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 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. 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. But we need also to offer nonrational values: emotion and beauty.”
What sets MCY apart from other builders is its level of customization. MCY offers a selection of options, but owners may deviate from them. 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 built around a commercial-grade galley with dinette.
That master forward positioned on the main deck means quite a few things for the discerning buyer. 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.
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 sole-to-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. 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 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.
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. She handled well with a bit of lean into the turns, making better than 24 knots at her top end. —Jason Y. Wood
Monte Carlo Yachts, +39 0481-790269; montecarloyachts.it
Displ.: 98 tons (dry)
Fuel: 2,906 gal.
Water: 436 gal.
STD. Power: 2/2,200-hp MTU 16V2000
Cruise Speed: 18.2 knots
Top speed: 24.2 knots