Superyacht Chic

Fine finishes and clever flourishes are abundant on Monte Carlo Yachts’ 86.

When superyacht design team Dan Lenard and Carlo Nuvolari received the instructions for the new 86-foot Monte Carlo yacht, it was clear there was a mistake. They thought they had been assigned a 413-foot superyacht. Oops. I’d guess that when the mistake was discovered, they gave oh-so-Italian shrugs and said, “Va bene.” (It’s okay.) And it is fine, indeed. The Monte Carlo Yachts 86 is a mini superyacht.

Step into the 86’s salon and you feel as though you’re aboard a much larger vessel, because there is nothing to break the visual expanse from the cockpit to the forward helm. Factor in her 21-foot beam and add the oversize windows that stretch from couch level, and you have a huge entertainment area with (on our test yacht) a dining area for eight and a lounge facing a pop-up TV.

Our boat’s interior had a brushed-oak decor combined with an oak-plank floor stained dark chocolate to create an unusual and relaxing look. Interesting options included twin fold-out “terraces” on each side of the dining area.

The 86 is the first Monte Carlo model designed specifically to have a full-time captain, although it’s telling that our test boat will be owner-­operated and the crew quarters will be used for the youngsters.

This 86 is Monte Carlo’s new flagship in a fleet that also includes 65-, 70- and 76-footers. All bear the Monte Carlo DNA of high bow, round hull ports and a notched sheer line. Five ­accommodation plans are available for the 86, including three-, four- and five-cabin layouts.

One feature of superyachts is that they offer a multitude of areas for guests to congregate or, alternatively, get away for private time. Nuvolari-­Lenard designed this trait into the MCY86 too, and even with a crowd aboard, one can still get away. At the stern, the afterdeck has a wide settee behind a teak table, and with loose chairs, there is alfresco dining for eight. Shaded by the cantilevered bridge deck, the afterdeck has no supports to intrude on the view. A nice touch is the day-head tucked to port.

Entry into the salon is stepless, with a teak grated trough to catch rainwater, and with the stainless-steel doors open, the salon becomes a single-level extension of the cockpit or vice versa.

What is monte Carlo? A company is born In the automotive world, we’re used to large companies with several brands. For instance, Ford also builds Lincoln and Mercury. In boats, Beneteau is General Motors and Monte Carlo Yachts is Beneteau’s Cadillac. But Monte Carlo Yachts is really Carla Demaria, for two decades the visionary at Azimut-Benetti behind its Atlantis brand. At Beneteau, Demaria created a new line of luxury motor­yachts. Though Beneteau is French, Demaria wanted Italian craftsmanship, so Monte Carlo set up near the Adriatic seaport of Trieste. She also drew heavily on Italian fashion houses such as Hermès and Armani. Monte Carlo is a French-Italian builder now firmly in the American market. — C.C.

Stairs aft in the 86’s salon lead to a portside VIP stateroom, which is pleasantly large and airy, and which has a twin-sink en suite head with a shower. To starboard is a twin-berth cabin, also with private head and shower. Stairs forward in the salon lead to a foyer with the master suite down just two steps aft, and it’s quite the getaway. Spanning full beam, it has a king berth, a settee to port under large interlocking round ports and a vanity/bureau to starboard. What most impressed me? The walk-in wardrobe.

The master head compartment is open to the stateroom, with separate sections for head and shower. And rather than the usual twin-vessel sinks, the MCY86 features an intriguing wooden sink with twin Euro-style faucets. Just forward of the foyer is another stateroom with twin berths and, again, a generously sized head with shower.

A flybridge is traditionally a fair-weather entertainment area, and the MCY86 doesn’t disappoint. The space measures full beam, extending outward to provide sun and rain protection to the side decks. Since the builder and designers are Italian, the 86’s bridge section can only be described as magnifico.

A variety of options are available, and in the case of our test boat, they started with a stylishly swoopy carbon-fiber hardtop with a power, soft sunroof to turn the bridge into a cabriolet when desired. The sides of the hardtop curled downward as though blowing in the breeze, but they actually provided extra sun protection.

Customization and flexibility for owners abounds on the Monte Carlo Yachts 86. For instance, this yacht’s salon setup allows owners to include an offset dining area and a full bar in the layout.

Also on our yacht, the owner opted for a large ­Jacuzzi tub with nearby pop-up TV for soaking while watching the game. The spa was protected by the hardtop, which left an area aft for lounge chairs or sun pads.

Another clever touch, as noted by Lenard: “Most planing yachts have winglike roll bars, but we introduced funnel features like you might see on a superyacht.” And it’s true that, viewed from abeam, the hardtop supports appear as twin funnels. Two slightly staggered couches are on each side of the bridge, shaped to adapt for entertaining or, with wide ends, for stretching out. The portside couch has a pair of teak cocktail tables, while the starboard couch surrounds a fold-out dining table for eight guests.

Completing the bridge is a full outdoor galley with twin grills, ice maker, fridge and a slightly awkward sink in a corner. The bridge helm is neatly designed into a console that pops up with Raymarine touch-screen monitors and controls that duplicate the lower helm. The console is watertight without a cover.

A soft, retractable roof offers great stargazing and protection from the elements. Our test 86 topped out at about 29 knots.

As noted before, superyachts take advantage of every space for guest areas, and the MCY86 treads new ground with a full foredeck entertainment space. Her side decks continue past the Portuguese bridge to become a recessed area in the foredeck with settees, sun pads and yet another high-low dining table. A forward-facing couch hides a stowage locker for the Bimini top that can protect the area from sun, and nifty pop-ups arise from the sun pads to become couch backs. This would be my favorite spot to savor the breeze at anchor or to get away from the prying eyes of dock gawkers when Med-moored.

The yacht’s lower helm is hidden from the salon by a bulkhead with double doors, separating crew or allowing night running without dimming the salon lights. Two steps up is the helm, with a trio of Boring monitors and a good view forward and to starboard.

A galley is down a curved stairwell and runs along the port side, ending in the two crew cabins forward. This is clearly in the European tradition in which crew and chef are never seen.

Power for the MCY86 comes from a pair of 1,800-­horsepower MAN V12 V drives (unlike the MCY76 with pod drives), which give her a top speed of about 29 knots and a cruise of 24 knots. Because of deep prop pockets, the yacht draws just 6 feet 3 inches, making her suitable for thin-water cruising.

I liked the Monte Carlo Yachts 86 a lot, and I think she’ll translate nicely into American yachting lifestyles