When a shipyard is happy to carry out sea trials for journalists on the first boat of the series on a day with a rough sea potentially reaching degree 5, and gives the journalists complete freedom to do whatever maneuvers they like, they are very confident about both the boat’s design and its build quality
by Francesco Popia – photo by Alberto Cocchi and Maurizio Paradisi
ON 7 OCTOBER, LOOKING OUT, OF MY WINDOW OVER THE GULF OF POETS, LA SPEZIA, AND SEEING THE VERY CHOPPY SEA and the waves crashing against the breakwater, I said to myself: «We won’t be doing the sea trial today». I didn’t have any messages on my mobile, so I headed to the Ferretti-owned Riva shipyard regardless. Experience had taught me that the press officer would apologise and reschedule the trip due to the poor conditions at sea. I was already rearranging my day in my head, thinking about the activities I had planned for the afternoon. However, the lovely young lady took me on to the boat and confirmed the trip would go ahead: everything seemed calm in the marina, with the breakwaters doing their job. I tried pointing out to the captain that the sea beyond was very rough, but he didn’t bat an eyelid, a sign of confidence in one’s boats. Things had just got more interesting! The model we were testing was 43wallytender, the first boat created entirely as part of Ferretti.
The cockpit windshield’s front section has an angular bend of the single pane of glass, achieved without use of a central strut.
Handling at sea
The sea trial, with a predominantly degree 4 sea and winds of 5-6 on the Beaufort scale, saw us facing waves up to 2 meters high and a wind speed of around 20 knots. The average amplitude of the waves was roughly equivalent to the length of the boat, creating an excellent testing ground for the first 43wallytender, and it responded admirably, instilling yours truly with a feeling of safety and stability. As I mentioned above, these were not standard weather conditions for a trial: shipyards are always rather hesitant to put their boat under stress with journalists on board. The 43 tackled the turbulent sea without hesitation and proved to be very stable even without the aid of a gyroscopic stabilizer, fending off the waves securely and resting delicately on the sea surface when coming out of a wave. Even in these conditions, we managed to reach 37 knots without any violent impacts on the water: starting from zero, we reached 36 knots in 26.5 seconds and were planing in just 6.7 seconds. Sailing at 25 knots was extremely comfortable.
Developed by Wally and Ferretti Group’s technical engineering department, the 43wallytender is constructed in advanced composites with carbon fiber at Wally’s new production site in Forlì, Italy.
In still sea conditions with the standard boat, the shipyard’s tests recorded a maximum speed of 40 knots. Being pessimistic, one would expect to lose around 1-2 knots for every additional 0.5 tonnes of displacement. The model we tested weighs 2.5 tonnes more than the standard version as a result of the optional extras, which should, in theory, have taken us from 40 to 35 knots, but we managed to achieve 37 knots even in a choppy sea. The speed remained constant even when turning, with a 50-meter radius of curvature at 30 knots: this, more than anything, shows just how balanced and efficient the synergy between the Volvo Penta engine with sterndrives and the hull of the 43 is. The repeated zig-zags we performed highlighted impressive maneuverability without affecting the comfort onboard: the boat moved quickly, without heeling or rolling suddenly, confirming excellent performance from the hull and propulsion system.
Exterior and interior
The flat, streamlined design of the cockpit means that water invaded around a foot of the teak surface, probably due to the rough sea. The design is both aggressive and gentle and demands attention, particularly the hull, thanks in part to its ‘gator green’ colour. Its clean lines are not undermined by appendages or seafaring equipment, which are all integrated into the design of the deck, including the retractable anchor system. As soon as you climb on board, you are struck by the expansive cockpit, which can be made enormous thanks to the fold-down bulwarks, which come as standard on all models.
The flush, open deck space behind the cockpit coupled with the standard wings provides the ideal platform to accommodate many guests.
Despite the rather dreary weather, with the teak deck wet from the previous days’ rain, it was not hard to imagine being on it on a summer’s day, in swimming gear, with all your friends stretched out comfortably on the outside sofas in the cockpit or the large foredeck sun pad: a very pleasant idea indeed.
The 43wallytender features plenty of room, both inside and out, and can host twelve guests on day trips, or two people for weekends or short cruises.
You can move from bow to stern with ease thanks to convenient side walkways, protected by bulwarks that are not too tall, but high enough to keep you safe even with a choppy sea. The open deck is protected by a carbon-fiber structure with a sophisticated design that forms the basis for a highly original awning, made from a carbon-fiber fabric used for making sails. This original solution offers protection from the sun while allowing light through.
Further storage in an optional aft sunbed creates the ultimate platform for watersports activities, with space to stow Seabob, wakeboards, scuba diving tanks and other small watertoys.
The dashboard is entirely made from carbon-fiber laminate, from the helm to the seats, which are comfortable and protective but with a sporty design. All controls are within reach, laid out symmetrically below the two large screens of the 16’ Garmin, which you can use to control both the navigation settings and the boat’s swim platform. This is all surrounded by a windshield with no uprights with a curve in the center created using heat bending, providing an unbroken view of the horizon. Overall, the boat offers a winning combination of stylish, sophisticated, sporty, and functional designs.
The 43wallytender comes with a wide range of premium equipment as standard, including the carbon T-Top and the LED deck lighting.
The engine room, accessible from the cockpit via two hydraulic actuators, is well organised, with the engines, equipment, and systems all ergonomically laid out. Each component is easy to access, despite the two Volvo Penta D6 440 engines installed on the boat no. 1, rather than the D6 380 engines from the standard spec. Volvo is churning out more complete packages for everything propulsion-related all the time, from engines and drives to exhaust and navigation systems. Here even the Humphree interceptors are in dialogue with the propulsion system, with a carefully calibrated curve designed for optimal trim whatever the speed. The result is an integrated package that is well tried and tested, even straight out of production. The Opacmare hydraulic unit is located on the bulwark, with sufficient space for easy installation and subsequent maintenance.
Although it calls itself a boat for enjoying the outdoors, the inside spaces are well put together too, with every spare inch put to good use. The cabin, located at the bow, houses a double bed with two large lockers below it, and the head is extremely spacious, with a small window onto the passageway outside, ample shower space, and a sink.
Wally’s new shipyard is located in Forlì and can build fourteen boats a year. The production standards are high, and the hulls are infused with vinyl ester resin and a hybrid carbon and glass fiber structure, with over 60% carbon; the T-Top, meanwhile, is full carbon epoxy. The boat has a variable-geometry hull, with spray rails and a deadrise of 21° at the stern. The move from 18° on the previous hull to 21° on this model shows how the shipyard is striving for improved performance in rough seas.
Twin Volvo Penta diesel 380 hp stern drive engines are an advantage for storage on a lift at a waterside home and give the added benefit of a shallower draft for exploration in remote areas.
WALLY – A brand of Ferretti Group
6 av Albert II
DESIGNER: Luca Bassani
ENGINEERING AND NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Ferretti Engineering
HULL: LOA 13.2m • Length 13.0m • Waterline length 12.0m • Maximum beam 4.3m • Draft (under propellers) 1.2m • Maximum height 4.7m • Full mass displacement 14.7 t • Unladen and dry displacement 11.7 t • Outlet mechanical power 880 hp • Fuel tank volume 1,180 l • Water tank volume 200 l • Stabilizer SK3 GE • Mase 8.5 kW variable speed generator • Veco Compact 12 chiller
MAIN PROPULSION: 2 x Volvo Penta • D6-440 AQ DPI outlet mechanical power 440 mhp / 324 kW at 3700/min
CE CERTIFICATION: CAT B
PRICE: 649,000 €, Excl.VAT, with 2×380 Volvo Penta engines (July 2021)
(43wallytender, courage in spades – Barchemagazine.com – July 2021)