Delta 54 Carbon is a light boat – is made out of carbon fibre – with a lot of horsepower in the engine room and enormous fuel tanks for travelling at well over 30 knots and sailing for over 500 nautical miles without having to stop
by Niccolò Volpati, photo by Andrea Muscatello
It is a challenge. We aren’t talking about a path that has already been taken and, like everything new, it does involve a certain amount of risk. The Delta 54 Carbon has the advantage of being something new. It isn’t like the others, and there is no mistaking it. I realised that as soon as I saw it sailing “from outside”.
The 54 has a perfect trim: it isn’t trimmed by the stern, nor even by the bow. It is perfectly balanced, exactly parallel to the surface of the sea. As soon as I looked at it, I liked the lack of a flybridge. The whole boat features just what is needed. And that is a brave choice at a time in which people are trying to add an extra bridge even when that really isn’t a very good idea. The free board isn’t excessive and so the lines are pretty much streamlined. So it makes a good impression as it sails, and you would never say that it is a lump of iron.
It looks both elegant and sporty at the same time. A bit like those kinds of music that are difficult to classify just because they are original, and mimic something you have already heard. You get a different feel on board too.
The first thing that strikes you onboard the Delta 54 Carbon are the windows. There are a lot of them, so many that you feel as if you are inside a skyscraper: the windscreen, the hatch which opens onto the cockpit and the side panels, but the ones that really let in a lot of light are the ones over our head. There are two of them, both of them very large. The first measures 2 metres by 170 cm, and slides, while the one that is further aft is 210 x 125 cm.
The yard is Swedish, and in those latitudes the sun isn’t very strong. So you have to get hold of all the light you can, but what about in the Mediterranean? It’s a pleasant feeling, regardless, and the powerful air conditioning unit means that the dinette doesn’t turn into a sauna. There is no lack of space on board. All the rooms, starting from the owner’s cabin, have generous volumes. There is plenty of natural light, plenty of room, and plenty of storage, both in the cockpit and below decks.
I find the layout convincing. The master cabin is in the bows, and is very spacious with a lot of space around the bed. And we aren’t talking about a small cabin, given that the bed is a full 174 cm wide, so it is practically a triple bed. Amidships there are two other cabins with twin beds and a large second bathroom, nearly as large as the one in the owner cabin. The feeling you get is of being on board a strongly-constructed boat. Thick woods, layers of carbon fibers and oversized steels of the handrails.
The yard provides two engine options, one with a pair of IPS 600s, and another with two IPS 800s. The set-up chosen by this owner is rather unusual, because there are three IPS 600s. The manoeuvrability is excellent. It would already be good with a couple of pods, and having a third in the middle of the hull doesn’t affect that. The boat moves agilely, both at high and low speeds.
The particularly striking quality is how level it keeps, even when it is doing tight turns and manoeuvres. The boat never leans over. I get confirmation of that looking at the seats in the cockpit. They are director-style chairs, and are not anchored to the deck surface in any way. Despite the lengthy manoeuvring, they don’t budge an inch. The credit for this, as well as for the waterlines and the three IPS engines, should also be given to the gyroscopic stabiliser and the Humphree interceptors, which reduce roll even when under way, and not just when you are anchored to the seabed. You can feel the thrust from the three engines, which each develop 435 hp.
The performance is fairly sporty, both in terms of acceleration, and top speed. We reach nearly 34 knots, and that despite some fairly annoying waves. The V-shape in the bow is quite pronounced, and the hull behaves very well. It cuts through the wave, even when we take it straight on at full speed. The Delta 54 Carbon doesn’t jump. There aren’t any troughs, and it doesn’t crash against the waves. It always slices through the sea and gives the feeling of staying stuck to the water.
Visibility from the driving position is excellent. There are also windows everywhere and the very well balanced trim means that we can see what we have ahead of us. For those who want it, when manoeuvring there is a second steering position with the Volvo joystick in the cockpit. There is no lack of accessories like the Dynamic Position System which means you can automatically hold your position. It works by interfacing with the engines and the GPS antenna. It is very useful when you have to stay still, when refuelling for example.
The Delta 54 Carbon control panel is a real mix of an elegant and classical design and a modern console with two maxi displays, from which to keep track of all the sailing data, as well as monitoring and running of the onboard equipment. Finally, the last thing that I noticed with amazement was the range. This too is in part thanks to the limited fuel consumption of the three IPS and in part thanks to the exceptional capacity of the fuel tanks.
In total you can load 2,900 litres of diesel, which allow you to cover the 500 nautical miles, when you are doing 30 knots, or even get 1,400 miles range if you are going at eight knots.
The challenge seems to have been won without any problem, but that’s not quite the case. The most difficult thing is for all these qualities to attract the right level of attention, not least because they come at a price. You need an owner who doesn’t just look at price lists, but that is dealer’s task.
DELTA 54 CARBON
Project: Lars Modin
Hull: LOA 18.10m • Length 16.60m • Maximum beam 4.60m • Draft 1.40m •Displacement 14,000 kg • Water tank volume 900 l • Fuel tank volume 2,900 l
Main Propulsion: Volvo Penta 3xIPS 600 • Outlet mechanical power 320 kW (435 hp) • 6 cylinders in line • Swept volume 5.5 l • Maximal rotational speed 3500 /min • Dry weight 901 kg
EC Certification: CAT B
PRICE:starting from 1,385,000 €, Excl.VAT, equipped with 2 Volvo Penta Ips 800 engines
DELTA CARBON YACHTS
(Delta 54 Carbon, no-stop cruise – Barchemagazine.com – Ottobre 2018)