BOAT TEST: DYNA 52S MOTORYACHT

By: JEFF STRANG, Photography by: DYNA

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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A trip to Hong Kong sees Jeff Strang test a Dyna 52S motoryacht while asking himself, “Why just tick the boxes when you could write the script?”

BOAT TEST: DYNA 52S MOTORYACHT
The Dyna 52S motoryacht. The Taiwan-based manufacturer's boats range from 51 to 95ft.

Trade-a-Boat has reviewed the Dyna 52 before. Stalwart writer John Zammit compiled an insightful appraisal of this Taiwanese offering on location in Melbourne last February. I know John was impressed with several aspects of the boat because I spoke to him about it in person. And while he talked about things like on-the-water performance, fit-and-finish and engineering enthusiastically, my notes from the conversation suggest it is the flexibility of the suppliers that really got his attention.

To be honest I probably didn't pay much attention to those comments, assuming he was referring to yet another tick-the-box form that implies the builder employs a your-wish-is-our-command approach, when in fact as a buyer you are cleverly guided along a highly efficient modular process and all you are doing is selecting from a pre-defined swatch of colours and fabrics. It turns out I could not have been more wrong.

So like I said Trade-a-Boat has reviewed the Dyna 52 before and as a rule it takes more than a name change - Dyna 52S - for us to revisit a boat. I mentioned this policy to the agent, who informed me it was a totally new model and I would not be flying to Hong Kong in vain. Thank goodness I got on that plane.

 

WHO IS DYNA?

Based in the Asian powerhouse of quality boatbuilding, Taiwan, Dyna Yachts brings almost 25 years' experience to the table. A family-owned business headed by Terry Yen, Dyna has growing global reach with distributors here in Australia, the US, Europe and understandably in Taiwan's near neighbour Hong Kong.

Currently the company's vessels range from 51 to a luxurious 95 feet and it even has its own test tank for craft up to 77ft. Building around 30 boats annually, what sets this company apart, in a world of modular production line efficiencies, is its ability to tailor a craft so extremely for the needs of a single individual - without the bespoke pricing.

And the Dyna 52S could well be the most impressive expression of that philosophy I am ever likely to see.

 

S STANDS FOR SPECIAL

Hong Kong-based businessman Willy Siu had long admired the Dyna concept but did not feel any of its current models fully met his needs. The 52 was about the right size and the IPS option really appealed, however he felt the lines of the original boat where not quite right. When a man of action with resources to call on combines with a company willing to be almost completely flexible the chances of success are high.

New plans were drawn-up, lengthening the vessel by two feet in the mid-section to allow for a more spacious master cabin. The longer hull bought with it the added bonus of a much sleeker look to the topsides, which to my eye is the vessel's most striking improvement. Approval for an IPS installation by Volvo Penta was a fait accompli and it was time to build a brand-new mould for Willy's all-new Dyna.

 

BACK TO KOWLOON

Today Willy Siu's vision is a reality. Masterpiece graces Sia Kung's Marina Cove, professionally maintained by two fulltime crewmen. When I arrived she gleamed in her berth, benefiting from multiple coats of wax and hours of buffing. Michael and Man were only too happy to show me around.

Starting with the stern the guys demonstrated the hydraulic swimplatform, with its innovative rear storage access slider. In underway mode the 2.45m Williams jet tender on the rear platform prevents access to a capacious storage module inbuilt in the stern. A flick of a switch slides the tender clear allowing for accessibility to all the "wet" toys ideally housed back here. Another flick of a switch and the tender is launched ready for a few thrills and spills for those keen to try one of these pocket rockets.

My next stop was the engineroom - it's always best to get the hot places out of the way before things get even hotter. Main access is via a large hatch in the cockpit floor. It's immediately impressive for the share quantity of equipment down here and more importantly the free servicing space around everything. Twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 drives dominate and sit in spotless white, easy-clean beds with full 360-degree access. The wide range of accessories includes a four-bank air-conditioning unit, a swathe of 12, 24 and 240V systems including an Onan generator and a Victron charging system, a reverse osmosis watermaker system and most notable of all, a Seakeeper Gyro M8000 stabiliser unit - more about that in the sea-trial.

An engineroom isn't just about the fruit though. Of more importance to me is the quality of the workmanship. What I saw impressed. Key indicators like systematic and clear labelling of all the wiring and plumbing, and heavy-duty covers to prevent accidental damage to componentry, show experience and attention to detail.

 

LIFE AND STYLE

The cockpit proper is a relatively straightforward yet relaxed setup featuring a forward-facing four-seat sofa behind a perfectly finished high-gloss varnished table. With the addition of removable seating eight could enjoy a social al fresco dinner comfortably. Custom brackets have been organised for an outdoor barbecue, situated to keep it both handy and in touch with the socialising, as well as being easy to clean and manage.

It is hard not to notice the striking four-fold custom-built curved glass doors, which lead into the lobby and galley area. These are another refined touch from the mind of the owner. They are a unique approach to the traditional saloon-entry sliders, which can suffer from sameness in many production boats - but this isn't really a production boat, it is just priced as one.

As you enter the saloon, to the portside is a smart little lobby area, with a two-seat couch and small coffee table. Situated as it is beside the galley (adjacent to starboard) it is perfectly placed to ensure the chef remains part of the party as he/she prepares the banquet. And with that banquet in mind I have to say that while compact Masterpiece has one of the best-appointed galleys I have seen in this class of vessel.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a proper oven in this sort of boat and yet here there were not one but two full-sized ovens - a convection roasting oven and specialised steam oven for delicacies like Chinese steamed fish. My mouth waters at the prospect. A nice mix of dark coloured counter tops, wooden trim and floors, and the obligatory soft-close drawers and cupboards ensure the galley is a pleasant place to wile away an hour or two preparing a feast.

It is worth noting that I couldn't find one item of misaligned or loose joinery on the 52S. Very unusual in a new boat as most modern fittings wiggle loose within a couple of weeks and need readjusting occasionally.

 

STEP UP

In contrast to most new vessels, Dyna has opted to separate the main saloon area from the rest of the vessel by raising it to a higher level. No doubt this has the added bonus of creating more head height below decks and the effect upstairs is to create an isolated refuge from the rest of the world. Although I usually favour the open-plan approach we see more frequently this apartment-like tactic could grow on me. Often, when anchored in crowded bays, it would be nice to be able to enjoy the excellent views with just a little more privacy.

With family dining such an important part of the local culture it is no surprise to see the dining space maximised with a full-sized table and plenty of seating. The tones, fabrics and trim are light to deliver the required sense of space and once the meal is completed entertainment is provided by virtue of a pop-up sat TV and a Bose sound system.

A secondary helm station has also found a home in the saloon and features a pair of widescreen Raymarine E120/W multifunction navigation units alongside the standard Volvo Penta IPS control system and joystick. As Masterpiece is the open flybridge version of the Dyna 52, this lower station would find regular duty in wet weather, but I did not establish whether or not it is optional in the hardtop model.

 

WIND DOWN

Forward of the saloon a staircase leads below decks and to the sleeping quarters. It was this accommodation deck that left me with the strongest-lasting impressions of the 52S. The company has done a sterling job optimising space, without any sense of claustrophobia. Again the joinery everywhere is excellent, which could be attributed to a combination of quality fittings, workmanship at the factory and the attentive fulltime crew.

The cabin layout is the usual for a pod-driven vessel, with double guest cabin forward, a twin single cabin starboard - both sharing an en suite -and a full-beam master and en suite central.

The dayhead, which also services the two secondary cabins, deserves to be singled out for its sheer indulgence. The touch-button faucets are just the start. The two-person shower features an overhead head unit with multiple jets built into the wall. If that isn't a rich enough experience for you, take a seat, flick the disco lights and switch on the sauna. That the Bose system will be piping in your favourite tunes, while you steam away the cares of the world, is just the icing on the cake. Now that is living. Not to be outdone the master cabin's en suite is a copy of the dayhead, albeit even larger and enclosed behind a pair of decorative, sliding glass panels.

 

AT THE HELM

When Trade-a-Boat last stepped foot on a Dyna, that vessel featured a fully enclosed hardtop, whereas this boat features a long single-level, open-style flybridge. The huge advantage of this configuration is the space and carrying capacity it allows.

An eight-seat rear lounger surrounds a hardwearing dining table. An amenities centre presents a full-sized barbecue system, a drinks fridge and a washdown sink. Forward and to the left of the helm station is a queen-sized sunlounger. With seating room for at least 10 there is no need for anyone to miss out on the best view in the house.

The helm itself is a twin-seat pilot and navigator setup, behind a spacious easy-clean dash featuring two more Raymarine E120/W multifunction navigation units and another complete set of Volvo Penta IPS control systems.

As readers will be aware, the beauty of IPS is the ease at which the pod units can be controlled in close quarters; a good thing as the berths in Hong Kong are like the apartments, made to measure - exactly to measure. Underway the Dyna rides softly, although we had to search hard to find a chop to push her through at any pace. With twin IPS 600s the 52S is slightly underpowered for my taste and optioning her up to the 800s would put a bit more fire in her belly. Any thoughts that she might be tender beam-on due to her relative height-to-beam ratio were quickly dispelled. Admittedly the Seakeeper Gyro M8000 stabiliser is an exceptional piece of hardware, but even with it disengaged Masterpiece moves like a vessel of substance and keeps a surprisingly even keel.

 

THE VERDICT

Yet again my eyes have been opened by the quality of the boats and the engineering coming out of Taiwan. While the Dyna is not in the class of a vessel like the Horizon (also featured this issue), she is still a fine example of good workmanship and thoughtful design. But what makes the 52S stand out is the extreme level of personalisation offered by this yard. To build a bespoke 55-foot craft of quality at this price is an impressive feat, likely to get the attention of buyers looking to stamp their own signature of boat right from the drawing board.

 

[THREE BROTHERS]

My hosts in Hong Kong, the Cheung brothers of Smart Concept Craft International, represent a Kowloon boating dynasty stretching back further than many countries have had boats. In recent times, fishing gave way to charter operations, which evolved into a boat dealership. As guides during my whirlwind visit these brothers were without parallel, immersing me in the real Hong Kong, right down to a full-family, round-the-table seafood banquet (I even tried a 1000-year-old egg). Thanks a million guys and I hope to return the favour Down Under soon.




[HIGHS]

› Bespoke craft at the price of a production boat

› Quality engineering

› High standard of fit and finish

› Exceptional bathrooms

 

[LOWS]

› Tight servicing in the anchor well

› Needs more horsepower

› Galley bench space

 

[TRADE-A-BOAT SAYS… ]

What makes the 52S stand out is the extreme level of personalisation offered by this yard. To build a bespoke 55-foot craft of quality at this price is an impressive feat, likely to get the attention of buyers looking to stamp their own signature of boat right from the drawing board.




Specifications: Dyna 52S

 

PRICE AS TESTED

$1,495,000

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Handlaid fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH OVERALL 16.85m

BEAM 4.52m

DRAFT 1.22m

 

CAPACITIES

BERTHS 6+4

FUEL 1892lt

WATER 454lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 600

TYPE Electronic turbo-diesels

RATED HP 600 (each)

DISPLACEMENT 10.84lt (each)

DRY WEIGHT 1800kg (each)

 

SUPPLIED BY

Smart Concept Craft International Ltd,

Marina Cove Shopping Centre,

Sai Kung, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Email: smartcon@netvigator.com

Web: www.dynacraftyacht.com

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Grant Torrens International Marine

Phone: 07 5577 2299

Web: www.granttorrensmarine.com.au

 

Originally published in Trade-a-Boat #435, January 2013.

Find Dyna boats for sale.

 


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