Published in: Monday, 15 February 2010
Features > Wally Power 55 (Page 1/2)

Wally Power 55

The 55 Power continues in the design style that is now classic Wally, but the startling new four-engine array is what gets Dag Pike going

Wally has never followed the conventional line. In both their sailboats and their powerboats, they have tended to defy convention and come up with new ideas, new styling and new concepts that are at the cutting edge of modern technology. The Wally Power 55 is the latest addition to the Wally Power range and it certainly lives up to the Wally philosophy of incorporating the latest technology into their designs. This is a truly exciting and dramatic new concept that will appeal to those who love to be at the forefront of modern powerboat design.

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The styling is dramatic and exciting and you will either love or hate the hard edged lines. This is a no-compromise concept that has a distinctive military look, reminiscent of stealth craft designed to have a low radar signature. While the lines are exciting enough, the technology on the 55 is new and features four engines and drives; four of the latest Volvo Penta IPS Drives that give exciting performance and so much flexibility in the way the propulsion can be used.

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Hull and superstructure

The hull shape follows the development started with the Wally Power 118. It is based on a deep-V hull that is shaped to provide good cushioning in waves. This deep V is combined with a straight stem that offers the benefit of extending the waterline length to give good efficiency at low speeds and allowing more space inside the hull at the bow. Wally has adopted this hull style on all its powerboats with great success. Not only does it work well but it gives the boat an distinct profile.

The superstructure balances well with the hull shape and it is all straight lines. This is the Wally style and they have perfected the art of the straight line superstructure. It looks good, it is practical and it gives the boat a distinct identity. The profile has been kept low and glass is used extensively in the superstructure construction. This is a technique developed by Wally.

The hull of the prototype was finished in a dark, charcoal grey and this, combined with the heavily tinted glass, gave the 55 a sinister look. Lighter colours are an option and these would certainly transform the 55’s appearance. They would also allow the rectangular windows in the hull to become more visible.

The layout of the large cockpit follows the straight line style with sunbed settees along each side under the protection of the side screens, and a cross settee forming the rear of the cockpit. From here, there is a shallow step down to the wide swim platform and on the prototype a novel form of passerelle has been fitted and this is offered as an option.

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In its stowed position, this Opacmare passerelle fits flush with the swim platform. When it is extended out, it forms a wide rising platform with steps that allows a dignified and easy way to step ashore. The angle can be altered to match the quay and it can even be lowered so that it makes an equally dignified way to enter and leave the water when swimming. It can also be used to launch and recover a jet ski making this a very versatile feature. This is a new approach to passerelle design and although it is mainly meant for large yachts, it works very well on the 55.

At the helm, there is a double seat on each side, allowing four people to sit securely. They are well protected from the wind by a full height windscreen that features a reverse angle deflector at the top. The helm is on the starboard side featuring a full range of instruments for navigation and monitoring. The Volvo Penta displays for the engines and drives do not show up well in sunlight and are hard to read, but with the engine control for manoeuvring concentrated into a joystick, this is not too important.

Quadromania

Wally never does things by halves and the power for the 55 comprises no less than four engines. These are Volvo Penta diesels, each producing 435-horsepower and they are coupled to Volvo’s IPS 600 drives. This installation gives enormous flexibility in the way the machinery can be operated, as drives that are not in use now have lubrication for turning without power. The result is tremendous flexibility for selecting the number of drives that are in use.

The engines have a staggered installation, with two of the engines mounted further forward than the other two with the two forward engines connected to the drives by a Carden shaft. This makes for a compact engine compartment given the 2000 horsepower that has been installed.

The IPS drives give a top speed in excess of 40 knots with all drives running. Reduce the number in operation to two and progress in more sedate with the boat just planing in this mode. The flexibility of the installation means that all options are open, from high speed cruising to economical lower speed operation. Manoeuvring is both subtle and exceptional. The “point and go” joystick makes things very easy. It is even possible to specify the Sky Hook feature, which is a form of dynamic positioning, allowing the yacht to maintain on a selected position from a GPS reference.

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