Outboard power boosts Monterey’s M-65. With it, you get smooth, quiet power (along with optional automatic trim, which almost always works better than an experienced skipper), and electronic throttle, shift and power steering. Never touch the trim switch again. The motor seeks its ideal running attitude automatically. All that helps make the M-65 highly desirable.
Luxury in a boat should be doing things for you — and in this boat, there is plenty more to pamper you.
In the cockpit, the rumble seat trades wraparound lounges for dance-floor space on deck. With the seat down, it completes an ample L-shaped couch. Ahead of it, the couch extends to a flip-back or forward- or aft-facing seat. Place the back bolster forward and lean back, facing the watersports in the wake. Flip the back aft and the mate has a forward-facing seat. Tap a latch on the console and it opens like a secret door to reveal the changing room and head within.
A cooler under the port lounge gives plenty of cold storage, but there’s even more refreshment space in the starboard jump seat that pulls out on sliding rails. If you’d rather, you can swap the starboard jump seat with an entertainment galley complete with a sink and freshwater supply.
If you expect to party with a large crew, you need plenty of stowage to keep the crew gear organized. As usual, you’ll find spots under the spacious bow seating area to keep beach bags full of towels, sunscreen and snacks. If that’s not enough, you’ll find more under the helm console and plenty more in the center locker in the sole. The highlight of storage in the M-65 is a welcome side effect of outboard power for the M-65. The engine room is now a massive stowage compartment for tubes, life jackets — heck, throw a few footlockers of gear in there if you can’t decide what you really want to take.
Don’t overlook attributes for hanging out on the hook. A beamy, wide transom platform boasts a rumble seat for two or three that is ideal for watching the kids swim. There’s a locker for ropes, and a huge portside trunk in which to stow boards.
Monterey’s M-65 offers one of the best propulsion options available, and it’s pushing a platform guaranteed to add extra fun for your boating buck.
* Highly polished stainless-steel hardware trim.
* Teak and holly surf-mat sole treatment.
* Fold-down transom rumble seat in the cockpit.
* Wide platform with plenty of walking room between power and the transom.
* We would like to see the head compartment porthole become standard equipment, not optional.
* We like the expansive transom platform but wish it could be set closer to the water without lowering the outboard.
Chaparral‘s Suncoast 250 ($73,580 with 300 hp Mercury, tower and head) offers similar style and wide-body seating with a deep cockpit and beam-to-beam transom platform. Various color packages and additional options are comparable with the M-65.
Price: $76,462 (as tested)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Verado 300
Drive/Prop: Enertia 18″ 3-blade stainless steel Gear Ratio: 1.85: 1
Fuel Load: 39 gal.
Crew Weight: 340 lb.
Williston, Florida; 352-528-2628; montereyboats.com