Motorboat & Yachting - - CONTENTS - Hugo An­dreae

TESTED The two-cabin out­board-pow­ered Monaco has a re­mark­able turn of pace

LOA 37ft 1in (11.3m) BEAM 11ft 11in (3.63m) EN­GINES Twin 150-350hp Mer­cury TOP SPEED ON TEST 38 knots FUEL CON­SUMP­TION AT 20 KNOTS 80lph PRICE FROM £216,000 inc VAT PRICE AS TESTED £325,000 inc VAT CON­TACT Sus­sex Boat Shop www.park­er­

This is Parker’s first step up into the big league and it has done it in some style. With its trendy ver­ti­cal bow, swoop­ing hull win­dows and sleek coupé styling from the pen of Bri­tish de­signer Tony Cas­tro, the 37ft Monaco looks un­can­nily like a big­ger, sex­ier Sealine C330. The big dif­fer­ence with its Ger­man-built ri­val is that the Parker Monaco is cur­rently only avail­able with out­board power; in our test boat’s case a pair of thump­ing great su­per­charged Mer­cury 300hp Ver­a­dos.

Th­ese out­board en­gines are both its great­est as­set and its big­gest weak­ness. If it’s per­for­mance you’re af­ter there’s no ar­gu­ing with our top speed on test of 38 knots, which is de­liv­ered in the typ­i­cally smooth, civilised tones of a modern petrol en­gine (at idle you won’t even know they’re run­ning). And the fact you can lift them negates any con­cerns over foul­ing and cor­ro­sion. On the other hand, keep­ing them fed with costly un­leaded rather than more read­ily avail­able and af­ford­able red diesel will take some swal­low­ing, even if the ac­tual quan­tity of fuel used at a cruis­ing speed of 20 knots is not wildly dif­fer­ent (80lph for the petrol Parker v 60lph for the diesel C330).

There’s also the ques­tion of whether own­ers of this type of boat re­ally want to be ham­mer­ing along at 38 knots. In any kind of a head sea those broad chines trans­mit quite a bit of rat­tling and bang­ing at speeds above 30 knots, al­though our test boat was a well-used pro­to­type with an unusu­ally stern-heavy spec that might have af­fected both its run­ning an­gle and its re­fine­ment un­der way. It cer­tainly felt more com­fort­able cruis­ing at 20-26 knots with the en­gines barely try­ing and the tabs down to keep the nar­rower bow sec­tions slic­ing through the chop. That’s not to say that you can’t have a bit of fun when the mood takes you thanks to light, re­spon­sive steer­ing and a use­fully tight turn­ing cir­cle. Push it hard and you can even get the back end to slip out with­out any drama.

How­ever, the Monaco re­ally comes into its own when the ac­tion stops and you drop the hook for the day. With its bi­fold doors, lift-up gal­ley win­dow, open­ing helm door and large (but ex­pen­sive) op­tional sun­roof, the main deck liv­ing space is won­der­fully light, open and well-ven­ti­lated but equally easy to close up and keep warm in the colder months. The aft gal­ley is per­fectly sit­u­ated to serve both the cock­pit and the dinette but also hides away un­der a fold­ing wooden coun­ter­top when not in use. And the helm it­self is well thought out with good sight­lines all round and a fold­ing step

en­abling you to stand and look through the sun­roof for close-quar­ters work.

The out­side spa­ces are just as well con­sid­ered, with gates on ei­ther side of the cock­pit down to the twin bathing plat­forms, a sec­ond out­side fridge for cock­pit drinks, an aft bench that lifts up to ex­pand the size of the sunbed over the en­gines and a sec­ond sun­bathing area on the fore­deck. The side decks are wide enough to walk along and the helm door makes sin­gle-handed berthing that much eas­ier. A promi­nent bow roller en­sures the an­chor stays well clear of that up­right bow.

The for­ward mas­ter cabin is the main ben­e­fi­ciary of those big hull win­dows and along with a cen­tral strip of sky­lights en­sures it ra­di­ates with nat­u­ral light. Light oak cab­i­nets, a proper sprung mat­tress and lots of stor­age lock­ers and draw­ers tick all the key cruis­ing boxes. The guest cabin is pretty spa­cious too with room to stand at the en­trance and de­cent head­room on one side of the dou­ble bed. Both cab­ins share the same bath­room but it’s a good size with a sep­a­rate shower stall and en­suite ac­cess from the mas­ter cabin.

Our test boat was loaded up to the eye­balls with a gen­er­a­tor, air-con, heat­ing, teak decks, sun­roof, radar and much more, which pushed the price up to a rather punchy £325,000 inc VAT. Set­tle for a lower spec with smaller 200hp en­gines and you could get on the wa­ter for less than £250,000. At that price it would make a pleas­ant day boat or coastal week­ender and un­der­cut a sim­i­larly spec­i­fied and slightly smaller Sealine C330 with twin 220hp Volvo D3s – pro­vided you could live with out­board petrol rather than diesel in­board power.

Out­board power af­fords the 110 im­pres­sive top-end speed

ABOVE Thought­fully con­sid­ered helm of­fers op­ti­mum sight­lines

The Monaco sliced through the chop with lit­tle com­plaint

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