Quality Starts at the Computer
There has always been a "seat-of-the-pants" aspect to designing and building small boats, which in some countries are still built without plans and by eye and rules of thumb. It's just the opposite at Monterey, where they employ sophisticated CAD software to create their boats. Starting not from a clean sheet of paper, but from a blank screen, company designers and engineers virtually "build" a new boat on the computer before taking the first step on the production floor.
Once the boat is designed, tested and tweaked on the computer, Monterey builds a full-scale model to ensure the concepts that work on-screen are equally functional in three dimensions. This practice, of mocking-up interiors, helms, cockpits and so forth, is common in custom yacht building, but not all production builders spend the time and money to do it. Taking this extra step, though, reveals glitches when they're still easy to fix.
After perfecting the boat in mock-up, Monterey then builds one or more functional prototypes for real-world testing. Prototyping lets the company fine-tune engines, systems, performance, handling – all the 1,001 things that go into a boat. When everyone is happy with the prototype, the manufacturing team goes to work building hull and deck molds and other tooling. Finally, after all this, the boat goes into production. Monterey prototypes, tests and sea-trials its boats from an R&D facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, but builds its boats inland, in two modern facilities in Williston, north of Orlando. The laminate schedule includes a layer of 4-oz cloth, laid in vinylester resin, immediately behind the gel coat to shield against osmosis, followed by sprayed-in polyester core to make the outer hull even tougher. The bulk of the laminate is conventional fiberglass fabric. After the stringers and floors are installed, the open spaces are filled with foam for sound-dampening and to add a bit of flotation.Each Monterey is covered by a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and deck, transferable during the first 10 years. The warranty also provides coverage against gel coat crazing, stress-cracking or blistering for five years, covers upholstery against material and manufacturing problems, and even includes five years' canvas coverage.
Monterey designed the 340SY to be a two-person cruiser, with berths for two or more when necessary. The only permanent berth is a centerline double forward (where else?), open to the saloon – there's no door, so if privacy is one of your hang-ups, maybe this boat isn't for you. That's not an issue with only two aboard for overnights. The saloon has a small dinette, again ideal for a couple dining side-by-side, and an adequate galley. There's one head, convenient to the companionway, and a conversation pit aft that can convert to a double berth.
The 340SY is powered by twin 300-hp sterndrives, either MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI CAT with Bravo Three drives and DTS (digital throttle and shift) or Volvo Penta 5.7 GiC with Duoprops and EVC (electronic vessel control). Mercury's Axius joystick docking system or Volvo's Aquamatic joystick are optional. We think either engine package would be fine, and would add the appropriate joystick control to make docking and maneuvering easier.
We haven't tested the boat, so we can't provide accurate speed data. We found published tests claiming top speeds in the low-40-mph range, cruise around 35 mph, with the Volvos. Sounds reasonable, but we can't vouch for those numbers. With twin 300-hp engines, the boat will be fast enough for most cruising folks.
Sometimes choosing a boatbuilder is more important than choosing a boat and this is one of those times. The pricing looks competitive. All we need now is a performance report and a Captain's Report on handling and ergonomics. For now, we'd put the Monterey 340 Sport Yacht on our short list.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Lifetime Limited Hull Warranty