It was the striking hull colour—called aqua blue—of the MC 5 flybridge yacht that first caught our eyes. Some people love it, some don’t, but we think it is refreshing to see a company with the guts to introduce a bold new colour to challenge the traditional white and dark blue of most new yachts. It, combined with round hull windows and portlights, gives the MC 5 a retro look. However, retro aside, the sleek hull and superstructure are shapely and reflect the MC line’s ultra-modern French and Italian styling. When one also considers the many practical interior and exterior features, it isn’t surprising that the MC 5 was voted European Power Boat of the Year in the over 45 feet category.
The Monte Carlo Yachts (MCY) brand and the Monte Carlo (MC) brand are separate companies both owned by the Beneteau Group, one of the world’s largest boat builders.
The MCY brand is currently made up of 65 to 86-footers built in Italy. In contrast, the newly-developed MC line, built at a dedicated factory in France, is made up of three smaller flybridge models: the MC 4 (45 feet); the MC 5 (50 feet) and the MC 6 (55 feet). The MC 4 and MC 5 are also available in sedan versions. Each is designed for Volvo-Penta IPS drives that offer speeds up to 30 knots.
Both the MCY and MC lines have similar design attributes and get their looks from some of the top Italian designers including Nuvolari Lenard and Andreani Design. Both yachts also share almost vertical bows, plenty of freeboard, flush decks and minimal flare aft.
Design and Construction The MC 5 was designed with a fine entry forward, an attribute that should make for a comfortable ride in bouncy seas. From the bow, the hull flares out sharply to wide, flat chines that will help deflect spray and provide added stability. The high freeboard means less spray on deck while the vertical slab sides allow for more than usual room inside. Interior space is also maximized by the engine and pod drive mounting, which are far aft.
Construction of the MC 5 uses the latest in high-tech, proven, fibreglass production methods used in the other Beneteau Group products. This includes robotics and other mass-production systems proprietary to Beneteau Group.
On Deck The wide teak swim platform on the test boat was fitted with a hydraulic lift and a set of nifty fold-away dinghy chocks. Partially overhanging the swim platform is a transom galley with a barbecue grill, sink, hot and cold water and food prep area. It is part of the same molded structure which forms the cozy forward-facing cockpit settee. Under the settee, accessed by either a portside cockpit hatch or by lifting the settee, is a huge storage area. Underneath is access to the pod drives.
The engine room is accessed via a large hatch in the teak cockpit sole. It’s tight down there, but all systems are tidy and laid out for reasonable access. One of the interesting features of the cockpit is a recessed extendable awning. When extended it covers the entire cockpit. This is in addition to the already-generous flybridge overhang.
On the starboard side of the cockpit is a recessed docking station that should prove a handy feature when backing down into a tight spot—or when fishing.
The side decks are generous—about a foot wide—with sturdy outward-leaning stanchions that make them seem even wider. Long handrails are fitted to the cabin sides, which are good when moving along the side decks, but if they were carried about a foot further aft, they would provide added security when stepping up from the cockpit.
Up on the bow, there’s twin sunpads with folding backrests, deep anchor and bow lockers, and a walk-through pulpit (a nod to European bow mooring).
Up on the flybridge, accessed from a molded cockpit staircase, there’s a ton of room for entertaining adjacent to the nicely styled helm console and single helm seat. Visibility all round from the helm is good. A sturdy bimini top provides protection from the sun and rain. To port is a wide sunpad that can be re-configured as a low double companion seat. Aft is a massive U-shaped settee with seating for at least eight people around a folding leaf table. The leaves fold up to reveal handy drink holders and grab rails. There’s also a refrigerated box for beverages tucked into the aft starboard corner. Aft of the helm is another galley module with a sink, hot and cold water, a grill and a divided garbage/recycling tub underneath. The flybridge will certainly be the centre of action on those sunny summer days.
Interior A three-panel, stainless-steel-framed glass door system between the cockpit and saloon seamlessly blends the two spaces. The interior is mostly carpeted in plush beige, though teak and holly flooring is laid in the galley and head areas. The beautifully stitched, all-leather upholstery on the test boat was off-white while the wall treatments were tasteful chocolate brown leather. The cabinetry throughout is a textured, brushed oak laminate—striking and different than the normal varnished or oiled wood finish seen on most yachts. Another departure is the thick leather handles for many of the lockers and cupboards. Overall, the Italian and French interior styling is modern, yet with none of that cold, square look of many European-styled yacht interiors.
The galley is aft and to port which makes it especially handy for cockpit entertaining. It has the usual gear: two burner ceramic cooktop with oven underneath; microwave tucked into the cabinet above; and a sink and tap that are hidden when not in use. Our only complaint with the galley is the lack of counter space, though one could consider the additional transom and flybridge galleys as optional cooking and prep spaces.
Across from the galley, behind a brushed oak cabinet, is a three-drawer fridge/freezer with icemaker. Forward of this is a set of deep drawers, some additional counter space and a cabinet for the yacht’s well-laid-out electrical panels.
A leather U-shaped settee, fronted by a leather-trimmed folding-leaf table, is to port and does double duty as the dinette. A linear settee is across to starboard and behind it is a pop-up TV.
The helm area is a step up from the saloon. As with the flybridge, the helm console is clean and well-styled with a comfy double helm seat. We liked that there are two electric opening windows in the saloon and the one to starboard allows the skipper to stick his or her head out for better views when docking. Visibility is good all round. The front windshield is unusual in that it is a single massive pane of glass with no mullions. We liked the flat counter space to the port of the helm where there are a number of shallow, leather-topped storage compartments of various sizes.
The master stateroom below is full width and framed by two three-foot-diameter round hull windows inset with round opening portlights. These not only look stylish, but bring in plenty of natural light and offer great visibility outside. The island queen bed is flanked by night tables with drawers. Two long leather bench seats under the hull windows add to the sense of coziness. The ensuite has a vessel sink and separate shower stall with seat. There is less than six feet of headroom over the bed and to the starboard side, but the master in no way feels cramped. If we have to find fault, it would be that despite two good-sized hanging lockers, there seemed to be a lack of drawers for clothes storage.
The forward stateroom has another island berth and two opening portlights on each side as well as a skylight and hatch above. It has a private entrance to the shared second/day head.
The third cabin has two stacked berths and is compact, but perfect for kids. Each berth has an opening portlight. An added feature of the accommodation area is a washer/dryer unit tucked into a locker in the companionway.
Underway There was less than two feet of maneuvering room fore and aft but the Volvo-Penta IPS joystick made it easy to get away from Westerly Yachts’ docks in Coal Harbour without the use of the optional bow thruster. The test boat was fitted with twin 435 horsepower Volvo-Penta six-cylinder D6 diesels with IPS600 drives. The other power option is twin 370 hp D6 diesels with IPS 500 drives.
Thanks in part to the location of the engines under the cockpit (instead of the saloon), the noise level in the saloon was almost non-existent (less than 70 dBA) at most speeds. The pod drives can also be credited with almost no prop vibration. As we accelerated, the MC 5 was quick to jump on the plane and there was only minimal bow rise. Visibility ahead was excellent at all speeds. During high-speed turns, the yacht leaned comfortably into the turns and there was no cavitation or slipping (again, thanks in part to pod drives). Top speed was 29 knots at 3,500 rpm. Fast cruise was about 26 knots (3,200 rpm burning 36 combined US gallons per hour) while a slow cruise was about 10.5 knots at 2,000 rpm (15 gph). These aren’t great fuel consumption numbers, but certainly not out of the ordinary for a large, fast, twin-engine sport yacht—especially given the higher horsepower engine on the test boat.
Concluding Remarks Regardless of what some may say, we think the retro colour and round portlights meld beautifully with the sleek hull and cabin lines. In addition, the interior is a good mix of modern, practical and yet classic styling. The build quality and finish are both well executed and overall, we had a hard time finding fault with the MC 5. Price in Vancouver, as tested, is $1.4 million.
|LOA||15.10 m||49’ 6”|
|Hull length||13.26 m||43’ 6”|
|Draft||0.90 m||2’ 11”|
|Displ.||15,154 kg||33,339 lbs|
|Fuel||1,300 L||344 USG|
|Water||660 L||174 USG|
Engines (as tested) Twin Volvo-Penta 485-hp D6 diesels
Monte Carlo by Beneteau
St Gilles, France
Sold in Western Canada by
Vancouver & Nanaimo
Sold in the US Northwest by