In its short lifetime, the Italian shipyard Monte Carlo Yachts has constructed a mystique. It seemed to appear on the scene fully realized, as if from nowhere: great Italian design, innovative construction methods and a bulletproof self-confidence. When the company announced its arrival with a 76 at the 2010 Cannes boat show, the yachting world was quietly amazed. Competitors, meanwhile, were disquieted. The 76 won numerous awards.
Like most successful builders, though, look behind it and you find that there’s more going on than you imagined. MCY was set up by the Beneteau Group, the world’s biggest production boatbuilder, as a way of stealing market share in the burgeoning luxury motoryacht sector. At the helm was the redoubtable Carla Demaria who brought 20 years of production and senior management experience from Azimut. Nuvolari Lenard were engaged as designers.
Monte Carlo Yachts might have arrived fully formed, but it didn’t come from nowhere. It was assembled from tried and tested components.
This year, to mark its first decade in business, MCY has debuted not one but three new models, or rather three “new generation” yachts built on the success of their predecessors. They retain the family identity so carefully created and developed by Nuvolari Lenard, while moving the game on—not just with the significantly larger windows but also with more emphasis on creating interior space.
A celebratory summer launch of all three yachts on the waterfront at the Monfalcone shipyard gave me an opportunity to catch up with MCY’s thinking. The shipyard itself is one of the most impressive in the industry. The only other one I can recall where I wasn’t permitted to take photographs was, at the time, fitting out a superyacht for Queen Noor of Jordan.
Perhaps the most eye-catching example of customization aboard the three was the piano on the 76. Okay, it was an electric one—no one is going to demand a Steinway grand on a yacht this size—but it had a full-length keyboard and was concealed beneath what looked like a custom-built chart table close to the helm station. It was for the owner’s young daughter, so she could keep up her music practice during the summer vacation.
The shipyard is a short distance up a dredged channel from the sea. Representing yet another step up in the world, there was a faint aura of the superyacht aboard the biggest member of the trio, with its huge salon windows, excellent sightlines and carefully selected Giorgetti furnishings all conspiring to convince you that you have strayed on board a 90-footer. Fully custom decor added to the illusion. There was gray and white oak, reflective lacquered surfaces and Carrara marble.
The standard layout down below is also four cabins, but with just the one companionway—for less privacy, perhaps, but more space. There is one slightly quirky aspect of the interior design. In the master suite you walk through the dressing room to get to the head and shower. It looks fine, but I did find myself wondering what the humidity would do to your silk shirts.
Although it brings another 7 tons to the scales, the extra power available to the 76 gave it almost the same top speed as the 70, around 26 knots. And the way that power was delivered was something else. Nothing felt lacking, and the torquey MAN 1400s gave the yacht the sort of poise and attitude that might persuade you that even big flybridge yachts can be fun to drive. —Alan Harper
Displ.: 105,820 lbs.
Fuel: 1,320 gal.
Water: 237 gal.
Power: 2/1,400-hp MAN V12 1400
Cruise Speed: 18 knots
Top Speed: 26 knots