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Tested: Wally 48 Wallytender

This yacht is sleek and fast. Would you expect anything less?

April 21, 2020
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Wally 48 Wallytender
Power for the 48 Wallytender is twin 480 hp Volvo Penta IPS650 diesels. Top speed: 35 knots. A quad-outboard-powered version is launching this month. Courtesy Wally Yachts

Wally marked its 25th anniversary with the launch of the 48 Wallytender, the first of many new models that majority shareholder Ferretti Group is promising. The first two Wallytenders were on display at the Cannes Yachting Festival, one with a black hull and the other in a metallic silver.

The 48’s hull is an evolution of the original Wallytender designs, the first of which hit the water nearly 20 years ago. Since then, just over 80 have been delivered. Most of the originals were built in Tunisia, but this new version is built in Forli, Italy, home of the Ferretti Group.

The near-plumb, wave-piercing bow, the low sheer line and the chunky, all-around rub rail are a little different, but the running surfaces are essentially the same as those on the 48’s predecessor, the Wally Power 47. The original 47s still turn heads, but this latest version adds modern pizazz.

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Wally 48 Wallytender
The Wallytender’s anchor tucks into the plumb bow, helping to maintain the vessel’s clean, sleek profile. Courtesy Wally Yachts

For instance, there’s now a galley and dinette abaft the helm seats. The painted carbon-fiber arch and hardtop contains white-acrylic skylights, which means less of a dark shadow beneath them. There’s also a retractable, five-step passerelle that doubles as a swim ladder. And there are fold-down quarter cheeks. A few seconds after flicking a switch, the after bulwark sections descend, more than doubling the usable teak-deck space around the swim platform.

Belowdecks, the decor is minimalist. The veneers are a softly sealed light oak or teak. The companionway is a one-piece carbon-fiber molding, as is the whole sole. (Stefano De Vivo, Ferretti Group’s chief commercial officer, says he was walking through the assembly hall when he saw a sole molding being carried aboard; he quipped that if you put a mast with it, you could probably sail it.) There’s a head with a shower stall, and a sofa to port. To starboard is a low sideboard and stowage. The double berth tapers into the bow.

Wally 48 Wallytender
High bulwarks and wide side decks are designed for safe transit on board the 48 Wallytender. Courtesy Wally Yachts

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.

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Wally founder Luca Bassani has a soft spot for this model, given he still has a 2005 Wally Power 47 as his personal boat. With twin Yanmars and Kamewa water jets, it has logged around 37,000 nautical miles, many of them racked up between Italy’s Portofino—where he has a home on the hill—and his favorite Mediterranean island, Corsica. That run includes an open-sea dash of at least 150 nautical miles; the boat’s certification permits offshore use in winds up to 40 knots and seas to 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.

Wally 48 Wallytender
Push a button and the bulwarks fold out, nearly doubling available deck space. Courtesy Wally Yachts

Whereas the old Wallytenders had either sterndrives or water jets, the 48 has 480 hp Volvo Penta IPS650-D6 diesels. The Wallytender 48 I got aboard had a top speed of 35 knots. More lightly loaded, Wally says, the boat can hit 38 knots. At 31 or 32 knots, her range would be around 300 nautical miles.

As of the Cannes show, four hulls had been sold, including two to owners of older Wallytenders and one to the owner of a sailing yacht. The fifth will be the first to get outboard propulsion, with four Mercury Verado 450Rs and a projected 54-knot top-end speed.

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Look for that hull—no matter what color it might be—at the Miami International Boat Show.

Take the next step: wally.com

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