A hybrid yacht that fulfills many needs
In the heady heyday of the yachting biz several years ago, many yacht companies built yachts on spec — at the builder’s expense sans a contract, in the hope of selling it quickly and enticing future sales. Nowadays, that is rarely the case for larger vessels. Spec money from the banks has all but dried up, buyers’ appetites have changed and most yachts are only built under a signed deal. More importantly, many yachts are built with a specific purpose or need: Is it private or going to charter? Where will it cruise? How many staterooms? Crewed or not? Accommodations for toys? You get the idea.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I got on the Monte Fino 80. It’s a yacht that can fulfill most any need based on the way it’s built, without having to make some of the potentially restricting decisions up front. It’s smartly laid out, and Monte Fino accounts for all the desired features in an 80-foot flushdeck platform that’s easy to handle and fun to be on. And there’s a brand new one available; uncommon, as it was spec-built.
From a versatility standpoint, take a look at the lower accommodations. It’s a split setup: A forward staircase leads to two staterooms that can be used for guests or crew, while an amidships staircase takes you down to a foyer with access to the full-beam master and two additional guest suites. The master is well appointed with a centerline king berth with a padded headboard, a vanity, hull-side windows and a Samsung 40-inch LED HD TV. A his-and-hers bath is aft of the sleeping area, with marble flooring and individual sinks and heads joined by a frameless glass shower stall with a marble seat and a teak floor grate. Guest suites include a queen berth in the VIP, and twin bunks that can be joined together for a queen berth via a built-in slider system in the other. Each includes an en suite head.
Forward is a king suite in the forepeak and an over-under bunk room to port. Splendid-brand washer/dryer units are installed in both the crew and foyer areas, which is a great idea for when crew have to do laundry or just fluff up the linens for charters.
Simplicity with elegance plus function is the name of the game, as Monte Fino finishes the interior spaces with varnished cherry and anigre wood, maximizes storage space, offers huge stateroom cedar-lined closets and keeps it all within the boundaries of form and function, not gaudiness and over-styling.
And that is carried throughout the main level, too, adding in a sense of openness. The 80 is a full-beam yacht with no sidedecks aft of the galley, allowing for maximum space utilization in the salon/dining areas. Large side teardrop windows, a sliding-glass aft deck door and high ceilings create a relaxing environment. Comfort is found on the huge L-shaped couch and a chair on the port side with a wood coffee table. Across are two barrel chairs, making this area conducive to holding a conversation or watching a game on the 46-inch Smart TV, nestled in the aft starboard corner. There’s a U-Line refrigerator/freezer setup in the credenza just across from the sofa, so cold drinks are practically at arm’s reach. Forward of the salon is a teak dining table with seating for six — formal enough for a sumptuous dinner for charter guests and casual enough to host a board game on family night.
Another feature that allows the yacht to be a multiuse champ is the galley pass-through and door. Meal preparation for charters is usually done out of sight, then presented all at once. Simply close off the galley until mealtime, then slide the pass-through open, and serving becomes that much easier from one location as opposed to having to walk each plate around the galley. Conversely, in private operation mode, the owners may very well also be the chefs, and having the pass-through open allows them to be part of the happenings in the salon without feeling cut off. It also adds to the vastness and forward visibility when open.
Be it at home or on a yacht, the kitchen/galley becomes a regular congregation point, and that is fine on the Monte Fino 80. Gather around the large island that is the focal point for the L-shaped galley and chat with the chef. Or take your morning cup of joe to the U-shaped dinette just forward and nestled under the forward windows for a primo view of the surroundings while the morning sun splashes in or you catch the news on the Samsung 28-inch Slim LCD TV.
Monte Fino outfits the galley with top names, such as a full-sized LG side-by-side refrigerator, a GE flat four-burner cooktop and stainless steel oven, a GE microwave, a Miele dishwasher and Grohe faucets. Including the island, there’s an acre of granite countertop space for creating meals or plating dishes. A pull-out pantry, storage under the island and numerous cabinets ensure there’s a place for everything. I really like the fact that Monte Fino put a water tank–level gauge in the galley. It’s one of the places water is used the most, so why not let the chef have an eye toward the tank’s level. You can’t run the dishwasher when the tank is dry.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Another huge factor is how quiet the yacht is. Even while we were running at speed in the ocean, Mike Joyce, CEO of Hargrave Yachts, the exclusive U.S. distributor for the brand, and I were able to have a normal conversation in the salon. That’s attributable not only to the Caterpillar C18 ACERT engines with underwater exhaust and excellent double-layered soundproofing, but also a tried-and-true hull design that doesn’t transmit sound throughout, like I have experienced on other brands. There really was no bow slapping noise in the forward stateroom either.
Joyce didn’t just come along for the ride to fill this writer with niceties and control the flow of information; no, he was doing his own quality control check. He and Capt. Jeff Albury, a very talented captain with mechanical and operational prowess, were discussing systems from the engine room to the flybridge, ensuring each and every component was 100 percent. Joyce walked away with a short list of minor things to follow up on, with the same level of attention to detail he gives to every Hargrave yacht he sells.
The pristine engine room has a pair of CAT C18 ACERT six-cylinder engines producing 1,150 hp each and swinging four-blade props. With four people on board and a three-quarter fuel load, we kicked around the rpm range, dialing in 12.6 knots at 1500 rpm (21 gph each), 15.1 knots at 1800 rpm (39 gph each), 19.5 knots at 2100 rpm (50 gph each) and WOT at 2250 rpm, zipping along at almost 21 knots and burning 60 gph each.
Access to filters, two 20-gallon water heaters, fuel controls, systems, valves and even the pair of 27.5 kw single-phase Cummins Onan generators is easy. Railings surround the engines to prevent accidental falls onto the hot blocks.
Come Fly with Me
On the flybridge, you’ll find a plethora of amenities that will have you thinking this is a larger yacht. The centerline helm has not only twin captain’s chairs but also a raised doublewide bench seat to port, to keep guests and family close by. With a full complement of Furuno electronics — twin 14-inch NavNet chartplotter touchscreens; Navpilot 700; RD33 color depth, speed and temperature displays; and radar — Naiad Dynamics stabilizers (7½-square-foot fins) and bow thruster, Horizon VHF, Fusion stereo and, of course, CAT engine displays, the Monte Fino is ready to go. There’s a dropdown ceiling panel in the galley for access to wiring under the helm.
Large twin settees flank fiberglass tables (easy cleanup) on either side, and there’s a three-stool bar with a stainless sink, a Hoshizaki ice-maker and a Fire Magic gas grill. Want more? There’s a six-person spa tub just aft, and plenty of deck space for several lounge chairs. Or carry PWCs, a tender, paddleboards, kayaks — whatever.
Additional features include a day head, a davit crane, a full hardtop, aft-deck seating with a table and a bar with a refrigerator, a hydraulic windlass, Glendenning cablemaster, an oil changer system and more. It’s a pretty expansive list.
One other point to make is the price. In the marketplace, the Monte Fino 80 comes in on the lower side of the curve, making it attractive for the wallet as well as the capabilities.
If you’re indecisive on how to use your yacht, be it private and/or charter, crewed or not, etc., the Monte Fino 80 is a serious contender that is worth a look. It may very well make the decision for you.