The MJM Story



Racing Sailboat Roots

MJM Yachts was founded in 2002 by Bob Johnstone, who also co-founded J Boats, Inc., the world's leading brand of performance sailboats (14,000 worldwide). Asked why the move to power, Bob, who is 83, replied, "Seems my wife and I had gotten older and our boats had to reverse roles. I'll always enjoy a daysail on the latest 'J.' But our quality cruising time is now on a motorboat." And that's not just any motorboat.

Mary Johnstone’s Motorboat

The goal was to find a boat that could be easily operated and docked solo by his wife Mary. It had to seat three couples comfortably in an all-weather pilothouse, and cruise at 25 knots to outrun waves offshore. Nothing on the market fit the bill. So, as he did a J/Boats, it was time to create a new boat. Bob figured that market conditions were perfect. Other baby boomers, entering their 70s, would also want to switch from sail to power and were seeking the same features that combined ease-of-operation with comfort. Mary was the inspiration. The brand became MJM ... Mary Johnstone's Motorboat.

Beauty was Goal #1

First he needed a yacht designer with the best eye in the business to combine the beautiful features of his favorite powerboats: the seagoing bow flare and powderhorn sheer of a Carolina sportfish, the elegant tumblehome of an Adirondack runabout, the sightlines of a classic Matthews cruiser, and the open pilothouse and flush deck of a Maine lobsterboat. Doug Zurn was selected as having the best eye in the business, based on the Shelter Island 38 he'd drawn for singer Billy Joel. A month later, the signature MJM look was born and a US Patent applied for.

Finding a Builder

No powerboat builder could be identified with the high-tech experience required. So, it was back to sailboat roots and master builder Mark Lindsay of Boston BoatWorks, who'd been building America's Cup and world championship winning sailboats for 35 years. BBW became MJM's licensed builder.

Unique Technology

Today, with a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer and push-button, fully-opening windshields available in all models, MJM Yachts is the most technologically advanced powerboat in class—and a proven success, with 250 boats sold in five models. But the biggest difference is how MJMs are built. Using a unique but more costly process with higher-quality materials, Kevlar and Eglass are wet pre-pregged with epoxy resin through high-pressure rollers before being placed in molds. Epoxy has 3-5 times the flexural strength of polyester or vinylester resins...making the boats stronger, longer-lasting, more agile, and fun to drive. "They are built like the Dreamliner."* And since fuel efficiency is a function of power-to-weight ratios, MJMs generally get twice the mileage per gallon of similar-size boats at 25-knot cruising speeds. *Eric Sorensen – Soundings April ‘14

ISO Certified Category A OCEAN

MJM seaworthiness is certified to the highest standard available by the International Marine Certification Institute in Brussels. The MJM 40z and new MJM 50z are the only two Downeast designs of any size certified ISO Category A. Structural strength and stability in large beam seas are heavily weighed in the ISO rating.

Inviting Layouts

MJM success also results from focusing great attention to fit and finish, as well as innovative features such as all-weather, flush 'flybridge without the ladder' main deck layouts, cabins with seating below for daytime privacy in port, and side opening doors at floating dock or club launch height for easy boarding or solo docking.