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Draft (max): 3'1"
Displacement (approx.): 7,100 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 21 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 8'7" (with arch); 5'11" (without arch)
Fuel Capacity: 100 gal.
Max Horsepower: 430
Available Power: Volvo Penta 380 EVC dual prop; MerCruiser 380 Bravo Three and MerCruiser 430 MPI DTS CAT Bravo Three
Monterey means “hill king” in Spanish, or “king of the hill.” It’s the name of one of California’s most exotic coastal cities, and Baja California has named its Ciudad de Monterey Latin America’s safest city. But we’re talking about boats, so what’s all this about?
Monterey’s 288SS is one of the most exotic, even elegant, bowriders we’ve tested since Cobalt debuted the A28. The Florida boatbuilder has been on a tear to be king of the luxury-boat hill, and when we tested this boat on a choppy day offshore of Boca Raton, we were convinced by its secure dry ride that its efforts were not misplaced.
Seas were a solid 2½ feet with short intervals that would shake the engine bolts off of most boats, but in this one, I jotted notes — barely legible, but legible — while Mike Botti, Monterey’s tech guy, piloted the big bowrider to top speed. Mike commented that I seemed pretty trusting of his skippering, sitting relaxed with pen poised over paper, eyes on the GPS and decibel meter. I remarked that he seemed competent, but in addition, the hull’s crisp 21-degree deadrise cut the seas nicely and the Monterey eased over the crests without much pitch — and when we did “bark” the props, she re-entered softly. I was securely cradled on the passenger seat, which was way softer than a performance seat and more stylish too.