Wally is certainly no stranger to innovation. In so many ways and so often, the company has pushed the boundaries to create something truly new, be it sail or power. You may remember the Wally Island concept, which was featured in these pages some time ago. In Cannes and Monaco this year, the company showed off Kanga.
Photos Gilles Martin-Raget and Toni Meneguzzo
From the first opportunity we got to take a closer look at the 86-foot WallyAce, we felt that beyond its provocative Wally DNA and design there were authentically innovative concepts. The unveiling of Kanga, a surprisingly roomy yacht for her size, fulfilled our expectations.
Kanga owes her spacious and livable interior, in part, to her full hull shape. Water length is a mere 14 inches (36 cm) less than the length overall, and her beam is a generous 25 feet 4 inches (7.75 meters). Due to her unusual measurements, Kanga is a little stout, but not overly so. There is undeniable charm to her proportions, bow shape and reverse windshield.
The yacht’s generous beam is not a problem when it comes to speed. Kanga is not designed for performance like many of Wally’s other vessels; she is a displacement yacht meant for comfortable long-distance cruising and fuel efficiency.
Her bow shape is most unusual. A fine entry, significant flare and a bulb are all part of the Wally-patented design. We had the opportunity to test the boat during a sea trial in Italy a few months ago. The yacht has modest power: twin Caterpillar C12 engines with a combined horsepower of 770. She reaches 13 knots at 1,800 rpm and at a cruising speed of 9 knots, she provides a quiet, fuel-sipping cruise, burning less than three liters—not even one gallon—per nautical mile. Her 3,962-gallon tank capacity allows her to cruise nearly 6,000 nautical miles at that speed. Take the engines back a bit, and at 8 knots, you should be able to go 10,000 miles before refueling. She is a tough boat through and through, with hull skins exceeding the classification’s thickness requirement by 50 percent. Her reverse windshield, high freeboard and easy passageways are perfectly suited to her mission as a long-range cruiser.
“WallyAce 26m is a ‘first’ for us,” says Wally’s founder and president, Luca Bassani. A boat owner actually inspired the company to venture a bit out of its comfort zone (although with Wally, the definition of “comfort zone” is a very fluid concept since the company has shown quite a range over the years). “The design brief for the WallyAce 26m was to have a beautiful yacht, with simple and understated styling…We think the result is quite stunning and unique,” Bassani adds.
The attention that the yacht received from visitors walking by Kanga at the Cannes Boat Show seems to confirm that assessment. The light-blue-hulled yacht generated quite a bit of chatter dockside and, despite a sign that firmly directed visitors to book an appointment before boarding, many attempted to sweet talk the attendant into letting them take a closer look. As she was, docked stern-to, Kanga just begged for a visit. Her beam yields an inviting aft deck (about 388 square feet in area) that seems perfectly suited for both a large party or an intimate dinner.
Once aboard, the layout leads visitors naturally from the open aft deck to the bright interior. There are no visual barriers to break up the space from the salon’s entrance to the wheelhouse, except for a glass panel behind the pilot bench. The compact and visually unobtrusive helm station connects directly to a sort of Portuguese deck through a forward pantograph door. This gives a natural flow between exterior and interior spaces.
The large and bright main deck is one of the focal points of social activity on board. The interior décor is sophisticated but inviting. An L-shaped sofa and a dining table for eight to 10 guests are the main furniture, along with a functional bar with an integrated sink and cupboard. However, the surroundings quickly take over as the focal point in daytime, since windows are all around and nothing detracts from the view.
A low glass enclosure surrounds the unobtrusive central staircase that leads to lower-deck guest cabins. Down below, the layout is functional and equally inviting. With more than 7 feet of overhead room and generous portholes, all four staterooms feel spacious. Kanga’s owner chose to have two twin cabins, each equipped with an extra Pullman bed. Two spectacular VIP staterooms open onto a sizable stern platform accessed through full-height doors.
These accommodations, in conjunction with the yacht’s fuel economy, generous outdoor spaces and Gyroscopic stabilizers (mitigating roll at anchor and slow speed) make Kanga well suited for charter. Another positive attribute is the yacht’s large and stylish galley, which is accessed from the wheelhouse via a service staircase. The adjacent crew mess is well designed and provides direct access to the tender garage (housing a 19-foot-6-inch RIB tender) amidships and the small engine room. Two comfortable crew cabins with large beds and private bathrooms occupy the fore section of the lower deck.
An alternate layout, perhaps better suited for private use, offers three cabins, including a full-beam panoramic owner suite astern (this will be the layout of Hull No. 2 currently under construction).
No matter what owners desire their WallyAce to do, all will appreciate the design’s ability to connect guests with their environment. The wide-open sun deck is an ideal perch from which to enjoy slow navigation on a beautiful day. A robust but visually light stainless-steel guardrail offers protection but keeps the view open at all times. Under the arch is a bar with integrated barbecue grill and refrigerator. An alternate lounge and dining area is available on the foredeck, offering yet more primo views. Wide and well-protected walkways yield back to the aft deck and the swim platform below. The new WallyAce simply says, take the plunge. Don’t mind if I do…
For more information, visit wally.com
LOA: 86ft. (26.23m)
Beam: 25ft. 4in. (7.75m)
Draft: 5ft. 7 in. (1.75m)
Displacement (light ship): 84 tons
Engines: 2 x Caterpillar C12 @ 385hp
Speed (max.): 13 knots
Speed (cruising): 9 knots
Range @ 9 knots: 6,000 nm
Range @ 8 knots: 10,000 nm
Fuel capacity: 3,963 gal. (15,000L)
Propellers: 2 x FPP (4 or 5 blades)
Generators: 2 x 32 kW
Watermakers: 2 x 47.6 gal./hr (180 L/hr)
Bow thruster: 48.5 kW
Design: Wally/Allseas/Luca Bassani Design
Classification: Charter Class SCV MCA
Charter Management: Floating Life, floatinglife.ch