The Monte Carlo 52 by Beneteau signals the next generation of the MC lineup and features a lot of improvements based on customer feedback, including more interior space, more natural light and certainly more comfort. She includes a lot of luxury and innovation, and her modern profile speaks of the quality found within.
- Steering station with adjustable seat and wheel
- Salon seating for 8 people
- Fully-fitted aft galley
- Aft sun lounger with lifting backrest
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||6.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||16.5 (0to20)|
|Load||3 persons, 3/4 fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||72 deg., 45 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 1-2|
2 x 480-hp Volvo Penta IPS650
2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 Diesel EVC-E
2 x 480-hp Volvo Penta IPS650 Diesel EVC-E
By Capt. Steve Larivee
The cockpit is the first of several social zones on the MC52. It features L-shaped seating to the stern with an optional seat ($3,860) ahead and to port. All decking is teak, and the entire aft deck is protected by the extended flying bridge deck overhead, 6’8" (2.03 m) off the deck. An optional extendable awning ($6,950) is electrically actuated for adding still more protection. Storage is ahead and to starboard, and another storage access is under the aft sofa that leads to the cavernous trunk storage. Another access to this storage compartment is at the transom. An optional teak pedestal table ($10,380) can be added, and it converts to a sun pad. Of course, a free-standing table and deck chairs can easily be accommodated.
The swim platform is accessed from stairs to the starboard side of the cockpit. Completely covered in teak, it extends 58” (147.32 cm) from the transom. Our test boat had the optional hydraulically-actuated version ($33,410) to serve as a private beach. Additionally, it can launch a RIB (Williams MiniJet 280 - $38,760) or PWC as it has a lift capacity of 770 lbs. (349.27 kg). At the stairs to starboard, there are two 50-amp shore power connections with the cords managed by a Glendinning cable master retrieval system.
At the transom, a cover lifts to expose an electric grill and sink. The cover is held open with gas support struts to both sides. Beverage holders are alongside the sink to the left. Below, is a large hatch over the trunk storage. This area can also be accessed from the cockpit seating, but this access point is clearly more advantageous and provides more accessibility.
Because this area is so roomy, it can also be optioned out as a crew cabin ($8,710). That being the case, the access from the cockpit seating will serve as the only entrance.
The flying bridge is accessed from a spiral staircase at the aft deck. This is actually a clever arrangement that keeps the steps at a comfortable angle while taking up less space in the aft deck.
The entertainment continues in the flying bridge with a forward L-shaped seat to starboard providing the same vantage point as the captain to port. Just abaft is comfortable lounging for eight, starting in a U-shaped sofa wrapping around a solid teak expandable table on a pair of fixed pedestals. With the table leaves folded, padded grab handles and beverage holders are exposed. With the table opened up, these serve as supports for the leaves. Across to port is a full-length sofa that extends back to the aft deck. Overhead, choose from a graphite Bimini ($9,870) or a hardtop ($39,080), 6’8" (2.03 m) off the deck, with an electrically-actuated sunroof. Further aft is a small galley unit with an optional electric grill ($2,620), sink, an icemaker and storage.
There are 9” (22.86 cm) steps to both sides of the cockpit, leading to the side decks. Being a symmetrical layout, both sides have an average width of 16” (40.64 cm). Rails top out at 20” (50.80 cm) and another rail running the length of the cabin sides ensure a safe transition to the bow. At midships, there’s a 10” (25.40 cm) cleat with chafing gear to the outboard side and a courtesy light inboard.
There are two optional sun pads ($7,540) atop the trunk cabin flanking skylights to the VIP stateroom below. Each measures 90” (228.60 cm) x 37” (93.98 cm). Both sun pads have upper sections that can be lifted into chaise lounge position.
Fully forward, at the working end of the bow, the rails top out at 30” (76.20 cm) and a split-rail design accommodates bow in boarding. A teak step/seat is between the two rail sections. To both sides of the bow, there are 10” (25.40 cm) cleats with chafing gear just outboard.
The ground tackle consists of a Lewmar windlass handling 90’ (27.43 m) of chain and 150’ (45.72 m) of rope. An anchor roller is recessed into the toe rail and supports a Delta Plow anchor. Two hatches flank the windlass. To the starboard side is access to the rode locker, with a small rail for hanging dock lines. To port is fender storage, another rail for hanging line, as well as the remote for the windlass. To the aft section, there’s a quick connect for a raw water washdown.
Moving to the Interior
We access the interior by opening up the double glass doors to a full 4’5” (1.35 m). Inside, there’s an average headroom of 6’5” (1.96 m). The interior is consistent with plenty of open space and a stunning amount of natural light. Huge windows that measure 215 square feet (20 square meters) surround the salon. This, combined with the high headroom, enhances the roomy feel.
The galley is immediately to starboard, keeping it between the two main social zones on the main deck. It features plenty of open Corian counter space. It does include beveled edges, but we'd still like to see the corners be rounded. There's a recessed stainless-steel sink with a pull-out sprayer above. A 3-burner electric stove is just alongside, and we’d like to see a powered vent under the cabinet above. Speaking of cabinets, there's no shortage of storage both above and below. There’s also a convection microwave. An optional dishwasher ($1,870) can be added as well.
The transition to the salon is via two 5” (12.70 cm) steps. This gathering area consists of L-shaped seating to the port. There are storage compartments just behind the sofa, and a corner seat is just ahead. All of this wraps around a table on two fixed pedestals. Rails to each side will support the leaves as they are opened. There are opening windows to both sides of the salon. For decking, the standard is laminated brown oak. Optional choices are synthetic or natural teak and of course, carpeting ($2,600). Our test boat was finished in optional brushed oak Alpi wood. Standard is Walnut Oak finish.
To the opposite side is a loveseat. A 40” (101.60 cm) TV is on an electric lift just behind. All of this is surrounded in glass for outstanding visibility, certainly adding to the open feel of the room.
In keeping with the tradition of having an open atrium style entry to the lower decks, the MC52 maintains that popular feature and even expands on it. Now, stairs lead to an elevated platform that branches off into two directions, aft leading to the master and forward leading to the VIP and guest staterooms. It’s an elegant solution and a vast improvement over previous designs.
The master stateroom is just aft and as expected, it’s full beam. Natural light pours in from hull side windows to both sides, and both include opening ports that add ventilation to the mix. In the center of the stateroom is the island berth measuring 76” (193.04 cm) x 68” (172.72 cm). The headboard is upholstered. The overhead has a variable geometry to accommodate the main salon above. Average ceiling height is 6’2” (1.88 m), leaving 3’2” (.97 m) over the berth.
There’s certainly no shortage of storage to be found here. To port, there’s a cabinet under the hull side window. To starboard, there’s additional storage, along with a vanity/desk. And, there is still more under the berth in drawers. Just behind and to starboard is a large walk-in closet, and it has hanging space and shelf space.
The entry to the master ensuite is to port. It’s a fully-featured head with a hull side window and mirrors to both the aft bulkhead and concealing storage over the sink, which is mounted atop a Corian counter. More storage is below. The toilet is electric-flush. The shower is enclosed behind glass doors.
The VIP is located fully forward, and the stateroom is laid out in the typical fashion of an island berth accessible from steps to both sides. If the occupants aren’t necessarily a couple, then the berth can be divided in two, scissor fashion. Natural light streams in from hull side windows and an overhead skylight. We’re happy to see the space above the windows utilized for storage, where other builders simply let this space go untouched. The high overhead theme throughout the yacht continues here with an average height of 6’4” (1.93 m), leaving 3’6” (1.07 m) over the berth. The overhead is upholstered in Alcantara Suede.
At the aft end of the stateroom, there are two hanging lockers. A 24” (60.96 cm) TV is mounted to the starboard side of the entry. To the port side is a private entrance to the ensuite.
This head is a vast improvement over the MC52’s predecessors that were fitted with a wet head. This one includes a private enclosed shower in addition to the usual cast of features, such as Corian counter, a vessel sink and an electric-flush toilet. There’s also a separate entrance to the companionway, allowing this to serve double duty as a day head and servicing the guest stateroom just across.
The guest stateroom is just to starboard and features double berths, separated by 7” (17.78 cm). Average headroom goes from 6’5” (1.96 m) to 6’9“ (2.06 m) as we step down between the berths. There are two hull side windows, one with an opening port, and storage is above. A hanging locker is just across the entry.
One interesting facet as we tour the lower decks of the MC52 is that all the doors are gasketed, so there’s no rattling when underway. Additionally, the hardware is the latest design that keeps the latch retracted so as to not catch on the errant sweater or piece of clothing. As the door is closed, a magnet draws the latch out and the door remains shut. All the Alpi wood has a brushed oak finish.
Any discussion of this yacht’s operations really should start with a word about Ship Control. This is a web interface that simplifies the operation of the boat’s functions, from lighting to climate control, navigation to electrical sources.
It’s displayed on the Nav screens at both helms. There’s also a tablet/smartphone interface, so literally everyone onboard can take part on the control of the systems.
The flying bridge helm is port-side mounted. The panel consists of dual 12” (30.48 cm) displays that are linked to both engines and the closed-circuit cameras placed throughout the boat. Additionally, the screens are interfaced with the vessel’s electrical system. In this manner, all switching onboard can be controlled from these screens via Beneteau’s proprietary Ship Control interface. Even though the engines interface with the main screens, there are still three dedicated displays in the center of the panel. A compass is above and directly in line with the steering wheel, which is mounted to a tilt base. To the right is the bow thruster joystick, the IPS joystick and the digital engine controls.
There is a single seat at the helm for the operator. It’s a bucket-style with the open lumbar area providing ventilation. The sides are raised, providing a more secure feel to the seat. A flip bolster allows an elevated vantage point.
The lower helm is uncluttered and efficient thanks to the integration of the two 16” (40.64 cm) displays that eliminates the need for gauges. All electrical switches are grouped together. The Volvo Penta displays are just above the helm, which is on a tilt base. The compass seems to be added as an afterthought as it is way forward by the base of the windshield and not really visible. An opening window is just alongside. Visibility is through two 54” (137.16 cm) x 56” (142.24 cm) windshields separated by a narrow mullion. Defog vents are fitted across the bottom of the windshield’s full length.
To the right of the helm are the digital engine controls, the IPS joystick, and the remote control for the forward displays. This remote is usually found right alongside the displays with other builders. Here, it is correctly placed so that it can be used from the seated position. Right alongside is an opening window.
Another operating station is at the aft deck and to starboard. This location provides a full view of both the stern and starboard side of the 52. It includes the engine start/stops, the bow thruster control and the IPS joystick.
Additional controls are here for the hydraulic swim platform, the extendable cockpit awning and stern lighting switches.
The engine room is accessed from a hatch in the aft deck that is held open by gas support struts. Inside, roominess is the key word. The focal point is the twin 480-hp IPS 650 engines ($10,100), an upgrade from the standard 435-hp IPS 600s. To the port hand side is the black water tank. Just above that is the isolation transformer turning 240 Volts into 110-V. Forward are the two fuel tanks. In between the two is the 11.5 kW generator. On the starboard side, the two units that occupy the air chiller system are easily accessed. Just below is the battery system. An optional SeaKeeper gyro stabilizer ($94,270) can also be added.
Most notable is how everything is so easily accessed, such as all of the pumps, all of the filters… and even the checkpoints are right in the middle of the two engines. It’s also worth mentioning how clean the wire runs are and how everything is appropriately double-clamped.
With the pair of 480-hp IPS 650s run up to 3600 RPM, we reached our top speed of 26 knots. Now this was in 1-2 foot seas holding us back, so not ideal conditions for a test. In fact, when Beneteau tested this same boat on the flat, they reached 28.7 knots and achieved 3830 RPM. That said, when we throttled back to 2800 RPM, we measured a best economic cruise of 16.4 knots. It was at that speed that the 24.4 GPH fuel burn translated into .7 NMPG and a range of 209 NM. All, of course, while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 344-gallon (1,300 L) total fuel capacity.
She accelerates at a nearly level attitude and reaches planing speed in an average 6.7 seconds. Keeping the throttle pinned will see her passing 20 mph in 16.5 seconds. She has a natural 5-degree bow high attitude, and her 15-degree V-hull and narrow entry seems to cut though the chop quite well with absolutely no pounding or hull slap. A generous flare to the bow keeps spray low and wide for a dry ride.
As we came back to the marina, I went back on the joystick for maneuvering down the fairway. In front of the dock, I went down to the cockpit station, rotated stern to and headed in. It’s here where I really put the joystick through its paces and to no one’s surprise, it was dialed in perfectly, allowing exacting precision, even with a crosswind and cross current. It’s just an easy and forgiving boat to operate in close quarters.
Options and Pricing
The Monte Carlo 52 has a base price of $1,075,700. A trim level package that includes a flybridge searchlight, underwater lights, Zipwake automatic trim tabs, an aft camera, Garmin Fantom Radar, AIS and a flybridge refrigerator will add $18,740.
This latest generation of the Monte Carlo series is a harbinger of things to come. She’s a completely new design and an exciting one. With so many improvements over her predecessors, it’s easy to see that this will be the start of big things for Beneteau.