X is the letter that says outboard propulsion in the language of Wally. The new 48 Wallytender X fast cruiser will debut in Miami, with four 450 hp Mercury Verado Racing motors.
They split their tasks: last September, at the Cannes Yachting Festival, the 48 Wallytender debuted with inboard engines. Come February 2020, and the Miami Boat Show is the stage for 48 Wallytender X with outboards.
Stars and Stripes for power
In the US it’s rather normal to have a 14.5-meter boat with four huge motors on the transom: on the one hand they comply the tendency Americans have for “more is better”, on the other hand hi-performance boats are a cool trend in the stars and stripes culture.
One thousand eight hundred horsepower (compared to 960 in the inboard version) are there to push the 48 Wallytender X to a top speed of 55 knots, with a cruising of 40: for many boats in this segment, the latter figure can’t be read even with the engines touching the red line.
American engines and an American debut: but the choice of the Mercury Verado R450 doesn’t come for a simple love for the flag: 450 hp is actually the most powerful choice available in the segment, excluding the not-so-standard units by Seven Marine. And, these engines are definitely light, returning a great power-to-weight ratio.
On a boat built in composite and carbon fiber it’s important to shove some grams also from the engine compartment in order to reach the final goal: minimum weight, maximum performance, and agile handling (and, why not, reduced fuel consumption).
After the first tests, Ferretti Group (owner of Wally) has stated a 320-mile range at cruising speed (40 knots) with a full tank of 1,400 liters.
So, beside performance, what’s the differences on board the new 48 Wallytender X?
From the point of view of livability, nothing. The cabin below deck is the same, with a double bed to bow, the living room in the center and a separate heads. Outside, there’s still the chance of tilting down the aft section of both gunwales to enlarge the cockpit: this is a must for such a boat, as Luca Bassani, the volcanic founder of Wally and precursor of many innovations, invented the system itself.
What’s different is the huge lazarette featured on this version where once the engines used to be.
Normally, where an outboard-powered boat loses to an inboard one is in the swim platform compartment. But on 48 Wallytender X they went for a both practical and cool-looking solution: they covered the area where the brackets are placed (they keep the right distance between the transom and the outboards), so there’s a whole platform, behind the sun bed and before the engines, covered in teak and as large as the beam of the boat.
More, a careful eye has surely noticed the way the four engines are placed: not equally spaced, but grouped in two. The hydrodynamics behind this also implies a slightly wider space in the middle of the transom.
Of course, as happens with Volvo Penta inboards, even with Mercury Verados there’s plenty of options available, in particular the maneuvering joystick and the diagnostics on the dashboard screens.