The Monachus Issa 45 is a downeast-style boat with bottom design origins in the UK, exterior styling from Italy and she’s built in a yard in Croatia. Each Monachus model is manufactured to the customer’s specifications and the company says no two boats are the same.
- One, two or three cabin belowdecks available
- Bow and stern thrusters
- Large salon skylight
- Spacious cockpit
- Foredeck lounge
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||14.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||22.3 sec.|
|Ratio||22P x 27D|
|Props||Michigan Wheel - Bronze|
|Load||2 persons, full fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||88 deg., 70 humid; wind: 8-10 mph; seas: 2 ft|
2 x 440-hp Yanmar
2 x 370-hp diesel engine
Captain’s Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher
Monachus is a Croatian builder manufacturing custom boats. The Issa 45’s mission is cruising. She rides on a classic downeast-style bottom, but has a contemporary look above decks with Italian-inspired lines and a sleek wraparound windshield. She can be built with one, two or three cabins.
The Stern. The easiest way to board the Issa 45 is from the stern. The full-beam swim platform extends aft 2’11” (.89 m) from the transom. A centrally positioned gangway or passarelle can facilitate the process and the folks from Monachus said it can also be used as a diving board. When extended, it has a rope handrail for secure passage and it can be raised and lowered hydraulically. A remote control for the gangway is an available option. There are 14” (35.56 cm) cleats with chocks in each aft corner and to starboard is a passageway to the cockpit. The stainless steel gate features an image of a sea lion because Monachus is the Latin term for the mammal.
The Bow. Side decks have full height rails for safe passage to the Issa 45’s bow. The sun pad on the foredeck is 6’3” (1.91 m) long and 69” (1.75 m) wide and is fixed. The bowrails are 3’1” (.94 m) tall and we measured bow freeboard at 5’4” (1.63 m). As in the stern, the bow cleats are 14” long and our test boat had a Lewmar windlass with a stainless steel anchor that passes through the stem. Lockers on each side offer access to the rode and there’s space for fenders as well.
The Cockpit. It’s an easy trip on the side decks back to the Issa 45’s cockpit, which measures 10’5” wide by 8’1” fore to aft (3.18 m x 2.46 m). The decking is all teak as are the caprails. The stern lounge is 5’10” (1.78 m) long and 15” (38 cm) fore to aft with a backrest that’s 7 ½” tall (19.05 cm). There are two lockers beneath the bottom cushions. Other than the aft lounge, the cockpit has no other fixed furniture, but our test boat had a removable teak table and chairs. Overhead, a removable awning extends off the aft end of the pilothouse with speakers and lights mounted to the short fiberglass hardtop.
Engine/Mechanical Access. Remove the table in the cockpit and three hatches open to provide access to the twin 440-hp Yanmar diesels. The center hatch opens toward the salon on a gas strut while the outside hatches open outboard and stay up on struts as well. Under the center section, we deployed a retractable ladder to descend into the compartment. There’s decent space between the engines that have remote start-stop switches mounted forward on brackets on the inboard side. Our test boat had a 13 kW Quick gyroscopic stabilizer aft in the center with the strainers for the engines just ahead. Fuel-water separators and a manifold system are all easy to service on the forward bulkhead. The battery charging system is to port with the water heater to starboard. The Issa 45 is equipped with a VTE generator and Webasto air conditioning.
The Salon. Just ahead of the closed engine hatches, a stainless-steel-framed sliding glass door opens a 3’4” by 6’3” (1.01 m x 1.91 m) tall opening for entering the Issa 45’s salon. To comply with CE standards there’s a 6” (15.24 cm) step from the cockpit up to the salon. Inside, there’s 6’6” (1.98 m) of headroom. To port is a sofa-style lounge that wraps around a fixed table that has folding leaves and a removable center box. An ice drawer is integrated into the seat base. Across to starboard is a flatscreen TV with storage below. The control panels for the Webasto AC and lighting, plus 110-volt outlets and USB ports and Fusion stereo head are alongside. Air vents, speakers, and overhead lights are dispersed throughout the salon.
The Helm. Forward of the salon to starboard, the helm has a single captain’s chair with foldup bolster and a footrest forward. To port is a double-wide companion seat with storage in the base and the main electrical distribution panel is in the port inwale. Headroom at the helm station beneath the extra-large skylight is 6’ (1.88 m). Captains will most likely drive the Issa 45 from a seated position and on the vertical section in the center is a 15” (38.1 cm) Garmin multifunction display. Accessory switches are just below with Yanmar engine displays on each side. Almost rare on a boat these days, the Issa 45’s dash has analog water, fuel and waste gauges. On the port side of the vertical panel are the Lewmar windlass control and just below alongside the steering wheel is the joystick for the Lewmar thrusters. To starboard, the shift-throttle controls are in the expected place and just ahead are the auto pilot and trim tab buttons with built-in position indicators. Farther outboard to starboard is a bracket-mounted VHF radio.
The Galley. Stairs outboard of the helm lead belowdecks to the Issa 45’s galley, which is to starboard and has a 6’9” by 2’2” (2.06 m x .66m) countertop. For cooking, there’s a two-burner stove recessed into the counter with a microwave below in the base. The galley has a variety of lockers and drawers for storage and on the aft end leading into the companionway to the cabins, there’s a refrigerator and a freezer. Additionally, the stairs from the salon are hinged and lift up to access more storage.
Guest Cabin. Working our way aft, to port, our test boat had a cabin with two berths. The outboard berth was 6’9” long and 2’6” wide (2.06 m x .76 m), while the inboard one was about 2” (5.1 cm) shorter and 6” (15.24 cm) narrower. Headroom in this cabin is 6’5” (1.95 m). There are reading lights for each berth with a nightstand between them. Storage is provided in a locker at the foot of the outboard berth and just above is a non-opening port with dimensions of 21-12” x 3 ½” (54.61 cm x 8.89 cm).
The Day Head. Accessible from a forward door in the guest cabin, the day head has 6’1” (1.85 m) of headroom a sink, hardwood countertops, and an electric toilet. There’s shelving above and an opening port.
Master Stateroom. Moving forward, we enter the master stateroom, which has an island berth on the centerline that measures 6’5” by 5’2” (1.96 m x 1.58 m). Overall headroom is 6’1” (1.85 m) and space above the berth is 3’3” (.99 m). There are two steps on each side at the foot of the berth that make it easier to step and get into bed. Windows on each side provide natural light and overhead there’s a deck hatch with three screens that allow full sunlight, partial and full shading. For storage, there are lockers on each side and a drawer pulls out of the berth base.
Ensuite Head. A door to starboard in the master stateroom provides entry to the ensuite head. An opaque glass door divides the sink/vanity area from the shower and the toilet. There’s an opening port above storage shelving plus a locker in the base of the cabinet. In the shower, the mosaic tile pattern adds a touch of class and the opening port window helps rid the area of steam.
The Numbers. The Monachus Issa 45 has an overall length of 45’4” (13.82 m), a beam of 13’8” (4.17 m), and a draft of 3’9” (1.14 m). Our test boat was powered by twin 440-hp Yanmar diesel inboards. With two people, 350 gallons (1,325 L) of fuel and test equipment on board, we had an approximate test weight of 23,751 lbs. (10,773 kg).
Speed and Range. With 10 mph winds and slightly choppy conditions, we reached a top speed of 31.3 mph at 3180 rpm. Best cruise came at 2800 rpm and 26.4 mph where we burned 27.0 gph, which translates to 1.0 mpg and a range of 162 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s fuel capacity in reserve. At an idle of 600 rpm, she ran 5.2 mph and burns .6 gph, which gives her a range of 1,429 statute miles and at 1000 rpm, the speed was 7.5 mph. In acceleration tests, the Issa 45 planed in 14.7 seconds. She ran through 20 mph in 17.7 seconds and through 30 mph in 22.3.
In maneuverability tests, the Issa 45 handled admirably and felt smooth crossing our camera boat’s wakes. She carved through arcing turns cleanly and comfortably made hard-over turns at wide open throttle. Turning from hull hard over in one direction to the other took eight rotations of the steering wheel. Visibility from the helm was good through the tinted wraparound windshield that was made in sections, but has no mullions to obstruct the captain’s view. Monachus tells us that the same company that makes windshields for Bugatti makes them for the boat manufacturer. When it came time to pull back into the slip, the Lewmar thruster joystick made it easy to pull into the tightest confines.
Base Retail Price
$789,000 with twin 440-hp Yanmar diesel engines.
Monachus says the Issa 45 is already popular in Europe, especially in Italy where she has plenty of competition from builders like Mocchi Craft. She has Euro-style lines and takes an attractive stance on the water.
Because Monachus builds the boat to order and the fact that she has three plan options belowdecks will make the boat popular for a customer who likes to be involved in the build. The custom approach and the fact that the boat is built in Croatia would indicate that a potential buyer should expect some logistical challenges and a decent wait time to take delivery.
The Issa 45 will also garner interest from an owner who likes to single-hand or a couple that likes to cruise on its own thanks to her ease of handling around the docks and her overall compact size.