Monterey calls its 25'10" (7.9 m) M5 sportboat a "multi-tasker" because she can be used for cruising, skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. Her look and layout are a bit different from other boats in class and she is clearly directed to boaters who want a distinctive boat.
Different Bow Seating.
When virtually all sportboat and deckboats have longitudinal bow seating, the M5 seating is perpendicular to the centerline of the boat. (See below for details.)
Electric Fold-Down Seat.
The foot of the L-shaped aft cockpit seat electrically folds down into a sun pad by the flip of a switch.
A Jumbo Stern Storage Locker.
Monterey is proud of its huge storage locker in the port side of the boat which is accessed from the swim platform. It is large enough for wakeboards.
The M5 comes standard in a choice of five solid colors. Two-tone gel coat is optional.
The oversize swim platform plus the rear-facing seat will make it easy to get geared up for skiing or wakeboarding, and will also be a sundown gathering spot when at anchor.To port there is a jumbo wakeboard storage compartment. This compartment can also be used to keep wet bathing suits. This compartment extends under the cockpit seat to port. The M5 comes standard with a stainless steel ski tow is standard; a removable tow pylon is optional ($833) and a powder-coated black wakeboard tower is $4,500. Stainless steel fold-out boarding ladders are tucked under hatches bow and stern, and there's a roomy anchor locker in the bow, with a hidden anchor line tie off. There is a standard shower wand on the stern.
When having guests out on the water for a long day, all will appreciate the head compartment in the port console. A toilet with a deck fitting pump out is $292, and an electric toilet with holding tank and deck pump-out plate is $1,875.The head/changing room has a stainless steel sink and a composite counter. There is faux teak vinyl on the deck, and an opening portlight with screen is optional ($492). Other entertaining amenities include two places to place the standard side-mounted table. The removable cockpit table is tiny, sized for two diners at most, but I like the fact that it can be moved to the bow (or if you have kids, you might want to opt for a second one to put up there), and that both the front and rear mounts for this table are vertical, inset into the seat bases, so that they're out of the way and don't leave that ugly footprint on the deck. A cooler fits under the starboard cockpit seat, and there are smaller coolers bow and stern so that it's not necessary to clamber through the cockpit anytime you run empty. Optional filler cushions ($500) can be placed in the bow to make the entire area one, large sun pad.
If we had to pick any one area where the M5 excels, we would say that seating is the M5's strong suit. Forward in front of the consoles are two seats with fold down arm rests. After the plush bucket seats for the captain and navigator, these are the most comfortable on board.
Forward of these seats is a bench seat facing aft -- this is the only sportboat we can think of that has such an arrangement. There is room for four people in the bow, according to the builder -- two facing forward and two facing aft. A table in between provides a place for drinks.Aft in the cockpit, is fairly standard L-shaped seating -- with the added difference being that the back of the forward-facing seat powers down, making a sun pad.
Immediately behind the helm is an aft-facing spotter seat that looks comfortable and holds a cooler below. This is a proper spotter seat and we think it is one of the most comfortable-looking ones in class. For $250 this can be replaced with a wet bar.
Facing aft is a wide seat (when the sun pad is not deployed). This seat is not to be used while underway, but provides a comfortable place to put on boards for towing, or to watch the sun go down.
The swivel bucket seats at the console are great looking, deeply bucketed to give a secure ride, and feature flip-up bolsters for easy stand-up operation. The helm is clean and sleek with room for a moving map display in the center of the instrument panel, which has an analog speedo and tachometer. A Garmin GPS/Sonar is optional ($1,583). The tilt wheel allows easy operation standing or sitting, and flip-up bolsters create a leaning post when standing to cross bumpy water.
Performance and Handling
We haven't tested the boat so we can make no comment on her performance or handling.
Standard power is the 350 MAG MPI CAT 300-hp MerCruiser with Bravo I drive. Options up to 430 horses are available for MerCruiser, and from 300-hp to 380-hp for Volvo Penta. For those who frequently load up with the whole soccer team, the top-end power would be an attractive and safe bet, though expensive both initially and in terms of fuel consumption.
The boat weighs
5,200 lbs. (2,359 kgs.) dry, so with her maximum capacity passenger weight aboard (2,000 lbs./907 kgs.) and 80 gallons (303 L) of fuel and some gear, ice and beverages, she could be pushing 8,000 lbs. (3,629 kgs.). Add to that the drag of a skier or wakeboarder. On the other hand, it is important to remember that wakeboarding is done relatively slow and even skiing is under 30 mph. What will really come into play is the time it takes to get on plane, and if the boat is loaded that could be a chore with just 300 horses. FYI -- the builder says that with two people aboard the boat's top speed is 48 mph with the MerCruiser 300.
There are lots of runabout/sportboats in this size and price range, and we can attest to the fact that the M5 is competitively priced with the 300 MerCruiser at $87,423.All of these boats have pretty much the same beam, deadrise at the transom (the M5 is 20-degrees) and their weights are similar. What this means to us is that consumers are going to have to look closely at each boat's features, then take test rides because the handling won't all be the same.
Options to Consider
The Garmin flush-mount GPS ($1,583) is an investment many will want to make. Though cheaper models can be purchased in the aftermarket, they just don't look right in a sleek rig like the M5--and may also tend to somewhat restrict your forward vision.Trim tabs ($1,333) are also a plus for those days when carrying an unbalanced load--hit the downside tab to level things off--or when spray is annoying your crew--jack up the upwind side of the boat and give more effective freeboard to knock down spray. The tabs include auto-retract, a must if you're trailering the boat.For those into cruising more than tow-sports, the wet bar with solid surface insert, sink, faucet and slide out carry-on cooler ($250) in lieu of the standard aft-facing observer’s seat is a good bet.The $4,500 powder-coat tower is a good looking extra that keen wakeboard enthusiasts will probably want. The stereo upgrade, which includes four Wet Sounds speakers, subwoofer and a 4 Channel Amp, will either make you very popular or very unpopular with your neighbors at the marina--it's $1,250, and requires the optional dual battery switch ($258).
Powered by a 320 MerCruiser with a Bravo III drive, the M5 retails for $95,858. Move up to the Volvo Penta 380-hp sterndrive with a DuoProp and the MSRP will be $101,928. For those who want to go whole hog, the MerCruiser 8.2 L H.O. with Bravo 3X drive starts at $112,277. Monterey offers 14 different models of MerCruiser and Volvo Penta engines, so buyers should be able to find something for nearly any application. When we went down the option list, putting on things that are basic such as dual batteries, a portlight for the head, trim tabs and the like, we came up with an MSRP of about $92,000, plus freight and dealer prep.
We wondered why there's no "preferred package"
deal on this boat--it's common for builders at this level to create a bundle of options that most buyers wind up ordering anyway--or that they would order if they were aware of them--and deliver them at a good price. Easier for them, easier for the dealer.
However, we give Monterey points for their "Build Your Boat" function on the website
, which makes it very easy to fit out your M5 with anything wanted, and clearly lists the price for each check-off, adding it to the total so you know where the price is going.
There's No Mirror in the Head--
While most of us might not want to see how we look after a day on the water, it might be handy for a little touch-up for the ladies before heading into that waterside restaurant.
Monterey Has Been Around Almost 30 Years.
The boats are built in a steadily-growing facility, now at 500,000 square feet, in the town of Williston, Florida, about 90 minutes north of Orlando. More than 500 employees put them together in a plant at which you could almost eat off the floors.
There is a lifetime limited warranty on hull and deck
and it can be transferred for up to 10 years. For more warranty details, see a dealer.Like a lot of things, the Monterey M5, taken together, is a lot more boat than the sum of its parts. For that reason, she should really be seen in person.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)