Monte Carlo Yachts was founded in 2008, in the depths of the global financial crisis. Introducing a new line of motor yachts to the market at such a time was a bold move made by French parent company Beneteau Group, but not without logic. Monte Carlo was created by combining the very best of the Made in Italy brand (we’ll just call it “style”) with the industrial know-how, financial muscle, and production capacity of the Beneteau Group.
Under any circumstances, that would be a hard act to beat, but it also involved the business acumen of Carla Demaria in the CEO seat of MCY, and the inspired design partnership of Nuvolari Lenard, the creators of Alfa Nero (82m, Oceanco) and Quattroelle (88m, Lürssen) among others. “Starting an all-new line of yachts for an all-new company was a breath of fresh air,” says Dan Lenard. “We started from scratch, with a blank sheet of paper. We had no traditions to follow, only expectations to live up to.”
Carla Demaria adds, “At the time of the financial crisis, many companies were trying to revive flagging business by producing new models, but they were always ‘developments’ of existing models. Monte Carlo Yachts was in the luxurious position of being able to create an entirely new product that nobody else had. It had to be good, and it had to be different. It had to be what the market (limited it was) wanted, rather than what the builders wanted to offer the market.”
Not only did Monte Carlo Yachts open their doors with absolutely no limits to their initial creativity, and no preconceptions (Demaria calls it “no hangovers”, which we rather like), but they also started with a brand new production process which has since been patented. Obviously, not too many details are on offer, but we do know that, up to a certain point, MCY production takes place in a modular fashion, with component units being assembled on-site. “You don’t see someone in a car factory wiring in a speedometer as they did 30 years ago,” says Lenard. “No, the dashboard arrives and is installed. The tolerances to which we are obliged to work in order for this to be successful are extremely small.
In an MCY 80, there will only be1-2 mm tolerance of fit from bow to stern. In a more traditionally- built boat of the same size, that “tolerance” could be 10 cm or more. The units that make up the interior of a Monte Carlo Yacht are all bonded into place, and constitute part of the engineering structure of the whole boat. “An MCY doesn’t squeak,” points out Demaria. At this point of our trip around the south side of Hong Kong, the captain pours on the power and steers into a tight turn. We cross our own wake… and it’s true, there are no squeaks.
So let’s look specifically at the latest model in the MCY line-up. First there was the 76 (2010), followed by the 70 (2012), 65 (2013), 86 (2014) and the imperious 105 (2015). “The 80 fills the gap in the line of our first generation”, says Lenard. “We have taken all the best- received features from all the other boats, and combined them. All the things that I liked, and everything I learned by listening to our clients. This may well be my favourite MCY.” If that sounds like a sort of aquatic potpourri, think again: this is not a collection of disparate ideas, it is a distillation of refinements. It is a reduction of the sauce that it is MCY, a sort of concentration of marine DNA (designers love to talk about “brand DNA”).
“The MCY 80 was designed specifically to be less imposing than the MCY 105, but more sporty than the MCY 86 by virtue of its visual proportions, one of the many things that makes an MCY unique.” Certainly the balance between the substantial (and entirely practical) foredeck, the slightly rakish superstructure and the neatly curtailed aft area give the boat a go-getter sort of appearance. The distinctive MCY high bow lends an appearance of purposefulness (and allows for lots and lots of luxurious headroom below; no dark cubbies in a Monte Carlo). The design visuals, including the black bimini top to the flybridge and the black glass “fashion plates” that effectively wrap the superstructure into the lines of the cockpit, all conspire happily to give an 80-footer a profile that is halfway to a sport fisherman. It’s a look that works.
Indoors, the MCY 80 is a model of fit-out perfection. “When a boat is a little smaller, like an 80-footer, as compared to an 80m boat, the emphasis has to be on finishing and detailing rather than exotic materials.” You can peer as close as you like; you won’t see the join. This boat has two particular distinguishing features that set it apart: first, the wheelhouse/galley/crew access area is all integral, meaning that the crew can come and go, attend to all the guests, and melt away invisibly at a moment’s notice. And second, Nuvolari Lenard shared the day head (halfway down the accommodation companionway) as the ensuite for one of the guest cabins. If that sounds too simple to be worth mentioning, take a look. It works.
The Owner and VIP suites, plus two guest doubles, all ensuite, and a galley on the lower deck, all bear testament to the fine standard that we have come to expect from Monte Carlo Yachts. A full length saloon on the main deck, with an expansive aft cockpit and seemingly acres of space forward, is perfect for al fresco dining, sun lounging or just making whoopee, and the flybridge offers room and then some to spare.
To make it go, two MAN 1650 V12 diesels will push this boat along at 31 kts. Quite honestly, if you need to go any faster, you are reading the wrong magazine.
Now stand back and take a look at this boat in its entirety. It’s the end product of a whole bunch of fresh ideas, none of which came with preconceptions. It’s the result of a whole lot of listening, and of a superior production technology that can build a 105 ft motor yacht in just five months. It comes with the full weight of Groupe Beneteau behind it, meaning that that the man who installed the saloon sliding doors will know where to find the drawings (and probably have a spare door handle in stock, just in case), ten years from now. “Production boats are engineered to be repeatable. With custom-built boats, every single one is a prototype.”
So what do you want? An artfully designed, properly built, thoroughly reliable motor yacht… or an experiment?
For more information, visit Monte Carlo Yachts or Simpson Marine.
This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.