Bob Johnstone had one of those moments. The founder and CEO of MJM Yachts had resisted adding a 50-footer to his lineup. Boaters were downsizing, and builders had saturated the market with attractive Down East-style powerboats. But Johnstone found a way to separate his boat from the others.
“Cruising, you spend 80 percent of the time in port, so it’s nice to have your own space,” he says. “Who wants to be on top of one another in the saloon all the time in daylight hours? In other boats you have to be. There’s no place below to sit down.”
Johnstone’s new MJM 50z will have two “24/7 daytime livable staterooms,” he says. They’re furnished with a desk/dressing table, an easy chair and an en-suite head with separate shower. The boat will sleep up to seven with an L-shaped settee, on the pilothouse’s starboard side, that converts to a double berth and a port settee that converts to a single.
Due to debut in August 2014, the 50z will be the new flagship of the MJM fleet, which includes the 40z, 36z, 34z and 29z. Doug Zurn, president of Zurn Yacht Design in Marblehead, Mass., designed all of the boats.
The boat can be powered with twin or triple Volvo Penta IPS600s pods (435 hp) or Yanmar 8LV 370-hp diesel sterndrives. “With the triple Yanmar sterndrives, the center drive can be raised for shoal-draft cruising with a draft of only [2 feet, 8 inches],” says Johnstone. Also, the use of two or three smaller engines allows the cockpit and bridge deck to remain at a low level, he says. “Bigger, taller engines would force us to raise the sheer — and the attractive low profile people like.”
With twins or triples, the 50z should get about 0.9 nmpg at 25 knots, says Johnstone.
Boston BoatWorks will build the boat using high-tech materials and methods. “We’re working to maximize the quality, lightweight construction of BBW in the design for a fuel-efficient platform that rides comfortably and is dry,” says Zurn.
LOA: 54 feet
BEAM: 15 feet
DRAFT: 2 feet, 8 inches (triple sterndrives); 3 feet, 10 inches (triple IPS); 3 feet, 1 inch (twin IPS)
HULL TYPE: modified-vee
TANKAGE: 500 gallons fuel, 150 gallons water, 30 gallons waste
POWER: twin or triple IPS600s, Yanmar 8LV sterndrives
BASE PRICE: $1.75 million (with triple IPS or Yanmars)
CONTACT: MJM Yachts, Boston.
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June 2013 issue