The Power of Pro­por­tion

SLEEK, HAND­SOME, AND SPA­CIOUS, THE MCY 80 MAY BE THE BEST-LOOK­ING BOAT YET FROM MONTE CARLO YACHTS, AND SHE OF­FERS THE PER­FOR­MANCE TO BACK IT UP. BY JA­SON Y. WOOD

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE -

With a truly im­pres­sive de­sign aes­thetic and per­for­mance to back it up, the MCY80 looks great from any an­gle. And es­pe­cially from the helm. By Ja­son Y. Wood

TThere’s some­thing about the shape of the MCY 80 that grabs your at­ten­tion when you first see her, and it all starts with the LOA, a ba­sic di­men­sion that of­ten seems to be set at the be­gin­ning of the de­sign process. As the planes, an­gles, and curves all come to­gether to form her ge­om­e­try, you no­tice that they please the eye and stir the senses—proper pro­por­tion. And while the strength of that feel­ing may be some­thing com­monly achieved in a boat of this size and, yes, price point, it’s funny how rarely it hap­pens these days.

This boat is a bit dif­fer­ent from the other Monte Carlo Yachts, which range from 65 to 105 feet, at least to my eye. Sure, she shares the same de­sign­ers and many of the gen­eral el­e­ments are sim­i­lar, the way sib­lings look re­lated. But if we put this boat into a spin on her own axis, you see it. She looks good from every an­gle, there’s no bad side. From the long fore­deck, to the curv­ing edge of the brow over her wind­shield, to her bul­warks cutout and her blacked-out car­bon hard­top, the MCY 80 is a cul­mi­na­tion of shape and size, per­for­mance and vol­ume, tech­nol­ogy and soul.

This is the sixth model in the yacht line from Beneteau’s luxury brand, which builds boats in Mon­fal­cone on Italy’s Adri­atic Coast, just out­side Tri­este. Draw­ings for the com­pany’s sev­enth de­sign, the MCY 96, were in­tro­duced at Boot Düs­sel­dorf in Jan­uary; it will be launched this sum­mer. The MCY 80 fol­lows on the heels of the 2015 in­tro­duc­tion of the com­pany’s first foray above 100 feet, the 105. This 80-footer re­ally show­cases the builder’s abil­ity to put many well-thought-out de­tails into a package with a fine fin­ish. Pow­ered by a pair of 1,650-horse­power MAN diesels, this gleam­ing, pearlgray hull is punc­tu­ated by the trade­mark over­lap­ping-cir­cle de­sign of amid­ships hull­side win­dows on ei­ther side that, to some, re­sem­ble the Chanel logo, fit­ting enough con­sid­er­ing MCY’s French own­ers.

This builder seems to un­der­stand the elite clien­tele it serves, right down to the fact that cus­tomers have the true luxury of choice. Monte Carlo Yachts has an ex­cel­lent strat­egy: First, de­velop a good-look­ing boat with a hull that per­forms when it is called upon, and then fit out the boat to the de­sires of each cus­tomer in a true semi-cus­tom model. To those ends, MCY nails the first part by do­ing its naval ar­chi­tec­ture and en­gi­neer­ing in house, and work­ing with Nu­volar­iLe­nard on styling both in­side and out (as in all things luxury these days, branded de­sign is the name of the game).

What’s more, MCY de­vel­oped a mo­du­lar con­struc­tion sys­tem that al­lows its crafts­men to work on the com­po­nents on jigs and as­sem­ble each state­room and in­te­rior space be­tween bulk­heads out­side the hull, giv­ing builders full ac­cess to rig­ging be­low soles and above over­heads. Then the en­tire setup is dropped into place and bonded to the hull be­low and the deck above so each com­po­nent func­tions as a struc­tural mem­ber.

It works. The fiber­glass hull was rigid and strong, yet felt light and nim­ble as the boat moved through its paces. A raft of marine jour­nal­ists from the world over jock­eyed for the helm dur­ing our sea trial off Mon­fal­cone. On our test of Hull No. 1, she hit 30 knots with the up­graded 1,650-horse­power MAN V-12 diesels, and bet­ter props may yet pro­vide a knot or two more at the top end, as the builder was still tweak­ing the setup. This is a big boat, but she feels ag­ile and of­fers pre­cise han­dling. She banked her way through tight turns at a high cruise speed, yet was sta­ble, even with the flying bridge as crowded as it was.

Part of the suc­cess of her look and feel is that it con­tin­ues when you climb aboard—the vibe es­tab­lished by the out­side view is not di­min­ished when you’re on the in­side look­ing out. Ex­te­rior spa­ces are well done here, with that enor­mous flying bridge com­ple­mented by a bow area that feels as if it be­longs on a much larger boat.

The fore­deck sports a pair of set­tees with re­tractable back­rests to port and star­board, plus hi-lo ta­bles. It’s a re­ally de­light­ful space to en­joy the breeze at an­chor or when Med-moored. But if a crowd gath­ers here, it can im­pede the driver’s line of sight from the lower helm, as the com­pany cap­tain and I ob­served on the sea trial.

When you get to a cer­tain level of mo­to­ry­acht, the ex­pec­ta­tion for good ex­e­cu­tion of con­struc­tion and fin­ish is a fore­gone con­clu­sion. On the main deck, the boat im­parts a Euro­pean sen­si­bil­ity, thanks largely to the gal­ley-down lay­out, a helm area that can be closed off from the sa­loon, and a sep­a­rate en­trance to the crew’s quar­ters for three lo­cated aft.

Re­mind your­self, this is an 80-footer, so there is no main-deck mas­ter. In­stead, a full-beam suite makes the most of those trade­mark hull side win­dows, and fea­tures space and luxury fur­nish­ings, in­clud­ing the port set­tee and star­board desk. A walk-in locker and huge head with dou­ble sinks and sep­a­rate shower and MSD com­part­ments adds a touch of sump­tu­ous­ness to daily ablu­tions. A VIP with gen­er­ous hang­ing-locker space uses every bit of the bow’s

gen­er­ous vol­ume. A pair of en suite guest dou­bles oc­cu­pies the space in be­tween the larger state­rooms. Ma­te­ri­als in vary­ing tex­tures, such as fine woods, leather, and stone, help to cre­ate an im­pec­ca­ble in­te­rior.

The pitch-per­fect tone struck by this de­sign puts any mis­steps into sharp relief: The place­ment of the MSD in the shower in the head of the star­board guest dou­ble was sur­pris­ing. Set­ting out to make every state­room a roomy en suite puts avail­able space at a pre­mium. Hull No. 2 is be­ing built more for the Amer­i­can sen­si­bil­ity, but we ex­pect the high lev­els of in­te­rior ma­te­ri­als and treat­ment to be re­peated.

The level of en­gi­neer­ing be­hind the de­sign comes through in the en­gine room, where the pair of 1,650-horse­power MAN V-12 diesels, linked to 10-de­gree ZF V-drive trans­mis­sions, a con­fig­u­ra­tion that al­lows the en­gine room’s for­ward bulk­head to be po­si­tioned far­ther aft, giv­ing more room over to the ac­com­mo­da­tions. Crew’s quar­ters are po­si­tioned for­ward of the en­gine room and aft of the mas­ter, pro­vid­ing a sound buf­fer. The ten­der garage im­pinges on the en­gine space, re­duc­ing the over­head to crouch­ing height be­tween the en­gines, but strain­ers and ser­vice points are ac­ces­si­ble.

Hav­ing that ten­der garage makes a lot of sense, since a ten­der adds to the util­ity of the yacht. Also, plac­ing the ten­der within the con­fines of the hull means re­mov­ing its weight from the swim plat­form, or worse, from up high on a boat deck on the flying bridge. Not only would that change the per­for­mance of the boat, the ten­der’s lines would add some­thing off-pitch—a tune­less note—to the look, ul­ti­mately sub­tract­ing from it. It just wouldn’t be proper.

When seen un­der­way, the MCY 80 can stir the senses with her lines, but also the promise of what she has to of­fer (left). The beauty is more than skin deep, and that’s read­ily ap­par­ent when one steps on board (be­low).

The amid­ships mas­ter state­room on the MCY 80 is wor­thy of the name, of­fer­ing the space, luxury, and sound lev­els of a much larger yacht.

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