and even a dive locker.

Discharge that lot into the water and the garage turns around to do double duty as a beach club, for which purpose it is fitted with a bar and sauna. Her vast open aft deck is used to store additional tenders or perhaps a landing craft of up to 10 metres, which can, like the Chris Craft tender she carries, be handled with the yacht’s own four-tonne crane.

Fancy a swim in a freshwater swimming pool? Head up onto the main deck because here Paszkowski has added one, and to make sure you get exercise there is a current machine to swim against. A gym is located in a spa-like area below decks, near the guest staterooms. This wonderfully appointed leisure space is lit by large vertical windows that not only offer tantalising views of the sea while exercising, but also flood the space with natural light, giving the feeling of oneness with the elements.

Her large internal volume offers plenty of scope for luxury living to go hand-in-hand with her long-range capabilities. The thinking behind this philosophy is that if guests are to spend extended periods of time on board, they will want to do so in great comfort and will need plenty to occupy them while the yacht makes long oceangoing passages. As a result, she offers exceptional living spaces, and because she is an explorer yacht also has large storage areas.

Unusually for an explorer yacht, the interior is somewhat contemporary – almost loft-like in design. Decorated in a warm and homely style, the décor has been chosen by the owner and is perfectly in keeping with the expedition-boat philosophy envisaged by the builder. The heavy use of wood in classical shades (such as mahogany and teak) has been matched with sober, elegant and timeless furniture, finished with intensely coloured leathers that make you want to sink into the sofas and relax.

Her huge internal volumes have allowed for wide alleyways and excellent headroom in all living areas gives the yacht a pleasing open feel. The layout of the main saloon and dining area is unconventional. Instead of the usual aft sliding doors, a trio of panoramic windows look out to the deck with a large sofa below. This same area one deck above features the only curtains on the yacht, with every other window and porthole having blinds. The outside aft entrance to the yacht is via a large glass door to port, and the whole area feels gracious and spacious. The wide-planked wooden floor, angular furniture and grey, off-white and warm wood provide neutral colours that enhance the contemporary feel. Food is clearly important on a long voyage and the yacht features a sizable and well-equipped galley to port, separated from the dining saloon by a useful pantry.

Sanlorenzo has been building quality motoryachts since its foundation, and remains close to its roots as a ‘boutique’ builder with a small annual production output. It is perhaps because it produces fewer units than other builders in Italy that its dedication to customisation is so impressive. Unlike many builders in recent times, the yard reported a significant increase in turnover for 2015 and announced 270 million Euro (AU$391 million) of orders for 2016.

The company invested 10 million Euro (AU$14 million) in new products in 2014, and has since increased its investment to 15 million Euro (AU$22 million) in 2015. Much of this investment has been directed towards the builder’s historic La Spezia facility, including the construction of new docks and the restructuring of the existing shipyard, which is timetabled for completion in 2017. Production capacity will be increased through this 20 million Euro investment, after which the new facility will span five acres with over 10,000 square metres of covered space.

Sanlorenzo plans to build GRP hull models that range from 78 to 118 feet, semi-displacement GRP models from 92 to 126 feet and superyachts in steel and alloy of between 40 and 64 metres with plans to increase that model range.

The world premiere of the SL78 in Cannes in September, along with the SL86 released last year, has catapulted this brand to number two builder in the world, with the number one spot firmly in its sights.

From Italy, Massimo Perotti, chief executive officer of Sanlorenzo, told Ocean, “Of the three of these boats sold already, two are to clients who have never owned a yacht before, while the third has been taken up by a Swiss owner moving up from a 36-metre fast-planing aluminium hull to this new design.”

Clearly the new green globetrotter is catching on.


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