Mission of the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4
Like most of the cruising-size boats designed in Europe, the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 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 Monte Carlo 4 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.
When it comes to modern boats, nothing trumps external styling. Megayacht stylists Nuvolari-Lenard have given the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 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 Monte Carlo 4 apart from other brands. A pallet of pastel gel coat colors further distinguishes the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 and Monte Carlo 5.
Seen from the stern
, the Monte Carlo 4 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 Monte Carlo 4’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.
Beneteau's 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.
The Monte Carlo 4 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.
Inspection from the Stern
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.
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 Monte Carlo 4 goes to add an extra seat and storage.
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 Monte Carlo 4 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 Monte Carlo 4'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.
In Party Mode
The Monte Carlo 4’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.
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.
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 seat is double-wide but could use some adjustment capabilities to accommodate captains of varying heights. A footrest would also be a welcome addition.
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.
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.
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.
With an approximate test weight of just over 28,000 lbs. (12,701 kg), the Monte Carlo 4 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.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 (2015-) is 35.0 mph (56.3 kph), burning 39.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 149.51 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Beneteau Monte Carlo 4 (2015-) is 25.7 mph (41.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.0 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.43 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 258 miles (415.21 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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