Bearing a Bugatti blue hull, Better Place, the world’s largest carbon-fiber-constructed sloop, has hit the water at Wally. Equally notable, the megayacht meets RINA’s Green Star classification standards. This makes her the first sailing yacht to receive the notation.
The 164-foot (50-meter) megayacht Better Place bears naval architecture by Tripp Design and displaces 250 tons. To put this into perspective, Wally says 88 tons of the displacement comes from the fin and bulb keel, and a further 11½ tons is due to the full rigging. Better Place is intended for cruising, though Luca Bassani Antivari, president of Wally, says she should be fast and high-performing under 10 knots of wind. The lifting keel, designed in house, can alter draft from about 15 feet to 21 feet (4.6 meters to 6.5 meters, respectively). And, Wally’s in-house team gave Better Place mostly automated controls over the sailing gear for easier operation. This includes Wally’s new staysail system, with a furling staysail featuring a no-torsion luff cable.
Still on the subject of performance, Better Place bears diesel-electric propulsion. Three gensets develop 705 kW of power. That power can be tapped for sailing systems like the sheet tensioning devices if so desired.
When the owners and guests decide it’s time for indoor relaxation, Better Place offers a variety of areas, all designed by Wetzels Brown Partners. The saloon, dining area, and wheelhouse are all open to each other on the main deck. This allows quite the crowd to get together: Wally says 20 people can sit in the saloon alone. If everyone’s staying for dinner, the coffee table converts to serve eight, joining 10 in the dedicated dining area. Or, if a cocktail party is on order, the dining area can convert to be an extra lounge complementing the saloon.
Take a look at the megayacht’s profile, and you’ll note full-height windows surrounding the deckhouse. That makes the above-mentioned areas bright. Also bright is the master suite, aft below decks. Though they’re too hard to see, there are three vertical windows stacked atop each other to both sides. The light coming in from them is accentuated by mirrored glass. For more natural light, the owners can walk directly out to the swim platform, termed a “sea terrace” by Wally due to its 323 square feet (33 square meters).
Ten guests are accommodated in four staterooms below decks, too. Their cabins, plus the rest of Better Place’s decor, are characterized by gloss- and satin-finished carbon, white-stained oak, gray leathers, and more. Mostly neutral-toned furnishings get color courtesy of LEDs that can change at whim.
If you think that’s different, you’ll want to see Better Place’s dumbwaiter. Rather than be contained within an enclosed shaft connecting the galley below decks to the dining area and sundeck, it’s an open-air arrangement. Just a track to travel on, nothing else.
Other highlights of Better Place: sunpads for 20 in the forward cockpit; a hot tub farther forward that’s recessed in the deck; a sundeck dining area that can convert to an oversize sunpad; two tender garages; and a hull-side hatch amidships to starboard that lowers to become a swim platform/tender boarding area.
Better Place is set for delivery next month. Look for her cruising the Med the rest of the summer.