Home BOAT TESTS Beneteau Monte Carlo 52 Preview
Beneteau Monte Carlo 52 Preview

Beneteau Monte Carlo 52 Preview

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  • All told, the MC52’s interior looks set to be a big improvement on the outgoing MC5’s.
  • What remains to be seen is exactly what quality of standards Beneteau will set for their new boat.
  • All told, the MC52’s interior looks set to be a big improvement on the outgoing MC5’s.

Beneteau’s replacement for the outgoing MC5 is the new Monte Carlo 52. Dave Marsh draws comparisons …

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to have been Beneteau’s rather British maxim when the giant French boatbuilders came to design the replacement for the outgoing Monte Carlo 5. Beneteau assembled the same design team of Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard to conjure the exterior, while Andreani Design again got the job of crafting the interior accommodation. MICAD were employed to handle the naval architecture.

Inside, although the sheer scale of the interior has changed (it’s far, far roomier), the practical galley-aft layout in the saloon remains, ideally placed to handle the needs of guests either inside, outside in the cockpit or up on the flybridge. Down below, the Andreani Design team have engineered a significant change, shifting the owner’s en suite heads and shower compartment right aft. Along with a walk-in wardrobe, this threesome now run behind the owner’s cabin across the whole beam of the boat, providing a highly effective sound barrier for the generator and aircon combo that might be running overnight in more fiery climates. This feature is a nifty big-boat detail that you wouldn’t normally expect in this size of craft. There’s a crew cabin option, which looks more generously sized than the MC5’s, and the third cabin now has side-by-side twin berths (not bunk beds), with the MC52’s extra beam clearly helping in both cases. Plus, the forward berths are now in more versatile scissor-action form. All told, the MC52’s interior looks set to be a big improvement on the outgoing MC5’s.

As for the MC52’s anticipated speed, Beneteau’s website doesn’t list any figures. However, this is an awfully big boat to push along with the standard-issue engines ‒ a pair of 435hp Volvo IPS600s. It’s 16.33m (53ft 7in) long overall and a whole foot wider than its 4ft shorter MC5 predecessor, which another UK magazine clocked at 28.2 knots with identical IPS600s. So we would provisionally estimate a top speed of no more than 27 knots for a lightly loaded boat, with a reduction for end-of-season fouling. Don’t expect the MC52 to be a speedster.

Subjectively, I’m going to miss Nuvolari and Lenard’s innovative styling on the outgoing MC5, which set itself apart from the herd with its upright bow and conspicuous circular topside port – the gigantic saloon windows and the great swathe of glass that cuts through the topsides of the new MC52 are more conformist. What is not subjective is the knowledge that those huge windows will provide an astonishing view out from the saloon.

What remains to be seen is exactly what quality of standards Beneteau will set for their new boat. The press release talks of inheriting the MC range’s genetic make-up, yet it also mentions that the MC52 will be introducing the ‘Smart Luxury’ generation of high-end cruisers by Beneteau. So whatever ‘Smart Luxury’ means, the very fact that it’s being formally introduced clearly suggests change. What I remember most about the MC5 was the way it felt ‒ everything I touched, from the luxurious leather door handles to the finely crafted joinery to the high-quality stainless steel handrails on the flybridge, felt just that bit classier than most of its rivals. If Beneteau can maintain that feel and that class, and combine those attributes with the advantages the MC52 so clearly has over its MC5 sibling, the French company will be on to a winner.


Specifications

  • Length overall: 16.33m (53ft 7in)
  • Hull length: 14.32m (47ft 0in)
  • Beam: 4.62m (15ft 2in)
  • Fuel capacity: 1300 litres (286 imp gal)
  • Water capacity: 400 litres (88 imp gal)
  • Draught: 1.20m (3ft 11in)
  • Air draught: 7.22m (23ft 8in) (inc T-top)
  • RCD category: B (for 12 people)
  • Displacement: 15 tonnes (empty)
  • Engines: Twin 453hp Volvo IPS600
  • Max. speed: 27 knots (PBR estimate)
  • Cabins: 3 + crew

Contact

www.beneteau.com

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