Your wish is Dyna’s command. For aspiring owners that could be anything from shaftdrives to pods to layout, finish, and equipment. JOHN ZAMMIT finds this and more on the new, owner-inspired Dyna 52
There’s no escaping the fact that times are still tough for boatbuilders. Spending on boats is discretionary, which means that when the economy tightens uncertainty prevails and the industry does it tough. But with every black cloud there is for some a silver lining. In this case those that are cashed-up and in the market for a boat.
The choices are plenty and for those who can remember, you’d have to go back to the “recession we had to have” in the early ’90s to recall a previous time when buyers were being offered such value.
One marque that’s right up there in the value-for-money stakes would have to be Dyna Yachts. We got the opportunity to test out its latest offering, the Dyna 52, on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.
Fitted with Volvo Penta’s IPS800 pod-drive system with twin D11 engines producing 600hp each, this boat is not for the fainthearted. She reaches 32kts and handles like a sports car, but that’s not her only claim to fame. Where this boat shines is in the clever use of space, thanks to some innovative design elements resulting in a boat with three roomy staterooms, the full-beam master aft, two heads, spacious living areas inside and out, and a social skylounge to boot.
“A very easy boat to drive at any speed, even idling out from Docklands along the Yarra River, the Dyna 52 goes where she’s pointed”
The owners of our test Dyna 52 knew exactly what they wanted when they approached Lee Vitiello from Melbourne Boat Sales, the Australian distributor of Dyna Yachts. Their needs coincided with Vitiello’s desire to bring a Dyna 52 fitted with IPS into Australia, so they worked together to build this boat specifically to suit the owners’ lifestyle. That’s essentially Dyna’s point of difference, producing boats to individual requirements – subsequently they offer lots of options in terms of layout, finish, power-plants and equipment, and all within a budget.
Black Pearl is a family boat, the owners, three generations of one family, use her to entertain guests, go on day outings, with the occasional overnighter or weekend aboard throwin in. They mainly cruise Port Phillip, usually to destinations at the southern end of the bay: Queenscliff, Portsea, and the like, some 25 nautical miles from her mooring at Docklands in the heart of Melbourne. With this boat they can be at their destination in an hour or so, spend the day enjoying life on the water and be back home before the kids’ bed time.
A three-panel sliding door leads from the cockpit into the living area, with dedicated storage for bottles and glassware to port. Opposite to starboard, the aft galley is perfectly located to serve either forward to the saloon or out to the cockpit. The floor here is polished teak, meaning wet feet are no problem from sodden guests or family coming in after a dip off the swimplatform. It’s a compact galley, with a twin-burner ceramic cooktop, sink, twin 147lt under-bench side-by-side fridges and a separate icemaker. A convection microwave is also housed under-bench alongside storage, with more cabinets above at eye level.
There’s not a lot of bench space, though. I’d imagine coping with snacks or light meals preparation, but for cooking dinner for a group you will need to coordinate your preparation. But then, the owners’ designed the Dyna 52 as an entertainer rather than a liveaboard and from that aspect, the compact galley serves its purpose.
The saloon, up a couple of steps forward from the galley, has plush carpet underfoot. A lounge to port faces a large dinette opposite providing a social layout suitable for either family living or casual entertaining. A pop-up TV and audio system with DVD/CD is built into the forward bulkhead, the speakers in the ceiling, while the huge windscreen and large side windows drench the room in natural light. Dark, high-gloss (read piano finish) walnut cabinetry contrasts with light-coloured leather upholstery, while overhead, stylish timber inlays in the ceiling blend with LED lighting to produce a luxurious, contemporary look with a stylish open feel.
The bulkhead under the windscreen is cut away, bathing the staircase and companionway to the accommodation below in natural light. Heading downstairs the clever use of space becomes immediately obvious with a vanity unit and hand basin housed in an alcove to port. A concertina mirror above the vanity retracts, revealing an opening portlight for fresh air and light and when extended, it acts as a privacy blind. Frosted glass doors either side of the vanity lead to a shower room on one side and opposite, a head with vacuflush toilet.
This bathroom combo acts as the dayhead and services the VIP cabin forward and the third stateroom opposite to starboard that’s fitted with four bunks. (The patriarch of the family has four grandchildren). This setup works for a large family, especially with young children, allowing one person to be showering while others use the head or the vanity basin.
The spacious full-beam master suite is located aft and features a full-size walkaround bed athwartships with an en suite set-up similar to that in the companionway. All staterooms feature individual air-conditioning, independent audio controls, plus ample storage and hanging space. Large hull windows, opening portholes and overhead hatches throughout provide abundant light and ventilation.
The fully covered cockpit features seating on the transom with LED lighting overhead and a (removable) icebox built into the cockpit coaming so that cool drinks are always close at hand. Steps either side lead down to a large swimplatform and with safety rails fitted aft, this becomes another space for guests to relax or as a launch pad for swimming, diving, boarding a tender etc. There’s a hot-and-cold transom shower, fold-out steps and a large storage locker built into the transom providing the perfect spot for fenders, fishing gear, water toys or dive gear.
Going forward to the bow, high siderails and wide sidedecks provide safe access to the foredeck, which features a drop-in sunpad with inbuilt adjustable backrest and handy cupholders. There’s provision for a dinghy here, too, its cradle is low-profile so with the dinghy removed (via the 350kg davit) the cradle is unobtrusive and out of the way.
The anchor gear, housed under a hatch, has remote foot controls and there’s a seawater washdown, but, a clever innovation is the automatic chain spray that washes the anchor chain as it’s coming up so no mud and mess finishes up on the boat. Very clever!
ROOM AT THE TOP
The roomy, fully enclosed flybridge is accessed by a moulded staircase from the cockpit. The helm, offset to starboard, provides the skipper with good vision forward and to either side. But it’s a bit hard to see aft from here, however, there is a joystick docking control in the cockpit for close-quarters manoeuvring. The dash has ample room for a 12in screen, an array of engine, fuel and water gauges, and a full suite of electronics. This has the makings of an excellent helm but if it were me, I’d change the helm seat, (it isn’t height adjustable and looked a bit agricultural for a prestige boat), and relocate the Volvo Penta EVC screen that is partially obscured by the compass.
What I particularly liked was the sporty wheel and the hinged Kevlar facia that can be flipped over for easy access to the rear of the electronics for servicing. The engine controls fall easily to hand along with the joystick, the DC control panel is handily placed for the skipper to access any of the systems he may need underway.
Beside the helm to port, an L-shaped lounge allows family and guests to converse with the skipper, cool drinks and refreshments at hand from the convenient wetbar incorporating removable coolbox, sink, and icemaker. Farther aft, an outdoor area features wraparound seating, which proved popular with those onboard during our test on a bright and sunny day.
Day access to the engineroom is through a floor-hatch adjacent to the galley, with a larger hatch in the cockpit sole for major servicing. There’s a lot of gear in here alongside the engines including air-con units, hot-water service, a 14kVa Onan generator, ducted vacuum, batteries and 12V and 24V battery chargers. Everything, though, is easily accessible and clearly labelled.
Engineering is to CE standards and all hoses are double clamped with engraved swing tags. Twin fuel tanks incorporating sight gauges are housed forward of the engines and a third tank is forward and amidships – they all feed into a central manifold for a total of 1892lt in fuel. There are twin fuel filters for each engine, too, and can therefore be changed underway. The 454lt of freshwater is housed in a tank forward of the engineroom bulkhead.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
Out on the bay, heading into half-metre chop, we wound the Dyna 52 to WOT and recorded 31kts at 2400rpm. She’s very sensitive to tabs, as I found out when I threw her into a sharp turn at nearly full speed, the Dyna leaning heavily into the turn, which I wasn’t expecting. Backing the tabs off solved the problem, although it’s probably rare you would manoeuvre a boat about as we tend to do on tests. Overall, I found her an easy boat to drive, very sporty, soft riding and, for a big boat, surprisingly fun to drive.
At around 1800rpm with tabs half down produced a nice ride at 19kts using 130lt/h – very acceptable. Ramp her up to 2000rpm, though, and you get 23kts and 148lt/h. It’s a higher fuel burn but better efficiency in terms of litres per nautical mile. So at that rate, and leaving a bit in reserve, gives a cruising range of around 260nm. It’s not a lot for this size boat but that suits these owners and their style of boating, plus there is the option of fitting larger fuel tanks.
Fit and finish
Loads of options
No footrest at helm
Tinted windows in flybridge not good for night driving
Galley bench space
ABOUT DYNA YACHTS
Dyna Yachts are built by Dyna Craft Ltd, a family company headed by Terry Yen. Beginning in 1987, the company has become a key manufacturer of motoryachts operating out of three factories in Tainan, Taiwan.
Advanced techniques such as resin infusion and other new technologies are used to construct boats from 51 to 95 feet and the company has its own test tank accommodating craft up to 77ft. The company builds 28 to 30 boats per year and specialises in offering a high-degree of customisation in both layout and materials.
Dyna Craft have agents in most regions of the world and until the GFC, the US and the Mediterranean had been its biggest markets. According to the Australian distributor, Dyna Craft see Australia as a potentially strong market and have a long-term vision to create a serious presence here.
AT THE WHEEL
A very easy boat to drive at any speed, even idling out from Docklands along the Yarra River, the Dyna 52 goes where she’s pointed. Unlike shaftdrives, where you need water flowing past the rudder to steer, the pods with forward-facing props ‘pull’ the boat in the direction she’s steered, almost carlike.
PRICE AS TESTED
Twin 600hp Volvo Penta IPS600s
RPM SPEED FUEL BURN
1000 9.3kts 26lt/h
1200 10kts 50lt/h
1400 11.4kts 81lt/h
1600 15kts 112lt/h
1800 18.8kts 130lt/h
2000 23kts 148lt/h
2200 27.5kts 177lt/h
2400 (WOT) 31.3kts 218lt/h
* Sea trials supplied by the author. Fuel-burn is combined for both engines.
Enclosed flybridge hardtop, flybridge air-con, engine upgrade to IPS800, Raymarine E120 touchscreen (with GPS-plotter, sounder, radar, and autopilot), trim tab indicators, anchor chain counter, ducted vacuum system, dinghy and davit, water blaster, stainless steel stern rail, underwater lights, high-gloss teak floors to lower saloon and heads, and two icemakers
$998,000 w/ twin 435hp IPS600 and flybridge bimini
MATERIAL: Handlaid fibreglass
LENGTH OVERALL: 16.24m
MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS800
TYPE: Electronic turbo-diesels
RATED HP: 600 (each)
DISPLACEMENT: 10.84lt (each)
DRY WEIGHT: 1800kg (each)
The Dyna 52 is a boat you can specify almost from the hull up. This means you can include what’s important and leave out what’s not. There are options for just about everything, from the number and layout of the staterooms through to engine size, fuel capacity, and everything in between.
Priced at under $1m in basic form with 435hp IPS600 engines, I think she represents good value. Our test boat had no washer/dryer, no inverter and no extra freezers because the owners didn’t need them. They did want larger engines because performance was important, as were icemakers, enclosed hardtop, ducted vacuum and other luxuries. In the final analysis, just how much you spend depends on you and your own style of boating, but however much that is you’ll get value for money.
Read the review here: