Tested product: Wally 48 Wallytender
The 48 Wallytender was launched to celebrate Wally's 25th anniversary, the first of many new models to be introduced by majority shareholder Ferretti Group.
The first two Wallytenders were on display at the Cannes Yachting Festival, one with a black hull and the other in a metallic silver.
Almost 20 years ago, the first Wallytender design hit the water, and the 48's hull is an evolution of that design. There have been just under 80 delivered since then. The originals were mostly built in Tunisia, but this new version was constructed in Forli, Italy, home of the Ferretti Group.
As with the 48's predecessor, the Wally Power 47, the 48's bow is nearly plumb, its sheer line is low and its rub rail is chunky and all-around, but its running surfaces remain the same. With this latest version, the 47s have a modern twist.
A galley and dinette is now located behind the helm seats, with white acrylic skylights beneath the painted carbon-fiber arch and hardtop. The passerelle is retractable and doubles as a swim ladder. Fold-down quarter cheeks are also available. Upon flicking a switch, the after bulwark sections descend, more than doubling the teak deck area around the swim platform.
There are softly sealed veneers on the belowdecks, as well as a carbon fiber companionway and sole. The interior decor is minimalistic. When Stefano De Vivo, Ferretti Group's chief commercial officer, noticed a sole molding being carried aboard, he quipped that you could probably sail it with a mast on it. A shower is located in the head and a sofa is located to port, while a low sideboard and stowage are located to starboard. In the bow, the double berth tapers.
This model also has a 10.5 kW Mase generator, air conditioning, a Seakeeper 6 stabilizer and a 17-gallon-per-day watermaker. It may say tender on the tin, but this boat is a weekender on the water.
Luca Bassani, founder of Wally Power, has a soft spot for this model, since he still owns a 2005 Wally Power 47. As a result of its twin Yanmar engines and Kamewa water jets, it has logged over 37,000 nautical miles, mostly between Portofino in Italy and Corsica, his favorite Mediterranean island.
A 150 nautical mile open-sea dash is included in that run; the boat has been certified for offshore use in winds up to 40 knots and seas of 13 feet. Not that most people want to go cruising in that kind of slop, of course, but Wallytenders are built for the ride, with solid vinylester-resin laminates below the waterline and foam core above, all vacuum-bagged. The standard finish is white gelcoat, but most owners opt for paint.
In contrast to the old Wallytenders, which used either sterndrives or water jets, the 48 has Volvo Penta IPS650-D6 diesels producing 480 horsepower. During my time on the Wallytender 48, I was able to reach 35 knots. At 31 or 32 knots, the boat would reach a range of around 300 nautical miles when lightly loaded.
Four Wallytender hulls had been sold by the time of the Cannes show, including two to owners of older Wallytenders and one to a sailing yacht owner. The fifth will have outboard propulsion, with four Mercury Verado 450Rs and a top speed of 54 knots.