MONTE CARLO YACHTS

A be­hind-the-scenes look at MCY’S state-of-the-art man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity

Motorboat & Yachting - - Contents - WORDS: Hugo An­dreae

Monte Carlo Yachts’ rise from noth­ing to one of Europe’s lead­ing lux­ury yacht builders has been as rapid as it has been re­mark­able. In ten short years it has gone from an idea on a blank sheet of pa­per to build­ing a seven-strong range of semi-cus­tom mo­tor yachts from 65ft to 105ft.

Even ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­try watchers have looked-on agog as year af­ter year it rolled out ever big­ger, ever more com­plex yachts that would have taken most yards twice as long to de­velop. MCY’S boss Carla De­maria would sim­ply nod con­spir­a­to­ri­ally and say it was all down to the unique se­cret build process that the team have de­vel­oped for its fa­cil­ity in Mon­fal­cone, Italy. Only now has MCY agreed to re­veal how the magic hap­pens.

The key to MCY’S speed and ef­fi­ciency is not a sin­gle ‘magic bul­let’ but a se­ries of in­no­va­tions that has en­abled it to re­duce build times and im­prove qual­ity. It claims that the time and money saved is what al­lows it to in­vest so heav­ily in the fin­ish and cus­tomi­sa­tion for which it is renowned.

The build process is split into three sep­a­rate el­e­ments: the hull, the deck and the in­te­rior. Cru­cially, all three parts are worked on si­mul­ta­ne­ously so that they are com­pleted at the same time. Only then are the three sec­tions slot­ted to­gether like pieces of a 3D jig­saw.

What makes this process unique is how far the build goes be­fore the three sec­tions come to­gether. We’re not talk­ing about slot­ting-in par­tially com­pleted cab­ins or low­er­ing a half-fin­ished deck mould­ing onto a hull; each of the three sec­tions are fully fit­ted out. All that re­mains to be done is bond­ing the sec­tions to­gether and hookingup the plumb­ing and electrics. If this sounds too sim­plis­tic it’s worth look­ing in more de­tail at what’s in­volved.

THE HULL

In­stead of mould­ing a hull and then strength­en­ing it with in­ter­nal grids, bulk­heads and stiff­en­ers, Monte Carlo Yachts design the whole thing as a sin­gle mono­coque struc­ture with built-in rigid­ity. This is not only quicker and eas­ier to build but it takes up less space than a con­ven­tional grid, leav­ing more in­ter­nal vol­ume and head­room in the cab­ins.

It cre­ates the nec­es­sary strength by us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of self-sup­port­ing cored GRP mould­ings and an alu­minium skele­ton along with built-in lon­gi­tu­di­nal stringers and stain­less steel en­gine sup­ports. All the GRP el­e­ments are vac­uum infused with ex­ten­sive use of car­bon and Kevlar re­in­force­ment. A sub­stan­tial crash box in the bow pro­vides ad­di­tional strength in this high-stress area along with a sac­ri­fi­cial crum­ple zone should the worst hap­pen. Al­most uniquely in the ma­rine in­dus­try the en­tire hull and all the in­di­vid­ual mould­ings re­ceive a post-cur­ing

heat treat­ment in the pur­pose-built paint hall which dou­bles as a gi­ant oven.

Once the struc­ture is com­plete the empty hull is fully fit­ted out with engines, plumb­ing, electrics, tanks and the spe­cially in­su­lated en­gine room bulk­heads. The en­tire for­ward sec­tion, how­ever, is left empty ready for the in­te­rior mod­ule to be low­ered into it.

THE IN­TE­RIOR

Monte Carlo Yachts isn’t the only yard to build its in­te­ri­ors out­side the boat. Bavaria also slots par­tially com­pleted cab­ins into the hull, but it’s the only one to do so on such a big scale us­ing a sin­gle mod­u­lar struc­ture. The back­bone of the sys­tem is an alu­minium skele­ton that looks like a se­ries of in­ter­con­nected boxes. Be­ing mod­u­lar, the size and shape of th­ese boxes can be adapted to take ac­count of dif­fer­ent lay­out op­tions, so long as the main exterior di­men­sions re­main the same. This ex­plains how MCY can of­fer mul­ti­ple cabin and lay­out op­tions at rel­a­tively low cost.

With ac­cess to ev­ery part of the in­te­rior, even ser­vice ar­eas nor­mally hid­den be­hind bulk­heads, it’s far quicker and eas­ier for crafts­men to fit the com­plex pipework and ca­bling as well as the nor­mal fur­ni­ture, fit­tings and lin­ings. It also en­ables them to reach the un­der­side of cab­ins to add in­su­la­tion and soft mount­ings to pre­vent noise and vi­bra­tions be­ing passed through the struc­ture and into the ac­com­mo­da­tion. Al­though the process is hi-tech, the ma­te­ri­als used and the crafts­man­ship in­volved are as tra­di­tional as they come, with ev­ery­thing be­ing man­u­fac­tured in-house us­ing nat­u­ral stone, solid woods and the best qual­ity leathers.

THE DECK

The fi­nal piece of the jig­saw is the deck, fly­bridge and su­per­struc­ture. Again, this is all resin-infused with lo­calised Kevlar re­in­force­ment. The fly­bridge T-top it­self is pure car­bon fi­bre to min­imise weight up top and re­duce the boat’s ten­dency to roll. As with the hull and in­te­rior, it is fully fit­ted out right down to the teak decks, fly­bridge fur­ni­ture and elec­tron­ics for the out­side helm sta­tion.

FI­NAL AS­SEM­BLY

The as­sem­bly it­self is so quick as to be al­most an­ti­cli­mac­tic. The en­tire in­te­rior is low­ered into the hull be­fore be­ing bonded into place. The mod­u­lar skele­ton en­sures it fits per­fectly with tol­er­ances of no more than a few mil­lime­tres. The process is then re­peated with the deck. Plug and play sys­tems mean that all the plumb­ing and electrics join up so that the whole boat is up and running in a mat­ter of hours. A rig­or­ous sys­tem of checks en­sures ev­ery­thing is work­ing be­fore the com­pleted boat is wheeled into the paint shop for its fi­nal exterior fin­ish. This also ex­plains why cus­tomers have a free rein when it comes to hull colours. Whether this build process re­sults in a bet­ter qual­ity boat, a bet­ter value boat or sim­ply a more ef­fi­cient, more prof­itable yard is hard to quan­tify. There’s no doubt­ing that the fin­ished prod­ucts look and feel as well-built as any­one else’s, al­beit not no­tice­ably su­pe­rior to the con­struc­tion meth­ods of older, more es­tab­lished yards. How­ever, in re­cent years Monte Carlo Yachts has also be­come in­creas­ingly ret­i­cent about re­veal­ing the prices of its boats to any­one other than se­ri­ously in­ter­ested cus­tomers, quot­ing the need to re­tain its com­pet­i­tive edge. What­ever the true value of the ad­van­tage, there is no doubt that re­veal­ing the se­crets of the build process only helps to boost pub­lic in­ter­est in this grow­ing yard.

Hull, deck and in­te­rior are built si­mul­ta­ne­ously

The deck is then bonded on top

... and is low­ered into the hull in one piece In­te­rior is built out­side the hull on a mod­u­lar frame...

The fin­ished boats look and feel high qual­ity

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