“I come into Monaco harbour today, I look at all these gorgeous, magnificent big yachts, but I say to myself ‘if I were to buy a boat of this size, I wouldn’t buy one of these’.” Luca Bassani’s words to me as we stand on the aft deck of the new Wallycento Tango on a trial sail off Monaco intrigue me. He carries a wry smile that suggests Wally is about to do something, well, very Wally. “None of them is interesting to me,” he continues. “So I ask myself ‘what would I do?’. And then I start thinking that I would do it like this, to have this, to change that, and this is how it develops. Then I put down on paper the new project, thinking just about what I would do for myself.”
I press further; Bassani confirms that the Wally range is evolving, with a 144ft cruising sailing yacht under construction which will have “some very new features, very interesting for cruising,” Bassani says, and a 93-foot cruiser-racer also in build. There’s the Wallytender range, planing boats that will span 42ft to 58ft; then the Wally Ace which will grow to yachts sitting just under the 500GT boundary. But the interesting development is in larger boats. “We are presenting this new collaboration for much larger yachts in steel,” he lets out, “and that will be a big step. I think the two companies fit perfectly together because Nobiskrug has a fantastic, technically advanced shipyard and production capacity, and we have a lot of ideas! We already have a very new project that we will show very quickly which will be something else – something very, very different. It’s very exciting.”
When Luca Bassani says something is going to be new and different, it’s time to sit up and take note – and so it proves, as teaser renders of the project flash before a gathering of press and guests. The 83m Sea Explorer concept draws parallels with other iconic Wally designs, with a stylish yet simple profile and little in the way of superstructure except what appears to be a floating, angular pod. Design details are scarce at the moment, but it is believed the upper deck will offer two swimming pools and plenty of entertaining space.
While plans suggest a wider range of custom, steel displacement yachts, the 83m project unveiled at Monaco is based on a Nobiskrug platform. “Collaborating with Wally has always been a dream of Andrew’s,” says Winch Design, “and this year it has come true with the launch of the new 83m Sea Explorer concept, In partnership with Wally and Nobiskrug. We are thrilled to have been able to finally share this exciting new project at MYS 2017.”
“Combining skills and experience from both our companies, we look forward to a close and successful collaboration,” adds Holger Kahl, Nobiskrug’s managing director. “We share the vision of providing our superyacht customers with innovative technology combined with the best yacht building quality, and this will be the main drive for our collaboration.”
“It’s an actual project,” Bassani confirms to me, “and we’ve already had a couple of 'touches', so this could be one of the new paths for Wally for sure. We still have a lot to do in that size range. It’s perhaps what we should call the WallyBeyond…”