Monterey 305SS

The nautical sportscar you’ll want for cruising through summer.

by Alan Wendt
Monterey’s new 305 Super Sport (SS) outboard represents a timely treasure in boating, satisfying the buyer who wants the glam, as well as the owner who thinks about how the double-stitched seats will embrace his backside when twin Mercury V8s launch the boat onto plane in a sizzling six seconds.


  • LOA: 29'
  • Beam: 9'
  • Draft: 21"/32"
  • Weight: 7,200 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 100 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 15 gals.
  • Power: 600 hp
  • Price: Contact dealer

More than a sexy dayboat, this nautical sportscar captures the need for status, with an innovative helm, a row of polished bezel gauges, Mercury’s Smartcraft array, as well as an optional flat-screen Raymarine Axiom AX7 color chartplotter/GPS package.

Touching Monterey’s leather-wrapped, chrome-spoked stainless steering wheel is like that Junior High moment of holding hands for the first time. It’s the invitation to let your eyes gaze slowly across the padded dash, memorizing each instrument, imagining where you’ll adventure on the water, and hearing the kids giggling while being towed behind on an inflatable tube. From the optional arch/hardtop cone speakers to the JL Audio speakers connected to the Fusion satellite-ready stereo, the beat of summer radiates from bow to stern.

Bring on the fun 

Versatile seating suggests Monterey has considered every way to bring fun to the water. In the cove or at anchor, the aft-facing seat with gas assisted flip-up bolster turns a chair into a lounger or flattens to become a sunpad. Underway, simply reverse the bolster, and the cockpit now features an L-shaped bench seat. 

The 305SS offers comfortable double seating right behind the captain’s seat equipped with flip-down armrests and the ability to recline back fully. The passenger side can also be turned from a forward-facing seat into a lounge by moving the bolster.

As for the captain, the extra wide helm seat moves forward or backward, includes a flip-up bolster, armrests and exemplifies excellent achievement from the in-house stitching department. Bold, straight double stitches in contrasting color, UV-treated thread and the mix of textures are a luxurious finishing touch.

Up in the bow, the seating includes fold-down armrests and a cleverly sculpted armrest along the inside combing. There are numerous cup holders, and beneath the bow seating is a molded-in cooler. For those who want the ultimate summer hangout, ask about the optional bow filler cushions creating one more sunpad or an optional cockpit table with an easy-to-install pedestal and vertical side mount base.

You have several options for flooring: Woven cockpit flooring or the brown or gray SeaDek inlay. Our test boat included the optional SeaDek swim platform inlay that really enhances the look and feel of the 305SS. Recessed and hidden in the platform is a four-step stainless steel ladder. It’s mounted starboard and pointed away from the engines.

A trendsetter

Although the boat is rated for 600 hp, we discovered that the twin Mercury V-8 250s provide more than enough power. With a top-speed in excess of 60 mph, a robust launch onto plane and an optional joystick, the best-looking package is the optional white cowling. These new Mercs have an ingeniously designed cowling; a near seamless hatch flips up, much like your car’s gas cap access panel, allowing for a very quick oil check. No need to remove the entire cowling. 

For those who are kid-less and envision more entertainment, consider adding the wetbar that includes a solid surface insert, sink, faucet, trash receptacle and storage. Included in the standard version is a nicely appointed and large head compartment with porta-potti. However, I’d recommend the electric head system with holding tank.

Another cool feature is the optional electric folding radar arch that lowers at the push of a button. Although the boat is nearly 32 feet long with outboards, towing to remote launch ramps with low-hanging branches or inside winter storage or drystacks all present some height considerations. By the way, this boat weighs in at 7,200 pounds. 

Throughout the boat are recessed 12V outlets and USB charging ports. Heaven forbid we had a family day without noses pressed to smartphones! In any case, there is an MP3 connector for your own playlist convenience.

As more boats transition to outboards, the benefit of bilge storage becomes a welcome addition. The entire aft sunpad lifts on gas-assist shocks to provide access to batteries, switches and pumps, as well as a very generous storage area for fenders, lines, water hoses, boat brushes and all that extra stuff Aunt Betty brought that will never see the light of day.

In the past, Monterey has always kept up with market trends in boat design, but this time the 305SS is a trendsetter. 

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