|Deadrise/Transom||19 deg.||Water Cap||
|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS500|
|Tested Power||2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600|
by Capt. Steve Larivee
At 43' 2" (13.16 m), some may feel that the 40z is too big for a shorthanded crew. We'll show that it's not.
Our test of the MJM 40z was powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS600s developing 435-hp.
So let's start by checking out the claim that this boat is fuel-efficient. Our tests show that the 40z reached a top speed of 40.2 kts (46.3 mph) at 3550 rpm. At that speed we were burning 44 gph (166.6 lph) for a range of 288 nautical miles.
When we compare that top speed with other hardtop 40-something express cruisers with a displacement of 18,000 lbs. to 22,000 lbs., I find that she was the fastest of seven boats I looked at. They all had less horsepower except two, and the MJM 40z was from 6 to 8 mph faster at WOT than those two boats.
Best Cruise Tells the Tale
Best cruise is basically a combination of good speed and miles per gallon. Now, from 2000 to 2750 rpm our miles per gallon ranged from 1.48 nautical miles per gallon to 1.30 nmpg.
When we compare the best cruise speeds of 7 other boats in class with the MJM 40z, we find that the she is more fuel efficient than all of them, ranging from about 22% to as much as 70% more fuel efficient. None of these are apples-to-apples comparisons because of many variables including engine horsepower, drives, and boat displacement. Nevertheless, it is clear that the MJM 40z when powered by twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600s is exceedingly efficient, even when compared to other boats with IPS drives.
When it comes to time-to-plane, the 40z smokes boats even much smaller and lighter. I recorded only 4.4 seconds to plane, and we reached 20 mph in only 5.6 seconds, and 8.6 seconds to reach 30 mph. These are times you might expect to find with a sportboat.
Complete test results can be seen by clicking on the test results tab above this report.
Efficient by Design
A lot of that efficiency comes from the design, a sailboat design as a matter of fact. This 40z is largely the brain child of Robert Johnstone, the "J" of J-Class sailboat fame, and inarguably a man who knows a bit about how to tweak the best performance out of a hull design. But a good idea for a qualified cruiser is only half the battle. A naval architect was needed to bring out the best of the design idea, and for that Johnstone turned to famed architect, Doug Zurn. As a result of Doug's design capabilities, the "Z" was added after the size moniker of each of MJM's boats, and thus we have in this case… the 40z.
For the build, Johnstone turned to Boston Boat Works (BBW), mostly because of their reputation for building right, instead of cheap. As an extreme example… we've seen how chopper guns have given builders the ability to build boats for less cost. Even all hand lay-up adds weight, which requires more horsepower, which adds more weight.
Another method of construction is vacuum bagging where fiberglass cloth is laid into a mold, covered with a plastic bag then impregnated with resin. It gives strength, but it's costly.
A Combination of Methods
BBW decided to build using both vacuum bagging together with a new technology of pre-preg epoxy vacuum-bagged laminates. It's a solution that gives the best combination of light weight, strength, and stiffness. The epoxy resin is not sprayed on, rather the glass cloth material is dipped in a bath of resin and then placed in the mold where a bag is placed and a vacuum drawn. The folks at MJM tell us that with this method BBW is able to get a glass-to-resin ratio of 60%, rather than just the opposite which is the result of good hand lay-up.
Epoxy also has better adhesion than resin and as such allows for better integrity. It also has more of an ability to elongate without failing to more of an extent than conventional boat-building resins. In this manner, BBW and MJM are able to have a lighter boat that operates with less horsepower, while maintaining strength enough to have a rating that allows for offshore conditions.
MJM says that the 40z has an ISO (CE) Certified for Ocean Category A and meets ISO structural standards for a vessel capable of withstanding 45 knots and 21' seas.
An interior layout for the MJM 40z.
Now because we have a full walkthrough video, we'll just touch on the highlights of what makes the 40z such an ideal cruiser. It starts with the access.
Large side doors to either side of the cockpit make boarding a step-in affair as opposed to a climb-in affair. This is much more appropriate for the aging set that this boat appeals to. The base of the doors is 24" (61 cm) off the surface of the water, so not only is it a gentle step across from a floating dock, but it's equally easy to board from a dinghy. And if you are relegated to tying up to a fixed pier, you can step down onto the wide caprails, and down easy steps into the cockpit.
How easy would it be to carry supplies onboard with these convenient access doors? There are wide caprails for those laying against a floating dock.
Once aboard, the boat's single level layout is welcoming and accommodating for loads of guests. A full beam aft bench seat faces two double wide aft facing seats just ahead. Two opposing settees are in the helm deck, again on the same level as the cockpit, and a table expands to dining from both simultaneously.
With a single level right up to the bulkhead in front of the helm, you have a boat that is easy for everyone to access regardless of where you want to be. Notice the steps up to the side decks.
The forward seats swivel around to join the crowd at the settees. The table opens double wide to allow dining from both couches. The sides are wide open on the Downeast design and enclosed in the Express. The storage under the settees is absolutely cavernous. Notice how the windshields open to the horizontal.
This is ingenious. The companionway hatch closes to form a chart table right next to the helm navigational center.
Of course, when cruising, you can't take your car with you, and typically, a bike becomes the next best thing. How many times have you seen cruising sailboats with bikes lashed to the rails? Such an arrangement would not do with the 40z, but under the two settees on the bridge deck is cavernous storage that can swallow two full size bikes, the golf clubs, and whatever else you'd like to bring along. Our test boat even had a deflated Avon dinghy in one of these compartments, and it still had room for plenty more.
Down below, there's a single stateroom, which makes a lot of sense. Why have a second stateroom for the 10% of the time another couple will be staying with you? No, better to have the dinette convert to a second berth, and MJM accommodates privacy with a curtain that hooks to the overhead. Now our couple has the entire boat to use while still accommodating the occasional second couple. If a third couple decides to join the cruise, the twin settees abaft the helm will convert to berths and another privacy curtain provides the seclusion.
Here you can really see the sailboat heritage of the 40z. Notice the shelf above and below the table, and with refrigerated drawers in the galley, you won't be dumping contents out when you want a drink. The shelf above the galley has a grab area in its full length, and there's a stainless grab rail above.
But the best part is there are grab handles virtually everywhere. Three, right at the helm alone, duplicated for the observer. Making a sandwich at the galley, there's a handle overhead, and another in front ahead of a storage shelf. No matter where you are on this boat, there's something to hold onto.
With only two onboard, it's best to have both sets of eyes looking ahead. The 40z accommodates this with a pair of Stidd helm seats that are very comfortable. Optional seats are over-wide. Both seats swivel to join the crowd in the double settees just abaft, and when facing ahead, they are surrounded by so much glass that you'd think you were outdoors. And lest you worry about greenhouse effect, the front windows open up to the horizontal allowing plenty of air to flow through if you choose not to start the air conditioning.
The helm gets a 14" (35.6 cm) navigational display, but no dedicated cruiser in his or her right mind would settle for relying only on electronics. Close off the companionway, and the top hatch becomes a chart table. Now, with the autopilot engaged, you can stand in the middle of the boat and simultaneously keep an eye on the paper charts, the helm, the navigational display, and the water. It's a delivery captain's dream boat, and a cruising couple's dream come true.
The master stateroom has a few tricks up its sleeve. The top half of the berth is wider than the lower half and that's how it should be. Your arms take up more space than your legs and this clever design allows for more room to move about the cabin.
There is a hatch at the entry to the stateroom and another over the pillows. Why? Two reasons… first, you can lie in bed and stargaze quite easily, and second, if you anchor out, you can open the hatch and stand on the bed with the deck at your waist while you check and adjust the ground tackle… all without leaving the berth. Brilliant!
Just stand on the bed and you can check the ground tackle without leaving the stateroom, or bothering your other guests.
There is a water closet to port with a commode and sink, plus a separate shower to starboard. With this design, two people can get ready for a night on the town at the same time. If both want to shower at the same time, they can use the water closet as a wet-head with its pull out sprayer at the sink.
Our test boat didn't have a dishwasher, and I don't feel the need for one. Two people will use only a few dishes and you need just a sink for that. However, the 40z has a clever storage area recessed into the counter that holds those wet dishes and allows them to dry in storage.
The table across from the galley is beautiful and lined with teak planking ala sailboat, and a shelf below has a computer plug so you can bring your laptop without having the cord running all over the place.
Oh, and the deck… while it may look like a brilliantly varnished teak and holly sole, it's actually coated in clear Awlgrip. This is much more durable than varnish, so go ahead and wear your shoes while onboard. This boat is made to be used, not kept under glass.
Other Design Considerations
There are a few other mentionable areas about the 40z. Some may notice that she has a somewhat narrow beam at 12' (3.7 m). While this may be narrower than others in class, it's not by accident. First, it aids in the performance. Second, it keeps the weight down. But most importantly, if you live in dual locations (like Maine and Florida) you can now transport your 40z over the road more cost effectively. At this width, you won't need to pay extra for escort vehicles. And transporting the boat from north to south and back is a lot faster and less expensive than moving the boat on her own bottom.
The 40z is built around the IPS pods which add interior space, and has a proven economic advantage as we have seen.
Finally, the 40z comes in two versions. The Downeast, with open sides, or an Express with glassed in helm deck. Our test boat was the Downeast version and with roll down curtains (secured to the inside of the overhead to eliminate gathering rain water), we were able to enclose our boat quite easily.
In my opinion, this boat really does represent the ideal combination of capable cruiser or a large day boat, while adding remarkable efficiency. I've had my share of gripes with various boats, as everyone knows (handrails, footrests, helms that don’t fit right, rails too short…), but these gripes are all met and put to rest on the 40z.
At an MSRP of $989,000 the MJM 40z is not for everyone. Rather, she is for a couple that appreciates a fine-looking, state-of-the-art Downeast cruiser that has no peer. With her, a couple can cruise securely from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas economically and with security, come what may. Very few express cruisers have a CE Category A Ocean rating.
While I doubt that many people will do it, the fact is that at 8 knots she could make it to Bermuda. It is nice owning a boat that can do that, even if you don't take her there.
If you are in the market for a picnic boat, a harbor cruising entertaining platform, or a fast express cruiser for a dash to Maine or Martha's -- and you want to arrive in style -- this could be the boat for you.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|