Mjm Yachts’ 3z has sportboat performance that belies its stately Down East lobster-boat style and upscale appointments.
The 3z’s hull shape and outboard power create high performance. There’s a relatively straight stem enabling a longer keel to cleave and span waves. The relatively narrow 11-foot beam reduces drag, enhancing acceleration as well as handling in turns. There’s a battleship-style wheel of polished teak at the helm, and skippers can spin it like a pirate in tight quarters. In open water, the wheel provides positive control in turns and rough seas. Some narrower-beam boats can be tender as the crew moves about, but I noticed none of that as I stepped aboard. Underway, the 3z was rock-steady.
Mercury Marine’s twin 300 hp V-8 outboards had the boat on plane in 6.2 seconds, and on the pins at 5,900 rpm, the 3z made 40.4 knots. Part of that performance comes from MJM’s low-emission, infused-construction techniques. And because the hulls are painted with two-part marine paint, the builder decided that a gelcoat was superfluous. Leaving it off saved the weight of the gelcoat, plus a heavy barrier coat required to prevent print-through on the finish. Instead, MJM uses high-build primer for a base and a glossy coating in an owner’s color choice.
I was comfortable during our rainy-day cruise, thanks to the enclosed cabin. On fair days, the windshields open upward on powered struts, and the side windows slide aft, substantially opening the cockpit to the sun and breeze.
From the transom platform to the bow deck, the sole is covered in synthetic teak. Cabinetry is teak too, and the tables are finished in a tough shell of epoxy varnish for durability. Cabinetry is well-made with dovetail drawers.
Seating is divided into four areas. The helm seat accommodates a skipper and guest. To port is a companion bucket seat. These are thickly padded with flip-up bolsters to accommodate stand-up driving. The helm seat also adjusts electrically for a comfortable position. The convertible indoor-outdoor design of the main salon has opposing settees with a teak table that has two folding leaves, making it narrower for easy passage.
In the cockpit, an L-shaped lounge that begins where other boats might have mezzanine seating wraps around the transom, ending at the portside transom door.
Beneath the seat, there is access to pumps, plumbing, the water tank and more. The bilge is finished for easy care.
MJM’s 3z fuses elegant simplicity and first-rate performance and does so with environmentally responsible building techniques.
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