“A Down East style…timeless design, very high tech and performance oriented.”
INTERVIEW WITH THE SKIPPER – Ken Taylor
Why did you choose to buy an MJM 40z?
When I started considering a power boat, I was drawn to Down East style designs. Bob Johnston and Doug Zurn had designed the MJMs to be a “sailor’s power boat,” and combined with the Down East look, that became a natural fit for me. It was a timeless design, very high tech and performance oriented. Having a pod drive and joystick control for docking was also a key requirement, which the 40z had.
What boats have you previously owned?
I grew up sailing one designs in Marblehead and then raced for nearly 30 years in IOR and PHRF class boats. When the owner of the PHRF boat I had been racing with for 20+ years converted to golf, I went back to racing a R19 with a local naval architect, Jim Taylor (no relationship). One day while sailing out for the start of an MRA race, Jim started explaining the concept of a weekender sailboat, a design he was working on for Sabre Yachts, their Spirit model. The concept was a boat with a larger cockpit for more guests and accommodations below for two people to live aboard, rather than a full crew. Turns out a few years later I would own Sabre Spirit, hull 14! Similar to the MJMs, the Spirit had a very classic look; however, it had a very high-tech profile below the waterline and a 55-foot carbon fiber mast. It was like driving a sports car!
What other kinds of boats did you consider buying before this model?
At the time I started looking for powerboat options, manufacturers were starting to convert from inboard engines with shafts to inboards with pod drives. Not all existing hull designs were easily converted to pods, so I was focused on designs specifically for pod drives. Given my positive experience with Sabre Yachts I looked at their line of powerboats. The Sabre power line is excellent, but I decided I wanted a more open deck concept that the MJMs offered.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
I have to say I like technology, beyond the very strong, yet light-weight hull, having a Seakeeper Gyro stabilizer, and the Humphrey active control system rather than trim tabs have been remarkable. It is also an incredibly easy boat to manage and dock with just one person. The joystick can make you look like a professional boat captain!
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
Being on a mooring and not connected to a power source, I decided to add solar panels to the roof. They have been a great assist with keeping the batteries charged when not using the boat. They also allow me to keep the fridge on 24/7 without draining down the house batteries. I also added remote monitoring and surveillance. I can now monitor the batteries and key systems such as bilge pumps and boat location remotely.
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
Compared to my sailing experience, powerboats are time machines. I can take Vim to Provincetown for lunch and back! I could never accomplish that turn-around with wind power. Most of the time we are day tripping, but have spent time in Newport, Nantucket, and harbors in between. Of course, just relaxing on board at the mooring in Marblehead Harbor is a wonderful way to unwind.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
So far, servicing the boat has been very easy. It was built in Boston by Boston Boat Works, so they were close by for warranty work. Marblehead Trading Company is well versed in maintaining MJMs and their systems.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy an MJM?
Whether purchasing a new or used MJM, I would recommend working with one of their dealers. I worked with East Coast Yacht Sales, their local MJM dealer when purchasing Vim. They are incredibly knowledgeable and also facilitated the sail of my Sabre Spirit. Allen Schiller initially showed me a number of used MJMs, before I decided on a new build. The MJM dealer network is very well trained and can provide a number of resources.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
The name Vim actually originated with my Sabre Spirit sailboat. The intent of the sailboat design was to bring back the excitement of sailing. As I said, it was like driving a sports car. The definitions of “vim” include energy, esprit, get-up-and-go, vigor, and vitality. At the time I felt that was very fitting for the sailboat. When it was time to decide on a name for the MJM, I felt the get-up-and-go, vigor, and vitality meaning for “vim” fit the MJM 40z very well! Plus, I liked the Vim name and have been a fan of short boat names so decided to stay with the same name for the 40z.
CHECK IT OUT
See more of Vim by clicking on the gallery below. To see other boats like this, simply type MJM in the manufacturer’s drop down menu in the Harbor Directory.