There are plenty of 30-foot center console fishing boats out there, but how many boats have a 30-foot center console inside them? In the Midnight Express 60 Pied-A-Mer, just the console itself is 30 feet long. Crazy, right? Jump aboard with us and see the boat for yourself, in this short First Look Video...
Just how does the Pied-A-Mer utilize a console the size of most center console boats? It has twin staterooms, one forward and another aft, with queen berths, along with a stand-up head compartment with shower. It also has a settee and a galley. But we seriously doubt anyone will do the cooking belowdecks, with that rather amazing convert-a-grill hidden under the aft lounger. If you didn’t catch that part of the video, go back and look again right now—it’s one of the coolest convertible features we’ve ever seen on a boat, period.
Of course, this being a Midnight Express, you don’t have to have that lounger grill if you don’t want it. The boat is semi-customizable, and the layout both above and below deck can be changed to accommodate your liking. Another item that can be tweaked to exceed your expectations is the power system. The Pied-A-Mer we were on had quadruple Seven Marine 627 outboards, which Midnight Express says will take the boat to speeds of over 70 MPH. They also claim, however, that if you opt for inboard diesels coupled to surface drives, the boat can get into the 90 MPH range.
We think those estimates are probably on-target; Midnight Express is known for building boats that perform far better than the norm, and this twin-stepped hull (check out this Stepped Hulls video, if you’re not up to par on how steps help boost speed and efficiency) weighs in at just 33,000 pounds. There aren’t really any other 60-foot center consoles to compare the Pied-A-Mer with but as a point of reference, your average 60-foot express cruiser will tilt the scales in the 45,000 to 55,000 pound range. And as you probably know, less weight equals more speed. Midnight Express accomplishes this svelte nature by molding with resin infusion (a process similar to vacuum bagging, which minimizes excess resin to attain the ideal strength-to-weight ratio), coring throughout with high-density foam, and using carbon fiber extensively.
Naturally, when a boat goes this fast it needs to have some serious seakeeping abilities. We couldn’t go for a sea trial at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – the model we saw was perched atop a massive lift, and actually wasn’t quite ready for prime-time anyway, in our estimation. We noted that some fittings hadn’t been installed and some finish work hadn’t yet been completed. No doubt this was the result of the timing of the boat show, more than a reflection of the boat’s ultimate refinement. But even without putting it to the real-world test, between the 22-degree transom deadrise deep-V and sheer mass, we suspect waves aren’t going to be much of a problem for the Pied-A-Mer. Plus, there’s a long history of high-speed, smooth-running Midnight Express models of the past to consider, and they’re all significantly smaller. So while we’d certainly encourage a sea trial for anyone considering the purchase of a Pied-A-Mer, we’re also confident that it won’t be a disappointment.
Another thing you won’t likely be disappointed by: the topsides layout. Many large center console yachts are outfitted more or less for fishing, but this isn’t true of the Pied-A-Mer on display at the show. This boat was clearly more inclined towards luxury cruising, albeit at high speeds. That big aft lounger faces a second lounger built into the back of the triple-wide helm station, and there’s oodles more seating up forward. The front of the console incorporates a lounge with stretch-out room for two people or maybe three close friends, plus fold-down arm rests. And the bow is capped off with a long U-shaped lounge.
You wish you had a rigging station instead of one of those loungers? You’d rather have a full bow sunpad as opposed to the U-lounge? Remember, Midnight Express is a semi-custom builder. If it fits into that 60-foot footprint, whatever you can think up, chances are they can make it happen. In fact, Midnight Express invites its customers to work directly with the engineers and designers and consider each build a collaboration. They’ll send you pictures and videos as the boat’s being constructed, and they’re happy to host you at the factory during the process. Seating layouts and fabrics, control systems, electronics suites, and color patterns are just a few of the aspects of the Pied-A-Mer that you get to choose.
Other Choices: There are none, period. This boat will naturally be compared to the HCB 65' Estrella, simply because as of the Pied-A-Mer’s launch these are the two largest center console yachts on the market. But they’re extremely different boats and each is thoroughly unique.
See Midnight Express 60 Pied-A-Mer listings.
|Fuel capacity||700 gal.|
|Water capacity||165 gal.|