The Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 combines the best tradition of Italian design with the industrial know-how of Groupe Bénéteau, whose shipyards are a widely admired among recreational mariners around the world. With the characteristic sharp entry of the brand, she should be sea-kindly in all reasonable weather, and she displays the usual Beneteau flair in luxury materials throughout the interior.
|Length Overall||60’ 2" / 18.35 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||9.6 sec.|
|0 to 30||11.3 sec.|
|Load||4 persons, 1/2 fuel, 9/10 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||77 deg., 40 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: moderate chop|
2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 Zeus
2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 Zeus
Contents of Report
We’ve tested several boats from Beneteau and were certainly looking forward to evaluating the Monte Carlo 6. But even from a detached point of view, her design and styling come to light and clearly show some features that have now come to define the brand. Her distinctive look recalls yacht profiles of decades past. Most distinguishing are the round portlights and large round side windows coupled with the nearly vertical stem. Her bow resembles the "tulip" shape seen in military vessels at the turn of the last century. Additionally, the Monte Carlo 6 carries the curved coach rooflines of her siblings, with soft bends.
As we noted in our report on the Monte Carlo 5, Beneteau refined production building by eliminating hundreds of man-hours required by traditional boat building practices and replacing them with smart engineering, robots and modern industrial systems. The hull and superstructure are built to Beneteau Group's scantlings and we’ve heard that some proprietary systems from the Trieste Monte Carlo Yachts' yard will also be integrated into the line. A good example of the mixing of traditional and modern construction is the wood treatment being used aboard. Interior joinery is made of brushed oak from Alpi, while the standard galley deck is teak slatted manufactured in house. The aft deck is also "slatted" teak, which means a "teak-and-holly" type treatment that is in traditional yacht DNA. Head compartments have teak soles and stair treads are also teak.
The flying bridge of the Monte Carlo 6 is among the largest we’ve seen in class. It is accessed by a set of stairs to the starboard side of the cockpit deck. The exterior access allows more salon space and makes sense since the upper deck is exposed to the elements anyway.
The flybridge gathering area can accommodate ten people and consists of a large sun pad aft, measuring 7’ x 5’8” (2.13 m x 1.73 m) and nearly 10’ (3.05 m) long U-shaped seating to port, surrounding a solid wood pedestal table. The aft sun pad also accommodates seating with a large, and remarkably comfortable, padded bolster wrapping around the aft end of the sun pad. The table has fold-out leaves so it can be used for dining, cocktails and accommodating entry and egress from the seating much easier.
A refreshment center is to starboard, just behind the helm. On our test boat, it was fitted with a sink, electric grill and a refrigerator. In front of the sink there’s counter space measuring 19” (48.3 cm) x 14” (35.56 cm). To the right, counter space measuring 20.5” (52.07 cm) x 16.5” (41.91 cm) serves for food prep. With the sink and grill covered, the available counter space is 4’10.5” (1.47 m) long. Forward and adjacent to the helm is a lounge that allows companions to enjoy the same forward facing view as the captain.
Over head is a hardtop, 6’6” (1.98 m) above the deck, that is very similar in design to the Monte Carlo Yachts line, but where those are fabricated from carbon fiber, this one is all fiberglass. The center opens by a switch at the helm. Supports are a full 3” (7.62 cm) thick.
The Monte Carlo 6 is boarded from the hydraulic swim platform, extending 5’5” (1.65 m) from the transom. It can be used to launch a tender or to simply create a private beach. Absent on our test boat, but certainly an attractive option, is a transom galley with a grill and sink. To starboard are the stairs to the aft deck. This deck is offered protection from the extended overhead and a retractable awning further extends the shade to the swim platform.
The main deck interior continues the open layouts that we’ve seen with the Monte Carlo 4 and Monte Carlo 5. The expansive cockpit leads forward to fully opening glass doors for a seamless transition from the outside to the inside. The galley is located aft on the main deck, which keeps it in the center of both the cockpit and forward salon gathering areas. We measured 7’ (2.13 m) from the deck to the overhead.
The galley can be said to encompass both port and starboard with the main food prep area being to the starboard side of the U-shaped galley. This is where the sink, convection microwave and bulk of the dry storage are located. To port are dual refrigerated drawers, and a third drawer can be optioned as either refrigeration or a freezer. A fourth drawer is slated for storage.
The salon features opposing seating with a pedestal table to starboard surrounded by a wrap-around sofa. The table can be raised or lowered by a switch just behind the central helm seat. Fold-out leaves also accommodate easier access to the seating. A bench-style sofa to port allows space to accommodate a companionway to the lower deck. The entire area follows a design theme of keeping the living spaces light and modern.
The lower helm is centrally positioned forward of the salon. Beneteau created a command station that includes controls mounted to the helm seat for both the joystick and the panel electronics, particularly control of the autopilot. The engine controls are located just to the port hand side. This allows for full operation of the yacht from the relaxed seated position.
Just starboard of the helm is a double-wide forward facing seat that any owner/operator will come to appreciate, as it not only allows for additional eyes looking forward but for the operator to always have company while the yacht is underway.
The bow is an area where the Monte Carlo 6 seems to have a huge benefit over the smaller Monte Carlo 5 and Monte Carlo 4. Rather than have lounges positioned on top of the trunk cabin, the chaises are on the level deck, providing a much higher level of comfort.
These lounges, which take advantage of the open space at the bow, allows the deck to be unimpeded by seating, and when desired cushions can be snapped in place and electric actuators cause the knee and back areas to be lifted separately to any desired position. All of this while leaving the area between exposed for providing natural light to the VIP stateroom below, even as privacy is maintained through smoked Lexan.
Lower Deck Layout
The full-beam master stateroom is highlighted by the bright woodwork and natural light from large hull side windows.
The lower deck features a full-beam master stateroom located on the yacht’s lateral and longitudinal centerline, a position that minimizes the effects of boat motions. There is storage throughout the stateroom and headroom measuring 6'6" (1.98 m). To port is a bureau with seating to both sides, directly underneath the large hull side window. Hanging lockers are to both ends. To the starboard side, a vanity sink is just beneath the large window. The master head is split to both sides of this sink with a water closet being forward, and the walk in shower being aft. This is an excellent arrangement, allowing privacy while letting two people get ready for a night on the town at the same time.
The upholstered headboard provides a contrast to the Alpi wood bulkheads and cabinetry. Dual opening portlights are on both sides of the stateroom.
Forward, the VIP stateroom is tucked into the bow. The berth can be used as a single queen-size, or opened in scissor-like fashion to create twin berths. This stateroom has the benefit of offering the most natural light, thanks to the massive overhead skylights along with the opening portlights to both sides. The head is located to the port hand side, along the hull, and it is surprising in its length. The large walk-in shower is to the far end.
The forward VIP stateroom features a queen island berth that can be opened up to form two twin-sized berths.
The guest stateroom is in the center of the boat with twin berths. These can easily be slid together to form a queen-sized berth. There is private access to the head at the forward end of the stateroom, and an additional access point to this head allows it to serve as a day head. With the two-stateroom version, a galley is fitted to the starboard side in lieu of the guest stateroom.
Crew quarters are accessed from the swim platform. A berth is at one end and an open wet-head is at the other.
Power. The Monte Carlo 6 is powered by a pair of 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesel engines driving Zeus pods, giving the Monte Carlo 6 joystick maneuverability for close quarters handling. This is a propulsion system that we’ve come to appreciate for its smooth handling characteristics.
With an empty weight of 42,880 lbs. (19,450 kg), 4 people and 50% fuel onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 46,939 lbs. (21,291 kg).
We reached our top speed at 3070 rpm and 26.7 kn. At that speed, we were burning 64.35 gph, giving us a range of 217 nautical miles. With the efficiency of these engines, coupled with the pods and the hull design, best cruise can be seen as anywhere between 11.8 kn and 22.5 kn. It's at this range that she will be operating at a consistent .45/.46 nautical miles per gallon. This allows the operator the flexibility of adjusting the speed to accommodate the sea conditions, without regard for having any concerns over the range or fuel economy.
We’ve long reported that the Monte Carlo Series of vessels were designed to be cruising boats with “sea kindly” hulls. Problem being, during our tests we have never been able to validate this because we always get nearly perfect flat and calm conditions.
Testing in Weather. Finally, this changed with the test of the Monte Carlo 6 when conditions were blowing across the Mediterranean at 10 to 15 kn with occasional gusts to 20 mph, producing 2’ to 3’ rolling swells. These were conditions we were thrilled to take advantage of, and did so with plenty of time on our hands to do so.
When operating with the waves directly on the bow, she would exhibit minor pitching as we maneuvered over the waves at minimal speeds. Larger waves would occasionally make their way onto the foredeck, but for the most part it was a relatively comfortable and dry ride.
Adding power brought her into her 5-degree bow high cruising attitude, making things much more comfortable. Now the bow was able to penetrate the waves much more cleanly, and spray was thrown back approximately one-quarter of the way to midships. While spray was thrown low and wide, physics being what it is, the wind still managed to pick up some of the spray and bring it onto the large single piece windshield. The massive windshield wiper took care of this in short order. And rolling became minimized with the plumb bow simply slicing the waves apart.
As we came around to take the waves on the beam, the ride smoothed out considerably. Gone was the mild pitching that we experienced during the head seas, and a much more stable ride manifested itself. We did, however, trade the pitching for mild rolling as the waves made their way under the boat. We were able to increase speed with no discomfort whatsoever. We also eliminated any spray and the ride became absolutely dry.
Coming around again to put the waves on the stern produced the best comfort level of all. Two major characteristics were of note in these conditions. Firstly, waves hitting the stern had no effect on our directional stability. With the boat operating at nearly 22 kn, it was absolutely hands off the wheel with our course staying arrow-straight. Secondly, we discovered that there is a very small likelihood of ever stuffing the bow. When we approached the backside of a heavy swell, the Monte Carlo 6 simply climbed up to the top, hung over the precipice briefly, and then plunged down toward the next wave. Once encountering the backside of that wave, the water would meet the caprail and roll outwards in an arc in front of the boat. This had the effect of raising the bow, allowing it to climb up and over the backside of the wave where the cycle would begin once again.
At the Dock
The close-quarters handling characteristics need hardly be addressed. With her pods and joystick functionality, maneuverability was glass smooth and presented in exacting detail as the operator desires. There is no clunking into gear, there is no lurching of the boat. There is only a smooth transition from the motions of the hand to the motions of the boat. Small pulses of the joystick had us sliding up against the cement quay of Mallorca, Spain with no concern whatsoever about scratching her new Teal finish.
We’ve long been advocates of recommending a test drive before any signature is put to a contract or a check. Regardless of how comfortable a boat is, putting a boat out on the water will answer a multitude of questions regarding how comfortable the boat will be with guests onboard and how easily she can handle varying conditions based on mother nature's ever-changing whims.
The Beneteau design is a definite departure from the traditional "Euro" look of cruisers in this size range. In this regard, if "Euro" is a modern design, then the Monte Carlo style is "post-modern" and exemplifies a new direction in what a yacht can be like -- both outside and inside. She is designed for cruising and entertaining just like conventionally-designed yachts, but clearly the Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 is aimed at a different buyer, one with self-confidence who wants to make a bold statement about his taste in yacht architecture. We think that the Monte Carlo 6 is as much about her owner and his/her place in the modern nautical world. This is a boat that will be owned by people who have a vision of the future of yachting that is a break from the past, and that will be an exciting adventure.