Gracious entertaining on an MJM is unsurpassed.
Creating an open flow, spacious entertaining areas, and liveaboard comfort meant pushing conventional layouts aside. The MJM Yachts concept is to address the way owners can best use and enjoy a cruising motoryacht. First priority was a flush deck from the stern forward to the helm to create a large space encompassing two social areas. Second priority was to provide comfortable seating both on deck and below, ideal for socializing or relaxing in private.
Designing a layout around how a boat will be used created MJM’s signature, patented look. Note the ease of side door entry, both port and starboard, and the flow without steps into the convertible pilot house. The ability to roll up the sides of the main bridge deck to bring the outdoors in is unique among Downeast designs, very much like the open layout of a working Maine lobster boat. Movable aft stern seats are a unique and recent MJM innovation, creating flexibility of arrangement and comfort not found in other yachts.
Think of the concept as an upper fly bridge on a motoryacht twice the size, brought down to main deck level without the ladders. That’s where your guests want to be, not in a dark ‘salon’ without a panoramic view and fresh air. Another parallel is that of a large, convertible summer porch, with separate socializing areas. Yet, with the sides down, this is an all-weather space protected from the elements, with HVAC. There is also the option to enclose this area with sliding safety glass. Luxury cruising yachts are about comfort and having what you need, where and when you need it. MJM’s on-deck spaces are carefully thought out to enjoy time on the water.
Going below deck on an MJM is an entirely new experience in this category of yacht. It’s not cramped with just walls and beds with no place to sit. An MJM is reminiscent of the intimacy and comfort of the main saloon on a sailing yacht. Entry is through a wide offshore-safe sailboat style companionway with handholds everywhere. It’s not like going below deck. There are just three normal stairway risers down! Your eye travels unobstructed from port to starboard with a view of hull sides, giving a sense of space and being on a real seagoing boat. There are 50% more opening hull ports, port lights and overhead hatches than normal to bathe the space in natural light and highlight the elegant cherry wood panels, cabinetry, and the beauty of a teak and holly sole.
The interior design of an MJM recreates the classic, unpretentious elegance of a legendary Herreshoff yacht. These were both practical and livable, whether to meet the needs of a cruising couple or entertaining a crowd for the evening. The experience is a blend of sophistication and comfort.
The philosophy of the creator and founder, Bob Johnstone, in designing a luxury yacht is to measure each element of design from the perspective of how best it will meet the needs of the owner 80% of the time.
For instance, why have fixed walls for a guest cabin if guests will be aboard for only 20% of the time? Better to compromise this 20% with a convertible space than have less than luxurious living space 80% of the time when there are just two people aboard.
Another example: When cruising, 80% of daytime hours are spent in port at anchor or in a slip, rather than underway. Here’s where an experienced cruiser will sing the praises of a 50z. There is comfortable seating on a ‘stressless’ type easy chair in the forward cabin next to a workstation/dressing table. The Great Cabin has a large lounge for watching TV and a dining table that converts to a twin or double berth cabin. You and your guests can keep the cook company during meal preparation. There’s privacy for dinner at night. The pilothouse converts to a single and double berth with privacy curtains all around. There is ample cockpit seating aft with four separate areas where those aboard can pursue their own interests (emailing, reading, conversing with a friend, conducting business) without everyone having to be on top of each other all the time in a ‘salon’ which is traditionally the only place with seating.
It initially appears that there is only one sleeping cabin on the 50z, which may be socially convenient as your friends won’t wonder why they are not being invited to go cruising. But, in reality, the 50z can sleep from seven to nine people in comfort…all with private entrance to a head, which eliminates disturbing others at night.
The Great Cabin lounge is formed by foot-to-foot twins. Or, the table slides aft and outboard, then drops to create a double berth with reading chairs at either end. A heavy linen Pullman privacy curtain closes off the area. On the 40z, the dinette forms a double berth with a privacy curtain as well.
That’s two cabins. The third is the bridge deck. The settees convert to twin berths or, in the case of the 50z, a double to starboard and single to port. Nearly opaque Sunbrella privacy curtains surround the entire space to create privacy and to keep out dock lights at night.
Then, there’s the optional Captain’s Cabin with its own smaller “wet” head that also serves as a day head. A 40z type dinette replaces the Great Cabin to provide seating for as many as six below. The aft seat on the dinette is a single berth without any conversion needed. The table drops to form a double berth with a single reading chair inboard, walled off by a Pullman curtain for privacy.
No matter what size MJM you are onboard, you and your guests will appreciate the spaciousness, comfort, and practicality of the innovative design and layout. A luxury motoryacht should allow you to enjoy your surroundings, not insulate you from them. An MJM is quite simply, the ideal design for yachting in the 21st century. If you would like to arrange to tour or sea trial an MJM, please contact us at or sign up here and include “Sea Trial” in the comments section.