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Monachus Yachts Issa 45 (2020-)

w/ 2 x 440-hp Yanmar

Brief Summary

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.

Key Features

  • One, two or three cabin belowdecks available
  • Bow and stern thrusters
  • Large salon skylight
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Foredeck lounge

Test Results

600 5.2 4.5 0.6 8.6 7.5 1429 1242.2 68
1000 7.5 6.5 2.1 3.5 3.1 590 513.4 71
1250 8.9 7.7 3.8 2.3 2 388 337 72
1500 10.5 9.1 6.8 1.5 1.3 257 223.5 73
1750 12.2 10.6 10.1 1.2 1 200 174.1 74
2000 14.1 12.2 14.6 1 0.8 160 139.3 75
2200 16.7 14.5 18.2 0.9 0.8 152 132.4 76
2400 19.4 16.9 20.8 0.9 0.8 155 135 76
2600 22.4 19.4 25.7 0.9 0.8 145 125.9 78
2800 26.4 22.9 27 1 0.8 162 141.2 81
3000 28.5 24.7 33.4 0.9 0.7 142 123.3 84
3180 31.3 27.2 41.1 0.8 0.7 127 110 86


Length Overall 45’ 4”
13.82 m
Beam 13’ 8”
4.17 m
Dry Weight 21,164 lbs.
9,600 kg
Tested Weight 23,751 lbs.
10,773 kg
Draft 3’ 9”
1.14 m
Fuel Capacity 184.92 gal.
700 L
Water Capacity 132.09 gal.
500 L
Total Weight 23,751 lbs.
10,773 kg


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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

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 440-hp Yanmar
Std. Power 2 x 370-hp diesel engine

Captain's Report

Captain’s Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher


The Monachus Issa 45 rides on a traditional downeast hull bottom, but her top decks have a thoroughly modern design that make her look like a small expedition yacht.

Mission Statement

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.

Features Inspection

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.


A white rubrail wraps around the swim platform to help prevent damage when pulling into a slip or alongside a dock.


The gangway or passarelle can be extended to make it easier to board from a dock or for mooring in the Mediterranean. Monachus tells us it can accommodate up to 500 lbs. (227 kg).


The hydraulic lines connect cleanly to a manifold on the transom and the hydraulic ram has a heavy-duty look and feel.


Stainless steel cleats and chocks in each corner of the stern are appropriately sized for the lines needed to tie off the Monachus Issa 45.


A shower in the port side of the stern passageway is properly positioned for rinsing off after a dip in the brine.


The passageway from the swim platform to the cockpit closes with a custom-made stainless steel gate.

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.

side decks

Passage to the bow is easy thanks to side decks with 6” (15.24 cm) tall bulwarks and bowrails at a comfortable height.


The bow lounge is fixed. We’d like to see adjustable headrests.

ground tackle

The rails are split to allow for boarding from the bow.


Hatches on each side of the windlass open and rest against the rails. We’d like to see them supported by struts.

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.

bench seat

The cockpit lounge has space for at least three and the backrest is removable.


Beneath the cockpit lounge cushions we found two hinged hatches to access the lockers beneath.


There are speakers and lights in the fiberglass hardtop where an awning can be installed.


When it’s time for a snack on the water or a drink at the end of the day, a teak table and two chairs can be set up quickly.

cockpit steps

Twin steps on each side of the cockpit lead to the passage to the bow.

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.


A hide-away four-step ladder makes it easy to climb down into the Issa 45’s engine compartment.

sound deadening material

Each engine hatch is lined with sound-deadening material to keep noise and vibration to a minimum.


In the unlikely event that an engine would need to come out, Monachus provides the working space to perform the task.

engine start stop

Remote engine start-stop switches are mounted forward on each Yanmar diesel.


Aft, the Quick gyroscopic stabilizer is centrally positioned and easy to get to.


The separators for the engines and generator are on the forward bulkhead and notice how the red-handled shutoff levers are positioned for quick manipulation.

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 Issa 45’s salon invites with a wraparound lounge to port and a large TV to starboard.

ice drawer

An ice drawer in the salon seat base adds valuable extra cold storage.


The table leaves fold in to make it easier for passengers to slide into the salon lounge.

salon table

When it’s opened, the table has plenty of space and notice the attention paid to the details with matching grains.


Large side windows provide plenty of natural light for the Issa 45.


Just across from the lounge, there’s a flatscreen TV and a large storage drawer below.


The controls for the salon climate, lights, and stereo are all in reach abaft the TV.

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 helm has a compact and efficient layout.

helm dash

Our test boat had a centrally positioned Garmin MFD, but we’d still like to see a compass in-line with the steering wheel.


Lewmar brings the convenience of joystick operation to an inboard-powered boat with its control that manages bow and stern thrusters.

helm bolster seat

The bottom bolster on the helm seat folds up, but it’s a tight squeeze between it and the steering wheel.


A footrest on the helm console adds to the captain’s comfort.

helm console

A double-wide seat to port lets companions keep the captain company at the helm and the seat is stitched with the same precision as the captain’s chair.

helm storage

The port seat folds forward to access a large locker in the base of the lounge.

main panel

The main distribution panel is outboard of the companion’s seat adjacent to the helm and all of the switches are clearly labeled.

sky light

The extra-large skylight on the front of the pilothouse opens to let in natural light and fresh air.



Monachus offers the Issa 45 with a single stateroom belowdecks as shown here.


Our test boat had the two-cabin layout with the master and ensuite head in the bow.

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.


The galley has plenty of counterspace for food preparation, but we’d like to see a fiddle rail on the leading edge to contain spills.


The two-burner stove and sink are positioned at the forward end of the galley to leave more space available.


Instead of having the microwave at eye level, Monachus installs it in the base of the countertop.


The galley has a variety of storage lockers, but like the counter we would like to see Monachus add a fiddle or retaining rails on the front.


The refrigerator and freezer are on the aft side of the galley which saves space but keeps it accessible.


Three stairs lead from the salon down to the galley.


The stairs are hinged and can be raised to access storage forward of them.

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).

twin beds

The outboard berth is larger than the inner and the big hullside window should create some impressive water-level views.

twin beds

There’s direct access to the day head from the guest cabin.

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.

day head

The vessel sink and glossy hardwood countertops give the guest head a touch of class.

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.

master stateroom

Steps lead up to the walkways on each side of the berth and notice the large windows in the hullside.

full sun
partial shade

In addition to providing an escape route in an emergency, the foredeck hatch has three shades to let in different levels of light.

hanging locker

Lockers on each side at the foot of the berth provide hanging storage.


A drawer in the base of the berth offers more storage and there are courtesy lights on each side at foot level.

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.

master head

The master head is also finished in varnished hardwoods, giving the area a high-end feel.


An opaque door to the shower area provides privacy.


Having the toilet in the private shower area makes the Issa 45’s accommodations a wet head.


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.


The spray rails on the downeast-style bottom did their job effectively and kept the Monachus Issa 45’s hullsides and deck dry.


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.


Crank the wheel hard over and the Monachus Issa 45 will respond with a smooth, consistent turn.

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.