Though the Beneteau Monte Carlo 5S is not a flybridge model, she still offers an upper deck to catch some rays or enjoy a meal in wrap-around seating at a high-low table. The tulip-shaped bow and round portlights deliver a distinctive retro look to the yacht, but she's fully loaded with modern engineering beneath her radiant skin.
- LED courtesy lights in gangways, steps and stern deck
- 6 persons saloon
- Cockpit uphostery PVC Diamante Snow
- Solid wood swim platform and retractable ladder with solid wood steps
- Alpi brushed Oak joinery for the interior
- Foldable table with "Stonegrey" leather panel in saloon
- Full-beam stateroom with double berth
- Sofa with 4 to 6 places, upholstery "Divine" fabric and pillows
- Electric windlass
|Length Overall||49’ 6'' / 15.1 m|
Currently no test numbers
2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
Contents of Report
The Monte Carlo Line
The line is a collaboration which draws on the nautical and industrial know-how of Groupe Beneteau and the styling expertise of Nuvolari & Lenard, who lend their unique talent to the exterior styling as well as the whole interior layout, in addition to the designer Pierangelo Andreani who also worked on the layout and interiors.
French Naval Architecture.
The collaboration between the Italian stylists and the French naval architects, Tanguy Le Bihan and Patrick Tableau, gives the new Beneteau Monte Carlo 5S her distinctive look and utility. This is one of the secrets of the group's success in the powerboat field -- its ability to mold the exciting, romantic visions of Italian visionaries with practical and experienced French naval architecture.
Form And Function.
The designers have carefully gone over every square inch of the Monte Carlo 5S to make sure that function, utility and practicality have not been sacrificed on the alter of trendy style or simple bella figura (a beautiful display, often without substance.) As expected from the Groupe Beneteau, performance and practicality are paramount.
Construction and Materials
Building a motoryacht with the level of materials, equipment, hardware and amenities planned for the Monte Carlo 5S can most efficiently be done at a factory, not a traditional yacht yard used for building only a dozen or so boats a year. A second secret of the group's success is keeping pricing reasonable, and that can be best done in its factories.
Modern Methods Pay Off.
The builder has refined the art of production building, eliminating hundreds of man-hours in antiquated boat building practices and replacing them with smart engineering, robots and modern industrial systems. The hull and superstructure are built to Beneteau Group's scantlings and we are told that some proprietary systems from the Trieste Monte Carlo Yachts' yard will also be integrated into the Monte Carlo 5S.
A good example of the mixing of these two cultures is the wood treatment being used aboard. Interior joinery is made of brushed oak, the standard galley deck is teak slatted, manufactured by Alpi the supplier used in nearly all of the group's models. The aft deck is "slatted" teak, which means a "teak-and-holly" type treatment that is in traditional yacht DNA. Head compartments have teak soles and stair treads are also teak.
Another example of the builder's attention to detail is the use of "Divine" fabric in upholstery and padded bed headboards of Majilite, with the top of furniture upholstered with "Stonegrey" leather. Every material has been carefully selected to play a role in creating a luxurious feel and look in the boat.
When we got on the boat we were surprised to find a level of fit-and-finish and attention to construction. All joints were straight and tight. Fabric and leather stitching was flawless. Drawers, doors, windows and hatches were all solid, true and closed with exactitude and tight tolerances. To pull it off requires remarkable engineering, management, and an esprit de corps on the shop floor that is hard to find anywhere these days.
A New Design Direction
By discarding the flowing lines and stylistic affectations of most contemporary Euro designs imprinted on express cruisers, sedans, motoryachts and even in some convertibles built these days all over the world, the Beneteau Group might well be pointing the direction to a new look in boating -- or, at least providing an alternative look.
Her freeboard is high which not only maximizes headroom below from 6'1" (1.85 m) to 6'6" (1.98 m), but also means she can easily handle larger waves without drenching the windshield at cruising speeds. Her deck line is horizontal and there is no swooping sheer sweeping down to the swim platform. No, the Monte Carlo 5S is more like one’s grandfather's motorboat or commuter. Her round portlights and deck rails at proper height only add to the retro look.
Perhaps most importantly, her window treatment is sensible and unaffected by styling flourishes such as two horizontal rows of windows with a swirl of fiberglass in between. Her windshield is one huge piece of glass with no mullion on the centerline. And the helmsperson can stand at the wheel and see out thanks to 6'6" (1.95 m) of headroom. Visibility is the watchword for both the captain at the helm and for guests looking out.
Deck with a View
While it would have been an easy matter to simply “lop” off the flying bridge of the MC5 and go with a simple hardtop, Beneteau took a different route altogether. With the Monte Carlo 5S, there is still the ability to enjoy the upper deck by catching rays, or even enjoying a meal with wraparound seating surrounding the hi-low pedestal table.
We think this makes an excellent use of space that would otherwise be wasted, and certainly adds to the allure of the Monte Carlo 5S as a cruising and entertaining platform.
Not Completely Swept Away.
Of course, the builder has not tossed modern styling completely to the wind. The lines of her coach roof are like those of the big Monte Carlo Yachts. The bulwarks of the flying bridge are low, Italian-style, although the dark plexy wind deflector is a bit higher than normal on this size boat and it is made more substantial with a stainless steel frame.
There are other vestiges of contemporary Euro styling, too: the windshield is swept back at a low angle. The deck of the flying bridge sweeps aft like many other boats we're used to seeing, but the saving grace here is that it extends out to the transom which means the aft deck can be buttoned up with polycarbonate windows should an owner want three-season boating.
Cruising boats need a place to carry a dinghy for going ashore and the builder hasn't forgotten about this important subject. While the Monte Carlo 5S is primarily intended for traveling between marinas, a tender can easily be fitted on her large hydraulic swim platform. FYI -- Beneteau provides a customized tender that matches the Monte Carlo 5S in hull color and upholstery treatments.
In this case, either a swim platform extension will be necessary, or the use of a Weaver-type hinged device attached to the standard platform.
The "Miracle" Below
The Monte Carlo 5S has three staterooms below, plus optional crew quarters in the stern, 6'1" (1.85 m) of headroom in the master, and 6'5" (1.94 m) of headroom in the forward stateroom -- all of which is rare in a 43'6" (13.26 m) hull with only a 14'1" (4.29 m) beam. There is also 4'1" (1.24 m) from the mattress to the overhead in the forward cabin.
Now we can see how all of those interior designers earned their fees. How did they do it? Five things made it possible --
The Monte Carlo 5S comes standard with twin Volvo Penta IPS500 370-hp systems. (IPS600s are available as options. ) The pods allow the engines to be moved aft which opens up 60% of the hull space for accommodations. By using jack shafts the builder was able to place the engines forward of the crew quarters/lazarette in the stern and connect the engines to the pods just forward of the transom, under the crew bunk.
2. Nearly Vertical Hull Sides.
Most cruisers in this size range have a large discrepancy between the beam on deck and the beam at the waterline. Sometimes it is as much as 2' (.60 m). Such a design reduces the boat's weight and also the frontal area presented to the water, both of which make the boat easier to push. But that kind of design robs floor space from the accommodations. By having nearly vertical hull sides, the Monte Carlo 5S has as much waterline beam as some boats with a 16' (4.88 m) beam on deck.
3. Beam Carried Forward and Aft.
The Monte Carlo 5S' beam on deck is carried almost completely aft and far forward. While the forward sections are narrow at deck height they are wide which enables the boat to have bunks in the guest stateroom which are from 24" (.62 m) to 30" (.77 m) wide. Those are both decent widths in most European three-cabin boats under 55' (16.76 m).
4. Bottom Shape.
While the Monte Carlo 5S has a sharp forefoot, once above the waterline the hull is pushed out dramatically by a wide hard chine which maximizes living space in the forward cabin. The hull bottom warps from a remarkably high angle at the stem to low deadrise angle about a third of the way back from the bow. This provides a lot of lift and makes the boat go faster than she would otherwise. It also means that the cabin sole of the master can be carried far outboard. By strategically placing the stringers under the double bed in the master, the designers have been able to allow a step-down at the foot of the bed which becomes the controlling 6'1" (1.85 m) of headroom in the master.
5. Careful Placement of Salon Seating.
In the master stateroom, there are aisles beside the bed and the overhead again has 6'1" (1.85 m) of headroom.
By having two step-ups in the main deck above, one from the galley to the dinette and sofa level, and another step-up to the lower helm, the designers were able to get the headroom below required for the master stateroom in a proper yacht. At the same time they kept the exterior lines of the boat looking relatively low and sleek, something that is hard to do in a boat under 50' (15.2 m).
Where Does the Monte Carlo 5S Fit In?
One of the challenges with introducing a design as radically different as the Monte Carlo 5S is finding her niche in boat types. But the function of those traditional types has become blurred over the last five years or so because boat owners no longer feel constrained to use their boats for specific purposes intended by the builder. For example, convertibles are used now more for cruising than sportfishing, big express cruisers with accommodations below are used as day boats, and many motoryachts are used for long-range traveling instead of just being a gin palace in the ICW.
While we have not yet tested this model, we have tested her sibling, the MC5 with flying bridge, which could be used as a starting point to get a handle on the Monte Carlo 5S' performance.
With a pair of 435-hp IPS600s powering the flying bridge version, which should be both heavier and have a bit more windage, we reached a top speed of 30 knots at 3600 rpm. At that speed we were burning a total of 42.5 gph for a range of 250 miles. Best cruise came in at 3250 rpm and 25.7 knots. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 31.5 gph which translated to a range of 291 miles.
We reached planing speed in 5.8 seconds and accelerated to 20 mph in 7.2 seconds.
We would expect top speed, best cruise, fuel efficiency and time to plane numbers to all be slightly better on the Monte Carlo 5S model.
Rated for Offshore Work.
The Monte Carlo 5S carries an EC "B" rating for 14 people, which means the boat is designed for use with up to 14 people aboard offshore in conditions up to, and including, wind force 8. That is a "fresh gale" with winds to 40 knots and seas running 18 to 25' (5.5 m to 7.6 m). This rating places the Monte Carlo 5S in some very good company and essentially means that she can be used in most any condition short of a strong storm.
We can see the Monte Carlo 5S being used as a day boat for entertaining. Indeed, her aft deck with table that seats six presents an ample venue for cocktail parties and dinners. And then there is the salon with its U-shaped seating and sofa to starboard -- and electrically actuated flatscreen TV.
Her twin sun pads
forward with chaise lounge-type back rests provide for sun worshipers. At rest, of course the swim platform can be used for laying out as well as the dinette seating on the upper deck.
With the galley
situated between the salon and the aft deck, delivering lunch or snacks is handy either to the dinette forward or the table on the aft deck. While the galley is too small to be for followers of Julia Child, it is large enough and properly equipped for preparing lunch and finger food.
With three staterooms and two heads the Monte Carlo 5S can comfortably accommodate six people for cruising. The optional crew cabin in the stern means that a captain, mate, cook or nanny can be brought along to make the adventure even more comfortable.
While the Monte Carlo 5S is not built as a long range cruiser, the fact is that with her bow and her relatively flat sections aft she provides comfort and stability. We think she would make a fine extended cruising boat, limited only by her quite modest 344 gallon (1,300 L) fuel capacity, which in many ways defines this vessel.
What all of this means is the Monte Carlo 5S has versatility and can be used like a conventional sedan, a Downeast picnic boat, a coastal trawler, a motoryacht, or with her large hydraulic swim platform, a staging platform for scuba diving. She can be used for entertaining family, friends and clients, or for accommodating six people on short or long cruises.
For a Discerning Boater Only
We happen to think that with the Monte Carlo 5S what is important is not what function she might be used for, but rather what type of boater the owner is. We think the Monte Carlo 5S will catch the fancy of people who are secure in their boating experience and have over the years developed a sophisticated nautical eye. These are the boaters who will appreciate the retro aspects of the boat's styling and will understand the benefits of a hull with a high freeboard, horizontal side decks, high deck rails, and superstructure that is simple with a minimum of design clutter.
These people will appreciate her modern interior with woods, upholstery and bulkhead coverings in light, harmonious, tasteful tones that are understated. Boaters who want to get away from fiberglass interiors, but were afraid they couldn't afford it will be pleased to see the luxurious décor materials and interior joinery of the Monte Carlo 5S.
Given the IPS propulsion with joystick, the quantity of joinery work and its fit-and-finish, the quality and taste levels of the fabrics, upholstery and leathers used, the copious use of polished stainless steel all over the boat, the three staterooms below, and the sunning/entertaining venue on the coach roof -- the Beneteau Monte Carlo 5S seems to us to be a lot of boat for the money. In fact, we can think of many express cruisers, sedans, Downeast cruisers, trawlers, and other types of boats that don't offer as much utility and cost more.