The word “hybrid” has been bandied about a lot in the last decade, and applied to everything from cars to plants and even bicycles. It also could apply to Monterey’s new 360 Sport Coupe, or 360SC, but I think it falls a little short in explaining exactly what the new model is or does.
It might be better to describe the 360SC as a paradigm shift, because the boat somehow blurs the line between day boat and cruiser. Now, that might not sound like much of a feat, but it really is. Here’s why. When trying to get a boat to do two things well, the pursuit of one discipline often compromises the other. Take a fish ‘n ski boat for example. They do both things, yes, but they don’t do either of them very well.
That’s not the case with the Monterey 360SC. Let’s begin with the cabin. Inside, it feels much larger than it really is thanks to Monterey’s use of large windows on the hull sides. The boat on display at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show featured onyx gelcoat — a prettier name for a color than “black” — which concealed the deeply tinted windows and preserved the clean profile lines. In terms of style, the black gelcoat is really the way to go. Other gelcoat colors included white, navy blue, beige and gunmetal gray.
In addition to lending an open feel to the cabin, the windows also let in a great deal of light, though even with the shades drawn. Another thing I liked about the cabin was that the ceiling wasn’t treated with a headliner of any kind. It was a nice, shiny white gelcoated fiberglass. That does two things: One, it will never get stained, sag, or fall down. Two, it reflects ambient light, which is a big part of why the cabin feels so large despite the use of dark surfaces on the sole and in the cabinetry.
The 360SC converts easily to overnight accommodations. The dinette table rises and drops electrically, which creates a large V berth up front. Another nifty detail of the triangular table is that the corners fold up and over to allow easy access to the innermost seats, and the underside of the “leaves” are fitted with cupholders. It’s a clever and useful bit of kit. The cabin also features a midcabin berth with room for two more overnight guests. And there’s a full fiberglass head and shower, a central vacuum, and a galley complete with a Keurig coffee maker.
Another nifty detail not immediately apparent: the control and breaker panels are concealed neatly behind cabinet doors above the microwave. Lots of cruisers locate them there, but the nice thing is that Monterey installs the panels on hinged doors that open to allow unfettered access to the wiring and mechanical bits. Should you ever need to make repairs back there, that one feature will be a huge time-saver.
Up on deck, Monterey pulled out all the stops in making this a fantastic day boat. The mid cabin in no way intrudes into the cockpit, which is flat from the helm to the swim platform. In many boats this size, the mid cabin creates steps in the cockpit floor that I always seem to trip over.
Perhaps the most extravagant detail on the 360SC is the windshield, which includes an innovative power sliding window and cabin door with molded-in steps to give passengers access to the foredeck. The sliding window retracts a full 60 inches into the hardtop, can be fully closed to ward off the chill, or be set anywhere in between.
“We invested more than $200,000 just in the design and creation of our new patented electric windshield hardtop system,” said Monterey’s Mark Owens. “Working with our partners at Taylor Made allowed this windshield to advance to the next level windshield hardtop integration. The Monterey 360 sport coupe is the ultimate day boat without sacrificing cabin interior.”
Open fully, the windshield allows passengers of any height to step out onto the foredeck without bending or stooping. Those same passengers also will appreciate the two wet bars on deck, which are equipped with a refrigerator with icemaker, bottle racks, a waste receptacle, and an optional electric grill. Another great day-boating feature is the electric helm and observer seat, which have backrests that adjust to face forward for cruising or aft for socializing. The aft lounge also adjusts three ways: facing forward, lounging aft-facing, or lying flat.
|Fuel capacity||250 gal.|
|Water capacity||49 gal.|
Not every boat can be built to do two things well, but the Monterey 360SC certainly succeeds as a cruiser with a penchant for day-boating. Monterey is so enamored with the design, it will be incorporating it throughout their model line.
“We hope this is the future for our cruiser,” said Monterey President Charles Marshall, “and our industry in the sense that you can control your environment in and out every day.”
Other Choices: Interested boaters may also want to take a look at the Beneteau Gran Tourismo 35, which is slightly smaller, offers a bit more open air on the helm-deck, and has a bit less space belowdecks. A slightly larger option with enhanced cabin space would be the Regal 38. And if you like the express cruiser design but you also want outboard powerplants, check out the Pursuit SC 365i.
See Monterey 360SC listings.
For more information, visit Monterey.