Wooden Boats was set up in 2012 by Marco Arnaboldi (Studio Arnaboldi) based on his experience as former director of AB Yachts, which he founded in 1992 with his father to apply the cutting-edge technology of waterjets and sandwich construction to fast yachts. This boutique shipyard has collaborated with leading Italian brands such as Benetti, Sanlorenzo, Pershing, Baglietto and others, designing, engineering and building 18 custom tenders in less than eight years. It has also worked with top designer names, including Giorgio Cassetta, Guido de Groot, Marco Casali and Achille Salvagni.
“I set up Wooden Boats as a boutique shipyard to continue the progressive research that has always characterised Studio Arnaboldi,” says the naval engineer. “This time I was interested in combining wood, the most noble of boatbuilding materials that has outstanding mechanical properties, with advanced carbon composites. The advantage was that we could create unique custom boats without having to invest in expensive moulds and tooling.”
The first yacht to be built using this particular construction technique was the WB40′ Classic, a 12.95m luxury day cruiser for a European owner. The hull and the deck are made of sandwiched layers of multi-directional mahogany plywood and pre-preg carbon fibre using the epoxy vacuum method. Although Arnaboldi’s original mission was to build in wood and carbon fibre, Wooden Boats also specialises in construction using advanced composites alone. Fully designed, engineered and produced in-house with a deep-V hull engineered for water jet propulsion, the WB40′ classic combines optimal performance and excellent seakeeping with an absence of vibrations in all sea conditions.
Conceived for weekend cruising in the sun and able to comfortably carry up to 14 guests, the WB40′ Classic has a forward sunbed atop the deckhouse, a central cockpit with a height-adjustable table that be transformed into another sundeck, and a third sunbed aft above the engine compartment. The helm station is raised above the main deck for optimal visibility under way and while manoeuvring.
The entrance to the cabin is located on the right side of the helm station. Below deck is a spacious double bed, bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Behind the helm is an open-air kitchen cabinet with sink, worktop, two-burner hob and fridge. The whole area can be protected by a bimini top (there is also the option of a hard-top version and a full-carbon fibre hull with fold-down bulwarks to increase the size of the swim platform).
Powered by twin 420-hp Yanmar engines coupled to a pair of MJP water jets with lastest generation joystick controls, the WB40’ Classic has a top speed of 40 knots and a cruising speed of about 36 knots.
“The client came to us as the only yard able to build to his very specific criteria,” says Arnaboldi. “He wanted a custom boat with classic lines that was lightweight to improve performance and reduce fuel consumption, required low maintenance and had minimal environmental impact in case of demolition. Building in wood and carbon fibre meant we could meet all of his needs.”