Lake Michigan freshwater express cruiser in great condition.
Here is what Boatpoint had to see after a sea trial;
Like a fine wine, the Monterey 330 Sport Yacht will age well and provide years of long-distance service, entertainment and superb accommodation, notes David Lockwood
It has been said boats are like wine: some age well, others are designed to be consumed today; there are single-grape varieties just as there are single-minded boats; and finally blends where the sum of the parts equals something greater than each variety.
American Monterey boats remind me of a refreshing summer white with off-the-shelf enjoyment and with nothing too funky. This leads to some cellaring or long-term (read resale) potential. And with Monterey's latest 2007 model 330 Sport Yacht the sum of the parts definitely equates to a superior product.
Though American-made, Monterey goes beyond the usual cookie-cutter and formulaic approach to boat building. Expectedly, the 330 Sport Yacht had twin (Volvo Penta) V8 petrol inboards, but it also had a (matching Kohler) 4kW petrol generator and (Crusair) air-conditioning. There was a second cockpit fridge, carry-on cooler and, with 240V power at your fingertips, you can fit an electric barbie. No filling the gas bottle.
The cockpit seating converts every which way for social or single-minded pursuits like sunbaking, plus there is a foredeck sunpad, and plenty of solid stainless steel deck gear. Corian counters add a touch of class and below decks there's a big flatscreen television and open-plan accommodation for a family of four.
None of this was groundbreaking but all very consumable. And, apparently, intentionally so...
I got talking to the international sales manager from Monterey boats, Susan Dean, at this year's Sydney International Boat Show. Monterey builds more than 3000 boats a year of which 28 per cent are exported. Export numbers have been growing for the last three or four years and, with soft boat sales in America, international sales are doubly important these days.
Dean says Monterey build boats for the global markets and takes on-board local needs as well. To this end, the boatbuilder has just released a new 415 flagship with IPS (one heading to Australia already) to meet the bigger-is-better market.
Meantime, for the Australian way of pleasure boating, the 330 Sport Yacht as tested doesn't fall short. The boat has away-from-dock self sufficiency via that generator, plenty of emphasis on outdoor entertaining, and seemingly long-lasting fittings, finish and engineering.
And with styling that's not too contemporary, with subtle squared rather than curved windscreen lines being the main aesthetic touch, the Monterey 330 Sport Yacht should still look good in five or 10 years hence. This is something I can't always say about some Northern Hemisphere sportscruiser marques that dare to be different.
We had a glorious midweek day to cruise about the Gold Coast on the Monterey. But with a decent set of covers and clears the boat should hold sway all the way south around the coastal ports to Adelaide. And with reverse-cycle air-con in the open-plan interior, you can weekend away in winter or summer.
Given this was the Gold Coast, we came aboard suitably summertime attired, stepping onto the broad boarding platform with bare feet, noting it was big enough to hang out, there was the obligatory swim ladder, hot/cold handheld shower, and a lift-up boot with rubber-lined storage for the cockpit lunch table and its pedestal leg.
Cockpit seating comprises an aft lounge for three that has three different positions: a forward-facing seat, an aft-facing seat (great for looking out over the water), and a sunpad for a couple. In its usual forward-facing position, the lounge forms part of a U-shaped seating arrangement around the drop-in lunch table.
I spotted an Igloo cooler for carrying on the seafood or taking lunch to shore in a recess under the abovementioned seating. There were also moulded steps leading up to the sidedecks - though the best access to the bow is through the opening windscreen - and an integral amenities centre with Corian counter, cutting board over the (cold-water only) sink, 12/240V fridge, drinkholders, grabrail and bin tucked away. You could serve lunch from here and, with a 240V outlet provided, connect your barbie.
Though there are moulded steps, toerails and grabrails that assist with your passage around the sidedecks, the three moulded steps up the dash (aided by a grabrail) and through to the opening windscreen is the preferred route. The opening windscreen pane is held in place with a snappy magnetic catch.
The 330 Sport Yacht comes standard with a foredeck sunpad, four drinkholders and stainless steel deckrails that are, you should note, elliptical rather than round for a better grip. A solid stainless steel bowrail traces the terraced deck moulding, there's diamond-pattern non-skid underfoot, while a Lewmar windlass gives push-button anchoring. There's also good external access to the chain locker without having to head down below.
DRIVERS AND DRIVES
The co-pilot is treated well on the 330 Sport Yacht, with the choice of a chaise lounge with contoured upholstery, under which you'll find a party-sized icebox, or one of the comfortably numb helm seats. The skipper gets a bolster to boost standing room, while the matt-grey dash is a no-glare number with a full spread of Faria gauges, plus a Raymarine C80 chartplotter/sounder, separate Raymarine numerical depth sounder, those trick retractable QL trim tabs and an upgraded Kenwood stereo with remote.
Engine access is achieved by pressing a button, but the electric ram or actuator was kind of slow. I noted a shelf behind the engines for storage, additional storage space for a custom outboard bracket (carry the ducky on the transom on Weaver Snap Davits), and a Fireboy fire-suppressions system.
The sea strainers for the twin Volvo Penta 5.8lt V8 engines and generator had clear inspection windows, there was good access to the oil dipsticks and batteries, and the holding tank empties with a flick of a switch. The generator and fuel lines were easy to reach, the battery charger was nearby, and rubber seals on the engine hatch assist with sound insulation.
Naturally, the boat had the universal cherrywood joinery (or a faux printed look-alike laminate). The sand-coloured Corian galley counter (with fiddle rail) and vanity top were upmarket touches, and the mix of mock-timber flooring and carpet is practical. The interior is open-planned to maximise space and there is a good deal of light thanks to four (opening) portlights and three deck hatches.
The moulded easy-clean head immediately to port is handy to the cockpit when entertaining. Along with headroom, it features a freshwater Vacuflush loo, handheld hot/cold shower with wall hook for the rose and a curtain, plus sink and mirrored vanity, and an extractor fan.
With no cabin door, the open aft cabin can be used as a drinks den, card-playing area, games or rumpus room, and lounge. But extract the trundle bed, pull across the privacy curtain and you have a second cabin with double bed. There's a hatch for air and an air-con outlet.
Nearby is the AC/DC panel with fold-down facia for terrific access to the wiring, water gauge and generator start, and, with that, you can dial up the air-con, the 240V stove and the 26in LG flatscreen television.
The saloon is flanked by storage lockers and features a lounge with fold-down armrests for two or three that converts to an impromptu berth in case the kid's best friend wants to stay over.
Galley amenities run from the two-burner stove and a small Tappan microwave oven, fridge with stainless steel facia, to storage including spice rack, crockery and cutlery space, and pot and appliance lockers. Hanging space is opposite along with the Kenwood stereo and DVD player.
Impressively, 190cm of headroom extends to the foot of the island berth in the bow. Such is the size of the bed there's storage below for the solid cherrywood dinette table. There is also nice lighting and a whiff of Asian-inspired dcor. A nice blend indeed.
CRUISING THE BROADWATER
After recent escapades on the great-unsung inside passages around South East Queensland, I consider this a great boat for weekending away. Head to places like the Northern Bedrooms or Peel Island, the Hawkesbury or Port Hacking, Blairgowrie in Port Phillip Bay, the SA Gulfs or, where else in the west, Rottnest Island.
Optimum cruise speed is anywhere from 24 to 25kts at 3500rpm, where the twin 280hp Volvo Penta V8s sounded smooth, to 29 to 30kts at 4000rpm. Wide-open throttle of 4800rpm gave 35.4kts with a hint of tide assistance. All the while the helm offered nice sight lines, the boat was willing to get up and go, and as with most sterndrive boats it felt sporty, lively and, as ever, a tad flighty.
With all the mod cons, amenities, self-sufficiency and a very good finish, the Monterey 330 Sport Yacht deserves a place on the shopping list. The Sport Yacht would make a great family chariot and floating weekender on which you can spend more than a token day away. A nice safe mix. Add wine, seafood and salad, and your set.
Generator, air-con and a nice spread of other mod cons make this a self-sufficient boat for weekending away
Excellent finish, attention to detail and good solid stainless steel deck gear
Timeless styling means the boat won't date as quickly as others
Plenty of seating and sunpads, fridges, iceboxes, and an upgraded sound system
Open plan interior and well-appointed head up the comfort factor
Good attention to human factors by way of space, headroom, driving comfort and vision
Twin Volvo Penta petrol V8s get the boat going and there's sporty handling
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