What kind trends await us in the future of yacht design? Oddly enough, to answer that question, we have to look to the automotive world where the Suv is reigning supreme right now. Sport Utility Vehicles have not only brought welcome new impetus to the car industry but have also encouraged some unlikely marques – Maserati included – to enter the segment. Suvs are successful because they are big, roomy, comfortable and super-versatile. They also make their occupants feel safe and protected. Many car manufacturers are also now adding new more compact SUV models to their ranges that are designed specifically for urban use yet still have all the qualities of their larger siblings. The seafaring equivalent of the Suv is, of course, the explorer yacht and these too are enjoying the same boom as their land-lubbing counterparts. The yards are beginning to produce pocket versions also. So why have explorers become such a success? Once again, it is all about space and liveability, long ranges and comfort. Custom-builders aside, there is hardly a yard out there now that doesn’t have a model with explorer-inspired lines. Others have gone a step further. Sanlorenzo and its new SX range being the prime example. Stylistically and aesthetically, the latter craft have strong links to the explorer world but open up a whole new concept of onboard living that pushes the frontiers of the industry. No surprise therefore that we chose the SX88 for our cover story in this issue of Top Yacht Design. It is also our way of showcasing and acknowledging the talent, creativity and entrepreneurial boldness that lie at the heart of the flourishing Italian yacht sector.