Tango: The Wallycento that balances speed and style
by Raphael Montigneaux
For the Monaco-based company Wally, what could be better than to debut its latest superyacht in Monaco, and during the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show no less? It is in these ideal circumstances that we encountered Tango, the latest hull in the Wallycento series.
Moored in front of the Monaco Yacht Club, Tango turns heads with her carbon black hull and rig, and her flush teak deck that seems to stretch on forever. She is the second Wally for this repeat client, and the fourth Wallycento, but she immediately differs from the others thanks to her unique design team: Pininfarina for the interior design and Mills Design for the naval architecture as well as the exterior design, which was developed in collaboration with Wally.
After a short tour of the yacht, we left Port Hercules for a sea trial between Monaco and Cap Ferrat. Conditions were light, with only six knots of true wind, but it was enough to get a glimpse at the potential of this cruiser-racer. In a few seconds, the North sails were up, creating a cathedral of carbon. “The deck hardware is powerful and fast: it takes only seven seconds to hoist the jib!” reports Wally founder Luca Bassani.
The 45 metre Southern Spars carbon mast offers a total sailplan of 680 square metres upwind, and we easily reach seven knots. “Tango is lively and reactive even in the light air,” says Bassani. “The feeling at the helm is that of a much smaller boat, very balanced and quick.” And a quick turn at the helm proves his point — Tango feels like she’s running on rails and reacts immediately with only one finger on the wheel.
From outside, the flush deck of Tango is both beautiful and regatta-friendly. “Tango’s unusual reverse sheerline combines with our ramp deck geometry to allow a smooth unbroken line, running from bow to the stern,” explains naval architect Mark Mills.
"Since the first meetings, we shared the same vision of the innovations that can be applied to this type of yacht, like the cutting-edge deck layout that combines our flush-deck with bulwarks aft, as introduced in 2006 with Esense, with the ramp deck of Alegre, perfectly reflecting the Wally DNA of improved functionality,” explains Bassani.
And this feeling is reinforced by the fact that Tango has no cockpit, following the spirit of the first classic yachts. A large removable table can be installed with chairs and a bimini, creating a comfortable area when the yacht is moored up at anchor on in port. Even though Tango follows the same box rules as her predecessors, there is no doubt that the latest improvements make a big difference.
Mills Design brought new ideas to the shape of the hull, the rig, the ergonomy of the deck equipment, and the all-important weight reduction. For example, the engine room is now amidships, while the propulsion system includes a retractable pod. Accommodation and technical equipments are centralised, again to optimise the weight distribution.
The minimalist interior, by Pininfarina, was a real challenge. It needed to be super-light and still offer comfortable accommodation for six guests in three cabins. “Thanks to the selection of the materials and the innovative solutions of the interior decoration delivering both function and aesthetics, we generated an ultra-light and super performing yacht, perfectly suitable for cruising as well as for racing,” said Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of the group.
Key materials used include carbon, wood and leather, creating a sporty atmosphere, reinforced by red accents in the furniture. A beautiful suspended superyacht staircase gives direct access to the full-beam saloon and dining area. All of the accommodation is situated forward, including the master suite with two double beds on each side. This area can be astutely converted into a sail storage room when the yacht is set up for regatta racing, as a giant hatch gives direct access from the foredeck.
Tango was launched by Persico Marine back in August. The Bergamo-based shipyard is mainly known for its racing boats, but for this project, their largest yacht so far, they rented a facility in Savona. “A large part of the carbon pieces for Tango were produced in Bergamo and moved to Savona by the road,” yard president Marcello Persico, told Boat International.
Eight tons of composite were used, and Persico reveals that the yard has decided to buy a new facility in Carrara for future Wally projects, like the Wally 145 — a scheduled 2019 launch. This new shipyard is dedicated to superyachts, while all the racing projects will remain in Bergamo.
After extensive sea trials, Tango was ready just a few days before her debut in Monaco. She was only in the Principality for a couple of days, and she quickly left for extra training with the crew ahead of her first official regatta, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, where she joined up with 14 other Wallys, including the three other Wallycentos, Open Season, Magic Carpet 3 and Galateia.
In her regatta configuration, Tango has a crew of 24, and it seems that their training was efficient because at the time of writing, she has just won her first race. Tango is not only a thing of great beauty, she is also seriously fast.