“Wally has always been about innovation, about combining the latest technology with contemporary design, and about constantly looking at ways to enhance the on-the-water experience through performance, comfort and style,” commented Luca Bassani, founder of the iconic Monegasque brand and guest speaker at February’s German Superyacht Conference. Bassani is one of the industry’s genuine innovators, humbly designing and building curious and extraordinary yachts, which have changed the entire concept of cruising.
Wally has launched 166 sail and motorboats since its inception in 1994, all of which, from the Wally Tender, right up to the 53-metre sport cruiser Better Place, have seemingly put sharp style ahead of naval architecture, but surprisingly, this isn’t so. Every Wally that has ever touched seawater is result of taking a functional approach to product development. Every angle, line and space has a job to do. It’s there for a reason; it just so happens Bassani can turn it into a work of art. Concentrating on form and function means that every technical solution is developed with consideration for the overall aesthetic beauty. Each design detail is carefully analysed and created to contribute to the overall Wally appeal. The result of this is that Wally is the only shipyard that has won the world’s most important award for quality and design, the Compasso d’oro, twice. “We will always keep our soul as a company that always brings something new and functional to the market, comments Bassani. “We never consider the adventure, the design experience, as being over.”
Out of this world: Wally’s 36-metre Galeocerdo is powered by three Vericore gas turbine engines producing a total of 16,800 hp. That’s enough to propel her up to a top speed of 65-knots.
The ‘I’ word is used a lot in the yachting industry, often incorrectly, as few shipyards can be classed as truly innovative. Wally on the other hand, can safely assume its place in yachting’s inventive elite. Who else would place the Owner’s suite aft, in the beach club? This simple but mind-blowing use of layout means the owner of the WallyAce (four delivered to date) has his or her own terrace on the sea, with direct access to the water. Imagine waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, sliding the glass door open and diving into the ocean? Isn’t this what yachting is all about?
Sixteen years ago, Wally was producing yachts with flexible main salons. The sofas and chairs were replaced with cushions, which guests could place wherever they wanted, from facing the ocean, to huddled around the TV, or even placed on the floor. The list goes on, from the use of carbon fibre seen back in 1991 to Wallygator’s under-hull, submarine anchor system.
Wally yachts have featured vertical bows since 2002, drop down bulwarks since 2003 and the glass superstructure of the 118 WallyPower has yet to be recreated. The 36-metre Galeocerdo is the definitive Wally, with sharp styling that landed her a role in Michael Bay’s The Island, with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Again, she may appear to be a styling extravagance from Bassani’s mind, however, her narrow, angular hull was fashioned in Ferrari’s wind tunnel facility in Maranello. Galeocerdo’s advanced naval architecture also allowed her to reach an incredible 60-knots, courtesy of three Vericor TF50 gas turbines, which generate a colossal 16,800 horsepower. This is not normal. This is what Wally does.
So, where is Wally heading now it’s part of the Ferretti Group? For boat enthusiasts, it’s the support that excites us. Over the next four yeas, the Ferretti Group will invest over 84 million euros (70 million euros in the first two years) in the development of its brands and in the design and construction of new product ranges.
Ferretti has already revealed the 48 Wallytender, which is currently under construction at Ferretti’s production site in Forli and the good news is, Bassani will continue to design and develop the Wally projects, including the sailing yachts, that will no doubt, maintain the hallmarks and style that set the brand apart. “There has long been a mutual fascination between us and Wally and from today we will continue to develop this extraordinary brand with method, vision and investments,” commented Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group.
“As yachting enthusiast, I’m looking forward to discover the boats that will come from the exclusive collaboration with Luca Bassani: it is easy to foresee that they will push the frontiers of innovation and aesthetic avant-garde to new echelon.”
What is exciting for us fellow yacht enthusiasts is that the next generation of Wallys will be built at a number of Ferretti Group shipyards, including the Superyacht Yard in Ancona. Has Bassani got another 118 WallyPower up his sleeve? We very much hope so.