The Dyna 70's mooring lines drooped at her sides as she sat stern-to at Frenchman's Marina on a windless morning. With an ebbing tide, it was a long drop to her teak swim platform, two strides to cross it and an ascent of four molded-in transom steps before I was in the cockpit, looking forward into a saloon of maple and faux leather.
This day would offer an idle down the tranquil Intracoastal to Lake Worth Inlet and beyond, where conditions would be similar. Any handling curiosities would have to be noted while piercing slow-rolling, half-hearted swells and during a few close-order drills, including high-speed turns, resting in the trough, drifting beam-to and backing down in open water.
Dyna Craft, Ltd. of Taiwan designed the 70 to be an able, comfortable cruising yacht capable of reaching 34 knots. On this flat, calm day off Florida's East Coast, our test boat hit the mark.
Her optional 1,300 hp MANs propelled her to a speed slightly faster than 33 knots on the GPS. The boat offered graceful, yet tight, turns at speed and a steady platform at rest.
In spring 2000, Dyna Craft suffered a devastating fire in which two 70-footers, two 55-footers and one 48-footer were lost. From the ashes, a modern factory arose. Tom VamRijn, president of U.S. Yachts International, Dyna's sole North American distributor, said old inefficiencies were incinerated in the blaze.
In an effort to remedy past quality-control issues, inspectors are in the new factory during production. The builder has produced more than 150 vessels worldwide, and our test boat showed little evidence disputing the success of the new measures.
As Americans begin to embrace the product, Dyna has made concessions for their tastes. An American-style galley is the most noticeable modification on the 70, but given how much I enjoyed the sun-drenched landscape and ideal conditions during our test, I would be remiss to review this boat starting anywhere other than the bridge deck.
Proportionally, the 70 is balanced. I was not overwhelmed at the helm by an exaggerated area forward or aft. A low profile reduces windage and allows easy bridge deck access from all approaches. The five entrances to the area allow an owner-operator and crew quick passage for mooring duties.
The 70's bridge area is fashioned like the cockpit of larger express-style yachts owned by the customers Dyna hopes to attract. A dual bench seat behind the portside helm and a single bench seat to starboard mean the captain will be able to socialize. A sliding door between the seats accesses the interior helm. Slightly abaft the bridge helm is space for an ice maker and refrigerator. A U-shape settee will seat several guests.
Sun shades and a bimini are optional, and in my eyes, necessary. Also worth considering is the sleek, stainless-steel hydraulic davit our test boat had for retrieving the tender.
All external electronic and communication components are housed on the fiberglass wings or the centerline mast. An optional Dyna dome can be positioned atop the mast for the radar antenna. As we pulled into a fuel dock, the location of the port and starboard navigation lights seemed risky. The dealer is looking for a less tenuous position. One solution might be to mount them on the wings, as well.
Descending from the bridge, I found an area in which I would be comfortable during a long-range trip. This nook off the saloon enhanced my feeling of being on the water. To port, a dinette with leather settee surrounds a maple dining table with inlay. The helm to starboard has a burl-wood dash and sufficient surface to mount the electronics.
The helm station has clear sight lines, and a secondary set of windows below the main windshield allows those dining to see what's about. The helm backs up against the galley bulkhead, so any backing down or stern-to docking will require the captain to move toward the centerline or use the remote box with clutch, throttle and thruster control that attaches through a cockpit compartment.
Forward are a full-beam master stateroom and guest staterooms. Each guest cabin has stowage below the twin berths, a radio/CD player, a hanging locker and a vanity with a swing-out seat. Each also has a head with stall shower, a VacuFlush MSD and Corian counters. Teak and holly cover the sole in all heads.
In the master stateroom, the king berth has a leather headboard, and plenty of stowage beneath it. The walk-in locker rivals shoreside closets, and cabinets above and below the counter provide additional stowage for long-range cruising. The master head also has Corian counters and a standard jacuzzi tub. Our test boat had the optional full-size toilet.
Crew quarters occupy the bow. This is an area where American lifestyles might dictate a change. Twin berths and a private head are suitable for crew, though the entrance is through a deck hatch. The descent to the space is down a vertical stainless ladder that might get dicey when wet.
The VIP stateroom, abaft the machinery space, is similar in layout to the master. A circular stairwell leads to a secure door and the main engineroom access. A washer/dryer combo or stack unit is tucked below the TV cabinet, and there is an escape hatch for emergency exit to the afterdeck. Four portholes allow natural breezes to ventilate the quarters.
Wide side decks do not detract from the vast saloon, which is two steps below the dinette space with the galley to starboard. Appliances include a three-burner Kenyon stove, a Miele dishwasher, a Maytag refrigerator and a microwave/convection oven. Stowage includes a series of cabinets and drawers.
Social events should have an air of elegance under the 70's faux leather headliner with a circular mirror in its center. Accent lighting illuminates the mirror above and the L-shape leather sofa below. The sofa affords a full view of the entertainment cabinet and is an arm's length from a wet bar, ice maker, wine locker and refrigerator.
Dyna Craft's construction techniques follow conventional means. The hull, a deep-V entry that softens and widens aft, is handlaid and solid below the waterline. The hull above the waterline and deck sides incorporate lightweight Divinycell foam core. Transverse and longitudinal stringers ensure strength, and the bilge areas are finished with gelcoat.
Our inspection of the bilge areas showed the layout of ship's systems to be clean, with service items accessible. A 20kW Northern Lights generator provides power under way, and a Glendinning Cablemaster handles the 50-amp shorepower cord. Additional access to the engineroom is through the saloon sole. The MANs fit, but are a bit snug. A bank of fuel filters and manifolds is neatly mounted on the forward bulkhead, within easy reach for maintenance and crossovers.
The larger engine package, outfitted with Nibral props, seems to be right for this hull. She bit well from a standing start, and though the sea conditions were pond-like, she rode evenly without engaging the trim tabs.
Contact: Dyna Craft, Ltd., U.S. Yachts International, (561) 981-8199; fax (561) 981-8133; www.dynayachts.com.