BOAT TEST DYNA 77 LAGUNA
With 3000hp, endless water, berths for 14 and near-30kts top speed, the Dyna 77 is rearing to go. But it’s not until you tackle gale-force winds on Port Phillip Bay that you really appreciate this luxury private liner, writes well-travelled local JOHN ZAMMIT
Look, it blows down here. With a strong-wind warning out for Port Phillip Bay and 30-knot winds forecast for the day of our test on the Dyna 77 Laguna, it was already howling. But not for a boat of her size. That said I doubt you could have got a worse berth in the marina - we were tucked in to the very last pen, just metres away from the harbour wall on our port side, and an adjacent harbour wall directly ahead. Eek!
But with Sidepower 20hp bow and sternthrusters we were out, around and away in what seemed to be effortless fashion. Idling out towards the bay along the Yarra River I took the controls and, at 700rpm, doing just over 7kts. I was amazed that we were using a miserly 9lt of fuel per hour, per side - not bad for a collective 3000hp and a boat displacing around 55 tonnes.
The Yarra is busy at any time and this morning was no exception, with barges, tugs and a few recreational boats out and about. For a big boat I found the Dyna 77 very responsive at slow speed and she went exactly where she was pointed. Out of the river, and easing forward on the MTU electronic controls, we moved smoothly up to 2000rpm and 17kts. Wow, we were now going through waves getting up over a metre, but no sign of water over the bow and the thought that came to mind was that she was just like a plane taking off - you could feel the thrust and the awesome power, but it was all so smooth and unfussed.
Heading across Port Phillip Bay, past the Fawkner Beacon, we eased back to 1000rpm, which brought her back to 9.2kts and a fuel burn rate of 20lt/h - still very impressive. Cruising along at this rate we waited for the chopper with our film crew aboard for aerial shots, and it's then that I took the opportunity to have a good look around and contemplate.
How do you define a superyacht these days? Besides length, say greater than 20 metres, the outstanding thing is good design. Take the Dyna 77 Laguna. Yes, she has the obligatory highly polished timber, the plush carpet and the decorator touches that my partner would have swooned over, all, of course, one expects to find on a boat of this calibre. But the elegance, well thought-out layout and liveability set this boat apart. She isn't just pretty, she is beguiling and I could see myself spending some serious time aboard. Not that there aren't a couple of details that I would change.
The Dyna 77 Laguna is built in Taiwan by Dyna Yachts. She has that European look, the sort of elegant swept back, and sporty appearance that gives the impression the boat is almost moving when she's lying still. That she was when we boarded at NewQuay in Melbourne's Docklands. After a quick look around I was keen to head to the engineroom. Accessed via a circular staircase subtly located in the rear corner of the saloon, the engineroom keeps company with a European laundry, neatly tucked in behind a couple of panel doors that hide a Miele washer and separate dryer.
Step through the soundproofed, half-height engineroom door and you're into a full, standing-room engineroom housing a pair of 1500hp 10V-2000-M93 series MTUs. The quality of the engineering is obvious: there's a lot of equipment packed in here including a bank of air-conditioners, two Onan generators, watermaker, and lots more. But even so, with full head-height, it's easy to get around and, importantly, great access to the stuff you might need to get to in a hurry, say, fuel filters, seacocks, strainers, and so on.
There are two primary fuel filters to each engine so that each can be isolated and the filter changed while you're running. It's also obvious that, with this manufacturer, neatness counts. Everything is tidily housed, stowed and secured; the plumbing and wiring and all piping is logical; cables, seacocks and equipment are clearly labelled with engraved plastic swing tags - basically, no guesswork here, even if something did get accidently smudged with oil or grease.
With the preliminary engine checks done it was back up top, via another internal staircase up to the sky lounge. This is where the single helm is located, up high, with good vision forward and either side through the wide expansive windows, with a door either side adjacent to the helm. All very handy if the skipper needs to have a look over the side. From here, there's also external access down to the cockpit or the bow, or the expansive open deck behind the Sky Lounge.
I did say earlier that I was impressed with the Laguna, and one of the reasons was the layout, especially the main living areas. The saloon is stylishly appointed with high-gloss inlaid African cherry timber, elegant leather and fabric furnishings and plush carpet. Apart from the elegance of the fitout, what I found really pleasant was the sense of light and space created by the large side windows and the twin stainless steel framed sliding glass doors to the cockpit. Light also emanated from the adjacent galley and dining area located forward behind the lower saloon windscreen where there might otherwise be a lower helm.
A plush semi-circular leather lounge takes up two-thirds of the saloon wall under the windows and finishes at what appears to be waist height. It has built-in storage and a cleverly designed wet bar, that when various panels and cupboards are lifted or opened, reveals a small sink and taps, a wine storage unit, room for bottles and glasses and a refrigerator.
In front of the lounge there is a nicely proportioned oval coffee table and opposite, a couple of comfortable tub chairs. I'm told there is an option for a formal dining setting in this area, in lieu of the tub chairs, and there was plenty of room to accommodate that, but for me it looked just right as it was. They say that less is more and this is certainly true in this instance, the sophisticated decor and layout are not overdone and the quality of the finish looks impeccable - it all comes together in total harmony.
Towards the bow and up two steps, the galley is located portside with a built-in dinette opposite. This area certainly matches the elegance of the saloon, but this is a chef's galley that would look good in any modern townhouse or apartment. Features include a full-size, double-door, stainless steel fridge; a one-and-a-half bowl sink, glass cooktop, dishwasher, convection microwave; even a built-in cappuccino machine. There is loads of bench space, which my partner is constantly assuring me is very important, all granite of course, lots of clever storage, even an island workbench.
Opposite is a built-in dinette with plush leather seating around a substantial, beautifully finished, dining table that looks like master craftsmen have built it. And from anywhere in this area you have the most magnificent view straight out over the bow and, oh the light, there's just so much natural light. I love it!
I did say earlier there are a couple of things I would change if I were ordering a new Dyna and one of those is the dayhead. It's a small room housing a Vacuflush toilet and a handbasin located between the dining area and the saloon, tucked in under the staircase that leads to the sky lounge. It's actually a practical spot, easily accessed from just about anywhere on the boat, very handy when you're under way or entertaining. But for me, I think I'd prefer it located elsewhere, but that's just me and one of the options with this boat.
There's abundant accommodation on the Dyna 77 Laguna, with six staterooms in all, each with its own en suite. I like the way the accommodation is broken up with three cabins accessed by the forward staircase and three via the staircase at the rear of the saloon. I can imagine, with guests on board or a large family, everyone would have his or her own space.
The large VIP cabin in the bow with queen-size bed would pass as the master suite on many lesser boats, but on this vessel the full-width master, located amidships with king-size bed, loads of storage, and even a cleverly built in dressing table with folding mirror and a swing-out vanity seat, is indicative of the attention to detail throughout this boat. Three vertical portholes either side let in plenty of light and add to the feeling of spaciousness. All of the en suites, but one, include shower cubicles and all have granite benchtops. But the master en suite was the epitome of luxury, with his and hers vanity basins and loads of glass and granite - it looked just like one of those bathrooms you see pictured in glossy decor magazines.
I could think of a lot worse things than taking this boat out for an extended cruise; say a circumnavigation of Tasmania or perhaps destinations north to warmer climes. The Dyna 77 carries 5000lt of fuel, so cruising leisurely at around 9kts she has a range of more than 1100nm. More importantly, with a top speed of 28kts, she can get up and boogie, and that's perfect if you need to make a dash for it to avoid approaching weather. Oh sure, at that speed, she's going to go through something like 280lt/h of fuel per side, but it's certainly comforting to know she can get you out of trouble. Water's not an issue either, the Laguna carries just under 1000lt, but with her Aqua Matic Compact 900-2 watermaker, which, according to the dealer, has the ability to make 4000lt a day - long showers without feeling guilty are okay too.
This Dyna 77 is well fitted out for extended cruising with a nice array of electronics. As well as screens to monitor each engine, there are three Raytheon E120 displays accommodating GPS plotter, autopilot, sounder and 72nm radar. There's wind-speed and rudder-direction indicators, HF and VHF radios, trim tab indicators, loudhailer and even a Raymarine CCTV system so that the skipper can keep an eye on things around the boat and inside the engineroom from the helm.
The twin high-back helm chairs facing the well laid out dashboard are roomy and comfortable, so spending time at the helm is not tiring. Even when we opened her up to WOT, while standing at the helm, we were comfortable leaning on the seat bolsters. At 28kts, going through what was now over two-metre seas, there was plenty of spray coming up beside us, but still nothing over the bow, even heading directly into it. With a beam of just over 5.45m (18ft) she powered through effortlessly and gave the impression she would take a lot more than two metres to worry this elegant lady.
Just one thing that I found with the helm seats, though, is that for me, the pedestals they were on were a tad high, which meant that when I was seated I had to duck slightly to see the horizon out through the windscreen, a bit annoying, but something that could easily be fixed by lopping off the pedestal slightly to bring the seat height down a touch.
The sky lounge is a comfortable place to be, nicely fitted out with observation seating behind the skipper and a chart table with chart storage below. Step out through the twin sliding doors at the rear of the Sky Lounge and you find an intimate covered outdoor area with semicircular, built-in seating around an adjustable-height table, perfect for relaxing outdoors while underway, and protected from the breeze. It is also just a nice spot to relax when you've reached your destination. Directly opposite is a built-in fridge, wet bar and an electric barbecue. Farther aft is an expansive open area where I could imagine kicking back on a banana lounge, catching a few rays, and sipping a cool drink.
There is so much to this boat and so many options fitted that it would be impossible to go through them all here. To do this boat justice you really need to spend time on board. The covered cockpit has built-in seating along the stern, with a table opposite that slides fore and aft and still leaves space for a couple of occasional chairs. Either side of the sliding doors leading into the saloon there's an icemaker and a fridge with storage for bottles and glasses. One thing I did notice on this boat is that, no matter where you are, you don't need to go far to get a drink - ideal for entertaining.
Subtly located in the coaming around the cockpit are lockers that house things like emergency fuel and air shutoff valves, manual bilge and fire-fighting controls, high-pressure washer outlet and a dock to connect remote engine and bowthruster controls. There's also a similar dock on the foredeck. Plugged in, the remote controls have 10m of cable so that the skipper can move around manoeuvring the boat in and out of tight situations from just about anywhere on the deck. Great if you're a couple on a shorthanded cruise.
There's a 4.2m centre console tender and a 500kg davit, but a nice touch was the clever anchor points that allow you to secure the tender either on the hydraulic submersible swim platform or on the upper deck behind the Sky Lounge. There are Foxtel, wireless internet, hey, and the list just keeps going. The options fitted run to three-and-a-half pages. Suffice to say, she's built to survey and, if you can think of it, it's probably already on board.
Now coming back to my question: what constitutes a superyacht these days? According to Superyacht Base, the peak body representing the Australian Superyacht Industry, a superyacht is a vessel more than 80 feet in length; a luxury craft for pleasure and/or charter; limited to 12 beds for owners and guests. By that definition, the Dyna 77 Laguna we tested could be called a superyacht and, as tested, she's seriously on the market for $3.89 million. That sure sounds like good value to me. Pass the Pimms.
ABOUT DYNA YACHTS
Dyna Yachts are built by Dyna Craft Ltd, a family company headed by Terry Yen. Since start-up in 1987, Dyna Craft has become a key manufacturer of motoryachts from its three factories in Tainan, Taiwan.
Advanced techniques such as resin infusion are used to build a range of five-star craft from 51 to 95ft. The company has it's own test tank that can accommodate boats up to 77ft.
Dyna builds 28 to 30 boats per year and specialises in offering a high degree of customisation in both layout and materials.
There are agents in most regions of the world and, until the GFC, the US and the Mediterranean were the yard's biggest markets. According to their Australian distributor, Dyna Craft see Down Under as a potentially strong market and have a long-term vision to create a serious presence here.
Specifications: Dyna Yachts 77 Laguna
PRICE AS TESTED
In current 1E and 2C survey. This is one with the lot, too many options to list here. Consult the dealer.
Type: Monohull; deep-vee forward, shallow-vee aft
Material: Solid handlaid fibreglass below waterline, foam-core construction above waterline with transverse and longitudinal stringers, and vinylester lamination to prevent osmosis
Length overall: 24.40m (inc. optional hydraulic swim platform)
Weight: 53,000kgs (plus fuel, water and options)
Make/model: 2 x MTU 10V-2000-M93
Type: Electronic, turbocharged and aftercooled V10 diesel
Rated HP/kW: 1510/1120kw (each)
Dry weight: 2230kg
Transmission (Make/ratio): ZF 2050A/2.467:1
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