By Captain Vince Daniello
Overview of the MCY 86.
Most production boats try to be everything to all people -- quite predictably. Each company does things differently, often in creative ways, but the fundamental characteristics of each boat change little from one production boat to the next, be it an 80-something motoryacht or a rowboat. One will have four staterooms, one of those full beam, almost as surely as the other will have three thwarts and midship oarlocks.
A Different Approach.
Monte Carlo Yachts, a Italian motoryacht offshoot of Groupe Bénéteau, takes a different approach. Leveraging technology both within the finished boat and in the manufacturing process, the company’s MCY 86 offers five widely different accommodations layouts plus significant layout options on the main deck and even a few variables on the flying bridge. The result is a competitively priced, European-styled production motoryacht balanced to each individual owner’s needs.
Flexible Accommodations Arrangements
We don’t ordinarily begin a boat review in the master stateroom, but the choices here are key to understanding Monte Carlo Yachts’ flexibility. It’s easiest to begin with the standard three-stateroom layout (plus two crew cabins in the bow). Two full-beam master suites are nearly identical. The aftermost of these two staterooms, just forward of the engine room, is entered through a private stairway from the salon. The midship stateroom has a somewhat larger head and shares a stairway with the twin-bed guest cabin, which is farther forward to starboard.
But that might not be ideal for a large family. For those who want all of their kids and grandkids aboard at once, they’ll have no problem aboard the MCY 86. To add a fourth stateroom, either of those full-beam suites is divided along the keel. A walk-around large bed occupies the resulting port stateroom, while the starboard stateroom is fitted with either twin beds or a double bed. Still not enough room? Divide both full-beam suites to create five quite comfortable staterooms, each with ensuite head and separate shower stall. Because the yacht has a 21' (6.45 m) beam, there is room for two midships cabing side-by-side.
Monte Carlo Yachts is not known for doing things halfway, and as such the materials and workmanship seen throughout the 86 are second to none. Further, literally hundreds of material choices await the customer, making the purchasing process alone a fascinating experience. Throughout the yacht we toured we saw designer fabrics from Armani Casa, Hermès and Pierre Frey. Furniture was fabricated from pickled oak and walnut. Heads were adorned with Italian stone and gold handmade Murano tiles. Overheads were covered with soft suede. Doors were made of a combination of pickled oak and hand-stitched leather and trimmed in decorative bronze.
If the yacht is to be a private vacation home with few guests, a particularly intriguing option turns the midship master into an magnificent owner’s suite. It occupies about half of the total accommodations space by usurping the forward twin stateroom, which becomes a palatial master head with both a spacious shower and large tub. Aft of the enormous master, the standard arrangement is one large-bed stateroom and one twin-bed stateroom, but no matter which layout is chosen, Monte Carlo can transform any stateroom aboard into an office, a gym, or even a kids’ media and play room.
Options Above Deck
Main deck choices focus on how the boat will be used. The standard layout separates crew from guests, including an ample galley below and just forward of the wheelhouse. A galley-up version is on the drawing board, which then frees room in an already sufficient crews' quarters in the bow.
The Flying Bridge.
The standard flying bridge arrangement includes both a Jacuzzi aft, beneath the radar mast, and a well-equipped U-shaped outdoor galley/wet bar across from the upper helm.
But an owner who likes to be involved in navigation might eliminate the wet bar in favor of a forward-facing settee, while the Jacuzzi could be exchanged for a wet bar and grilling area, a sun pad, seating, or just about anything else one can imagine. Monte Carlo Yachts’ designers will render it in 3D for a client's review before construction.
From the radar mast forward, the carbon fiber hardtop keeps rain and sun at bay, but includes a huge electric-opening center sky panel. Alternately, the flying bridge can be left uncovered or fitted with a retractable sunshade.
A Refreshing Change
Monte Carlo Yachts encourages extensive customization of the 86. It offers suggestions in the choice of wood, fabric, stone and fixtures -- for example, Volterra alabaster, Italian travertine and hand-crafted Murano glass tiles in the master head. Owners can tailor the boat with just about any material wanted. This is a refreshing change from many production yacht builders, which allow just a handful of options from a swatch book.
Still, Monte Carlo Yachts are production boats which cannot offer limitless choices. The MCY 86 currently offers only a pair of 1800-hp MAN 12-cylinder diesels with conventional V-drive inboard propulsion. There is, however, a benefit to limiting propulsion packages. Buyers needn’t worry about how hulls, engines and propellers interact. MCY engineers have already determined which is the best propulsion system and engine brand for the mission at hand. Engineering costs are spread over many hulls, and performance is consistent among all, and the wheel does not have to be re-invented with every customer.
The MCY 86 we were aboard has a displacement of 158,400 lbs. (71,849 kg) fully laden and with crew and some gear aboard weighed about 160,000 lbs. (72,574 kg). Her beam is 22' (6.7 m) and the twin diesel engines were turning 48.7" x 40.8" 4-bladed props.
Wide open throttle allowed the engine to turn 2404 rpm which drove the yacht at 28.1 knots on test day. At 2313 rpm, which is where her horsepower rating is notched, she traveled at 27.3 knots burning 154.5 gph. Note that these speeds are with full fuel and full water plus crew. With 1/4 fuel (469 gal./1,782 L) and 1/2 water (198 gal./752 L) we would expect her to be solidly in the 30-knot range for day boating excursions.
Fuel consumption was more or less linear on a nmpg basis from 900 rpm to 2400 rpm, so captains can pick the speed that is most comfortable given the sea conditions. Our guess is that 1800 rpm and 19.1 knots will be a popular setting among some captains. There the boat burns 87.9 gph (334 lph). Other captains will prefer 1600 rpm and 16.1 knots burning 64.4 gph (244 lph), which we think is plenty fast for this size of yacht.
The MCY 86 has a capacity to carry 1,864 gallons (7,100 L) of fuel which -- with a 10% reserve -- gives her noteworthy range. For example, at 9.7 knots (1200 rpm) she burns just 11.9 gph (45.3 lph) giving her a range of 1,376 nautical miles with a 10% reserve. This certainly should be her delivery protocol, and owners traveling in beautiful cruising locations should find this speed attractive.
The large pitch propellers have plenty of torque to allow for steering the 86 with differential thrust pulses. In this manner we were able to direct the 86 toward the dock and use pulses of the controls to control the steering. Rest assured she carries along quite nicely on her own momentum, so just start her off in the direction and the engines then can be used to control the slide as desired. Then once alongside, the thrusters were used to gently nudge her against the dock. With the med-moor we went from a side-to docking and used thrusters to rotate her 90-degrees for positioning the stern. Then gentle pulses of the engine controls eased her back towards the dock and then the thrusters kept her centered in position.
Outdoor Living Expanded Throughout the Boat
Monte Carlo Yachts strives to build boats both practical and beautiful, while also including fresh ideas. This is perhaps best seen on foredeck, where the MCY 86 transforms typically underutilized space into unique outdoor entertaining venues without sacrificing the lines of the boat. Wide side decks are protected by bulwarks, not just railings. At the bow, these bulwarks merge into a Portuguese bridge -- a solid bulwark running across the boat, offering a protected place to stand forward of the lower helm windshield. This allows completely secure passage from side to side and all the way to the bow even while underway. While a Portugese bridge certainly isn’t a idea, it’s not something expected on an 80-something Italian motoryacht, nor a feature that I’ve seen blended so well into the sweeping lines that are a signature of Italian yacht design.
With unfettered access to the bow, MCY uses it to its fullest. A bow cockpit includes a cocktail table flanked by wide seats that double as sun lounges. The table lifts electrically and expands into a dining table well suited to a five-stateroom motoryacht.
Dock the PWC on the hydraulic transom platform and walk, still dripping wet, outside the boat along the side decks, all the way to the bow for lunch. There is even a day head accessed from the deck. The entire area also transforms into a gigantic sun pad. The 270-degree sweeping view is shaded by a translucent sun canopy deployed from four carbon fiber masts that fit into sockets on deck. All stow beneath the bow seats, alongside ample space for lines and fenders.
The side decks, Portuguese bridge and forward cockpit also increase security while handling lines or anchoring. And since the bow will likely be a favorite perch at anchor, twin anchor windlasses are recessed into the deck just a bit to keep mud and marine growth from soiling blond teak decks or luxurious fabrics at the bow. A feature that the crew will like is that the working part of the bow is elevated, so handling lines and windlasses can be easily, and comfortably, done standing up.
Side Deck Verandas.
Along either, or both of the protected side decks, a wide section of the bulwark folds down electrically to create an innovative balcony. Whichever side is away from view of the marina becomes a quiescent hideaway for morning coffee, across the boat and away from peering eyes on the dock. These private verandas are adjacent large glass sliding doors, which come with the veranda package, that draw the outdoors into the salon. They also double as side boarding platforms in addition to the passerelle aft.
Groupe Bénéteau’s influences remain largely hidden from view aboard, but scratch the surface to find Bénéteau’s efficient use of technology that allows such wide customization aboard the Monte Carlo Yachts 86.
MCY is one of the few builders in class that utilizes a monocoque hull concept, something that has proven quite successful it its smaller motoryachts. With this construction method it is the hull itself that supports the loads much like a ping pong ball or an egg shell. This means that bulkheads are not structural and owners can pretty much design their own interiors if wanted.
Monte Carlo Yachts keeps interior options flexible while also making strong, light hulls by building the complete interior outside of the hull. Changes are much simpler when made in a construction jig sitting on the shop floor, rather than inside a boat hull. An aluminum substructure at the bottom of this interior module, as well as bulkheads incorporated into the interior module, fit tightly into the hull. Bonds are made to create a unitized hull, but the entire interior structure is isolated from the hull atop vibration- and noise-reducing mountings.
The entire deck assembly is similarly completed, right down to cleats, teak and helm electronics, before being joined to the hull. Even the forward engine room bulkhead -- the aftermost bulkhead of the interior module -- is fitted with electrical panels, equipment and even fuel filters before it goes into the boat.
The result, Monte Carlo Yachts says, cuts man hours in half, reducing costs and speeding the building process to just four months from first layup to completed yacht. This is remarkable and is the primary reason that MCY vessels are priced so reasonably. It is also a reason Monte Carlo Yachts sell so well -- owners don't have long to wait in order to go cruising.
More High-Tech Pays Off.
The company employs Kevlar and carbon fiber wherever they offer advantages in manufacturing efficiency, strength or weight. The carbon fiber hardtop above the flying bridge, for instance, saves significant weight high in the boat where it would impact stability. Interior veneers are sorted and hand-matched by experienced woodworkers, but then cuts are planned by computers that control CNC routers to mitigate waste. In short, technology based efficiency drives the entire building process, but luxuriousness is the ultimate goal.
Most boaters able to afford a multi-million dollar yacht want accommodations, materials, and equipment that fits their idea of what a dream yacht should be, not the common denominator of a production yacht builder. It is for that reason that these wealthy individuals go to naval architects and custom yards and wait years for their ideal motoryacht to be built. Monte Carlo Yachts offers these discerning consumers what we feel is a compelling option to one-off boat custom building, with a custom interior approach in a fixed hull and deck.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Monte Carlo Yachts 86 (2014-) is 32.3 mph (52 kph), burning 175.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 664.65 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Monte Carlo Yachts 86 (2014-) is 22.0 mph (35.4 kph), and the boat gets 0.2 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.09 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 421 miles (677.53 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 1800-hp MAN V12.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!