If the Monte Carlo Yachts 76 isn’t on your radar yet, it will be soon. Although the boat made its world debut in Cannes in late 2010, it only recently tied up in the U.S. for its American launch. Now, yachtsmen on this side of the Atlantic are learning first-hand about the luxury vessel that has garnered a series of serious awards—among them the World Yacht Trophy for Innovation at the Cannes boat show, MotorBoat of the Year at both the Genoa and London shows, and European Powerboat of the Year at Boot Dusseldorf. What makes this flybridge cruiser so laudable? Pedigree, for one thing.
Monte Carlo Yachts are designed by the award-winning Italian firm of Nuvolari Lenard and built in a state-of-the art factory in the Gulf of Trieste on Italy’s Adriatic coast. President Carla Demaria, who spent many years in executive positions at Italy’s Azimut Group, runs the yard. The parent company is French behemoth Beneteau, the world’s largest builder of sailboats and Europe’s largest producer of powerboats up to 50 feet. When you couple proven and provocative Italian design with strong management and the industrial know-how of a world leader in the marine industry, the results are sure to be attention-getting.
The 76 is one of two Monte Carlo Yachts (there’s also a 65 which has yet to land on our shores), both of which were conceived around a dual mission: to create a cruiser with understated, classic style that will never be obsolete; and a forward-thinking yacht engineered to be a technologically advanced alternative to the current range of inboard-powered cruisers on the market.
To achieve all of that, Monte Carlo designed the 76 with a few key features. Among them are pod drives, which are offered as an option. The Monte Carlo 76 is one of the first large production motor yachts to employ them and the pay-off is improved fuel efficiency plus more precise handling. The ZF joystick at the helm will be a welcome addition for those owners who plan to operate the boat and hope to do so as well as the professionals. The boat is also available with V-drives and a stern thruster, but even with that propulsion, a similar joystick is installed at the helm to make handling easier.
Because the boat is built light (carbon fiber, Kevlar and the resin infusion process are all in the mix), performance is solid. The company reports a top speed of 31 knots when powered by twin MAN 1,200-hp engines, and a cruising speed of 26 knots. But this yacht is built for serious cruising, too, so if you want to go the distance, you could back down to 10 knots and achieve a range of about 616 nautical miles. Standard tankage is 1,056 gallons, but bigger tanks are available if you want to increase this range.
A boat built to be a serious cruiser needs serious space, which is why the 76 has a robust beam of 18’5”. That width makes for big, open areas all around the yacht, from the engine room to the salon to the accommodations. The Monte Carlo is offered with four or three staterooms, each with an en suite head. While the four-cabin version is best for those who cruise with a sizable crew (or have plans to put the boat into charter), the three-cabin version has a palatial master stateroom that the company says is among the largest in its class.
In addition to spacious outdoor entertaining areas (flybridge, foredeck and cockpit), the Monte Carlo has a lovely, open salon, also available in more than one configuration. The builder designed one particular version for the U.S. market. It puts the galley and dining area at the aft end of the salon near the sliding doors to the cockpit, so diners can take in the ocean views while enjoying a meal. (Another version of the boat puts the galley down and forward; a layout preferred in parts of Europe.) Because the 76 can be customized in this way, Monte Carlo can design the boat for a variety of regions. But regardless of which international port it glides into, this yacht is sure to register on everyone’s radar.