Sev­enth Heaven

THE LAT­EST FROM MONTE CARLO YACHTS—THE MCY 96— KEEPS THE FLAME BURN­ING BRIGHT WHILE AL­LOW­ING OWN­ERS TO LIGHT THE WAY WITH CUS­TOMIZA­TION GALORE.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - BY JA­SON Y. WOOD

The new MCY 96 has a level of cus­tomiza­tion that own­ers have come to ex­pect from the brand.

How would you do it? It’s the same ques­tion we of­ten face in our day-to-day lives, a wealth of choices that can lead to de­ci­sion paral­y­sis. In that way, you have to re­spect how the man­age­ment team at Monte Carlo Yachts, led by Pres­i­dent Carla De­maria and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Fabrizio Iar­rera, goes about its busi­ness. It was only in 2009 that the Mon­fal­cone, Italy-based brand was cre­ated to serve the high-end mo­to­ry­acht seg­ment for par­ent com­pany Beneteau Group, the French boat­build­ing leviathan. And MCY, as the com­pany has come to be known, is tar­get­ing boaters who are so­phis­ti­cated and opin­ion­ated. Af­ter all, they can have the best avail­able. The de­signs have to ap­peal to hearts as well as minds, with­out ap­pear­ing cliché, or dated, or trendy.

Seven models later, MCY has not looked back. That’s a new model for each year of ex­is­tence since the first launch (the MCY 76) in 2010, in­clud­ing a 105-footer in­tro­duced in 2015. The boats have a con­sis­tent de­sign DNA, thanks to the steady work of the Ital­ian de­sign firm Nu­volari Le­nard in part­ner­ship with MCY’s in­house de­sign­ers and en­gi­neers. It’s so con­sis­tent that this col­lab­o­ra­tion has cre­ated ev­ery­thing that MCY has built.

“The chal­lenge is al­ways to be the first and never be the fol­lower,” says Carlo Nu­volari of Nu­volari-Le­nard. “We need to un­der­stand well the com­pe­ti­tion and the cus­tomers’ taste in or­der to de­sign boats with a ra­tio­nal ap­proach. Our yachts need to have all what other yachts have and what the cus­tomer may miss.” While those mar­ket forces set the tone, there are other fac­tors in the equa­tion. “But we need also to of­fer non­ra­tional val­ues: emo­tion and beauty,” he says.

The MCY 96 con­tin­ues the line, but like any par­ent, the builder has en­cour­aged the prog­eny to grow and suc­ceed be­yond the lim­its pre­vi­ously reached by the fore­bears. This builder con­tin­ues to learn as it goes, and it shows. And when you re­ally think about it, the truly re­mark­able achieve­ment is that as the line grows, the later boats are not all just en­larged ver­sions of the same thing.

I asked the de­sign team how they bal­ance the orig­i­nal­ity of new de­signs with the suc­cesses of the past. “I frankly don’t know how we do that,” Nu­volari said. “I will an­swer you with a ques­tion: Is the 96 per­ceived as part of the MCY fam­ily but with its own char­ac­ter? If the an­swer is yes, then we suc­ceeded in our task. There is no rule. We look at the de­sign and we change it and pol­ish it un­til we like it.” The models in the fleet will un­mis­tak­ably re­mind you of each other, like sib­lings in a fam­ily photo.

What sets MCY apart from other builders is its level of cus­tomiza­tion; other builders don’t want to spend time re­turn­ing to the de­sign stu­dio to re­draw ac­com­mo­da­tions plans and re-en­gi­neer sup­port­ing bulk­heads and wire chases and plumb­ing and weight stud­ies. In­stead, MCY of­fers a se­lec­tion of op­tions, but own­ers may de­vi­ate

from that. Still, stick­ing with the op­tions list may help re­sale value. In the case of the 96, there is a main-deck mas­ter and then a se­lec­tion of three- and four-state­room lay­outs for the be­lowdecks ac­com­mo­da­tions. All are en suite, and the VIPs (many of these state­rooms qual­ify for that des­ig­na­tion based on square footage and ameni­ties) will wel­come guests with gen­er­ous aplomb. For­ward there are se­ri­ous crew’s quar­ters with space for up to six crew built around a com­mer­cial-grade gal­ley with dinette.

That mas­ter for­ward po­si­tioned on the main deck means quite a few things for the dis­cern­ing boat buyer. First, it takes pri­vacy to the next level. Also, the sole-to-over­head win­dows let the own­ers ben­e­fit from cutouts in the bul­warks that al­low for un­in­ter­rupted views (ex­cept for a sim­ple safety rail). Then there’s the lounge area—a proper sofa where own­ers can es­cape their guests but don’t have to sit on the king-size berth. A walk-in locker and head are for­ward. But herein lies the chal­lenge of try­ing to cap­ture a cus­tom boat for the dis­cern­ing au­di­ence of Power & Mo­tor

yacht: So much of this yacht’s over­all feel de­pends on the fi­nal choices made for her in­te­rior—the tex­tures and col­ors evoked by fine ma­te­ri­als well fin­ished, in­clud­ing Ital­ian mar­ble, fab­rics by Hermès and Ar­mani, and ex­panses of flaw­less lac­quer. In short, your fin­ished MCY 96 may look and feel very dif­fer­ent from the one at the boat show that helped lead you on the course to this model.

And while we’re talk­ing about the course, that main-deck mas­ter state­room also re­sults in a raised pi­lot­house that pro­vides the en­vi­able po­si­tion of over­look­ing a bow with pretty much ev­ery kind of seat­ing you can imag­ine, from a huge cen­ter­line sun­pad to a set­tee to a pair of lay-flat sun­pads that turn into a dining area with foldup back­rests and a cou­ple of matched, fac­ing ta­bles.

For all the lux­u­ri­ous loung­ing ar­eas and fash­ion­able de­sign, this yacht will also ap­peal to the cruis­ing sen­si­bil­i­ties. Be­tween aft moor­ing bol­lards con­cealed be­hind art­ful stain­less cor­ner pieces, a 1.2-ton-ca­pac­ity hy­draulic H+B swim plat­form brings the sea closer for bathers, while the aft garage ships a Wil­liams 445 jet ten­der. The spa­cious cock­pit has a tran­som lounge with ta­ble shaded by the fly­bridge over­hang.

En­ter­ing the ex­pan­sive salon from the wide-open­ing cock­pit door, I was greeted by a huge, low-slung lounge to star­board that, though lux­u­ri­ous, subtly down­plays its size to make the space feel even more open. Large win­dows aft turn into so­leto-over­head ex­panses of glass on ei­ther side amid­ships as you move for­ward, and in fact those panes are large glass slid­ing doors, of­fer­ing ac­cess to fold­out bal­conies built into the hull­sides. Any din­ner party held on this yacht will be un­for­get­table, thanks to the views guests can en­joy. The dining area is served by that lower-deck gal­ley, with sep­a­rate crew stairs.

And if that cross-ven­ti­lated ta­ble for eight does not some­how pro­vide enough fresh air, the party can re­pair to the cock­pit, or even up to the huge fly­bridge, where a car­bon­fiber hard­top shel­ters 80 per­cent of the top deck, in­clud­ing a lounge with hi-lo ta­ble, plenty of ad­di­tional lounge seat­ing and helm and com­pan­ion seat­ing. A large fab­ric panel in the hard­top re­tracts so guests can en­joy the sun as well as each scenic port of call or se­cluded anchorage. This hard­top is black and sleek, and some­how ac­tu­ally en­hances the lines of the yacht, fit­ting seam­lessly into the over­all de­sign. I don’t find my­self say­ing that very of­ten about hard­tops, a ne­ces­sity in many cruis­ing ar­eas. And for its size it has less im­pact on per­for­mance and dy­namic sta­bil­ity than you’d think, thanks to its light­weight, high-tech con­struc­tion.

A pair of 2,200-horse­power MTU diesels made this boat a move­able feast for the senses as the big props dug into the wa­ter off Cannes. From the fly­bridge helm po­si­tion, I put her through a few ag­gres­sive turns at speed as the com­pany skip­per and my fel­low jour­nal­ists looked on ap­pre­cia­tively. She han­dled well with a bit of lean into the turns, mak­ing bet­ter than 24 knots at her top end. We de­tected a bit of prop ven­ti­la­tion in a full-throt­tle, hardover star­board turn, and the MCY rep­re­sen­ta­tive ex­plained that one blade of prop had been dam­aged when it hit a sub­merged ob­ject on the de­liv­ery to the boat show, and that it would be fixed.

So if I were to re­ally ask, “How would you do it?” how would you re­spond? You may have your own ideas. But if, af­ter eight years or so of op­er­a­tion, you pro­duced a yacht on the or­der of the MCY 96, with the fit and fin­ish and all of the op­tions that this yacht gen­er­ously pro­vides, you would take your right­ful place on the world stage. The de­ci­sion is yours.

LOA: 96'0" Beam: 22'9" Draft: 6'10" Displ.: 98 tons (dry) Fuel: 2,906 gal. Wa­ter: 436 gal. Test Power: 2/2,200-hp MTU 16V2000 Power Op­tions: 2/1,900-hp MAN V12 Price: Upon re­quest

From the wel­com­ing salon (right), to the main-deck mas­ter (be­low right), to the shippy pi­lot­house (be­low far right), the MCY 96 shows su­pery­acht ten­den­cies, no sur­prise since her two-year-old thor­ough­bred sta­ble­mate, the MCY 105, was so well-re­ceived.

TEST CON­DI­TIONS: Air tem­per­a­ture: 78°F; hu­mid­ity: 75%; seas: 1-2'; load: 50% fuel, 70% wa­ter, 12 per­sons. Speeds are two-way av­er­ages mea­sured by GPS. GPH is taken from the MTU en­gine-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. Range is based on 90% of ad­ver­tised fuel ca­pac­ity. Sound lev­els were recorded at the lower helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion.

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