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48 Wallytender X

01-48 Wallytender X

I always enjoy visiting Ferretti’s American headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale. Its main showroom, which encompasses slips filled with stylish, Italian-built vessels, has eye-catching -European décor—and an espresso bar. Before my sea trial on the new 48 Wallytender X began, I sipped a cappuccino, -contemplating the pleasures to come.

This was my first visit to test a Wally rather than a Ferretti, Pershing, Riva or another boat from the Ferretti Group’s ever-expanding portfolio. That is because Italian sail and powerboat builder Wally Yachts, known for its edgy, futuristic, fast designs, is relatively new to the portfolio. (They joined in January 2019.) Last autumn, Wally unveiled a new addition to its line, the 48 Wallytender, a -dynamic dayboat with pod-drive propulsion. Then, at the Miami Yacht Show in February 2020, the builder launched a sister model, the 48 Wallytender X, powered by four Mercury 450R outboards.

With its sleek sheerline, sharp angles and brawny quads, the 48 Wallytender X looked fast merely sitting at the dock. While -“tender” is in its name, and it certainly would make a striking “dinghy” for a superyacht, it is more than suitable for a range of uses. It makes for a statement dayboat that can get you to the sandbar faster than your friends, turning heads while you’re en route, and it will keep you entertained and well-appointed for hours once you get there.

In line with Wally’s reputation, the 48 Wallytender X is loaded with engineering innovations. One of the most ingenious can be found at the boat’s stern. The outboard engines are split, two and two, with space in the transom between them. Push a button and a teak-lined passerelle extends from the opening, past the outboards, to provide entry to the boat. But that’s not all it does. Hit another button, and the passerelle’s teak planks turn into treads, forming a ladder that can be deployed for swimmers.

In the cockpit, both aft gunwale “wings” fold down when the boat is stopped or at anchor, greatly expanding the available deck space. This innovation is no longer rare in the dayboat -category, but it is still welcome when you have a number of guests on board.

Carbon fiber is not only used as a lightweight, strong construction material for the 48 Wallytender X, but also as a ubiquitous design element. You can find exposed carbon fiber accents at the helm, on the stair treads, even in the frames of the drink holders.

The 48 Wallytender X offers plenty of comforts for owners who want to spend a day on board at a sandbar or cove. Amenities -include large sunpads in the aft and forward cockpits, along with a teak table with facing settees for al fresco dining, served by a wet bar integrated into the back of the helm seat. The console cabin, which boasts 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom, has a small galley with a microwave and fridge, settee, TV, double berth, good-sized head with shower and plenty of storage, all clad in contemporary Italian design touches. The absence of inboards in the engine room frees up abundant space for toting water toys.

48 Wallytender X

48 Wallytender X

The boat’s appeal is not just in its comfort, but its speed. A geometric venturi windshield encloses the helm, making it feel like you are sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Overhead, the hardtop, which incorporates a fixed skylight, provides shade. Due to the gap between the venturi and hardtop, however, there’s not much protection from the rain, which came down consistently during our sea trial. And there is no windshield wiper.

The double helm seat, combined with the molded-in footrest, is comfortable and affords good sightlines all around the boat. The vertical dash panel houses two large Simrad multifunction displays. Along with a carbon fiber steering wheel and traditional throttles, our test boat featured the Mercury Joystick Piloting for Outboards control system. This system lets you use the joystick to control all four outboards together or in separate pairs, which helps immeasurably with docking. The system also includes Mercury’s Skyhook Digital Anchor, a handy GPS-enabled dynamic positioning system.

Wally chose the Mercury Racing Verado 450R outboards due to their excellent power-to-weight ratio and fuel efficiency. In calm seas with three people and a 60-percent load of fuel, the boat planed at 3200 rpm, about 18 knots. Cruise speed was a smooth 40 knots at 5000 rpm—the Wallytender can do this all day long, and the venturi’s wind protection really kicks in here.

At the top end, about 6200 rpm, we saw an average speed of 53.6 knots. This was just shy of the 55 knots Wally has recorded under “light ship” conditions—but plenty fast enough to evoke the excitement promised back at the dock by its edgy good looks.

48 Wallytender X 0928-2

48 Wallytender X Specifications:

LOA: 48'11"
Beam: 14'5"
Draft: 3'6"
Displ. (light): 24,394 lbs.
Fuel: 740 gal.
Water: 63 gal.
Power: 4/450-hp Mercury Verado V8 450R outboards
Cruise Speed: 40 knots
Top Speed: 55 knots

This article originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.