Superyacht of the Week: Wally's 50.5 metre Better Place
Sunday, 28 October 2012
By Jochem Kaan
Few brands in the superyacht industry produce such recognizable and innovative vessels as Wally, leading name for innovative sail and power yachts, hailing from Monaco since 1994. Always sleek, slender and boasting a contemporary design, a Wally superyacht aims at raising the bar and setting a higher standard. As is the case with brand new Better Place, the most recent addition to the Wally fleet, which was completely developed and produced in-house, in cooperation with Tripp Design and Wetzels Brown Partners for exterior and interior design respectively. At 50 metres LOA, Better Place is the world's largest carbon fibre sloop and as such, she was the first to be rewarded the RINA Green Star classification.
Better Place boasts an almost signature Wally-look, with minimal, sportive lines that result in an almost aggressive and masculine look, and the typical raised bulwarks that add not only to onboard safety but purity of lines. With her clean Bugatti blue hull and modern physique, she truly stands out as a strong and confident sailing yacht. To top her impressive physical appearance, Better Place also stands out as an environmentally friendly vessel, all of which results in a forward-thinking design and engineering concept that combines a minimalistic look with impressive statistics and razor-sharp performances. Add to that her large interior areas, spacious decks and the elegant user-friendliness, and the result is a sailing yacht that stands out as a voluminous yet light displacement vessel that is easy to handle.
She offers an impressive 300 sqm of interior and 400 sqm of exterior living space, allowing the exteriors by Tripp Design and interior spaces designed by Wetzels Brown Partners to be optimally enjoyed. One of her many attractive features, is the integration of inside-outside living, which has been consistently applied throughout Better Place's decks for an optimal onboard experience.
The deckhouse encloses an impressively sized main interior space, housing navigation, dining and saloon areas. This large area is characterized by big, full height windows, allowing ample natural light to flow in. This results in a pleasant connection between the interior and exterior spaces. The lounge, dining room and wheelhouse form one large, 86 sqm space, adding to an onboard sense of space and lightness.
The main saloon boasts impressive views and offers ample lounge seating for companies of up to 20 guests. With a spacious arrangement of four L-shaped lounge sofas and daybeds around a central table, the saloon is one grand space that opens up towards the airy aft deck. Here, a big cockpit combines with the main saloon to form one lush inside-outside living space. With the floor to ceiling windows on either side, and large glass sliding doors aft, the saloon is pleasantly open yet perfectly private. Fore, partly separated from the saloon by the open central staircase, is where the main dining room offers an equally open and elegant atmosphere.
With teak flooring and a white and light blue colour scheme, the main dining seats a company of up to ten in an ambiance that truly feels outdoor, with a large sofa facing fore and 5 comfortable dining chairs facing aft. A subtly integrated, state of the art navigation area can also be found here, combining the functions for this particular room and allowing effortless and spacious daytime navigation with a late night dining room and lounge area.
The semi-sheltered aft cockpit connects the main lounge with a big 30 sqm terrace-on-the-sea, which is a few steps down and also directly accessible from the aft master suite. This large terrace is a luxurious lounging and swimming platform, and also perfect for tender boarding. Conveniently, Better Place offers an additional tender boarding and swimming platform, located amidships in the hull on starboard side. The aft cockpit's central coffee table can be converted into an al fresco dining table when needed, offering a first of several al fresco dining options. Right below the aft deck, a grand 60 sqm master suite has natural light flowing in from four different directions, allowing guests to optimally feel connected with the natural surroundings. The suite's central entrance has a clean and modern look, with ample hidden storage and cabinets, framed by an elegantly minimal lighting scheme.
With port and starboard portholes and mirrored glass aft and on top, the master stateroom is light and fresh with a cool, minimalistic design. Clean lines, a colour palette of white, beige and dashes of blue in the lighting scheme, plus gently rounded modern shapes throughout, form a clean composition of luxury, space and light. The master stateroom consists of a queen size starboard bed and a big port side lounge and television area. With curved aft fixed sofa and adjacent desk area, several low cabinets and convenient drawers, this stateroom combines refined design with a soothing modern atmosphere and lots of storage space. The spacious en suite has an equally luxurious, slightly futuristic look and feel, with a more contrasting colour scheme. It consists of an open central space with his and hers wash basins, with the head and shower spaces found adjacently, the latter with lush, large rain shower. Opposite the en suite, a walk in wardrobe offers large amounts of space and perfectly completes the spacious master quarters.
Directly accessible from the main dining and lounge areas, is a forward cockpit with magnificent vista views, perfectly utilizing Better Place's sleek fore deck, which is another signature Wally feature. With two oppositely placed, large L-shaped sofas, this is a perfect after dinner hideaway and perfect for day to night lounging, especially while sailing. A walk to the vessel's bow shows Better Place's remarkably uninterrupted deck, free from any unnecessary details. Sun beds for up to 20 people available at the fore cockpit, and a big Jacuzzi, which is beautifully positioned below deck, turn this area into an absolute guest favourite. With two large tender garages, stay-sail locker and the Wally submarine anchor locker, this deck was designed with both elegance and functionality in mind, optimally utilizing every bit of space onboard.
Space is a capital ingredient onboard Better Place, not in the very least because of the magnificent 100 sqm sun deck, which can be accessed either by an open exterior staircase or the main interior staircase. Here, steering and navigation areas are elegantly combined with luxurious guest lounging, al fresco dining and sunbathing deck spaces. With the available barbecue and a convenient food lift connecting galley, interior dining room and the sun deck, ample comfort and perfect service are simply guaranteed. Additionally, the sun deck dining area can be transformed into one large sun bed, which does not burden available storage space do to the inflatable mattress used.
Better Place offers guest accommodation for a company of up to twelve guests, with the master suite, two family suites and two guest suites available. Guest cabins offer a queen sized bed, family staterooms offer twin beds and an additional pullman. All guest staterooms have a luxurious en suite with head and shower area. All suites are designed in the vessel's clean, modern style, with fresh dashes of colour or a refined black and white scheme for each stateroom. Ample light and a minimal design are key ingredients, forming a comfortable, luxurious and cozy environment for every guest onboard.
This latest Wally superyacht shows that minimalistic and plenty of atmosphere can go hand in hand with intelligent functionality and great guest comfort. With ample amenities, an airy ambiance and plenty of space, she truly aims at offering guests a Better Place.