If a manufacturer of luxury yachts invites you in early May to a test drive on the North Sea in the Netherlands, where rough water conditions are a daily occurrence, then you know this is something different. Because even if one thinks of 20m+ yacht providing comfort and luxury in the sunshine, they are obviously equally required to prove themselves when the weather is maybe not on your side.
OK and even if luxury yachts are engineered for rough water usage, they are often only presented in fine weather at the most beautiful locations on the Côte d’Azur, and other hot spots. Therefore we were all the more excited regarding the test drive with the Dominator 640 in Port Zélande and as expected the weather forecast did not disappoint providing us with an exciting 6 Beaufort.
Dominator was acquired four years ago by the Austrian entrepreneur Pernsteiner family. Even in this short time, the family have steered the shipyard on a very successful course. The Dominator 640, which was designed by Italian designer Alberto Mancini is the first newly designed yacht under the new management.
If one is dealing with a Dominator 640, one must first understand the concept that the shipyard had for this model. Dominator currently builds yachts up to 40m. The 640 is therefore aimed at buyers who actively want to take over the controls, but do not want to be without their luxuries. The model is therefore also suitable for people who are looking for a second home on the water without the need for a crew. And in fact, the yacht is ideal for both being an impressive living space and providing great driving behaviour and pleasure.
2,400 hp with a joystick
The yacht we tested is powered by two 1,200 hp MAN V8 engines, the control is also possible via a joystick, the joystick control is supported by the built-in bow and stern thrusters. This makes the Dominator, even under difficult conditions, very easy and comfortable to navigate with the joystick. Another feature of the joystick system: Through GPS, the Dominator can be kept exactly on its current position, the joystick system automatically keeps the yacht to the GPS coordinates.
And here you already see a remarkable first impression of the Dominator: Those who think manoeuvring a 20 metre, 35 tonne yacht in strong winds can cause problems, should think otherwise, the Dominator 640 does it all. In spite of adverse conditions, the Dominator can be very easily controlled. The exit from the marina itself in strong wind is child’s play. And this shows exactly why there is no need for a skipper and where the owner can actively take the helm.
Tidy helm on the flybridge and saloon
Whether on the flybridge or at the helm in the saloon: The Dominator is equipped with technical sophistication but not that the helm seems overloaded with technology – on the contrary, both control levels are clear and tidy. The helm in the saloon which is supported by two large displays also provides an excellent view outside.
As already mentioned, the strong 6 Beaufort wind that day was strong – conditions where you probably would not leave the marina. So it was almost obvious to bring the Dominator 640 to test these limits – testing the driving and also the conditions below deck.
Despite the weather, we preferred the flybridge for the exit.
Impressive driving behaviour despite strong rough seas
Due to the strong waves, the Dominator needs something to bring the 35 tonnes to speed. Nevertheless, it cuts through the waves with no problems, it runs quite fast and on a stable course. Although these values naturally are longer due to the strong sea conditions, we were determined to illustrate the following: The acceleration from 0 to planing takes 20 seconds from 0 to cruising speed 29 seconds and from 0 to maximum speed 36 seconds, as a top speed we reached 25 knots. At no time did we have the feeling that the Dominator was having a hard time due to the weather, on the contrary, these values in these conditions is nothing short of excellent.
In close circle we put the Dominator in an inclined position, below deck the windows in the master cabin are partially submerged. And here too, the Dominator is at its best, there is no feeling of instability.
Low noise below deck
One thing we wanted to know: A Dominator promises comfort, but how are the conditions below deck in heavy seas? At full speed we are in the owner’s cabin and also the impression of an exceptionally high stability was confirmed at high speed and rough seas. What we particularly liked: Under full load of the motors, we measured in the owner’s cabin a value of 81 dB, excellent when you consider that a normal discussion volume between two people is 60 dB and these measurements were carried out in rough sea conditions. In short, even under high speed and in rough seas, below deck you can feel very comfortable.
The engine room is located next to the owner’s cabin. Stefano Mondini, Dominator engineer, who is also behind the construction of the Dominator 640 comments (see picture): “The engine room has a complete fire protection system, an automatic extinguishing system, if required, when set in motion a possible fire or smoke cannot escape.”
Luxurious apartment at sea
The Dominator offers exceptional space without compromising on a sleek yacht design. At the rear, there is a sofa where 6 persons can sit comfortably. The area is protected by the flybridge, so you can also relax here with bad weather. In the rear garage there is space for a Williams-tender.
Whoever prefers open-plan living can take their place on the large flybridge. The helm station has two driver seats, a wet bar, spacious seating for up to 7 people, which can also be converted into a sunbathing area thanks to an electric table. Also available: The seating area can be protected by a hydraulic Bimini. In addition to the helm there is a relaxation area for up to 3 people. The flybridge has been designed so that when sitting, as little wind effects as possible are present. In the bow there is a further large space for up to 4 people. Also available: A small bow seating area with space for 2 people.
The deck saloon impresses with plenty of space and the quality of materials. The saloon is optically separated. First, one enters the living area, which has a spacious seating area. This is followed by the kitchen bar with all the necessary equipment and then opposite, the dining area which can accommodate up to six people again. Immediately after the kitchen counter is the helm, and in the middle you go below deck.
Owner’s bathroom overlooking the sea
The Dominator has a 4-cabin layout: a large master cabin amidship, a VIP cabin in the bow area with subsequent cabins for 2 persons and a separate crew cabin in the stern area. The owner’s cabin itself is surprisingly spacious for a 20 metre yacht. It has a large double bed, a sitting area with large windows and a large private bathroom with a shower, allowing a view out to the sea beyond.
In the entire interior area there is more than enough storage space, for instance, the entire space under the double bed is used as a storage area. The VIP cabin is also spacious and nicely furnished, under where the TV is located, there is a fold-out table. The VIP cabin similar to the third cabin has a private bathroom with shower.
Whether saloon or below deck: The entire interior is not only excellent, but also convinces with a tasteful design and many refined details. Here you can feel very comfortable even over a duration of several weeks and months, without the feeling for more space.
A class of its own
The Dominator 640 is Class A certified and therefore seaworthy, the range on a full tank, at cruising speed is around 350 nautical miles, the starting price is€2 million.
With the Dominator 640, the shipyard has implemented a super and mega yacht concept on a 20m yacht. The Dominator 640 thus fills a gap in the market which makes perfect sense to certain customers considering or investing a few million in a yacht. With a Dominator 640 an owner not only has all his desires aligned and a luxurious apartment at sea, but also a yacht that they can control and manage themselves easily, leaving no further wishes unfulfilled.
The 640 Dominator has redefined the 20m class, it responds exactly to those people who do not compromise.
Shipyard: Dominator Yachts (Austria / Italy)
Name: Dominator 640
Length: 19,95 m
Width: 5,15 m
Draft: 1,90 m
Weight: 35 t
Engine: 2 x MAN V8 1200 HP
Fuel tank: 3700 l
Water tank: 1000 l
Crusing Ppeed: 23 Knoten
Maximum Speed: 30,5 Knoten
Cabins / Beds / Bathrooms: 4 / 8 / 4 (inkl. Crew cabine)
Eligible Passengers: 12
CE Category: A
Photos: Boot Online |Dominator Yachts