BOAT TEST BENETEAU MONTE CARLO 42

By: JOHN ZAMMIT

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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JOHN ZAMMIT finds abundant lifestyle choices aboard Beneteau’s Med’-inspired Monte Carlo 42

BOAT TEST BENETEAU MONTE CARLO 42
Beneteau Monte Carlo 42

What's in a name? Well, as far as Beneteau is concerned, plenty! Especially if it means avoiding confusion, hence the reason it's rebadging the sportscruiser range from Monte Carlo to Flyer Gran Turismo.

We tested the Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 sportscruiser recently and were advised soon after that in future the boat will be called the Flyer Gran Turismo 44. So what's the difference and why the change?

Well the difference is not much; it's actually the same boat with an extended swimplatform and a new hull window added near the bow. According to Australasian distributors JW Marine, everything else - hull, cockpit, interior and power plant - remains the same.

So why the change? Parent company, the Beneteau Group, manufactures a range of boats from 20 to 60ft under several brand-names, including Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, and Prestige. Another part of the group, CNB, custom builds high-end yachts and has expanded to include large custom-built powerboats. This new range will be called Monte Carlo Yachts. So, to avoid confusion, the sportscruisers are being rebadged.

The Monte Carlo 42 (read Flyer Gran Turismo) that we tested is a Mediterranean-style luxury cruiser with an overall length of nearly 45ft. She features comfortable two-cabin accommodation, with a full-beam master amidships, two heads, spacious entertaining areas, and sporty performance courtesy of twin 370hp Volvo Penta engines coupled with Aquamatic sterndrives.

 

 

ALTER EGOS


Equipped as she is, the Monte Carlo 42 can be whatever you want her to be - dayboat, weekender, coastal cruiser, or luxury entertainer. The large open cockpit comes standard with a three-sided hardtop providing an ideal indoor/outdoor living area that's easy to move around in with plenty of space to relax. With an expansive electric sunroof, the boat is akin to a convertible and you get a pleasant, wind-in-the-hair experience.

Back in the cockpit, a comfortable U-shaped dinette to port easily accommodates at least six and sits conveniently opposite an inbuilt wetbar, incorporating sink and electric barbecue. A handy under-bench fridge and separate icemaker take care of the drinks or cocktails. If lounging about rather than sitting is more your thing, there's also a large sunpad on the transom - the rear seat of the dinette folds forward to extend its length. A great spot to spread out and relax, catch a few rays and watch the world go by.

There's storage under the sunpad, too, for fenders, water toys, dive equipment and the like. A couple of steps down from the cockpit, the swimplatform incorporates a foldout ladder and a handy, hot and cold transom shower. The aft garage lifts electrically and houses a 2.5m dinghy with outboard fitted - handy foldout rollers aft and an electric winch forward make launch-and-retrieval easy. And there's room left over and outboard for more storage.

One thing that struck me were the number of relaxation zones, either undercover or out in the sunshine. On sportscruisers, younger folk tend to gravitate to the foredeck. Getting there isn't difficult, with steps up from the cockpit to the sidedecks and plenty of handholds and nice high siderails. Apart from a couple of deck hatches, the large foredeck is unencumbered, with another large sunpad and inbuilt drinkholders making life comfortable.

On the bow, the anchor gear is housed under a hatch that lifts to reveal a nice, big Lewmar winch and a substantial chain locker. I couldn't see any anchor wash-down facility here, though, so any mud or stuff coming up with the anchor is likely to end up in the chain locker - not ideal but better than straight onto the deck. There's a handy remote anchor control, too, that's on an extension cord.

 

 

STAYING OVER


While she works well as a dayboat, the Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 - aka Flyer Gran Turismo - is well fitted out below decks for extended time onboard. The galley, convenient at the foot of the companionway steps, makes it easy to pass food and drinks back up top. There's 2m of headroom and loads of light thanks to huge overhead skylights and hull portlights.

While compact, the galley space has been used well. It's fitted out with all of the essentials including a double-bowl sink with cover, twin-burner ceramic hotplate, dishwasher, microwave, and plenty of cupboards over and under the Corian benchtop. A domestic-size fridge/freezer is neatly housed behind timber-veneer doors and across from the galley to starboard, a U-shaped dinette is positioned so that everyone seated has a view of the optional wall-mounted TV. The dinette converts to a double berth if required.

The timberwork throughout is mahogany-stained Alpi, a man-made, reconstituted timber, with minimal grain. I've seen it used on other boats in the Beneteau range and I'm on record as saying it looks a tad synthetic, but that's just my opinion. The finish is good, though, and with contrasting upholstery, the look is quite elegant.

There are two cabins but the master stateroom situated amidships is the standout. It's stylish, large, light and airy. Headroom is 2.4m around the island bed, with bench seating to starboard and a chaise lounge opposite. Notable, too, are heaps of storage and hanging space, and large hull windows, incorporating opening portholes, that fill the room with light and fresh air.

The VIP cabin forward also features an island bed and here, too, is plenty of storage and hanging space. On this Beneteau Monte Carlo 42, the VIP room's portholes and overhead hatch attract fresh air and light. On future Flyer Gran Turismo 44s, large hull windows, similar to those in the master stateroom, will be added. The en suite to the master features Vacuflush toilet, big walk-in shower, large mirror and vanity unit, and an opening porthole. A similarly fitted second bathroom off the galley/saloon serves as a dayhead and services the VIP cabin forward.

Access to the engineroom is via a hatch in the cockpit sole and down a ladder. It's a big room for this type of boat, easily accommodating the twin Volvo Penta engines, 4kVa Onan genset, hot-water service, inverter (which powers the audio/visual gear, but unfortunately none of the power points), battery charger, engine blowers and fire suppressant system. While there's good room outboard of the engines, it's perhaps a bit squeezy in between, but certainly serviceable. For major engine servicing there's a larger hatch under the tender garage, but that means removing the tender first to gain access.

Water and fuel are housed forward of the engines, near the centre of gravity. The Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 carries 800lt of fuel in two 400lt tanks and there's 400lt of water in two 200lt tanks. Assuming a comfortable cruise speed of around 25kts, the fuel load should offer a range of around 200nm and a bit in reserve. With those capacities, weekends away or short coastal cruises are well within her scope.

 

 

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING


Underway the Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 gets up and going smartly and is direct off the wheel. I'd describe the ride as sporty, not a hard ride, but definitely sporty. She features an Air Step hull, essentially a V-bottom with a single step that's designed to draw air in under the running surface to create a "cushion", reducing drag as the boat moves through the water. The benefit of stepped hulls is increased efficiency, faster acceleration and higher top speed, plus lower horsepower.

Underway the Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 gets up and going smartly and is direct off the wheel. I'd describe the ride as sporty, not a hard ride, but definitely sporty. She features an Air Step hull, essentially a V-bottom with a single step that's designed to draw air in under the running surface to create a "cushion", reducing drag as the boat moves through the water. The benefit of stepped hulls is increased efficiency, faster acceleration and higher top speed, plus lower horsepower.

Coupled with the 370hp Volvo Penta D6 engines, the Monte Carlo 42 is good for more than 34kts. She gets there in quick time, but when I took her up close to that number, the boat felt a tad too flighty for my liking - could have been a case of me not being too familiar with the characteristics of stepped hulls. All I know is, though, that when I brought her back to 2700rpm, around 24kts, she felt more precise, comfortable and predictable, especially into tight turns and serpentines.

The thing I did particularly like, though, is the joystick control of the sterndrives at close quarters. Feels a bit different to IPS, makes a bit more noise when it engages but is easy to use and very fluid. Ideal for the types of buyers that are attracted to sportscruisers.

 

 

(Facts&figures)
BENETEAU MONTE CARLO 42

 

 

AT THE WHEEL


At the starboard helm is a single (bolstered) skipper's seat facing a non-glare dash, and then a gap to the separate two-person companion seat alongside. With an aisle between the seats, the skipper can come and go from the helm without disrupting his companion(s) nearby. There's plenty of practical attention to detail along the dash, like a handy grabrail forward of the companion seat, inbuilt drinkholders, and small receptacles for keys and other bits and pieces.

Overall, I thought the driving position was good with clear vision forward, aft and sideways. A sliding window beside the skipper is handy, both for a bit of fresh air and for communicating with guests or crew on the foredeck, or when coming into dock.

The dash is large enough to include a 12in screen and all of the switches, gauges and electronics that we've come to expect these days. The engine controls and joystick (yes, joystick docking is standard with these sterndrives) fall comfortably to hand.

 

 

SEA TRIALS


Twin Volvo Penta D6

RPM   SPEED    FUEL BURN
600     4.3kts     4lt/h
1000   6.75kts    16lt/h
1500   9.1kts      47.8lt/h
2000   13.15kts   92.4lt/h
2400   19.15kts   128.8lt/h
2600   22.3kts    152.6lt/h
2800   25.15kts   175.2lt/h
3000   27.75kts   195.2lt/h
3200   29.95kts   222.8lt/h
3400   32.45kts   267lt/h
3500   33.45kts   297.8lt/h
3580   34.1kts     313.8lt/h

* <I>Official sea-trial date supplied by Beneteau. Fuel burn is combined for both engines</I>.

 

 

PRICE AS TESTED


<B>$640,000</B>

 

 

OPTIONS FITTED


Joystick docking, tender launching ramp and winch, forward sunpad,
42lt cockpit fridge, icemaker, flatscreen TV plus DVD/MP3 in lounge, cockpit grill, Raymarine C120W screen w/ GPS plotter and sounder,
4kVa Onan generator, sliding helm side window, air-conditioning, dishwasher, TV in aft cabin, sat TV, and more

 

 

PRICED FROM


Approx <B>$600,000</B> (subject to exchange rate, refer to dealer for accurate pricing)

 

 

GENERAL


MATERIAL: Fibreglass
TYPE: Planing monohull
LENGTH OVERALL: 13.7m
HULL LENGTH: 12.9m
BEAM: 3.99m
WEIGHT: 8900kg
DRAFT: 0.85m

 

 

CAPACITIES


BERTHS: 4 + 2
FUEL: 800lt
WATER: 400lt

 


 
ENGINE


MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta D6-370
TYPE: Six cylinder turbo-diesel
RATED HP: 370 (each)
DISPLACEMENT: 5.5lt (each) 
WEIGHT: 770kg (each)

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


JW Marine,
Jones Bay Wharf 19-21
Lower Deck, Suite 90,
26-32 Pirrama Road,
Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
Phone: (02) 9518 6977
Email: info@jwmarine.com.au
Website: www.jwmarine.com.au 

 

 

Tradeaboat says…


At nearly 45ft overall the Beneteau Monte Carlo 42 is a big sportscruiser, but she's sleek, sporty and with a lot of style. The Volvo Penta D6 engines (the same used with the IPS500) provide lots of torque over the whole speed range, translating to powerful acceleration. And when it comes to docking, the joystick makes it a breeze.

I think the Air Step hull works fine up to normal cruise speed, but near top speed the boat loses something in terms handling. Then again, maybe it just takes a bit of getting used to, perhaps - I'll reserve my judgement.

Otherwise, the Monte Carlo 42 is roomy, has fantastic alfresco living spaces and makes a great dayboat or luxury entertainer, but that's not all. Luxury accommodation combined with all the good gear means packing the family, or perhaps just that someone special, and getting away for a few days is well within her bounds.

 

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 422, Dec-Jan, 2012.

Find Beneteau boats for sale.

 


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