Here it is. One of the most exciting developments is the move of operations from antiquated and cramped quarters East Boston to a brand new 35,000 sq. ft. Boston Boatworks facility in Charleston MA. New boats can be launched for sea trials on Boston Harbor from our own small Marina and travel lift bay. Note: There’s not a new mod blue deck color. That blue is a peel-off coating to protect the sand-colored non-skid. When in Boston, if you’d like to arrange a visit, please contact Scott Smith on his cell phone at (207) 252-7190.
Following up on success of this stylish option on MJM 34z, 29z and 40z models, MJM introduces the 50z Express model. Tooling has been produced, so this configuration is currently available on new orders.
This model was motivated by 3 factors:
1. It’s a good looking boat to broaden 50z’s appeal.
2. For those wanting more glass on the sides, it does so without having to go to large sliding glass panels. The fixed portion in safety glass accounts for 60% of the normal opening... with stiff 2 EZ@CY type hinge up panels in the upper aft corners rather than roll ups.
3. Two advantages for small kids are (a) they are better contained inside on the settees and when going forward on side decks, the grab rail on the curved window frame works well.
You may have seen MJM 50z ads in SAIL, Sailing World and Sailing that describe how sailing contributes to a better powerboat. MJM Yachts was created by a sailor, drawn by a sailor (Doug Zurn); built by sailors (Mark Lindsay & Scott Smith) and are owned by sailors. Among the most recent owners, 60% still have or had a J/46, Carkeek 40, New Custom 60, J/122 (2), Gunboat 60, J/24, J/22, J/109 and J/120.
MJM Yachts Founder, Bob Johnstone, applied his J/Boats ‘Best Performing Brand’ strategy and many years of sailing experience to create a better powerboat.
Like sailboats, a stronger and lighter boat with a low VCG performs better. Prepreg epoxy composites make the 50z faster, more fuel efficient, fun to drive, easier to handle and more seaworthy. The 40z and 50z are the only two Down East designs of any size Certified ISO Category A Ocean.
Sailboats behave better in large following seas than slow powerboats. If the latter can’t cruise at 25 knots to outrun these seas, stick with sail. But, MJM's are special. They are all designed to cruise at better than 25 knots.
Sailboats heel, but worse: Powerboats roll. To stop the roll… yes, behave more like a sailboat with sails up… 50z is the first powerboat with a Seakeeper Gyrostabilizer as standard equipment. Now, this already stable boat doesn’t roll at all, even at anchor or when watching races off Newport. In fact, the next dozen 40z's were all ordered with Seakeepers as well.
MJMs with opening windshields and roll-up side curtains, are in tune with sailors who enjoy being outdoors in fresh air with a 360° vista. The main decks compare to an upper flybridge deck of much larger yachts. Sailors feel right at home with the livability of 50z’s Great Cabin below.
MJMs offer much easier boating at the drop of a hat with Volvo Penta IPS joystick, DPS auto-hovering and a flush deck from wheel, aft through cockpit sidedoors onto a floating dock. No need for foul weather in the all-weather, heated or air-conditioned pilothouse. OK… admittedly, there are some aspects of sailing not found on a 50z.
That's America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association. Cruising is about shared adventure and to do the Great Loop or parts of it, is a wonderful way to learn more about the country and meet new friends. But, the right boat can make a big difference. The MJM 40z is particularly well suited for a number of reasons:
✓ Category A Seaworthiness – There are about 1200 miles of potentially rough open water… 824 miles on the Great Lakes and 389 miles between Mobile and Clearwater… plus the Chesapeake, the Sounds in Florida and Carolinas, and Jersey Coast. I’ve seen a 4-day 30+ knot Westerly with mountainous, steep seas in the North Channel and a surprise 70-knot “white squall” on Lake Michigan. The MJM 40z is only one of two known vessels suitable for doing the Loop, between 30 and 50 feet that are ISO Certified Category A ‘Ocean”. The other is the new MJM 50z.
✓ IPS & DPS Managing of Locks –Volvo Penta IPS joystick docking and DPS (Dynamic Positioning System) allows you to go down the center of the lock. Stop. Use IPS to go to the wall. Then engage the DPS to hover next to the wall. You don’t have to be in a rush to grab lines. The DPS will keep the boat from slewing with the bathtub effect.. The flush deck from wheel to stern cleat makes it easy to grab a stern line without having to go up and down stairs or levels. See why the 40z maybe the easiest 40 footer to handle in tight situations: Solo Docking a 40z
✓ 10 Foot Air Height – With radar and a Glomex HD TV antenna, a 40z can do the Erie Canal route and has to wait for only 2 bridges of the 21 between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
✓ Speed – There can be large distances between good marinas and anchorages. With 34 knot cruising speed, you can pick a weather window on the best day of the week to cover as many as 275 miles in daylight… rather than have to run overnight at 8 knots, be holed up for a week waiting in a less desirable anchorage, or risk having to be underway in all sorts of weather.
✓ Fuel Efficiency and Cost - Fuel efficiency is a function of horsepower applied to overcome resistance/drag. It takes more fuel to push a heavy boat. It is a myth spread by trawler builders that they are more fuel efficient. The only way to improve fuel efficiency is to build them lighter & stronger… of epoxy composites…like an MJM. At 8 knots, an MJM 40z gets 3.8 nmpg with a range of 1197 miles with 90% of its 350 gallon tank.. A Grand Banks 41 trawler at 8.8 knots gets 1.1 nmpg with a range of only 501 miles. You do the math on fuel cost for the 5,000 plus miles involved.
Our antidote for Winter has been a pair of 3-week cruises on our MJM 50z starting out in Naples FL, visiting Boca Grande, Sanibel, Sarasota, Marco Island, et al.. then going across the Okeechobee Waterway to Stuart, Jupiter Island Club, Palm Harbor (WPB), Bahia Mar.. ending up at the Miami Beach Yacht & Brokerage Show. The next segment, following the blossoms North… goes from Palm Beach Boat Show to the garden tours of Charleston… and to watch 139 J/Boats (of 277 total) competing in Charleston Race Week April 16–19. Here's a trip report of the latter.
MON - Palm Beach to Vero Beach Departed Palm Beach Boat Show at 1130 hrs. Monday (Mar 30) for a sea trial and Seakeeper demo out Lake Worth Inlet… dropping off 3 prospective owners at Sailfish Marina on Singer Island before Mark Lindsay, Scott Smith and I headed North to Vero Beach. There we hosted a Wine & Cheese Soiree aboard for 15 friends at 1730.
TUE -Vero to St. Augustine Next morning, Dick Tillman captured us flying past his Merritt Island dock at 35 knots on the Indian River. Weather was calm so we went offshore from Ponce de Leon Inlet to St. Augustine. Cruising at 35 knots we passed Cindy and Bud Purcell in their pretty 62’ Huckins Linwood LA BELLE HELEN, leading them into Camachee Cove in St. Augustine. Later we shared dinner and mapped out a reciprocal service strategy whereby Huckins Yachts (Jacksonville) would become a service center for MJM in N. Florida to supplement Whiticar Boat Works (Stuart) in S. Florida… while Boston BoatWorks would service Huckins Yachts in the Boston area. MJM only deals with the best. ABBRA (American Boat Builders and Repairers Association) awarded Whiticar Boat Works the “Best Boatyard in the USA" for 2015.
WED - St. Augustine to Jacksonville Beach That afternoon, I traded in Mark & Scott for Mary at the Beach Marina in Jacksonville. To start our 12th Annual 3-Week Spring Cruise, we dined with friends from Islesford ME.
THU - Jacksonville Beach to Jekyll Island Great island island for a bike ride on their excellent bike trails then dinner at the elegant Inn where Federal Reserve incorporators met in 1910.
FRI - Jacksonville to Isle of Hope (Savannah) After church, Friday, we cruised the 90 miles to Isle of Hope on the ICW in 3.75 hours averaging 24 knots. Had to crawl with the center engine turned off a couple of times where we saw 4’ depths at two crossover cuts on the ICW at low tide.
SAT/SUN - Isle of Hope to Hilton Head and Easter It was a short trip. Easter Morning dawned with a magnificent full moon set at the Harbour Town Marina. The moon looks smaller in this wide angle shot. It’s over the small building at right. There we dined with old friends from early years in Cali, Colombia.
MON - Hilton Head to Charleston. Those 90+ miles on the ICW took nearly 5 hours with a couple of long No-Wake zones near Parris Island Marine Base and approaching Charleston, averaging 18 knots. We passed about 30 boats and opened up to 35 knots on the Coosaw River passing Chisolm Island, a Rice Plantation once owned by Mary’s Great Grandfather. He was one of 3 Confederate officers who went out in one of his pulling boats 154 years ago to demand surrender of Ft. Sumter. April 11th is when the “recent unpleasantness” started. Yes, MJM has some Charleston DNA. MJM Yachts is an South Carolina LLC as the 34z was conceived while we were living here. A fun fact: while the “Z” recognizes designer, Doug Zurn, “Z” is also the American Power Boat Racing Association's letter designation for South Carolina… appropriate for a revolutionary performance design. I am writing this aboard ZING on the Megadock of Charleston City Marina, below.
EPILOGUE - 50z #1 ZING was sold while in Charleston to its new owner, Bill Collatos of Boston. After an orientation cruise with yours truly to Norfolk and then with Capt. Mike Hall on to Boston, Bill was ready to spend the summer with his new ZING (keeping the name) at the Nantucket Boat Basin.
The trend today is for opening up living spaces for better visibility and fresh air. Nothing does that better than these new MJM fully-opening windshields. A 1st in the industry! Self-contained, motorized, synchronous actuators (telescoping pistons) are attached to windshields and frames with robust hardware and are operated by 3 rocker switches at the helm. Windshields are held firmly in place at any angle. They close with a solid thunk, so lock-down dogs (seen on lower edge of window frame) are rarely used. Standard on the 50z and an option on the 29z, 36z and 40z. Here are the benefits: (1) Opening boat - get instant fresh air; (2) Docking or Anchoring – talk to crew; (3) Into the wind - open them an inch or two; (4) Harbor cruising - open them all the way up.
Shown on 50z #5 (above and below) is MJM's first installation of tinted sliding glass panels instead of clear roll-up Strataglass. This option is also available on the 36z and 40z. The forward half remains on the outside, effectively opening half of what’s possible with Strataglass. The added expense of vented small forward windows is not necessary because of powered windshields, overhead vent hatches and the large opening adjacent to the piloting seats when glass is slid aft.
When you see Augie Diaz and his crew Kathleen Tocke on the MJM 40z or 50z at forthcoming Florida boat shows, be sure to congratulate them for winning the Bronze Medal in the Snipe Class lat the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Augie’s sailing credentials also include having been US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.