We spoke to three brokers who had MJM 34zs listed online to get their take on the market for these lively Down East-inspired cruisers. Here’s what they had to say about style, efficiency, and geography.
David Champney, Bearing Marine Brokerage; www.bearingmarine.com
“With New England style boats, the manufacturers seem to have survived the recession much better than some other builders that were out there building some of the more modern-looking cruising boats. I think it’s a different type of buyer, typically it’s usually somebody that’s 60 years old or older, and conservative with money, but who enjoys boating and does not want to be in something that’s going to be so expensive to operate that they lose the enjoyment of it. Once they get into that style of boat they seem to stay in it. The MJM is very economical to operate. The boats are single engine with a bow thruster. You get a cruising speed of around 15 knots and the actual fuel consumption is relatively low compared to anything else out there on the marketplace. Most of these boats are being purchased by individuals that can well afford to maintain the boat so you can find a boat that is five to six years old that is in excellent shape. They’re pretty strong in the Northeast and also we’re seeing more of them drifting into the Mid-Atlantic states, there’s not great numbers of them like your other production boats. You’re not going to go to a marina and see four of them sitting there. And you’ll find people will truck them from the Northeast or from the Midwest to Florida during the wintertime instead of going to the expense of running them down on their own bottom.”
Bill Wright, John Williams Boat Co.; www.jwboatco.com
“I think the MJM 34z is mainly an efficient boat: It’s designed to run fast and lean and it has the comforts for cruising for a night or dayboating. It’s very quick so you can get someplace fast. A lot of people look at it because they like the efficiency of it. They’re a modified-V hull so they’re quite fast, they get up on plane and move quickly. I think the buyers look at it as something different. It’s not really what I would call a traditional Down East-looking boat like a lobster boat. For one thing the modified-V hull takes it out of that for me. As far as our market it’s what people call a Down East boat now: They paint them blue and they’re made in New England I guess. I think in the particular case of this owner the difference was well understood. But I think if you look at a lot of boaters out there, it’s what they’re used to now, and they make an association that it is a Down East boat. In general, it’s a competitive market and there’s a lot out there, and everybody’s looking for a bargain these days, so sellers have got to be ready to be realistic about it and negotiate.”
Bob Ross, Sail Northwest; www.sailnorthwest.com
“The boats are wonderful—they’re really well built. Mark Lindsay [of Boston Boatworks] does a fantastic job. For construction, you don’t get better: all pre-pregged e-glass, Kevlar, Corecell foam core, epoxy, and an oven-baked post-cure. The boat is solid as a rock. I doubt there are too many production boats, if any, that actually have the structural integrity and are built as well as this is. With the pre-preg you’re getting the resin down to nothing. The quality construction is the only way you can get a 10,000-pound 34-foot boat. It really makes a difference with fuel economy and the performance that you get out of this boat. The problem we have out here [in the Pacific Northwest] is they’re very East Coast-ish. I had another 34z here for sale that basically we shipped back to Florida. Having the soft sides in the Northwest doesn’t really cut it, it seems, for a lot of the buyers out here. But the owners who have them just absolutely love them, and the curtains work just fine. This owner does occasional weekending and maybe a week or two cruise every so often. He has owned it since new. And the other owners do basically an occasional week or two here or there, but mostly daysailing, weekending, going out and having a good time. It’s a couple’s boat. It’s the perfect boat as far as I’m concerned too, it will dine six, it will entertain 12, and sleeps two. It’s almost perfect. And they all seem to use it that way. The newer ones will sleep four pretty easily, but the previous ones, the original 34s are basically just a two-person boat. One owner I know is in his 80s and he spends the whole summer on it—he’s unbelievable, he singlehands the boat everywhere he goes.”