Sunday, 24 April 2016 02:11

Let's Wally with Luca Bassani

Ever since Luca Bassani displayed his first yacht in ’91, the yacht industry watches with deep interest every design that comes out of the Wally boutique yard.  If you are a yacht lover, the discussion on yacht is incomplete without the mention of Wally that is super stunning, super luxury, cutting edge, fast and a dream-come-true for any yachtsman. So what gets the founder of Wally ticking? In an exclusive and an in-depth interview to Arati Thapa of Luca Bassani talks about the forthcoming designs, his home in Monaco, family, a typical day for him in his office and his views on India as he watches the yachting development of India gradually building up a leisure marine culture.

1. What would be a regular "Day' like for the founder of Wally?

LUCA BASSANI: Usually I wake up around 7 am and I like to watch the sea as a first thing. I need to know if it’s windy and rough to understand the weather conditions and make my own forecast for the day. After a light breakfast I walk down from the Monaco Rock where I live just under the Palace. I enjoy all the Rock, which makes me think about the magical history of Monaco.

First thing in the office is sitting with Wally Design Chief to discuss all the latest projects in detail. Sometimes it takes only twenty minutes other times it may take hours to conceive and design our new creations. After which I must focus myself on the typical duties of a CEO as well as have all the meetings organized for the day.

I always take a break for lunch walking back up to the Rock where at home Maria, the nanny of my children and working with me since 30 years, has prepared some delicious food for me and my youngest daughter ( 21 ) Allegra who lives with me.Then I am back in the office looking into things that need my attention. The last hour of the afternoon is dedicated again to the design team. At 8 pm I’m walking back home for another superlative dinner by Maria.

If I’m on holiday I start my day at the gym. Immediately after which it’s to prepare for the sport of that holiday: skiing when I’m in St. Moritz during the winter, sailing if I’m in Portofino in summer and golf all the rest of the year. During my holiday I love having guests with me and my wife Daniela and our children with their families and friends. During these periods the family becomes big, very, very big! Usually we go to sleep quite early but sometimes we like spending the night with our friends having dinner in some great restaurant and at the private club like the Dracula in St. Moritz.

2. Since the time you designed the first yacht in ‘91 the world has been a better place for yacht owners and the yacht industry, what should be the world of yacht expecting from you in 2017?

LUCA BASSANI: The yachting world is always expecting big innovations from Wally! We are developing a revolutionary motor yacht that would drastically reduce consumption and improve the navigation. I cannot disclose more than this for the moment. Then we are launching a new 33-meter sailing yacht: a full cruiser with the latest performance hydrodynamic lines that up to now have been used only in racing boats.

We are also building a 30-meter high performance cruiser-racer with the interiors designed by Pininfarina. They will see the new Wally 110’ Cruiser designed following the latest hydrodynamic lines, until now only used for racing boats. A 52 Wally power equipped with water jets to reach 52 knots of speed, a 43 meter sailing yacht with very innovative layout with the owners’s suite and office and cockpit in the aft part of the yacht like having a separate owner’s area with full privacy.

3. Your designs are so contemporary, edgy and a "Must-Have" for a passionate yacht owner, what gives you the inspiration to build such designs?

LUCA BASSANI:  My passion for sailing with fast and beautiful sail yachts. I love cruising on yachts that are comfortable but as fast as possible this is also the soul of each Wally.

4. Has there ever been an Indian buyer from your fleet of yachts?

LUCA BASSANI: Not yet but we follow with great interest the yachting development of India that is gradually building up a leisure marine culture. At the same time, we see that India is indeed the fastest growing country in terms of economic growth.  Indians are interested in design as well.  These two combined aspects should bring us some prospects and we look forward to it.

5. Is there any future plan to bring Wally to India? Have you ever visited India?

LUCA BASSANI:  Not yet, we would need to build a local commercial network with local representatives, and for the time being Wally is still a boutique yard, with limited production.

6. If India was looking to have a dynamic boating industry, what would be your expert advice as a passionate yachtsman?

LUCA BASSANI: Create high level sailing schools for professionals and enthusiasts, and build the necessary infrastructures!

7. For a first time yacht buyer, what would be the 5 most important tips from you?


  1. Realistically express the use of his yacht.
  1. Find a good crew.
  1. Choose between the highest quality brands.
  1. Accept a reasonable price and do not try to squeeze the shipyard.
  1. Plan a reasonable budget to execute the best maintenance.

8. Apart from designing and making yachts, what are your other hobbies?

LUCA BASSANI: I am a very sporty person, and my hobbies are sailing, golfing, skiing and… good food!

9. Is there any interesting story you would want to share from your life as a passionate yachtsman?

 LUCA BASSANI: In 1969 we were sailing a Giraglia race and during the night we had two whales accompanying us for 30 minutes, swimming few meters from our boat, one to port side and the other to starboard. It was like a movie, so magical and so hard to believe!

10. You have made Wally iconic since the very first time you designed it for your family, what has been your brand strategy as the founder?

LUCA BASSANI: Focus on the product, on quality, on high performance, on style, and be coherent in every detail!!


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