The concept of a floating island has been with us throughout history, but sprang back into the limelight just four years ago when Wally Yachts came up with an island-themed megayacht named the Wally Island
. At an estimated US$200 million, the Wally Island was not designed for the common man, but the concept appears to have ignited a flurry of activity in the marine industry, with new designs focused on a comfortable movable living space that breaks the naval architectural mold. Now an Austrian-based company intends to manufacture much smaller, tailor made miniature floating islands, at a fraction of the cost.
While it doesn't boast the same kind of square footage as the Wally Island
or the WHY
, Wally's new Ace displacement yacht will still provide plenty of room to stretch one's legs while cruising the ocean waves. With 1,378 square feet (128 m2) of outside deck space spread over two decks and a 441 square foot (41 m2) interior saloon area contributing to a total square footage of 3,035 (282 m2), Wally says the Ace has 30 percent more space than its nearest competitor of the same length.
The concept of a floating island is not new, having first surfaced in Homer's Odyssey
and with the first artificially-constructed floating island making an appearance in an 1895 novel by the father of science fiction, Frenchman Jules Verne. In recent times we've seen WallyIsland
, The Streets of Monte Carlo
and Tropical Island Paradise
, but Project Utopia is both viable and strangely enticing - a 100m x 100m construct spanning 11 decks with the equivalent floorspace of a cruise liner.
Monaco-based yacht builder Wally has become the best known and most easily recognized luxury yacht brand in the short 17 years since its inception. Its yachts have won the Millennium Design Award
, it is the only yacht builder to twice win the Compasso d’Oro and now the company's top-selling Wally Tender is to be replaced by the Wally One. According to Wally founder Luca Bassani Antivari, the EUR580,000 (US$825,000) Wally One offers more performance, technology and comfort with less overall length, consumption and cost.
Prior to the launching of the outrageous Wally Island megayacht
two years ago, Monte Carlo-based Wally Yachts was probably best known for its millennium-award-winning Wallypower 118
, but with the launch of Wally Hermes Yachts (WHY), a joint venture with French high fashion house Hermes, it will almost certainly be known for its first WHY Yacht – it’s a multi-story 58 metre-long, 38 metre-wide floating personal holiday resort with almost an acre of floorspace, an ultra-stable Norwegian Ramform hull, and an energy efficiency so high and carbon footprint so low that it can be sailed to the location of your heart’s desire. It aint fast, but it can cruise at 12 knots in a Force 4 gale and has enough range to cross the Atlantic four times without refueling.