By  on March 30, 2010

PARIS — Hermès International has ended its joint venture with Monaco-based yacht maker Wally to produce an extra-wide, environmentally sustainable yacht, the companies said.

Hermès said the decision had been taken after joint venture HW launched technical studies in the run-up to constructing the vessel.

“The complexity of this phase and the mastery of nautical engineering it requires have made it necessary to entrust the running of the project to a single master builder,” the company said. Wally took over the construction of the vessel on an exclusive basis on March 1, it added.

A spokeswoman for Wally said the project would go ahead without the luxury group. “Hermès did not want to go on with further investments, and there was an internal decision on their part [to pull out],” she explained.

The name of the yacht, WHY, has been changed from Wally Hermès Yacht to Wally Hybrid Yacht, the spokeswoman added.

The ultraluxurious vessel is being proposed in two sizes: the first, at 58 meters (190 feet) long and 38 meters (125 feet) wide, will cost an estimated 100 million euros, or $134.1 million at current exchange rates, to purchase, while the second, at 37 meters (121 feet) long and 24 meters (79 feet) wide, will cost around 40 million euros, or $53.6 million. Wally has contacted a U.S. shipyard to obtain an original price quote in U.S. dollars.

The company said it had received several inquiries for the yacht, but would not be confirming any orders until it has completed meetings with shipyards capable of accommodating the unusually wide structure.

Hermès will collect a percentage on all sales of the vessel until 2020, the two firms said.

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