MJM Yachts: MJM 50z Zing
Fast, fuel-efficient, and quiet
By John Snyder
The new MJM 50z is quickly proving itself to be one of the most technologically advanced production powerboats available today. Its cutting-edge composite construction, handsome styling, spacious accommodations, and state-of-the-art systems are catching the attention of serious power cruisers and even some liveaboards.
The MJM 50z not only boasts a classic downeast look and smart design; it also takes offshore performance to a new level. Designer Doug Zurn’s modified deep-V hull provides a snappy helm response and a dry ride, even in steep seas. The yacht’s shoal draft (2'7" to 3'10" depending on the engine configuration) and low height (10'5" with radar) adds to its maneuverability in shallow bays as well as in areas where low bridges might otherwise prevent passage.
The interior accommodations are spacious by any comparison, and designed for livability and gracious entertaining, as well as for passagemaking. Below decks the appointments and layout have the feel of a large sailboat and will put a smile on the face of any boater who loves sailing. There are 16 opening port lights, plus deck hatches for natural ventilation, light, and views.
The yacht’s large cockpit flows seamlessly forward into a hardtop deck salon/helm area, all confined to a single level. A few steps down take you to the great cabin, which is open to the galley and dining area. The galley is equipped with a convection oven, microwave, ceramic cooktop, trash compactor, fridge, and lower freezer with ice maker. There is plenty of locker space for storage as well as storage in the bilge below the galley’s teak-and-holly sole. With the convertible cabin option, the starboard dining area can be turned into a private guest cabin with en suite access to the starboard head. Finally, forward is the master stateroom complete with a port side en suite head, reading chair, and centerline island berth.
For performance and fuel economy, Zurn’s efficient design features triple 435-hp Volvo-Penta IPS/DPS 600 pod drives (optional) to push the yacht to a top speed of 38 knots, with a cruising speed of 35 knots. At 25 knots the fuel consumption is a lean 26 gallons per hour. The engines are located far aft under the cockpit rather than under the salon deck, which makes the 50z a relatively quiet ride.
Crew comfort is further improved by a state-of-the-art Seakeeper gyro stabilizer to stop roll, a major source of discomfort on all powerboats. While spinning at 8,000 RPM, the Seakeeper gyroscope resists, rather than reacts to, the tendency of a boat to roll. Bob Johnstone, who 25 years earlier had co-founded the performance sailboat company J/Boats, started MJM Yachts in 2002. The MJM boats are built in collaboration with Zurn and composite expert and master boatbuilder Mark Lindsay of Boston BoatWorks. The 50z is the largest (by 10 feet) of five available MJM poweryachts. Following the 50z’s debut at the 2014 Newport International Boat Show, this new addition to MJM’s already comprehensive line received lots of attention, which is hardly a surprise. The 50z is fast and fit and likely to steal the heart of many a sailor.
John Snyder is a multimedia journalist specializing in the marine industry. He lives in midcoast Maine.