“It’s great to have a sea breeze run straight through the boat during a warm summer day. With the sides up and the windshields open you feel like you’re completely outside. Well, because you are.

By The Way, MJM 36′

Interview with the Captain – Steve Callahan

About the boat

Why did you choose to buy a MJM?
Around ten years ago, when we had a smaller powerboat, my wife Amy and I enjoyed puttering around Marblehead Harbor and checking out all the different makes and models of boats. Our eyes were drawn to the design aesthetic of the one or two MJM’s in the harbor back then. After digging deeper into MJM Yachts I found they were fast, fuel efficient, and had features that were of interest to us, like minimal exterior woodwork to maintain, as well a strong light-weight epoxy laminate construction. They were built right in Boston, which is a plus. More on that in a minute.

What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
Being born and raised on the coast of Maine, I’m a bit partial to the lines of a lobster boat. So we looked at the usual suspects of other down east inspired boats including Hinckley and Sabre. While those boat builders produce excellent yachts, we found the MJM single level and open-air design suited us better.

How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
We had an MJM 29z before this 36z. We let our broker, Linda Warren from East Coast Yacht Sales, know we were looking for something larger with an island berth, twin engines, and an enclosed shower. She knew of this 2015 36z coming on the market. It was owned by a family on the Cape and was being traded in on a new MJM 40z under construction. We committed to buy it and then let the owner use it until his new boat was delivered.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
We upgraded the chart-plotter electronics last year to the new Raymarine Axiom Pro Series. Also, since the boat stays on a mooring, we had a solar panel installed so the house batteries are always charged and the refrigerator can run 24/7. It’s nice not carrying ice and beverages to the boat every time you go out.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
We like the single-level deck spanning from the cabin right to the transom. There are no steps. We also like how you can walk through the transom to the swim platform off the back. Another favorite feature is the power opening windshields. It’s great to have a sea breeze run straight through the boat during a warm summer day. With the sides up and the windshields open you feel like you’re completely outside. Well, because you are.

Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
As a kid growing up in southern Maine, our family had a small wooden boat with a 40-HP Johnson engine that weighed about three times as much as the boat. Our family of five would fish nearly every weekend of the summer around Saco and the Camp Ellis area. That was my first taste of boating. After taking a few decades off to focus on work and raising a family, Amy and I got back into boating when we bought a place in Marblehead around 13 years ago.

Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
We are members of the Eastern Yacht Club.

What boats have you previously owned?
Our family had a 1960 Old Town wooden boat and then a mid-1960’s Starcraft. While in Marblehead we’ve had a Boston Whaler, 22 foot Grady White, and an MJM 29z.

How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
We enjoy going on the EYC annual cruise. That’s definitely a highlight of our summer boating season. If the cruise is headed south that year, we will also cruise the coast of Maine with another boat or two. Other than that, we like to go whale watching, have cocktail cruises, and boat to various restaurants that are within a hour or two of here.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
No big challenges. Winter storage and most work on the boat happens at Boston Boat Works. They are under the Tobin Bridge in Boston so the only challenge might be getting it there and back. The good news is they built the boat so they have a complete understanding of the entire vessel. If something should go wrong they diagnose the issue very quickly — and know how to fix it.

Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
I often run Navionics on a separate tablet (with its own separate GPS module) while also running the installed Raymarine chart plotter. That way you always have a redundant system and two points of view regarding the water you’re in. I also use a number of good wind and wave apps like Windy and PredictWind.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a MJM like yours?
The MGM’s built at Boston Boat Works are well designed and engineered (thank you, Doug Zurn Yacht Design), have great build quality, and use some of the highest quality components out there. MJM didn’t make many 36z’s like our model. There were only 33 built whereas they have probably built 5X that amount of the 40z model. Ours is hull 32, which was one of the very last ones built. Towards the end of the production they were using Yanmar engines versus an older model Volvo D3 engine. I hear the Yanmar’s have performed better. About half the 36z’s produced have the walk-through transom. This is not a feature we were particularly interested in when looking but have come to really like it.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
After buying the boat, we asked our son if he might have a boat name in mind for us to consider. He said “no” and then something like, “By the way, make it a good one”. About an hour later our daughter walked in the door and we asked her the same question. She said, “By the way, let’s avoid a boat name that’s a pun.” They both had unknowingly named the boat.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about By The Way!