Designed for the sea, she is an invitation to offshore cruising
YACHT CLASS N°10 (Sept-oct-nov 2017)
Nearly 19-metres-long, the MC6 is the flagship of the premium range created in 2013. Unveiled during the Dusseldorf boat show, she was awarded boat of the year in the "Best flybridge up to 60 feet" category. Thirty units of the MC - for Monte-Carlo or Motor Cruiser - have been sold since. This is a well-deserved success considering the care given, down to the smallest details, to this little offshore cruising yacht.
Text : Emmanuel de Toma
Photos : J. Kelagopian et E. de Toma.
At first sight, this MC6 is high on water when viewed from rear and stocky from the side. Yet a thorough observation of the hull, including her quickworks, reveals a desire to combine fineness and seaworthiness, such as stability and passage in rough seas. A round and powerful bow, combined with "flared" sections, ensures a good penetration of the wave while steps and ribs provide balance and stability. In addition to finesse, the quickworks unveil a respectable a 1.17 m draught which confirms, if need be, that Bénéteau wants above all seaworthy boats. As for the deadworks and superstructures, their high deckhouse and freeboard make them massive. But we must be acknowledged that Italian designers Nuvolari & Lenard, "couturiers" of the largest boats such as Turquoise (66 metres) or Redwood (139 metres), have done wonders in combining curves and rakes to give this cruiser a complimentary personality while focusing on comfort for all the volumes of this three-deck. In the hull : the cabins and "machines". The main deck gathers the living room, the galley plus a cockpit protected by the flybridge. The latter is a veritable upper deck: over eight metres in length dedicated to happiness and farniente and partially covered by an elegantly streamlined hardtop. The skillfully crafted curves of the bay windows, the slender bulwark around the flybridge and the large transom extending the hull… all refine the line while heralding hedonistic living areas.
A well-conceived flybridge
The telescopic gangway emerges from the floor, flies over the large transom in teak gratings, to lead us straight to a small gate opening onto the aft cockpit, furnished with a grey fabric sofa and elegant teak armchairs around a thick wooden with stainless-steel feet. The starboard catwalk features a small docking helm station with a joystick : engine control, steering wheel and winch to secure the stern line. From this intimate space, protected by the flybridge, a beautiful staircase leads to the upper deck. Secured by two robust stainless-steel ramps, its climb is soft and... irresistible. Because, to be honest, this flybridge looks just like a flying boat… Nearly 30 m2 surrounded by tall coamings and devoted to the pleasure of flying over the sea at more than 20 knots while enjoying at leisure the large aft sunbed or a nice meal comfortably seated in the soft sofas. Forward this little paradise, the skipper cannot complain : an unbeatable view beyond the horizon, an enveloping and adjustable seat, a steering wheel, throttle levers and joystick in hand, navigation and control screen under the eyes… He just has to handle the 600 horses which, two levels below, are eager to roar. It should be noted that the hardtop, protecting him from the zenithal ardour, perfectly stops at the sunbed level, not to shade worshipers of Phœbus'. Finally, before taking the helm, let's also underline the robustness of the T-top brackets and the judicious windscreen which, although very low, perfectly deflects the speed wind. The engine kicks in. And silence still reigns… Only the tachometer perceives the cavalry of two Cummins six cylinders coupled with the famous Zeus pod drives. In short, there is no rudder. Consequence : the helm and the throttle levers are only useful to satisfy our old habits. But once mastered, the joystick is enough for all manoeuvres. Forward to slightly accelerate, backwards and right to turn in slow motion, etc. After a few minutes of training, even manoeuvring the MC6 into a pocket handkerchief is a walk in the park. That being said, the steering wheel and throttles are also very pleasant. Cruising revs : 2 500 rpm. Speed : 17 knots. Despite the few waves underneath the bow, the boat slips along nicely, without any hitch nor swerve. Powered by the two Cummins Zeus, the hull penned by the in-house design team certainly deserves all the praise… and so much more one we discovered the yield curve.
Our measurements showed that this curve bends from 2 000 rpm on. Which means autonomy increases with speed and indisputably proves that this hull has a favourable sliding coefficient. At 20 knots, this makes Corsica less than six hours away from Cannes or St-Tropez, and in first class. What a dream ! Well… at the price of 940 litres of diesel, despite some 30% savings thanks to the pods transmission. Consolation : there is still plenty of fuel to explore La Scandola cliffs, the Girolata creeks and even go to Sardinia... The helm station in the salon is the closer to engines, yet we only measured there 68 dbA. But most of all, thanks to its generous windscreens and bay windows, it has the same visibility as the upper deck… plus an indoor comfort and a particularly welcoming seating. A last remark regarding performance : the MC6 can hit a top speed of 28 knots.
At anchor : a 5* comfort !
On the cockpit, the large bay window opens onto a vast luminous space composed of a galley and salon. A quite successful space where grey and taupe tones combined to the subdued light from the Venetian blinds inspire serenity, a proof of discreet luxury. On starboard : the dining area around an electric height-adjustable table. To port : a "Mondi Cream" fabric six-seater sofa. The finely crafted and adjusted woodwork are available either in brushed oak or mat walnut. A 15-cm step separates the teak-floored galley from this "first class" lounge and its ivory carpet. Forward, two steps lead to the helm station, where the headroom lowers to 1.95 m. But giant skippers may gain some comfort from the wheelhouse and its magnificent optional Besenzoni seat and huge monoblock laminated windshield. To the left of this helm station, six comfortable steps lead down to the cabins. Our test boat had three of them : master, VIP and guest, all en-suite. Another formula, more "selfish", offers a nice little lounge in lieu of the guest cabin. The aftermost one-third of the hull remains devoted to the engines and a small crew cabin. If the "VIP" cabin is quite well-endowed with its vast luxurious "abode" on the bow, the central full-beam master is actually inspiring wonder, envy even. Wardrobes, light oak dressers, a writing desk, a shower room plus separate WC surround the "queen size" bed, oriented head to stern. The highlight : the two large portholes, of about a metre in diameter, offer a captivating view on the blue waves or on the enchanting idyllic anchorage. This MC6 definitely combines with talent the most refined luxury with the happiness of long cruises.
- Overall length : 18,35 m
- Hull length : 15,97 m
- Overall beam : 4,93 m
- Max beam : 4,88 m
- Unladen displacement : 19,84 t
- Air draught with T-top : 7,43 m
- Draft : 1,17 m
- Fuel : 2 x 1100 l
- Water : 2 x 400 l
- Power : 2 x 600 ch Cummins
- Price : 857 500 € H.T
- Naval architect : bureau d’études chantier
- Design : Nuvolari & Lenard
- Interior layout : Andreani Design
- Builder : Bénéteau (Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie)