Wally Yachts, a champion of simple elegance for more than a decade, recently launched the 100.2 FR from the CNB Italy yard at Fano.
What you don't see defines the Wally look as much as what you do see. The builder reinforces its interpretation of simplicity with an ease of operation. Buttons and joysticks sending commands to a sophisticated hydraulics system handle most chores, allowing one person to sail the largest Wally anywhere.
Steering one of these relatively lightweight speedsters is great fun. Though dinghy sailors will miss the tug of the mainsheet in one hand and the tiller in the other, the big Wallys respond very quickly to steering inputs and sail trim.
A simple masthead rig-carbon spars by Southern Spars and sails by North-provides all the power a sensible skipper could want. Four sets of spreaders and a wide staying base keep the mast in column and eliminate the need for running backstays. The jib is self-tending and has its own traveler.
German Frers drew the hull and rig. The counter stern and rounded transom respect the importance of tradition in modern boats, but Frers' delicate touch keeps the design from looking like a caricature. The bow, too, tips its hat to tradition, but the straight stem and pronounced knuckle at the waterline hint at high speeds.
There are crew quarters for four back aft on the port side, near the business end of the yacht. The engineroom separates the crew from the galley, but they can go about their chores without disturbing the guests amidships. The owner requested the forwardmost position for his stateroom, separated from the guest quarters by the saloon.
Wally fans should keep an eye out for another new Wally launch, the 105 FR Kauris III.