New Boat: MCY 76 Skylounge
It’s funny how a smell or a taste can transport you. Certain boats have that effect on me too. I spot a Viking and am immediately back in New Gretna, New Jersey. I see a Sabre or Back Cove and can smell the pines surrounding the yard in Raymond, Maine. When I think of Monte Carlo Yachts, I think of South Florida boat shows; that’s where I learned about this brand and first boarded its boats.
The lines of an MCY, the shape of their hull windows and their superyacht level of finish makes me think that these boats would be most at home in the Med. More and more, the burgeoning Italian builder has been shifting its sights from Europe and Asia to the States. This is especially true now that it’s launched a new line of enclosed bridge motoryachts. Through MCY, I was introduced to the owner of hull number one of the 76 Skylounge, a successful businessman named Raf Aviner. I connected with Aviner over Zoom one evening when he was working late in his office. I expected to find the yachtsman holed up in Miami or Palm Beach. The view behind him looked vaguely familiar, and decidedly non-Floridian. I’d learn that he was just down the road from me in Connecticut and that he does most of his summer cruising not off the Amalfi Coast, but on Long Island Sound. In the winter months he uses his boat as a “home away from home” in Florida. Despite the fact that this two-time MCY owner has named his boats Knot @ Work, he admits that he can often be found with a laptop nearby.
“The initial idea was to use it to get away from work, except the irony is I love working from the boat; it’s my happy place,” says Aviner. In fact, his desire to work from the boat played a significant role in the building of his 76 Skylounge. “On my two previous boats it was always a compromise; I was either in the cabin with a laptop on my lap or in the salon. I never had a real space for myself. We wanted more interior space in the salon, and not having a helm station really opens things up. These guys at MCY are magicians; they doubled the space on the flybridge in the new 76. Enclosing that space made for a very large second salon that doubles as a nice office for me so I can work quietly from the boat. I should really call the boat @ Work.”
A former sailor, Aviner’s appetite for powerboating was ravenous. He says he dipped his toe into the sport with a 50-foot Prestige. “For 18 months I ran that boat all the time. Then I saw an MCY advertisement in a magazine for the 65—and remember MCY was new back then. I saw the brochure and I fell in love with it. My wife and I went to see it and met the MCY team. I was convinced we were going to get the 65, but everyone else in my family said we should go for the 76. In a matter of two to three years we jumped from no boat at all to a 50 and then a 76.”