Wally 77 Genie of the Lamp

Genie of the Lamp, drawn back in 1993, set the genre for all future Wally yachts,  establishing a performance benchmark that melded with Luca Bassani’s vision for stylish minimalism.  Mani Frers first met the founder of Wally yachts during the construction of Rrose Selavy, one of the first Wally yachts designed by German Frers II.  Both shared common opinions on the ideal boat and its parameters, and during a celebration dinner in St Tropez at the end of the season, Lucca threw down the challenge: ‘Send me a concept in two days and if I like it, we will build it!

Mani needed no further encouragement. He got straight in his car, and with a design colleague, drove through the night straight back to Milan, discussing every element of the project enroute.

To me, the parameters were very clear: being in my early twenties and having raced and cruised mainly with the family, performance was at the top of the list as far as enjoyment was concerned.” Mani recalls.

We had the benefit of being allowed to think outside the existing rating rules, so I started with a racing hull, appendages and rig that was already ahead of the game. I wanted a flush deck, a large comfortable cockpit, and ‘borrowed’ a coachroof from an earlier design drawn by my Father. This modern look was then merged with some classic features that gave the design feel of timeless beauty. We sent the drawings by fax to Luca’s home in the Alps and very quickly got a call: ‘We are building this yacht!’.

Looking back, you can see the key features ­– the blend of simple design and substance in every area – are tailor-made for Mediterranean sailing and were quite unique at the time.

Luca Bassani is an expert sailor, he saw the benefits and appeal this design would have, and his leadership made it happen. As the project progressed, he was always making suggestions to improve the concept and his feedback as an end user made an enormous contribution. In Italy, sailors are used to having customised gear, so we started to work with passionate suppliers like Cariboni and Harken, and it was this combination of knowledge, entrepreneurship, quality, and just a pinch of folly, that turned this design into reality.

Genie of the Lamp has been an absolute joy ever since the first sail and this easy sailing concept has been copied by others in many other performance cruisers since.

Magic Carpet now named J One

Genie of the Lamp was encouraging and further orders followed. Being a custom builder, Luca Bassini was keen to develop the concept. In an effort to contain weight distribution and simplify the systems onboard, the engine room was rather tight in Genie which got me thinking: ‘If we don’t provide the space for the systems, engineers simply won’t fit them!’ The solution was a simple one – extend the engine room aft. This shift of weight aft coincided with some research and development we were doing independently on racing hull shapes and we incorporated the lessons learned to increase the hull form accordingly.

We went into every detail of the design and structure, and working with our suppliers, integrated the improvements into the new design. The result was a substantially new hull shape differences without affecting exterior looks, which made Magic Carpet, now J One winning yacht from day one and a fantastic cruiser.

In the hands of Jean Charles and his smart racing team, J One continues to evolve – and still winning! A timeless design in the hands of a timeless team.

LOA (m) 24
YEAR 1996
Material carbon fibre
Yard Wally
Design Germán Frers III
Naval Architecture Germán Frers III
Interior design Wally