Monte Carlo 47 Fly
Dag Pike takes the Monte Carlo 47 Fly out for a spin, and finds a boat that does well in lively seas and offers plenty of comfort for the family
As one of the largest yacht builders in Europe, French builder Beneteau tries to cover every requirement in power boats up to 50 feet in length. Their Monte Carlo range is aimed at the sports boat sector, but for the first time, they have added a flybridge cruiser to this sports range. The 47 Fly is based on the same hull as the standard 47, but the hardtop has been modified to incorporate a flybridge. The result is a fine cruising yacht that offers a lot of boat for the money.
However, you do get the feeling with this yacht that maybe the designers have tried to incorporate too much into the one design. By using the Volvo Penta IPS propulsion, there is a great deal of space left in the hull for the accommodation and for a 47-footer to have three double cabins including a larger full-width master is quite an achievement.
But, in order to get sufficient headroom in the cabins within the hull, they have had to raise the deck line, so that the height of the boat looks out of proportion to the length, and in profile the boat looks a bit truncated, with a sharply cut-off stern. This is accentuated by the narrow swim platform, creating a transom that drops almost vertically down to the waterline.
The designers have tried to improve the look by adding contrasting style stripes to the side of the hull but it has to be said that this is not the sleekest of flybridge cruisers. However if you can ignore this aspect of this new design it offers represents a very big 47 footer with excellent facilities.
Apart from the deep topsides, the 47 Fly is based on a conventional deep-V hull matched to a steeply raking bow. The chine is quite pronounced and it keeps low at the bow, but the overall effect is a hull that cuts smoothly through the waves to give an impressive ride. Combine this with the impressive manoeuvring characteristics offered by the IPS drives, and you have a cruiser that performs well and which does everything you ask of it.
The IPS units are tucked right into the stern, and while the basic installation looks sound, I would not like to be the person who has to service them. With a garage for the tender squeezed in above the engines the space to move around in the engine compartment is severely limited and this is definitely a hands and knees job, and not for those of larger stature.
When the garage opens part of the cockpit including the settee and table also lift. The cockpit is quite compact, having room for this settee and table and little else, although a small barbecue bar has been built in under the curving flybridge stairs. A good feature is the dedicated locker for the liferaft, and there is a stowage for fenders and ropes built into the transom steps.
Up on the flybridge there is more open seating aft close under the very low arch mast. Here, a settee surrounds a dining table and then there are two seats at the helm with a single angled single sun bed off on their right hand side. It is an inviting looking flybridge, perfect for those sunny days at sea. Even though the radar antenna on the arch mast is mounted on struts the radar beam could still be blocked by people standing at the helm, which could be a problem in fog.
In the saloon below a table and settee are offset to port and mounted on a platform to gain more headroom in the cabin below. The settee faces a rising TV that is surrounded by lockers forming a sort of bar counter. The helm is on the starboard side with a two-seater bench seat with a fold up squab so you can sit or stand when steering. The layout of the dash does not present a great deal of logic with the central navigation screen surrounded by a display of round analogue engine gauges and switches.
The throttles are placed too low for easy use and these Volvo units do not have enough resistance so that it is not easy to get the precise setting that you may require. In contrast the adjustable angle steering wheel is great and very comfortable to use. The visibility forward from the helm is good but the side curving windscreen supports do block out a considerable part of the horizon.