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. And MCY, as the company has come to be known, is targeting a level of boater that is 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 since the first launch (the MCY 76) in 2010, and 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.
The MCY 96 continues the line, but like any parent, MCY has encouraged the progeny to grow and succeed beyond the limits previously reached by the forebears. This builder continues to learn as it goes. Each yacht stands on its own merits, but they all remind you of the other models.
The level of customization sets MCY apart from other builders, many of whom don’t want to return to the design studio to redraw accommodations plans and re-engineer supporting bulkheads and wire chases, redoing plumbing and weight studies. Instead, MCY creates a selection of options, in the case of the 96 there is a main-deck master and then a selection of three- and four-stateroom layouts for belowdecks (and even more customization is encouraged). All are en suite, and the VIPs will welcome your guests with aplomb.
That master forward allows for a raised pilothouse that gives the skipper the enviable position of overlooking a bow with complete seating arrangement, including lay-flat sunpads with foldup backrests.
A huge salon with formal dining area and luxurious lounge seating is surrounded by enormous expanses of glass on either side amidships. Those floor-to-overhead windows are huge sliding doors, offering access to foldout balconies built into each hullside. If that’s not enough fresh air, head aft to the cockpit or even up to the huge fly bridge, where a carbon-fiber hardtop shelters guests as they enjoy each scenic port of call or secluded anchorage.
A pair of 2,200-horsepower MTU diesels made this boat a moveable feast for the senses as the big props dug into waters off Cannes. From the fly bridge 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.
So if I were to really ask, “How would you do it?” how would you respond? You may have your own ideas. But if you produced a yacht on the order of the MCY 96, with the fit, finish, and indeed the options available to your clients that this yacht generously provides, you would take your rightful place on the world stage. The decision is yours. —Jason Y. Wood
Displ.: 196,000 lb. (dry)
Fuel: 2,906 gal.
Water: 436 gal.
Power: 2/2,200-hp MTU 16V2000
Price: Upon request