|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 IPS400|
|Tested Power||2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500|
2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS500
The MC4 has an LOA of 45'3" (13.79 m), a beam of 13'4" (4.06 m) and displaces 26,499 lbs. (12,020 kgs.). Note the sunning areas both on the foredeck and on the flying bridge.
Mission of the Beneteau MC4
Like most of the cruising-size boats designed in Europe, the Beneteau MC4 is intended for day-boating, entertaining large groups, and relatively short coastal family vacations – all done in a sophisticated setting. The emphasis, obviously, of the MC4 is her retro tulip bow concept morphed into a stylish, modern design. Several European builders have chosen variations on this thematic style to signal a difference in mentality from the widespread Euro express cruiser types.
A postmodern blend of contemporary and retro influences, this smallest of the Nuvolari-Lenard designed Beneteau MC4 will be right at home at any trendsetting marina.
When it comes to modern boats, nothing trumps external styling. Megayacht stylists Nuvolari-Lenard have given the Beneteau MC4 a distinctive look resembling some superyacht profiles of the last decade. Round portlights and large round side windows and a 19th Century battleship-like bow shape are retro cues intended to set the MC4 apart from other brands. A pallet of pastel gel coat colors further distinguishes the Beneteau MC4 and MC5. Seen from the stern, the MC4 has a contemporary motoryacht look. The coach roof lines are horizontal, with soft bends in the lines, without any bulbous affectations. Like virtually all European designs, her top hamper is kept extremely low. In profile her flying bridge is supported forward by a relatively thin, black mullion, and aft by a trapezoidal, black pilaster that is both structural and attractive. The MC4’s flying bridge is a social area where entertaining will take place at the dock, at anchor, and during slow-moving sunset cruises. It is also a sun bathing platform.
Her tulip-shaped bow sections descend into a sharp forefoot which allows the MC4 to slice through waves rather than to pound into them.
Beneteau's “Wave Splitter” hull combines a fine entry into the water with a nearly vertical stem, providing a long waterline for efficient operation at various speeds while making a contemporary visual statement that sets her apart from other boats in the harbor. We have not seen her bottom hauled out, so can make no further comment on her bottom shape, other than to say that her 15-degree deadrise at the transom is a good compromise among comfort, efficiency and speed. Her ride is exceedingly comfortable with her sharp entry cutting cleanly through waves and crossing wakes produced no pounding or harsh effects. In turns she leans 10-degrees, remaining comfortable throughout.
This view shows her entertaining spaces on the aft deck and on the flying bridge.
The MC4 is designed around Volvo Penta IPS drives to provide efficient propulsion and outstanding control at sea. A joystick makes close-quarters maneuvers easier – even more so with the optional bow thruster. This is state-of-the-art, turn-key technology, with Volvo Penta supplying most of the related systems. Single supplier service should be available worldwide. The engine is the twin 370-hp IPS500 pods which use D6 diesels turning DuoProp outdrives.
The MC4 we tested was powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS500 engines with pod drives. An aluminum ladder leads directly between the two engines for daily inspections.
For those who actually want to cruise her, the hydraulic swim platform will be a handy place to stow the tender. It will also serve as a teak beach.
Inspection from the Stern
Entrance. When boarding, guests step onto a teak-decked swim platform. The height of this natural point of access can be hydraulically adjusted via controls to the starboard side of the cockpit deck, or from a convenient handheld remote control. Lowered to water level, it serves as an artificial beach when swimming. Lowered below water level allows launching a tender or PWC for those who really want to do more than dock-to-dock cruising and day boating.
Beneteau opted for a single entrance to the cockpit from the starboard side. This design creates more utility on the aft deck.
There's a grill with an adjacent sink in the transom, for cooking outdoors. We’d like to see a micro switch shut the grill off when the lid is closed and we would like to see a protective stainless steel plate on the lid over the grill to avoid discoloring the gel coat.
The MC4’s comfortable aft deck is the central social area from which the others are easily accessed and interacted with.
It’s two steps up the starboard-side-only stairs from the swim platform to the aft deck, which is mostly covered by the flying bridge overhang. A sun shade can be extended if needed. There's stowage beneath the four person bench seat. The whole area can be enclosed in isinglass for three season boating. An optional table can be installed and folding chairs added to seat more people comfortably for al fresco dining or cocktail parties. Beneteau has not made a table here standard because owners will use this space in a variety of ways. We applaud the designers for not putting in symmetrical stairs from the swim platform port starboard. We think they are a waste of space, which in the MC4 goes to add an extra seat and storage.
The galley is integral to the aft deck and main salon social areas.
The three-panel door folds back to port, creating an opening 5’6”x6’1” (1.7 m x 1.9 m) and exposing the interior of the boat in a grand style to the aft deck and the great beyond.
When entertaining, the galley counter at left can be used as a side board for beverages, snack trays and ice buckets.
The aft deck is on the same level as the main salon and provides access to most other areas of the boat (engine room and side decks). With the glass, three-panel closure open wide, the aft deck, main salon, galley and lower helm become one large living area.
When a designer considers how a boat will be used, the galley placement and size is critical. Since the MC4 will be used primarily for entertaining and day-boating, her galley should be for heating up hors d’oeuvres and the like. For easy access to simple food and drink while in port, at anchor, or moving slowly across a bay, the linear arrangement of the MC4's galley will do nicely while keeping provisions out of the way when not needed.
There is a two-burner glass stove top and a microwave/convection oven underneath. The sink is hidden under a solid surface lid and has a convenient semi-hidden faucet. Our test boat was fitted with an optional drawer-type dishwasher just below. The refrigerator is under the counter, aft next to the door. There are cabinets above for a modest amount of stores as well as china and crystal, and more alongside the steps leading to the staterooms. At the end of the cabinets is a pull-out section that can accommodate the flatscreen TV, viewable from the salon to starboard.
The galley is well laid out with plenty of room for meal prep. Below the sink is a dishwasher drawer.
The settee/dinette on the flying bridge can seat five. We would mount the radar as high as we could on the mast.
The upper helm, like most European flying bridge boats this size, has a minimalist approach to seating and the helm console. However, all of the screens and controls that are necessary are here. The cabinet at right conceals a place for a grill and sink with an icemaker and refrigerator below.
In Party Mode
The MC4’s galley puts food preparation adjacent to the cockpit and salon, so the chef is part of the social activity, and not isolated. By keeping the counter uncluttered and making the stove-top glass, Beneteau has also created what amounts to a side board when serving guests buffet style. It also makes a handy place to put beverages, ice and bottles of wine so guests can serve themselves during parties. Apart from the galley, there are two optional outdoor grills: one in the transom and one on the flying bridge, for informal food prep.
A settee to starboard, aft of the inboard helm station, is the main salon’s social centerpiece. The table is of sturdy teak (leather trim is optional). The cabin sole is traditional teak and holly, while the cabinetry is in modern light colored oak with leather grabs.
The settee is not raised as we see on so many boats in class, but rather is level with the deck. The reason many settees are raised is to provide headroom below, something Beneteau does with the raised helm platform. We like the bi-fold table with inlaid Electric Brown leather trim. By reducing table width the area picks up needed room for easy passage fore and aft during the operation of the boat. When it's time to dine the leaf can be opened.
The salon features a six seat U-shaped sofa wrapping around the solid wood table, with one section of the sofa being a removable cushion. In dining mode, the removable cushion serves as an additional seat. With the cushion moved, drawers under the aft seat can be accessed and serve as an ideal location for the boat’s manuals and various remote controls.
Here we can see the salon with the table folded providing more room for entertaining a crowd.
With the table opened we can move a seat around for more dining. The seat has storage underneath.
At the end of the sofa is a storage drawer.
The lower helm, which incorporates style elements from the Monte Carlo Yachts’ family, is well aft of the windshield, which along with good visibility contributes to a sense of spaciousness. Two can share the stylish helm bench.
The lower helm is designed around soft tones eliminating any concern over glare or adverse reflections in the surrounding glass. It’s also sharing a unique Beneteau characteristic in that it’s surrounded in sprayed-on rubberized paint that is soft to the touch and eliminates fingerprints.
As for visibility from the helm, it’s great and it’s not. There’s nearly 360-degrees of visibility, only marginally interrupted. Forward the windshield is huge, and single piece. Wide mullions to the sides cause minor blockage, but the main inconvenience is to the sides. The overhead cornice comes down so low that it’s hard to see without having to duck down.
The low cornice to the sides are rather low requiring one to duck down for a clear view out the side.
The seat is double-wide but could use some adjustment capabilities to accommodate captains of varying heights. A footrest would also be a welcome addition.
Twin 12" (30.5 cm) Simrad displays form the centerpiece of the lower helm station. To the right side are the digital engine controls and the IPS joystick (not visible in this image). Note the bow thruster toggle on the dash at right.
To both sides of the helm area are opening side windows that provide ventilation as well as excellent sightlines down the starboard side, convenient when docking.
The flying bridge is as much a gathering area as the main deck, perhaps even more so with its wide open configuration. At the stern is a chilled box next to U-shaped seating that wraps around a solid wood table. Just ahead and to port is a lounge that converts to twin benches. The helm is to starboard with an entertainment center just behind. Here we find a sink and refrigerator.
Looking forward, the flying bridge is very much an outdoor living space, laid out for people to congregate. It's equipped with its own settee, a sun pad convertible to dual bench seats adjacent to the helm, a wet bar and an icebox (which can optionally be made a top-loaded refrigerator) in the background.
The upper helm features the same non-glare finish as the lower and a single 12" (30.5 cm) Simrad display.
The foredeck is equipped with dual sun pads, windlass, dual chain lockers and anchor handling hardware. The bow pulpit opens forward, lending itself to also serving as a boarding ramp when mooring bow-in. The 31.5” (80 cm) height of the safety rails exceed ABYC standards.
A pair of access hatches to the anchor rode flanks a Lewmar windlass. When anchored we'd make a bridal tied off to the port and starboard cleats with a ss hook in the anchor to keep the strain off the windlass and to cushion the boat's motion when a wave hits the bow.
The MC4 has two en suite staterooms and both heads have separate shower stalls.
The lower decks are accessed from a curved companionway to the port side of the lower helm. This, in turn, leads to a “foyer” with plenty of natural light entering from the massive windshield above. Three doors lead from this foyer into the two staterooms and the day head.
Well positioned opening portlights and hatch above let in natural light, and the light color of the oak cabinetry helps make the stateroom feel bigger than it is. We like the way the portlights are framed with molding and there is a Roman shade that comes down for each. There's 6’4” (1.9 m) of headroom at the foot of the berth.
There's standing headroom at the entrance to the master stateroom as the deck is set down between the yacht's stringers. Outboard of the stringers the deck steps up as can be seen in this image, thus reducing the headroom. Big round central windows in the master stateroom offer a view across the ocean and are a signature feature of the Beneteau line.
All cabinets are fabricated from Alpi wood and all the door pulls are stitched leather.
Each stateroom has an en suite head with separate shower. The bi-fold acrylic shower door makes movement easier in and out of the shower.
At night, the subtle and soft toned lighting of the MC4 only add to her style and elegance.
With an approximate test weight of just over 28,000 lbs. (12,701 kg), the MC4 feels solid enough to tackle the offshore conditions this vessel might encounter. We reached a top speed of 30.4 knots and measured her most economical cruise setting at 3000 rpm and 22.3 knots. At that speed fuel burn was 26 gph giving her a range of 224.3 nautical miles.
With her efficient pod drive system her miles per gallon changed only .1 mpg from 2000 rpm (9.7 knots) on up to full speed.
Handling was rock solid and although we had a flat calm test day it could easily be seen that she shares her larger sister’s DNA for handling snotty conditions quite well. Turns were slow at cruise due to the reduced turning radius of the pods at speed, but slow down and the throw increases and the turns tighten.
At the dock the joystick operations will have any operator of any skill level docking this yacht like a pro. All it takes is a gentle touch and small pulses of control to maneuver her with precision. The optional bow thruster makes it even easier.
The MC4's main attraction is her exterior styling and her modern, light-colored interior décor. For those drawn to this sophisticated approach and international design, this boat should set apart her owners from most other boats in the marina. Her relatively light displacement makes her easy to push and therefore more economical to operate than other boats in class, which tend to be heavier. She is appropriate for a small family, and certainly can be comfortable for two couples cruising together because of the en suite staterooms. The icing on the cake is the boat's IPS drives with joystick that make docking easy, even for beginners.
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!