Enos Throop was wandering his parents’ property on Long Island, New York, right after Hurricane Carol in 1954. He came upon a rowboat, washed up on shore. Claiming salvage rights, he took possession and named the dinghy Termite. So started a lifelong love of boats and boating.
“My dad got me a 3-horsepower Johnson,” says Throop, a retired investment manager living in St. Michaels, Maryland. “That was my ticket to freedom and independence as a young kid.”
Soon, his father bought a Lyman skiff with a 10-hp Johnson, so the family could go picnicking and fishing. Throop’s father then commissioned an inboard Henry Luhrs skiff, and supplied the wood, as he was in the lumber business. Meanwhile, Throop cruised and fished along his native South Shore and sailed in Blue Jays, Lightnings and a Tech Dinghy.
Beginning in the 1970s, Throop and his wife, Muriel, decided it was time to get back on the water. They chartered sailboats from 25 to 50 feet, and cruised from Maine to the Caribbean. Living in the Washington, D.C., area, they fell under the spell of the Chesapeake Bay, taking weekend cruises to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When they retired, they built a home and dock there, “and got back into boat ownership,” Throop says.
That’s when they found MJM Yachts. Founded by Bob Johnstone, the company produces Doug Zurn-designed motor-yachts that are built by Boston BoatWorks in Boston, Massachusetts. The couple went through a couple of the MJMs, trading up in size each time.
LOA: 55’4” / Beam: 15’ / Draft: 3’10” / Displ.: approx. 35,000 lbs. / Power: (3) 435-hp Volvo Penta diesels / Fuel: 534 gals. / Water: 150 gals.
“When we came across the MJM 34z, we loved the design. We cruised the Chesapeake on Blue Chip for several years,” Throop says. “Then we moved up to a 40z and cruised her up and down the East Coast and the Bahamas.” The 2014 50z that they have now, may just be their ultimate boat. “We love the design of the interior and the exterior,” Throop says. “Also, there’s no brightwork to worry about, which makes maintaining and using the boat that much more fun.”
All three of their MJMs have been bought through North Point Yacht Sales in Annapolis, Maryland. The price for the 50z was just under $2 million.
When Royal Blue isn’t tied to her mooring off the Throops’ waterfront home on San Domingo Creek, she might be found cruising the waters around St. Michaels. The couple boats with friends and members of the Poplar Island Yacht Club. “It’s a virtual yacht club, as there is no clubhouse or dock,” Throop says, “but it has a fun cruising membership.”
Throop’s 50z is powered with a pair of 435-hp Volvo Penta diesel pod drives. “We opted for two engines [and the pod drives] because I wanted as shallow draft as possible and did not need to go 40 knots with the standard three-engine configuration,” Throop says.
Cruising speed is in the 18- to 22-knot range, with fuel consumption around 1 mpg; wide-open throttle is 30 knots at around 3500 rpm. Throop says an unusual piece of standard equipment is a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer, “which can be very helpful, as the MJM has no skeg or keel.” The Volvo Penta IPS system also eliminates the need for a bow thruster.
Royal Blue has a hydraulic swim platform with chocks to accommodate a 10-foot Rigid dinghy with a 30-hp Evinrude outboard. “We like to anchor out, and the Rigid has a fiberglass hull and is a very stable boat to get around on,” Throop says.
The electronics slate includes dual Raymarine e165 GPS units, and boat data
displays with the automatic identification system. There’s also a KVH satellite dish with a pair of video screens, along with WiFi, a VHF radio and a Fusion stereo.
The couple has big plans for the 50z this season. The idea is to start on New York’s Hudson River, cruise to the Erie Canal and go up into Lake Ontario. Then, they want to head to the St. Lawrence Seaway and beyond. “Then we go south through the Richelieu canal into Lake Champlain, where we have reservations to dock at Willsboro Bay Marina and spend some time at our vacation home in the Adirondacks,” Throop says. From there, they plan to cruise down though the Champlain Canal, back into the Hudson River, and to their St. Michaels home.
“I think the 50z is one of the most attractive-looking powerboats on the water, and has a well-thought-out interior design that is functional and very accommodating,” Throop says. “Royal Blue is the ideal boat for Muriel and I—and all our cruising guests agree.”
The MJM Yachts 50z has a modern look with a touch of the traditional. The epoxy construction creates a lightweight, deep-V hull. Standard power is a trio of Volvo Penta diesels, with the 435-hp power plants giving her a reported top end of 40 knots and a 35-knot cruise. The boat comes standard with a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer and joystick controls for maneuvering.
The 50z’s flush-deck layout from the helm station to the transom creates a social area with lounge and chair seating. The galley has a two-burner ceramic cooktop, a convection oven-microwave and a refrigerator/freezer with an icemaker. Belowdecks are a lounge that converts to a guest stateroom or office with its own head compartment. The master stateroom is forward with an island berth, seating and an ensuite head that has a glass-enclosed shower.
This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue.