The luxury arm of the Beneteau Group has always offered something different, but the new Monte Carlo 66 is one of its best yetMonte Carlo Yachts has never been a shipyard to conform to the status quo. The unique styling and modular construction technique alone ensure that the boats stand out amongst the mainstream competition. The Monte Carlo 66 swoops in to replace the MCY 65 as the smallest model in the range and the one that has to offer the class and refinement promised by the most luxurious branch of the Beneteau Group tree for the least amount of money. The 65 was a fine-looking machine and, if anything, the Monte Carlo 66 is even better. The profile is cleaner, the lines are muscular but elegant, and its covered side decks and delicately integrated hardtop give the appearance of a boat bigger than it actually is. It’s unmistakable and retains the recognisable Monte Carlo Yachts cues of flared bow, circular hull windows and the clam shell outline of the superstructure but, for a craft of 66ft (20.11m) in length and 36 tonnes (dry), has a tightness and proportional balance unique amongst rivals. In a world of high-sided floating apartments the Monte Carlo 66 is a breath of fresh air. The designers, Dan Lenard and Carlo Nuvolari, refer to evolution not revolution, but the boat is no mere spruce up of the existing 65, it is an all-new boat from top to bottom with a fresh hull design and a flybridge deck that is now the size of the previous 70ft model’s. In most areas the Monte Carlo 66 feels larger than it is, partly down to the use of high quality, robust components and the intelligent foredeck, and partly due to the volume of the hull and the headroom this delivers within the accommodation. The materials are a class above too, especially the likes of purple Calcutta marble on the galley tops and saloon table. Expensive flourishes that stop short of going full Mar-a-Lago but add a sprinkle of stardust that will be appreciated by those with an eye for interiors. This boat is thoughtfully detailed throughout, even down to the tiniest cupboard door handle and lavish mix of materials on show in the master suite. The big boat feeling continues in the cockpit where the flybridge overhang, double access points from the bathing platform, substantial mooring gear and space for free-standing chairs around the table add to the impression that you’ve stepped aboard a bigger craft. This, after all, is a range that started life with the MCY 76 and has a MCY 105 as its flagship so Monte Carlo Yachts knows a thing or two about building boats on such a scale and wants customers buying a Monte Carlo 66 to share the same ownership experience as one who has ordered a 105. In places the boat truly does feel like a scaled down 105, namely on the flat foredeck with its plethora of lounging options. It’s hard to choose between the deck spaces because they all offer something a little different. The cockpit is well protected and within easy reach of the aft galley in the saloon. The flybridge feels vast and is versatile thanks to the sunroof embedded within the hardtop and a wetbar with all the amenities needed to keep guests fed and watered. Our test boat had space for free-standing furniture at the aft end of the flybridge but you could (and I would) opt for some low-slung fixed seating here because in reality you’re not going to want to wrestle with sunloungers every time you want to catch the sun. And the foredeck is quite possibly the finest in the class – apart from the Galeon 640, which is in a class all of its own. Its Portuguese bridge allows easy passage from deck to deck and the central walkway has a superyacht feel about it. The entire area can be shaded with a Bedouin-style canvas and it’s an ideal spot for some secluded sundowners if you’re moored stern to the quay. The main deck has a cool, beachy vibe thanks to a décor featuring a light palette with dark highlights in the flooring and Venetian blinds. Light sycamore makes up the bulk of the woodwork and it lends brightness to an interior that is already endowed with a generous supply of natural light thanks to those massive saloon windows.
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