Hitting the headlines at the beginning of 2019 was the news of the Ferretti Group finalising the agreement to acquire Wally. Fast forward almost a year later and SuperYacht Times finds out what the new uplifted brand has to shout about.
“The Ferretti Group proved with Riva that we can maintain and strengthen a brand,” says Stefano de Vivo, Managing Director of Wally and CCO of the Ferretti Group – the group which, after having taken over Wally, is pumping over €84 million into the brand as part of a three-year development strategy. The first €70 million is being invested in the first two years to help develop the brand, establish a new building facility and support the design and construction of new products and ranges – three of which have already been released: the day cruiser 48 Wallytender, the sailing yacht Wally 101 and the motor yacht 165 Wallypower.
Sporting the first Wally Magic Keel© system and new-generation hull shape, the 30.8-metre high-performance sloop Wally 101 is a nod to the original spirit of Wally. The new model aims to provide highly competitive results in terms of performance and cost thanks to the Wally Magic Keel© system and the semi-custom package. “We’ve innovated this project to be very customisable, but have retained the moulds and core of the design to lower the cost. This certainly doesn’t take away from the richness of the product, it just allows us to offer our clients more. One boat from one mould is always going to cost a lot more than if we can make two or three. The saving is going directly to the client and towards their choice of customisations,” explains De Vivo.
“The Wally 101 is a superyacht offering tremendous comfort inside and outside combined with swift performance, while still being simple and easy to sail,” comments Wally founder Luca Bassani. “Before we started designing, our research showed that the 100ft model was a great success. Clients also told us that this size really hits the sweet spot for both racing and for cruising,” De Vivo adds.
Photo: WallyAnnounced by Wally during the Monaco Yacht Show was the collaborative effort of both Espen Øino and Luca Bassani: the 50-metre superyacht 165 Wallypower. Designed to be an alternative to the typical Mediterranean cruiser, the new superyacht is a contemporary concept featuring a 15-metre sundeck and enough power from diesel engines with waterjet propulsion to reach up to 30 knots.
Photo: Wideshut Fotografie“Ferretti Group has been trying to work with Espen since I entered this business, and I truly believe that this new partnership can reach no limits,” commented Piero Ferrari, one of the Group’s shareholders and owner of the Riva50-metre Race. “Luca and I share the same vision and approach, rooted in a profound passion for the sea and sailing. With the 165 Wallypower, two like-minded and driven brands have now finally come together to create a new icon,” adds Øino.
Now boasting the “widest and most innovative range of the entire Italian nautical industry” as a result of the acquisition, the Ferretti Group has gained a foothold in the large sailing yacht sector and access to a broader client base. In turn, Wally is reaping the rewards of the new investments and having the brand re-energised, as De Vivo explains: “Wally needed economic strength and manpower. We have very good people but with more capital you can invest in more people, and then you can start bringing forward not just one project every two or three years, but two or three projects a year! All of which is then supported by our 50-strong after sales team.”
To accommodate the growing Wally team and range, the Group has occupied the neighbouring land to the Ferretti Group headquarters in Forli, Italy. “We are going to be building the renewed Wally tender range at the new facility, which will also include a brand new painting shed, meaning that Wally will have fantastically finished products. Wally is now the only small brand that can offer such a service!” says De Vivo. With a sure-fire future laid out for Wally, its future and success may well lie in the ambition to reach the niche areas of the superyacht market not already covered by the widespread Ferretti Group.
Photo: Carlo BorlenghiWith more revolutionary technology and innovation yet to come, the Wally brand is staying true to itself, just with a new lease of life. “Although Wally is almost like a start-up in Ferretti Group, it will be one of the main drivers of the Group for the next five years,” added De Vivo. “Let’s just say that we will be continuing push very hard going forward.”