The Italian Solaris 47 is intended to meet both sides of the performance-cruiser equation – and reward the discerning sailor.
- Excellent build quality
- Extended range
- Larger saloon and cockpit
- Hull is indentical to Semifly 32 forward of the side windows
- Czone simplifies operation
Dickey Boats’ new Semifly 36 is an expanded version of the Napier builder’s popular 32-foot model. And in this case the extra few feet add up to a lot more than you might expect.
The Semifly 36 expands Dickey Boats’ Semifly range, which now extends from 28 to 45 feet. Plans are also well advanced for a Semifly 50-footer and there’s a Semifly 40-foot model ready to go that slots in nicely between the new 36 and the 45.
While the Semifly 36 is a new model, its direct ancestor is the company’s popular Semifly 32. From the middle of the saloon forward, the two boats’ hulls are identical, but from there aft, the 36 is bigger, offering more space in the saloon, slightly more headroom, bigger windows and a larger cockpit. The extra length has allowed Dickey to fit a larger fuel tank – up to 1000 litres compared to 680 litres for the 32 – for more range and create an even more fishing-oriented cockpit.
The 36 is an evolutionary model, implementing advances in construction developed for the Dickey 45 and incorporating styling cues from its bigger brother, such as the radar tower and engine air intakes.
The latest Dickey Semifly 36 to leave the Napier manufacturing facility will call the Marlborough Sounds home. Mummafat’s owners enjoy fishing, so the 36’s large, fishing-friendly cockpit has considerable appeal. She is game-rigged with Oceanblue ‘riggers, even though her owners have no immediate plans to go game fishing, but the deepwater denizens of Cook Strait had better watch out, along with D’Urville Island’s snapper and kingfish.
As always, Dickey Boats has the transom bait station area well-sorted. On Mummafat there’s the usual curved live bait tank under a pivoting two-piece PVC bait/filleting board, but no tuna tubes, which can be specified for inside the bait tank. There’s also a stainless staple on the optional swim platform to take a bait board or secure the tender. The Bravo stainless-steel BBQ mounts on the gunwale.
The vessel’s saltwater washdown is on the cockpit’s starboard side, with a transom rubbish bin to port and a bait storage area to starboard. The transom door opens outwards for security in a seaway. Side-pockets are lined, there are four angled through-gunwale rodholders per side, a freshwater cockpit shower, saltwater washdown, 12V outlets for electric reels (x4), and lots of rod storage in the rocket launcher. Four rodholders in the trailing edges of the cabin top are perfectly-positioned for rigging rods – terminal tackle can be stored in tackle drawers set into the gunwales both sides.
Since it’s a Dickey, you get handwashers either side – simply lean over the gunwale with your thigh against the pressure switch to activate a cleansing stream of freshwater – flush-mounted rodholders (10) and stainless-steel fold-down cleats with rubbing strips. Under-gunwale courtesy lighting, downlights and floodlights are by Hella Marine; underwater lights are Piranha.
Like other boats in the Semifly range the cockpit sole is curved, self-draining through scuppers in the corners. The sole and decks are covered in Dek King, and there’s a good-sized freezer under the aft-facing bench seat against the cabin bulkhead. The gas locker on the starboard side by the door holds a 5kg aluminium bottle.
High quality interior
A little bit of extra length goes a long way. In the Dickey 36 it allows a full-length berth in the saloon, or an optional double berth with the table dropped down. The saloon feels more spacious too, thanks to a bit more headroom, large windows and the way it opens onto the cockpit via bi-fold windows and doors. The use of Dek King in the saloon accentuates the connection between saloon and cockpit.
The cabins offer generous storage under bunks in drawers and in lockers. The bunkroom has lost a berth – what was a bed in the 32 is a large fishing rod locker in the 36 – but there is now sleeping accommodation in the saloon if required. The bottom bunks convert to a double berth for extra versatility.
As with other Dickey models, interior light switches throughout are inconspicuous, but classy, push-button affairs, while the saloon, cabins and even the bathroom enjoy diesel heating for all-seasons comfort.
From the helm
The helm position is comfortable with excellent ergonomics and good vision through the windscreen and over the wrap-around stainless-steel bow rail. There are no windscreen wipers, but the glass is coated with Clearshield and the boat is equipped with windscreen demisters.
Twin Furuno TZT2 12-inch MFDs with full CZone integration dominate the console, but there’s plenty of space for switches, controls and engine gauges. Mummafat’s equipment list is extensive and includes a FLIR camera on the radar mast, a Sidepower bowthruster, Lewmar anchor winch, Furuno Nav Pilot 71CC autopilot, chain counter and Zipwake automatic trimtabs. The radar mast also accommodates a 4kW radome and a TracVision TV aerial (the vessel has Sky TV).
A properly installed 2kW through-hull transducer feeds acoustic signals to the digital multi-beam sounder module and a Fusion Apollo head unit provides sounds throughout the vessel. Extra battery charging capability is provided by Sunware solar panels on the roof, which you can safely walk on. They even have a non-slip surface.
Mummafat’s steering is hydraulic, so conning the boat is effortless. Automatic trim tabs do an excellent job of keeping the boat level, but like other Dickeys, the 36 doesn’t lift its nose under acceleration, running flat at any speed and sliding effortlessly onto the plane at around 12-14 knots. There’s some heeling in tight turns, as to be expected with an 18o deadrise at the transom, but the boat goes exactly where it’s pointed. It’s also eerily quiet inside the saloon with the doors closed.
Acceleration is strong and the vessel feels nimble and responsive. A single engine installation has the advantages of simplicity, reduced weight, and lower purchase and maintenance costs. With a sterndrive transmission and a bowthruster, the trade-off in manoeuvrability is minimal. For the Dickey 36, a Volvo Penta D6 400hp–duo-prop sterndrive combination provides good low-speed control in both forward and reverse: Jason Dickey made easy work of docking Mummafat at the conclusion of our run.
One of the hallmarks of the Dickey Boats range is fuel efficiency. The company’s interlocking space frame construction method results in strong, stiff boats that are also lightweight. Light weight, combined with hulls designed for efficient, comfortable cruising rather than all-out speed, equals fuel efficiency.
At cruising speed, which is anywhere between 20 and 26 knots, the single engine’s fuel consumption is somewhere between 2.3 and 2.5 litres of diesel per nautical mile. Even at full throttle (3,520rpm/30 knots), the fuel burn is only marginally higher, while at gamefish trolling speed – 8.5 knots/1,500rpm – the Volvo uses just 1.3 litres per nautical mile.
Mummafat carries 800 litres of fuel and 250 litres of water. Access to the engine, machinery, batteries and tankage is via an electrically-operated lifting floor section that takes up most of the cockpit sole. Once it is fully up, access to the engine is excellent. The engine room is painted immaculate white and features useful extra storage in side shelves. The space also houses an Isotemp 20-litre engine-heated hot water cylinder, house and starting batteries (2 x Lifeline AGM and 1 x Lifeline AGM respectively).
All of the vessel’s systems are managed via a CZone digital switching network, which among other benefits allows the operator to pre-set operational modes, which is both convenient and safe. Dickey Boats use CZone throughout the Semifly range.
As we’ve come to expect from Dickey Boats, the Semifly 36 impresses with its meticulous finish and flawless presentation. Evolutionary changes applied to the 36 have shortened build times without compromising build quality and its extra length adds to its overall utility. Mummafat’s South Island owners look forward to enjoying those benefits and more, confident in the knowledge that the boat is a masterpiece in aluminium.