There is a revolution taking place in the marine industry, and, while no shots have been fired, it’s happening at an explosive rate. Outboards are storming into turf once held firmly by sterndrives. Why? Because they are convenient, easy to maintain and as fun as all get-out to operate.
This variation of the M4 sterndrive boasts 250 horses of supercharged power that makes the M45 both economical to run and a blast to drive. In our test, it had tons of power for watersports. It tilts easily and fully for beaching up, and it drains quickly for cold-weather operation.
During our test run, the M45 was quick to plane, fearless in turns and rewarding in top speed. And quiet? No wonder outboards are gaining ground among runabout enthusiasts.
The helm station has a comfortable, rugged bucket seat. Effortless adjustments and an ergonomic fit lets the tilt wheel (with Mercury power-assist steering) and buttery-smooth digital throttle and shift fall right under hand.
For the crew, there is much to admire. Thanks to the interior styling, this is one of the sharpest runabouts we’ve seen this year.
Color schemes are nothing less than dazzling in their glossy sport colors, yet tasteful, turning heads without blinding eyes. Add to that an appropriate gleam from polished stainless-steel louvers, rub rails, cleats and heavy-duty hinges, and you have a look that pleases and lasts due to solid, through-bolt connections, and backing plates at stress points.
Inside, the elegant lounges wrap fully around the cockpit, leaving a generous entry at the transom and clear pathways to the beamy forward seating. Take a big crew and crank up the factory-installed stereo, and your guests might just begin dancing with all that space. Under the portside console is a changing room, useful and roomy with a portable head.
Class, convenience, luxury and excitement are all present here in an eye-catching, powerful Monterey.
* Massive storage under aft seating.
* Wide beam-to-beam passage between aft seating and outboard transom.
* Crisply styled upholstery with firm cushioning adds comfort and elegance.
* Perfectly glossy gelcoat thanks to the vinylester barrier coat.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Verado 250 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury 17 Enertia Eco
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 160 lb.
$55,841 (base with test power)
Monterey Boats Williston, Florida; 352-528-2628; montereyboats.com