Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-)
Midnight Express was started in 1999 and the first model the fledgling company launched was the 39. Now, if the government can ever be a yardstick of whether a boat is a success or not, this is one of those times. Correctly figuring that bad guys had fast boats, and something faster but still smooth running was needed, the 39 was immediately snapped up and put to use by the military and law enforcement community as a high-speed interceptor. With its “don’t even try to outrun me” lines and performance, it was an instant success. But just like the Humvee, a target audience for a civilian version was identified and the 39 saw new life with civilian clientele. Today, the 39 is available to us mere mortals in two versions, the open and cuddy. But for those of us looking for a boat with style and speed, step aboard as we take a detailed look at one hot boat.
- 100% hand laid fiberglass
- "Nida Core" deck, hull sides & cockpit sole
- One-piece interliner, hand laid fiberglass bonded to hull
- Vinylester & isophatalic resins
- Self bailing cockpit
- Custom extended radar arch with (2) recessed red lights in arch plate, (2) trick
- (Florescent) lights mounted center pipe of top, (2) rear spreaders, (4) rod holders
- Mounted on arch legs, and aft boarding grab handles
- Choice of canvas
- Fiberglass helm seat with aluminum piped base & (4) rod holders
- (2) steps molded into console for helm seating
- Full coaming bolsters with PVC backing (removable)
- Stainless steel boarding ladder with custom mounting block on transom
- Transom door with walk through
- Custom grab rails on console powder coated white
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Specifications
|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.
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-)Engine options
3 x 300-hp Mercury Verados
Currently no test numbers
Various Mercury and Yamaha up to 300-hp
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Captain's Report
Whether powered by triples or quads, the Midnight Express is definitely going to be fast.
The Midnight Express Food Chain
Having started with the 39, it still retains its title as the flagship of the Midnight Express line-up. However, two other sizes are available, the 37, and the 34, and each of these come in three versions – cabin, open sport and open fish.
The 39 Cuddy has a LOA of 39’2” (11.94 m), a beam of 9’6" (2.9 m) and a draft of 20” (50.8 cm). She’s no lightweight at 13,000 lbs (5,896.7 kg). She has enough weight to give a solid feeling when riding (as professed by the law enforcement guys who love it). But she also has a Nida-Core polypropylene honeycomb core construction which adds strength, but not excessive weight.
Engines are mounted on an integral extension of the hull which accommodates either triples or quads. Engines are linked to each other with stainless rods. Notice how the bow rails and hardtop supports are powder-coated white.
Up forward is a cuddy cabin, hence the name of the model, and it’s laid out for two people, which makes this a nice weekender if you want to get to that weekend faster than anyone else at the marina. The cabin is closed off with a top hatch and folding door, which when open reveals V-seating that obviously can be converted to a berth, the same as every other V-berth on the planet. Headroom inside the cabin is 5’7” (1.7 m) so prepare to do a little stooping as you maneuver to your seat, but length is a large 7’6" (2.29 m).
The cabin features 5’7” (1.7 m) of headroom and 7'6” (2.29 m) in length. Shown is the optional 20” (50.8 cm) flat screen.
The standards list for the general operation of the boat is extensive. Basically it contains everything you will need to leave the dock and go offshore, except electronics.
On the other hand, the standards list for the cabin is sparse at best, but a litany of options is available for customizing your boat to your tastes. The cosmetic list includes an upgrade to leatherette couch, forward facing wedged back rests, custom angled cabinets mounted on the aft bulkhead, teak or ash high gloss wood on the cabin sole and step.
For more functional choices, you can add a 110 V microwave (which will require shorepower, add $3,000), a dual voltage refrigerator, a 5000 BTU reverse cycle heater/air conditioner (add $4,000), and a 20" flat screen television mounted on the forward bulkhead.
The head is located inside the center console and has 6’6” (1.98 m) of head room, so no worries about standing during the performance. If you opt for air conditioning, you can also opt for a duct to be run into the head for keeping that compartment cool, and an exhaust fan is also something to consider.
Two freshwater showers are present. One amidships and one at the stern. Pull-up cleats make for a smooth profile and keep fishing lines from snagging.
You certainly won’t lack for seating on the 39 Cuddy. There are optional four bolstered seats that can be upgraded to McLeod electric drop-down seats (add $15,000), an aft jump seat, two large bench seats at the bow, and a seat in front of the center console.
The control station of the 39 Cuddy is rife with technology, albeit mostly optional, and that’s just fine. Having options is never a bad idea, as people generally like to make decisions for themselves. With Midnight Express, you can have any electronics installed that you wish, the only limiting factor is that the instrument panel can’t hold any more than two 17” screens.
Control for the bow thruster (add $8,000), and an anchor windlass system with a 22lb (10 kg) polished stainless steel anchor, and custom polished stainless steel anchor roller system with a remote mounted on dash (add $7,500). We’d also add an ACR remote spotlight (add $2,000), and trim tab indicators (add $2,000). The heavy-duty trim tabs, however, are standard.
Side Entertainment Center
If the boat is not being used for fishing, then the side entertainment center makes sense. If fishing is your thing, then you’ll want full access to all sides of the boat and keeping you from traversing from the bow to stern when on the port side may not appeal to you. If you choose the entertainment center (add $8,000) then you’ll get an L-shaped lounger for the bow, and a sink and refrigerator for use when on deck.
The base price of the Midnight Express 39 is $294,580 powered by triple 300-hp Mercury Verados. Triple 350-hp Yamahas are an option.
Most people buying a Midnight Express are veteran boaters. Many are fishermen trading down from big, expensive to operate convertibles, to a 39 which will get the out to the canyons in back in an easy day of running. The folks at the factory tell us that about 50% of its buyers use the Midnight Express boats for either casual or serious fishing.
We’ve yet to test the Midnight Express 39 Cuddy, so it’s too soon to comment on handling, fit and finish and other aspects of the boat. However, the boat's reputation precedes it. This can be verified simply by the initial use as police interceptor boats, where performance is of paramount concern. Remember though, police and military boats are not known for their fine finish work.
Midnight Express has recently moved into a large facility, a 100,000 sq. ft. factory just south of the Ft. Lauderdale airport in Hollywood, FL. The company sells factory-direct which means there is no dealer involved, and the boat’s pricing reflects that fact. This means that you are paying for only one overhead, but it also means that you won’t have a local dealer to run to with every little problem, and your new-delivery punch list.
There are not many go-fast center consoles made in this size range, so we suggest that you have Midnight Express on your inspection short list.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Warranty
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Warranty Information
|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.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Price
Midnight Express 39 Cuddy (2010-) Price
|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.|
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39 Cuddy (2010-)