Yacht Class n°18 (sept-oct-nov 2019)
Monte Carlo Yachts – Beneteau Group
After two years without any launch, the Monfalcone shipyard is back in motion with the simultaneous presentation of three yachts, derived from its first models. The new MC66 thus replaces the 65 foot, offering increased living space and new features that make life on board even more pleasant.
Written by: Philippe Leblond – Photos : All rights reserved
In the absence of real new models, the Italian shipyard of Beneteau Group develops its “entry-level” range. This year is marked by the almost simultaneous launch of the MCY66, the MCY70 and the MCY76, three evolutions of their predecessors: the 65, the 70 (phase 1) and the 75. Only five years after its launch, the 65 gives way to the 66. At first glance, there is little differentiating these two models. Yet, the newest addition is characterized by additional bow portholes, mainly to the advantage of the VIP cabin, and a carbon-fibre opening hardtop whose supports were modified to offer more space on the flybridge.
A unique style, a strong personality
In terms of style, the “touch” of the tandem Nuvolari & Lenard, who created the MCY range, is easily recognizable. Nonetheless, this very personal touch, which aims to be “timeless” for Dan Lenard, is no less singular, with a silhouette vaguely reminiscent of sportfishing boats. Will this unique and elaborate style stand the test of time? Wait and see… The high-flared bow hosts a deck saloon with an XXL sunbed that will be undoubtedly appreciated spot during cabotages. One of the striking features is the Portuguese bridge extending the bulwark along the walkways up to the front part of the windshield. The deck line gently bends towards the stern, via narrow walkways. The latter end with two staircases leading to the vast bathing platform. There, we enjoyed the teak cockpit, sheltered by the flybridge. Its large table, surrounded by a sofa and a few seats, will be a pleasant place for aperitif. Note that this outdoor saloon features on both sides oversized mooring equipment, with large cleats assisted by electric winches to effortlessly tension the mooring lines.
A materials upgrade
The bay window opens wide onto the reception area. The open-plan galley (with a marble worktop and very complete equipment) is located at the entrance, between the cockpit dinette and the opposite interior dining area. The beautiful marble table can also accommodate up to six guests. The second part of this large space is occupied by a lounge with a swivel-mounted retractable tv screen. The long starboard cabinet houses a cellar containing precious nectars. The helm station, nestled in the saloon, enjoys a panoramic view forward and a clear view of the stern, which makes maneuvering easy when steering from outside is not an option. It must be noted that the Italian shipyard did make an effort to offer a sea view through large bay windows. With a philosophy that tends towards the top of the range, as we can see with the three “new” MCY, this is no surprise that the Monfalcone shipyard chose to present the 66’s three-cabin layout to the press. Because, if a four-cabin configuration is also available, no commissioner has yet opted for it. Actually, the three-cabin one offers more harmonious transitions and volumes, more in line with the concept of luxurious yachts. This does not preclude the existence of a crew cabin (two berths) with a head, behind the engine room. For its part, the amidships master takes advantage of the maximum width. Thus, in addition to a long chest of drawers and a sofa framing the large double bed, it offers a dressing table and a dressing room plus, of course, a luxurious en suite near the entrance. The two guest cabins are in line with this classic layout: the twin on starboard and the VIP in the bow, each en suite with a shower cabin. The decoration based on light tones rises one step higher with the use of noble materials. This atmosphere transports us into the world of superyachts, well over the 66 feet of this Monte-Carlo.
Significantly sharper than the MC70
Leaving the berth next to the yard’s modern facilities is not a problem. And for good reason. By using only the inverters, the MCY66 can manage an avoiding manoeuvre, with a 180° turn on the spot, in only 28 seconds with 700 rpm on each engine, which is faster than with the joystick-controlled bow and stern thrusters (35 seconds). On the flybridge, the helm station enjoys a panoramic view, perfect to monitor the immediate surroundings of the yacht and to manoeuvre serenely. Equipped with the same engine as the MCY70 (2 x MAN 1 200 hp diesel) we tested in a previous issue, the 66 is significantly faster during acceleration, and reached 20 knots in 16”5 (compared to 18”).Yet, there is no significative weight difference (about 3 tons loaded). Another advantage is that the 66 planes from 1 500 rpm, at a speed of about 15 knots, which gives the pilot a wide range of rpm to adjust the cruising speed to the navigation conditions and time requirements. At full speed, we observed 31.4 knots, when the shipyard figures announce a maximum speed of 31 knots. We believe the best compromise between comfort and fuel consumption is at 1 800 rpm, which represents 20.5 knots with a range of 255 miles. Unfortunately, the Adriatic Sea was particularly calm on the day of our test, thus preventing to assess the marine qualities of the 66 in rough conditions. Only a few crossings of our wake gave us a glimpse of her smooth flexibility in 60-70 cm wave heights. Her ability to achieve sharp turns is of course limited by her shaft-line transmission, but the 66 willingly completed a series of bends, without losing too much of its initial speed. As for soundproofing, our measurements were edifying, especially for a ship with a planing hull of only 20 metres: 55 dBA at idle and 67 to 2 000 rpm in the wheelhouse, 55 dBA at idle and 71 to 2 000 rpm in the main cabin. You will really have to pay attention to hear the Cummins Onan at anchorage!
The 65 foot gives way to this new version we really enjoyed. It is true that the 66 has almost everything that a yacht of 20 metres is entitled to offer: comfort on all three decks, solid performance, ease of handling and a strong brand image.