LOA 44 ft., 3 in.
Beam 12 ft.
Draft 3 ft., 3 in.
Displacement (dry) 17,450 lbs.
Fuel 350 gals.
Water 112 gals.
Engines Twin Volvo Penta D6 IPS 600, 370 hp
Base Price Contact Dealer
Gelcoat finish over composite construction using biaxial e-glass/Kevlar materials encapsulating CoreCell foam coring that is vacuum bagged. Keel, stem and transom corners are solid e-glass and epoxy.
Standard Equipment
Twin Volvo Penta D4 IPS 400 300 hp diesels, Muir anchor windlass, Strataglas windows in pilothouse, Raymarine electronics package including C140 GPS plotter and 4 kw radar, Volvo Penta Dynamic Positioning System, Lenco trim tabs, LED lights throughout, 13-gal. water heater, flat-screen LED TV in cabin and more.
Optional Equipment
Twin Volvo Penta D6 IPS 600 370 hp diesels, twin Cummins 350 hp engines, hull gelcoat in color of choice, Ultraleather fabrics, Stidd 36-in. helm seats, cockpit cover, dinghy davits, Northern Lights 6 kw generator, Marine-Air 16,000 Btu AC w/reverse-cycle heat, Raymarine HybridTouch display, hydraulic swim platform and more.
MJM Yachts (through Boston BoatWorks), Boston; (401) 862-4367; mjmyachts.com
West Coast Dealer
Prime Time Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.;
(949) 675-0583; primetimeyachts.com

The Chandlery, Santa Barbara, Calif.;
(805) 965-4538; chandlery.com

Sail Northwest, Seattle;
(206) 286-1004; sailnorthwest.com

MJM 40z Downeast

Posted: June 1, 2013  |  Boat Type: Motoryacht

A yacht for all seasons

By: Captain Tom Serio

When assigned a sea trial, I perform some prep work before I even step on board the vessel. Typically, I’ll check the builder’s website to understand a bit of what I’m getting into. A review of specs and capacities, length, beam and draft (especially draft, as I don’t want the operator running aground), and features is in order. Of course, builders will tout the virtues of their rides, so I need to keep an unbiased view and let the yacht tell me the story.

Checking MJM Yachts’ Web presence, I came across a video of my test boat, the MJM 40z, plying the water of Florida’s east coast. This wasn’t a typical video with flat water and level running. No, the 40z was in some rolling seas topped by a wind-whipped whitecapped chop. I knew I would be in for a good test run as I watched it go. Slicing through the waves, the 40z threw the green water way out to the side. Even running with the sea, the 40z didn’t stuff the bow or take any significant water over the deck. There’s a nice bow-up attitude. Look carefully, and you’ll see it wasn’t rolling side to side either, even during turns. I couldn’t wait for test day.

I found, as I approached the dock, that I would be testing the yacht, aptly named Zing, from the video. And conditions were worse than on video day. We approached the inlet and were met with easy 6-foot-plus rollers, and there were washing-machine conditions outside. Larger yachts were turning around, not taking a chance by venturing out.

We took on the swells and ran through the inlet, but conditions were significantly worsening outside. So after a brief discussion with company captain Mike Hall, we agreed to run inside. This yacht is rock solid and kept its composure when Capt. Hall put it beam-to as we turned for the bay. Sitting in the companion helm seat, I was comfortable and assured of the yacht’s ability, thanks to watching that video. The 40z made a quick, true turn and beat the now-following seas back to safe water.

Running in seas like those we met on test day and I saw in the video is the signature of the hull. I had the chance to check the wetted surfaces as Zing was pulled out immediately following the test, readied for delivery. Thanks to its overall low profile, the 40z can be delivered by truck — the dimensions make it street legal.

The modified deep-V has a super-sharp entry, which tapers back to a 19-degree deadrise at the transom. Lift is attributed to dual strakes on each side. The forward strake is lower than the aft one, so as the yacht lifts out of the hole the aft strake continues to keep the bow up. Wide chines offer stability and wave-throwing ability.

Designed as a downeaster, the 40z has a layout that is classic but truly functional. Starting at the aft deck, MJM put in side boarding gates as well as a transom gate for easy access. The aft deck is an open area, but there’s a Bimini top and frame to keep the sun off or the rain out. Guest seating is on the transom bench seat or two jump seats forward that flank the center companionway.

Twin Volvo IPS engines are tucked way aft near the transom in the engine room, and access to them is under the aft bench seat. You don’t have to strain to raise the seat, however, as an electric actuator lifts the seat assembly. Additional floor panels lift for access to all components.

Come Inside

One feature is that the aft deck and the mid-section are on one level, with no steps or lips to trip on. The mid-section is under the hardtop and has an interesting window configuration, so follow carefully.

There are three large forward windows that open out on gas actuators, each with a wiper. On each side is a permanent frameless window next to the helm and companion seats. Aft of those are large “picture window” frames that are covered by clear Bimini curtains. The neat thing here is that the curtains can be rolled up to manage airflow, or keep them down if the weather doesn’t agree. Visibility from the helm is great, thanks to all the windows, including those that span the aft section of the hardtop.

Thanks to 16,000 Btus of a cooling/reverse-heating system, the cabin can be a cool oasis on a hot and steamy day or a toasty refuge when cruising during the off-season.

I was surprised by the copious seating in the mid-section. To port is an L-shaped settee that flanks an off-center teak folding table and can be used for dining or stretched-out lounging. Opposite is a full bench seat for relaxing or dining when the table is open.

The helm seats — a captain to starboard, a companion to port — are 23-inch-wide, pedestal-mounted Stidd models, which can swing around to be part of the conversation when they’re not pressed into cruising duty. MJM’s specs say that between the mid-section and the aft deck there’s seating for 15 people, and the math adds up. Essentially, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

Keeping with the classic motif, MJM designed the helm station with simplicity in mind. A 24-inch Edson destroyer wheel assisted by electronic steering makes for effortless maneuvering at speed. Close-quarters handling is also painless thanks to the Volvo IPS joystick control. It was blowing hard on test day, but Capt. Hall deftly put the 40z right along the dock with nary a scratch and held position utilizing Volvo’s DPS system.

Throttle and tab controls, the Volvo engine display and various switches are mounted in the dash, while the Raymarine 12-inch HybridTouch chart/radar display, a multigauge display and the autopilot are situated in the vertical console.

At the companion seat to port, the dash is designed the same way, so it can be used as a paper chart table or a navigation console by adding an extra Raymarine display or other essentials.

Efficiency of operation is one of the highlights of the 40z. For example, burning only 19 gph at 25 knots equates to 1.3 nmpg. Cruise is at 34 knots, and wide open yields 36 knots.


You’d think that would be enough, but MJM carries the form and function below. Teak-and-holly flooring accentuates the classic feel, as does the wood cabinetry. Functionally, Corian countertops, white laminated walls and stainless appliances make cleanup easy. A Sharp convection oven and a two-burner Kenyon Custom cooktop help with food prep, and a recessed deep stainless sink and a drop-down rinsing/drying compartment aid in cleanup. An Isotherm two-drawer refrigerator/freezer with an ice-maker (plumbed through a purifier) completes the appliance package.

Storage is all around in galley cabinets and drawers, as well as in several in-floor compartments. Oh yeah, there’s approximately 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom down there.

Zing has a starboard dinette with a large table. Lower the table, drop in the cushions and you have a berth for two. A privacy curtain attaches for, well, just that. (The seating in the mid-section also doubles as a sleeping area with full privacy curtains.)

For more formal accommodations, there’s a forward stateroom with an island double berth, drawers and shelves; it’s finished in satin cherry wood. Ventilation and light are provided by two overhead hatches and side portholes.

MJM’s designers were pressed to reconfigure the head in order to deliver all the desired features. They designed a port-side head with a toilet and a shower, which is accessible from the salon and the forward cabin. A Corian counter with a stainless sink and a pullout sprayer (used as the secondary shower) are standard.

The ingenuity comes in the form of the separate stand-alone shower stall to starboard, accessible from the stateroom. It’s roomy, with a seat, towel storage and a full mirror, and it allows the main head to be used while someone else showers. Who says they have to be connected?

You may be wondering how MJM got it down so well. There’s a lot of experience behind the name, and it starts with founder Bob Johnstone. He is the co-founder of J Boats Inc., which produces the performance sailboats seen worldwide. Johnstone brought his focus on seaworthiness, performance and ease of handling to the MJM line of yachts, from 29 feet to the soon-to-be 50-footer.

During our conversation at the dinette on the MJM 40z, Johnstone came across as a man who knows not only what he wants but what his clients want. There is a niche to be filled for boaters who are moving from sail to power or downsizing from larger craft, looking for ease of running and at a price point they can live with. Johnstone thinks he found it.

Johnstone incorporates a solid hull design by renowned yacht designer Doug Zurn. With more than 150 launches from his drawing board of both power and sail vessels, Zurn can add one more to his list. Johnstone gives credit to Zurn’s designs with the lowercase “z” after the yacht’s size designation.

Oh, and what does MJM stand for? Johnstone told me it’s for his wife, Mary — as in Mary Johnstone’s Motorboat.

With the ability to run in tough conditions while protecting passengers from the elements, the MJM 40z is truly a yacht for all seasons.

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