Monterey M225

Bowrider built for family fun.

by Peter Frederiksen
The brand-new Monterey M225 — with its sleek Arctic white hull and heady blue, gray and black graphics — painted a welcoming and energetic image as it waited for me on Lake Dora, an equally colorful body of water in the middle of the Sunshine state.


  • LOA: 22'
  • Beam: 8'6"
  • Draft: 14"/32"
  • Weight: 3,500 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 52 gals.
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power:
  • Price: Contact dealer

A fresh addition to the Monterey fleet — which consists of 26 models from 20 to 40 feet — the M225 will appeal to new boaters looking for their first boat, according to the company’s marketing manager, Rene Moore. 

After spending a few hours aboard, I agree that it’s what you would expect from a boatbuilder with more than 30 years of experience and numerous National Marine Manufacturer Association awards for customer satisfaction. 

Details with style 

My eyes are trained to focus on details, and this boat abounds in attentive features that are perfectly equipped for family outings. Our test boat was outfitted with a wide swim platform padded with optional SeaDek planking, making boarding safe and secure through the cockpit opening. The molded diamond pattern non-slip on the fiberglass sole is grippy yet friendly to your bare feet and is easy to keep clean. A woven carpet insert is available; however, this boat is all about wash-and-wear maintenance, which is ideal for both the novice and savvy boat owners who prefer to spend their time on the water having fun. 

The dual console layout compartmentalizes the interior, making excellent use of the boat’s 8-foot, 6-inch beam to sprawl out and enjoy the acreage. Bow seating includes port and starboard lounges, and an optional insert fills the centerline when more relaxing space is needed. Drink holders, grab handles and stereo speakers are scattered about in all the right places. 

Monterey manufactures its own upholstery, and the detail and quality are obvious when you sit on — or lean back into — the cushions. There’s plenty of support and comfort that are immediately apparent when running over lake chop. The texture of the material allows it to breathe so it’s not sticky against your skin. Lift the cushions to find generous dry stowage compartments below, which are gelcoated and then lined with removable Dri-Dek vinyl tiles that are cut to fit. The same is true for the bow anchor locker. The fact that Monterey fusses about items like these is an indication of how much the people who build it care about the product they produce. Optional monogrammed, pop-up 6-inch stainless steel cleats further follows the company’s commitment to details with style. 

Features on deck

The wraparound Taylor windshield frame has a satin finish and is raked to follow the sheer, complementing the boat’s profile. A swiveling bucket seat helm chair is outfitted with a flip-up bolster that gives the operator a choice of accommodations; I especially liked that my visibility was ideal in either position. At cruise, the windshield provided plenty of protection and also arrested wind noise, making the cockpit quiet and comfortable. Docking was effortless while standing at the leather-trimmed and tilt steering wheel. 

A raised, upholstered pod houses a bank of Medallion instruments; the chrome-trimmed black bezels nested in the gray gelcoat dash were easy to read and free of glare. Accessory switches are well marked on both sides of the wheel, and a breaker panel under the helm is readily accessible. A handy, two-part fiberglass bin is beneath the single-lever Yamaha remote control, and an upholstered armrest collects loose gear, like sunglasses, binoculars, sunscreen and other sundries.  

Opposite the starboard side helm, the lounge with an aft-facing backrest is more than 7 feet long and 25 inches wide. In lieu of this lounge, you can specify another bucket seat; however, our test boat layout is definitely the way you will want to go because it also provides a humongous stowage compartment below for wakeboards, waterskis and other bulky gear. Another lounge spans the transom and includes a 48-quart Igloo cooler accessed by raising the cushion on a gas strut. The backrest of the transom lounge lifts to access the gelcoated bilge home for the automatic Rule bilge pump, fuel filter and battery. Our test boat also had a depth sounder with a shallow water alarm, and the transducer was internally mounted here, eliminating any chance of damage when launching or trailering.

More stowage is available beneath a centerline hatch between the helm and port lounge revealing a gelcoated compartment more than 8 feet long. A closer look at the deck hatches aboard the M225 showcases Monterey’s engineering and design prowess with deep gutters to drain water, effectively keeping below-decks dry. 

Water power

Our test boat was powered with a single F-200 Yamaha — an in-line EFI four-cylinder outboard perfectly suited for the task. The 2.8-litre motor weighs in at 487 pounds and has a 50-amp alternator for electronics and other electrical accessories. With three people aboard, the M225 ripped to a top speed of 47 mph at 5,990 rpm. The outboard is quiet, and the Sea Star hydraulic steering is smooth and tight. 

Lake Dora was a millpond on testing day, but putting the boat through a number of maneuvers delivered precise control and modest running angles. Tearing about the lake while turning the wheel hard-over port to starboard and back again at various throttle settings revealed stability and security thanks to the M225’s 19-degree transom deadrise and wide beam. Whatever chop I could create was simply ignored by the hull with this running surface, and I would expect a similar response in snotty conditions. The average depth of the cockpit is 33 inches so you are well protected. The abundance of urethane-wrapped stainless steel grabrails is a plus for adults and children. Lightly loaded planing time is as expected, around four seconds. With a cruise speed of almost 30 mph you can expect a range of just under 170 miles while obtaining 3.6 mpg, based on Monterey’s engineering sea trials. The boat carries 52 gallons of fuel, so there is plenty of gas aboard for long days of fun on the water. 

This new bowrider definitely shows off the quality known throughout the Monterey gene pool and features the company’s transferrable lifetime limited hull and deck warranty, which adds even more value. The M225 comes with an abundance of standard features, allowing you to get out on the water. Additional optional features include a Bimini top, mooring cover or a removable ski pylon. The fit and finish is top-notch throughout the boat, from the polished stainless steel rubrail and through-hull fittings, to cockpit lights, LED navigation lights and a four-step stainless steel boarding ladder. The simplicity and accessibility of the various boat systems is also a nice touch. The M225 is a prime choice for a young family with water kids, as well as an experienced owner wanting a boat that does it all without a lot of fuss or maintenance.

South Shore JUN17