Wally with a Pininfarina interior

Wally’s latest, Tango, not only looks like a super-cool sailing yacht of the future, but it has the design and technology to back that description.

Tango is the fourth unit of the Wallycento fleet, a cruising/racing class among Wally owners. The 100-foot Tango, however, differs from its sisterships in that it has an interior by Pininfarina (think Ferrari, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo) and was built with the lightest-weight components available.

The sleek, flush-deck Tango was launched last week from builder Persico Marine on Italy’s west coast, with the mast being stepped nearly a year after the hull entered the water. Sea trials will continue for several weeks before the boat’s delivery to its owner at the end of the month. Tango will make its public debut at the Monaco Yacht Show in September.

Tango turned out exactly how we envisioned it when we started developing the project—super sleek lines and aggressive overall appeal, conveying its high-performance DNA,” says Luca Bassani, Wally president.  “Its sheer flush deck is like the iconic Wally Esense. Besides enhancing the purity of the design, that design facilitates racing maneuvers.”

Wally worked closely with the owner, Ireland-based naval architect Mark Mills, Pininfarina, and Persico Marine to turn the initial concept into reality.

“We combined dramatic deck geometry with a novel interior layout for the most efficient result within the Wallycento box-rule,” says Mills. “It was integrated with the structure to a level not yet seen in a yacht of this size.”

The naval architect increased the boat’s volume for extra interior space, while making Tango’s aft lines “cleaner” and longer. Tango also has a maximum allowable sail plan for racing in light winds in the Mediterranean.

Mills positioned the boat’s engine room and service areas amidships, rather than at the stern, a significant departure from most yachts. That layout optimized the boat’s center of gravity for better sailing.

Like the exterior, Pininfarina’s interior is minimalistic but, of course, elegant in its simplicity. The Italian designers also researched every possible way to make the boat as light as possible. The boat weighs only 47.5 tons, thanks to the carbon fiber and Nomex sandwich materials in the hull. Persico Marine, which typically builds America’s Cup and Mini Maxi racing yachts, also focused on the smallest weight-savers like door hinges and wall veneers, understanding that weight saving is critical to performance.

“We’ve built a true thoroughbred of the sea, ultra-light and super performing, perfectly suitable for cruising as well as for racing,” says Paolo Pininfarina, the design company’s chairman.

Besides making its public debut at the Monaco Yacht Show, Tango will first race at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, where the yacht will face off against the other three Wallycentos. That will be an exciting debut.

Story by Michael Verdon

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