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MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition (2014-)
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Brief Summary

There will not be many of them made, and some day they will probably be collector's items. Like a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL alloy-body gull wing (just 1,400 of the coupes built in 9 years), the MJM 29z is a vessel that is like no other, and our guess is that connoisseurs of such things will prize her both today and tomorrow. The boys in the above photo might someday say, "Can you believe we used her as a swim platform?" But that is what she is and how she should be used. After all, the MJM 29z is a "day boat."

Key Features

  • Transferable 10-year osmotic blister warranty
  • Open cockpit "Downeast" model with transom seating and door
  • Optional wrap-around lounge seating with no transom door
  • Stidd Piloting seats on telescoping swiveling bases with sliders
  • Instrument console with gray anti-glare finish
  • V-berth layout with optional double-berth filler
  • Gloss clear Awlgrip teak and holly cabin sole
  • Storage locker with shelf for pots/pans and cleaning supplies under sink
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 32' 6''
    9.91 m
    Beam 10' 2''
    3.1 m
    Dry Weight 8,000 lbs.
    3,629 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 2' 6''
    0.76 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom N/A
    Max Headroom 6' 4''
    1.93 m
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity N/A
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    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.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power 1 x 260-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesel with DPH
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4
    2 x 150-hp Honda 4-stroke gasoline
    2 x 250-hp Honda 4-stroke gasoline
    2 x 250-hp Yamaha XC 4-stroke gasoline

    Captain's Report

    Mission of the MJM 29z

    The MJM 29z is an iconic Downeast day boat, weekender or even a water taxi for people who are used to enjoying the finer things in life. When it comes to boats. the MJM 29z, is one of those "finer things." That means that even though she is only 29' (8.83 m) she is built to the same high standards, with the same materials and equipment, as is the MJM 50z. She is simply smaller for people who don't need a larger boat even though they could easily afford one -- or many, for that matter. Like all MJM yachts the 29z is built light so that owners can go fast if they choose, or go slower and be fuel-efficient if they wish. One more thing: The MJM 29z is designed to be low-key. There will be no ostentatious displays of anything here except seaworthiness and functionality.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    This is the MJM 29z "Downeast" version. Note the large, wide side opening much like a real lobster boat. It makes single handing a snap, just lay her up to the dock, reach out and tie her up.

    Distinguishing Features

    It is tough to select only a few features on the MJM 29z that set her apart from other day boats, even from other Downeast day boats. She is different in practically every respect. However, a few noteworthy aspects are-- ●

    Hull Construction.

    Quite simply, in the powerboat world, her build is second to none. It is an epoxy and bi-axial E-glass and Kevlar laminate with a 60:40 glass-to-epoxy ratio. MJM says that the boat's construction exceeds CE Mark (ISO) Category B Offshore structural standards. More on construction below. ●

    Lightweight.

    Because of its hull construction methods and materials the 29z is significantly lighter than most boats in class. That opens up opportunities. ●

    Hardtop with Open Sides.

    Other boats in class have standard hardtops, but what they don't have is open sides like a lobster boat. Lobster boats are designed that way so a waterman can single-hand the boat and pull traps at the same time just by leaning out the side. MJM has done it for those preferring the classic “bass boat” styling or wanting to run in rough water on warm days with most of the sides covered by solid glass, yet with good ventilation.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    This is the "Express" version of the MJM 29z . Look closely at her side windows and note how the optional glass side window curves down (add $3,750). This is the traditional styling of saltwater bass boats which haunt the surf in the northeast of the U.S. We like how the light is playing off the tumble home.

    Painted Hull.

    MJM offers customers the hull color of their choice in AWLCRAFT 2000 polyurethane paint, plus 3 coasts of clear, applied over the boat's gel coat. There is nothing better looking than a colored hull in our opinion, and no surface stays brighter longer with less maintenance than one with polyurethane paint. And, the clear-coated Awlcraft is better suited for minor scratch/scuff repairs. ●

    Teak & Holly Cockpit Sole.

    Could there be anything else in such a craft? There is also a teak and holly sole in the cabin below. ●

    Choice of Propulsion Systems.

    There are not many builders who offer customers a choice of either sterndrive diesel power or outboard engines, but MJM does because its guiding light chooses to lead, not follow. More on this below. ●

    Robust Electronics Package.

    As standard, MJM installs a suite of Raymarine electronics that includes a touchscreen e125 chartplotter, radar, depth sounder, VHF and WiFi with an iPad interface. ●

    10-Year Blister Warranty.

    Because MJM uses epoxy resin and Cook Composite IMEDGE ECT120 gel coat below the waterline, it is not worried about osmotic blisters. This warranty is transferrable.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    With two outboards fuel efficiency is less than with a single diesel but MJM says with twin 250s the 29z can run over 50 knots without any of the chine walk associated with some designs. In fact, the faster the boat goes, the more stable it becomes. Note that this boat has the optional "Ocean Bass Boat" side window to help keep the cockpit dry.

    Day Boat, Weekender or Water Taxi

    The 29z is a powerboat designed to be comfortable for harbor cruising, a drive out to the islands, or an overnight adventure on the hook. She is made, primarily, for entertaining friends and family out in the salt air with nothing between them and the sea except a few feet of freeboard.

    Cool Breezes.

    Like all Downeasters she got her inspiration from commercial lobster boats that work year around in the Northeast of the U.S. But unlike other recreational Downeasters she has a hardtop with open sides just like the real McCoy. Moreover, her windshields open up and out parallel with the water, sending a breeze over the skipper and companion. By providing shade with a breeze blowing in, being aboard the MJM 29z's cockpit is cool and comfortable even on a hot, sunny day. And, essentially, that is what this boat is all about.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    Here we see the powder-coated aluminum frame of the forward windscreen cranked up to admit the great outdoors, thus eliminating both the greenhouse effect and a need for A/C. Note the gray “anti-glare” dash and that both the skipper and companion seats are by Stidd.
    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    Looking out from the helm we see the windshield open and the side curtains closed. Note the simple helm console which is much like one on a real lobster boat. The vertical destroyer wheel is a new wrinkle instigated by sailor/MJM Founder, Bob Johnstone, who believes a destroyer wheel, as on all other MJMs, provides a more natural and intuitive way to steer a boat, with a side to side motion of hands and shoulders rather than a push & pull motion, in turns or in waves at higher speeds.
    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    This is a photo of an older 29z which has a bus-style wheel with a knob.

    Button Up.

    When the weather turns inclement or a summer shower comes pushing through, the 29z's standard StrataGlass side windows roll down and are zipped in place. Their polycarbonate composition makes a clear window with a minimum of distortion. At night these windows can be covered with interior textilene privacy/sun curtains roll-down shades to create a private sleeping cabin for two on deck.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The MJM 29z is a couple's cruising boat and our experience is that the spouse that takes an active interest in piloting the boat is much prized. Note the overhead hand holds and the hatches in the overhead above the two forward seats.

    Two Cockpit Layouts.

    Two cockpit layouts are available: the standard layout has port and starboard bench seats and a separate one across the transom with a transom door to the starboard side. In this configuration the seat cushions outboard of the motor box can be lifted out to get through the transom door or for anglers. The second and optional layout has wrap around seating that can easily seat all of the flag officers of the local yacht club and their spouses. This is the "water taxi" version of the 29z and we think it is cool and cozy. An optional Bimini canvas package with 7 side curtains will keep occupants dry and warm. Forward, the helm and companion seats are Stidd Piloting chairs that swivel, slide and lower to join the conversation aft when at anchor. A varnished teak, 36" x 24" (90 x 60 cm) serving table comes standard with a single leaf.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    Looking aft in the "water taxi" version of the 29z. This may be the answer for families with many children. (Add $9,625)
    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The transom door is standard on the open layout seating version of the 29z. The cockpit sole seen here is the optional teak and Thiokol decking (add $5,000).

    Cockpit Amenities.

    The MJM 29z is intended for active watersports use. Her wide swim platform has an Armstrong telescoping ladder with wide treads. Nearby is a Scanvik hot and cold shower. The upholstery is all Ultraleather, and this is one of the few times we have seen it used in a boat's cockpit. Ultraleather also covers the Stidd chairs.

    On the Level.

    One of the most important aspects of the 29z's cockpit and pilothouse is that the decks are all on one level. There is no step up from the cockpit to the pilothouse, nor is there a step up to the helm area. So there is no stumbling around in sloppy conditions either due to the sea or libations.

    Storage.

    Because the propulsion is either sterndrive or outboard, space below decks amidships is opened up for all sorts of storage which opens up even more possibilities for this little boat. The side seats have piston activated bottoms which open to reveal cavernous storage areas that are large enough -- and deep enough -- for a rolled-up inflatable dinghy, life raft, folding bikes, hard luggage, or even a set of golf clubs. But why stop there? For example, scuba tanks and a compressor could be kept in one of the side saddle bins. In the cockpit sole is a gasketed hatch that can hold dock lines and fenders, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies, and even an optional 5 kW generator. .

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The side curtains bifurcate the port and starboard bench seats which are pitched down & aft by 1° and located over a settee hatch gutter to deal with any rain water. Not seen here are the cockpit's scuppers which drain below the boot stripe so as not to leave a stain on the topsides. This is a little detail that MJM has picked up from the megayachts.

    Optional Enclosure.

    For those who want to have sun protection all the way to the stern as well as side curtains, MJM offers its "water taxi" enclosure option. This Bimini top has stainless steel struts and beams, boarding flaps and 7 roll-up side curtains. A teak and Thiokol deck is available. We recommend teak treads on all fiberglass steps for safety.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    In the outboard version MJM will be happy to customize the transom seat with a full-beam Adirondack seat. Some owners might want a fold out seat, or no seat at all.

    Standard Equipment

    There are too many standard items to list them all but here are a few things that caught our eye-- ●Muir V600 windlass with deck and cockpit controls ●Auto-launching Lewmar anchor, plus chain and rode ●FW rode & chain washdown operated from helm ●Side-Power SE40 bow thruster ●Lectrotab trim tabs ●Seafire automatic fire suppression system ●175-piece marine tool kit ●VacuFlush head ●Marelon non-corrosive thru-hull seacocks

    Below Decks

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The cabin layout includes V-shaped seating that converts to a double berth. The optional Corian sink cover creates extra counter space, valuable in a boat like this, where most food preparation will involve making sandwiches for lunch.
    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    This photo looking aft gives a better view of the soft semi-gloss cherry finish.

    Below Decks

    Through the bi-fold, louvered teak companionway doors, it is just three steps down to the saloon which has 6'0" (1.82 m) of headroom. The galley is to port and the enclosed wet head is to starboard. The teak and holly sole is covered with glossy clear Awlgrip and the cabinets, shelves and doors are in semi-gloss cherry finish. The bulkheads are framed off-white laminate.

    The Banquette/Berth.

    The V-shaped banquette in the bow is covered in Ultraleather and the hull sides are covered in semi-gloss cherry strips to give the interior a cozy, yachty look. A fold-out teak table comes standard. An optional filler cushion makes the banquette into a double berth.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    Here we focus on the galley which has an opening port over the stainless steel sink, a single burner stove top, microwave oven, and refrigerator/freezer below the counter. Note the fiddles on the counter.

    Galley.

    There is a below-counter 3.0 cu. ft. Isotherm refrigerator/freezer. For flatware and other utensils there are two drawers, plus a cabinet with two shelves. A Rubbermaid trash bin is behind a flip panel. The fiberglass galley counter has teak fiddles, a single burner stovetop and a stainless steel sink The wet head follows the theme of a fiberglass counter with a stainless steel sink and cherry cabinet doors set in the off-white bulkheads.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The swim platform hides the Volvo Penta Duoprop drive and keeps the 29z's profile traditional right to her transom. A 17-degree deadrise bottom at the transom helps produce efficient fuel consumption -- and/or speed.

    Propulsion Systems

    The 29z comes standard with a Volvo Penta D4 260-hp single diesel driving a DuoProp sterndrive. Sterndrives are not only more efficient than standard inboard straight shafts but the lower unit can be raised to get the boat in water even thinner than the 2'6" (.76 m) the boat draws with its gear down. The hull draft is 16" (40.3 cm).

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    The MJM 29z with diesel sterndrive looks happy in this photo going what appears to be nearly 30 knots.

    We like the way the MJM has nestled -- (and hidden!) -- the sterndrive lower unit under the swim platform. Not only does this make the boat look like a conventional inboard, but it also keeps the sharp metal away from swimmers slipping into the water from the platform when at anchor.

    Performance.

    We have not tested the boat so can offer no opinion on her performance or handling. MJM says the boat's top speed is about 31 knots with the standard 260-hp Volvo Penta D4 Duoprop system. We're told that the boat cruises at 25 knots and gets 3 nmpg.A 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 is optional. Add $8,000.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    MJM will fit either Honda or Yamaha engines on an Armstrong bracket.

    Outboard Option.

    For those folks who would like to go much faster, or who simply prefer outboards MJM offers twin 4-stroke Honda 150-hp engines (and receive a $500 credit), or twin 4-stroke Honda 250-hp outboards (add $14,770), twin Yamaha 250-hp 4-stroke engines (add $25,800). MJM says she will go over 50 knots with either of the two twin 250-outboard rigs. She will also burn a lot more fuel so if one of the outboard options is selected the up charge includes fitting a 175-gal. (665 L) fuel tank in place of the standard 125 gal. (475 L) tank.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    Here we see the standard Downeast version which has the large StrataGlass side windows that roll up for fresh air, or roll down to make the space cozy.

    Built to Rigorous Standards

    Boston BoatWorks, builder of all MJM yachts, adds Kevlar to the hull for strength, and abrasion and puncture resistance. The boat is laminated with durable epoxy resin, which is unusual in powerboat building because it is far more expensive than conventional laminates of vinylester and polyester resin that most builders use…but has 4-5 times the flexural strength of other resins, so is longer lasting.

    Core Materials.

    Core Cell foam coring is used in the hull side laminates for added strength and light weight without the worry of it soaking up water. Airex is also a water resistant closed-cell foam used in the deck because it is stiffer and of comparable strength.

    Baking the Cake.

    But now we come to something not so common. The 29z’s bottom is solid epoxy, E-glass and Kevlar laminate along the keel and chines, and it is supported by a reinforced structural grid. The hull laminate material is impregnated with slow-set epoxy resin between high pressure rollers before being laid out in the hull mold, then is vacuum-bagged to ensure an ideal epoxy-to-glass ratio, and later baked in an oven for 48 hours to fully cure the laminate. This hull construction regimen is about as high-tech as we know of in the U.S. powerboat industry and it allows MJM Yachts to achieve an exceeding light, yet very strong hull.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    We like this cockpit layout, with a padded motor box (also makes maintenance easier) and transom door. Note that the seat cushions in the stern quarters have been removed. Boaters who want to do some casual fishing from the 29z will probably choose this version.

    Price

    The MSRP of the standard MJM 29z FOB in East Boston, MA. is $455,000. She comes equipped with about everything one needs although folks in the tropics may want A/C for the cabin. A 7,000 BTU Marine Air unit costs $6,815 extra. The removable berth cushions for the forward cabin are $1,025.

    Observations

    At first glance the MJM 29z may look a bit unusual to someone who is not used to Downeast lobster boats. But seeing a lobsterman in his rubber overalls single-handedly wheeling his vessel through waves and around pot floats, then stopping to pull the heavy traps will make a believer out of most anyone. These are agile, seaworthy, functional boats. But MJM has done them one better by eliminating the straight shaft inboard and going with a more maneuverable and more fuel-efficient sterndrive.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    This computer-generated image shows the proportions of the 29z.

    Other Folks, Other Strokes.

    Because of her remarkable build, she is capable of much more than day boat entertaining the local Pooh Bahs and picnic lunches with the kids. With outboards, we can see her being a screaming commuter able to cover 50 miles in a single hour, or getting from Manhattan to Newport in half the time it takes to drive there in the summer…or, from Boston to Nantucket in a quarter of the time!

    Day Cruising.

    With her standard diesel we can see her cruising the Bahamas, staying ashore most nights, but anchoring out now and then just for the fun of it. Or, we can easily imagine her cruising along the coasts of North America or Europe by day enjoying the scenery and balmy breezes, then docking at night with her owners sleeping at a 5-star resort and eating at 3-star restaurants (with the money saved on fuel.) Now that's one of the finer things of life, as well.

    MJM 29z Downeast Limited Edition
    What would racing sailors do without stink-potters willing to move their marks around with gusto?

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    Autopilot Optional
    GPS/Chart Standard
    Radar Standard
    VHF Radio Standard

    Systems

    Air Cond./Heat Optional
    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    CD Stereo Optional
    Head: Fixed Standard
    Shore Power Standard
    Trim Tabs Standard
    TV/DVD Optional
    Water Heater Standard
    Windlass Standard

    Galley

    Microwave Standard
    Refrigerator Standard
    Stove Standard

    Exterior Features

    Hardtop Optional
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Transom Door Optional
    Transom Shower Standard

    Canvas

    Bimini Top Optional
    Cockpit Cover Standard

    Boats More Than 30 Feet

    Bow Thruster Standard
    Freezer Standard

    Warranty

    Blistering Warranty
    Transferable
    10 Yes
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