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First look: New 50-mph MJM 53z flagship with four 400-hp Mercury Verados

by Peter Janssen 14 Jun 2019 22:23 PDT
New 50-mph MJM 53z © Peter Janssen

Here's a first look at the brand-new MJM 53z with four 400-hp Mercury Verado outboards, just launched at the Boston BoatWorks. In its initial trials in Boston Harbor, the new Doug Zurn-designed, Down-East beauty topped out at 50 mph with full fuel and five people on board. The acceleration, for a luxurious 53-foot yacht, was a pleasing 0 to 20 mph in six seconds. After the trials, MJM posted the picture above on social media.

The 53z is MJM's new flagship and its latest outboard-powered boat, after the 35z and the 43z; the company says it's the largest outboard express cruising boat in the world. The 53z is an outgrowth of the MJM 50z, which was powered by three 435-hp Volvo IPS600 pod drives. I drove that boat in Long Island Sound three years ago with four people on board and it topped out at 44.5 mph.

Zurn, with offices in Marblehead, Mass., has designed all of MJM's boats, plus boats for other builders including Bruckmann, C.W. Hood, Derecktor, Lyman-Morse, Duffy, Williams, Lynx, Hylas, Vanquish and Shelter Island; he also has a new power cat in the works. He told me earlier that he had to redesign the aft end of the 50z with a new transom and tooling for the 53z. The engine room that used to hold the three Volvos now can be used for extra storage or a washer and dryer.

The 53z is just the latest example of the trend to outboard power, and is meant to appeal to buyers who want the sportscar-like performance, acceleration, shallow draft and the ease of maintenance that come with outboard engines. "Now the 53z boaters can also enjoy the enhanced living space, all-weather cruising comfort and smoother ride offshore that we all like in a bigger boat," said Bob Johnstone, the founder of MJM Yachts.

MJM will continue testing the 53z in Boston for another week or so before bringing it down to Newport toward the end of the month. Stay tuned.


  • LOA: 56'3"
  • Beam: 15'0"
  • Draft: Drives up: 27"
  • Drives down: 35"
  • Disp.: 33,669 lbs.
  • Fuel: 910 gals.
  • Water: 250 gals.
  • Power: 4×400-hp Mercury Verado outboards

For more information visit:

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Cruising Odyssey.

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