The trend towards larger and larger center consoles isn’t slowing down. Just ask Midnight Express, who is in the middle of constructing the next behemoth-sized powerboat.
Remember when a 40-foot center console was once considered an oddity? Not anymore. While it wasn’t that long ago that the center console market in the U.S. was content with a saltwater fishing boat under 24-feet, advancements in outboard power, a day-boat ethos, and a desire for overall versatility has increased this market segment’s popularity by leaps and bounds.
To the point where Midnight Express has built a brand-new game changer: A 60 footer.
The 60 is a considerable jump from the Miami-based company’s 43 Open, but underscores the trend towards larger and more powerful center consoles. With hull No. 1 already out of the mold, co-owner of Midnight Express, Eric Glaser, expects it to be completed as early as June. Its base price is set at $1.6 million.
“We’ve already got a ton of customers that are ready to move up to this boat as soon as we have it ready,” says Glaser. “As soon as I have that first boat finished I’m going to sell more than I can build.” That includes owners who, according to Glaser, currently own their 43 but are looking to upgrade to a behemoth-sized powerboat.
While size is assuredly a selling point, it’s not the only factor. Midnight Express is billing her as the “ultimate weekend boat,” and she seems to live up to her title with twin cabins, a full couch, and galley—each fully customizable with their own finishes and layout. “I’ve got a few customers that don’t want separate bedrooms, they just want one giant hangout area downstairs, and we can do that as well,” adds Glaser.
With 60 feet of length to work with, you can design your 60 for as much shade or sun as you want. Options include side-entry dive doors, power sunroof, and a multitude of seating. It’s also the only one in its class available with either inboard or outboard power, with its competition only offering outboards. With Quad 627 horsepower Seven Marine outboards, the 60 will push over 60 knots. One of the inboard diesel options—Twin MAN matted with surface drives—should bring speeds over 87 knots. It can accommodate Mercury Verado outboards and triple FPT 570s or Cummins 550 engines with surface drives. Basically “almost any feasible power source can be put in this boat,” says Glaser.
“There are other companies coming out with bigger boats like this, but what makes ours so different is we have a full beam,” adds Glaser. “I didn’t take my 43 and stretch it like everybody else did. [The 60] has a 15-foot beam, so it’s a big boat.”
But is it their biggest?
“I already have a mold for a 70-foot hull,” he admits. “We haven’t made a real decision yet on it. Part of me thinks it makes more sense to fill the gap between the 43 and the 60 first. But since I already have this hull it may just make more financial sense to just jump straight to that.”
To quote Bob Dylan: The times they are a changin’.
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This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.