Midnight Express is a family-owned manufacturer of luxury performance motorboats that is based in Miami, Florida.
They build a line of fully customized center console boats ranging in size from 34 through to 60 feet. Midnight Express transformed the center console boat from a functional fishing boat into a luxurious day cruising yacht.
How do Midnight Express boats compare with the rest of this new market?
Here’s How Good Midnight Express Boats Are:
Midnight Express boats are known to go fast, but they don’t compromise on safety or quality. They offer fully customizable amenities like upgraded upholstery, high-quality finishes, spacious seating, and luxury accommodation.
A Brief History Of Midnight Express Boats
The history of Midnight Express boats begins with Byng Goode and Pedro Medina.
They began designing and building boats around 1980. Their boats became legendary for their speed, strength, and ability to navigate rough seas.
These boats were used in the Caribbean and were eventually phased out in the late 1990s.
After this, the company’s history goes quiet until it resurfaces in 1997 in its current form, which bears no resemblance to the original company. The original owners disappeared, and the new hulls were completely different.
Tom Mason, a boatbuilder with over 40 years of experience, took over from 1997 until 2006. He redesigned and modernized the hull during his tenure by raising the hull sides, lessening the dead rise, and designing an integrated transom.
In 2006, Tom Mason sold the company to two unknown brothers, Harris and Eric Glaser, who went on to redefine the custom boat-building industry. They introduced newly shaped hulls with new design and construction techniques and elaborate customizable color schemes.
Express Boats soon became known for their flawless precision and unmatched performance.
Today the company is going from strength to strength with its fully customizable boats. If you can imagine what will go inside one of their boats, they will find a way to design it.
Its mission statement is “to build the best quality, highest performing powerboats utilizing cutting-edge technology combined with a groundbreaking design.”
How Reliable Are Midnight Express Boats?
Midnight Express boats are also known as the Bahamas boats as they can cover the distance between south Florida and the outlying Bahamas islands in record time.
To cover distances in open water, you must have reliability. Midnight Express was one of the first companies to attach four large horsepower engines onto the back of their boats.
More engines mean more speed, but they also mean extra reliability in case of engine failure (unless you have bad fuel).
However, any boats’ reliability comes down to maintenance. You can have the most expensive boat globally, but it won’t be reliable if it is not regularly maintained.
How Durable Are Midnight Express Boats?
Midnight Express uses a vacuum infusion layup to construct the hulls and decks of every one of their boats.
The vacuum infusion process (VIP) is a technique in which dry layers of fiberglass are laid in the molds, and then a big bag is put over it.
As the name suggests, the air is then sucked out, and the resin is infused into the fiberglass. All the parts are then fully cored with high-density foam.
This vacuum infusion process creates a stronger, lighter boat that many leading boat manufacturers use today.
What About Older Midnight Express Boats?
While today’s Midnight Express Boats is a completely different boat from the older models, the older models are still quite sought after.
The original Midnight Express 37, built by the original owners in the 1980s, has a bulletproof reputation. This was the model used by avid boaters, drug smugglers, and government enforcement agents alike.
The boats built by Tom Mason from 1997 until 2006 still come up for sale and are usually snapped up pretty quickly. An old quote from 2008 on one of the boating forums reads,
“The Original Midnights and the new Midnights are without any dispute one of the most offshore worthy boats anywhere ….period.”
This seems to sum up the view of older Midnight Express Boats.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Since 2006, Harris and Eric Glaser have operated the Midnight Express factory who built a boat that is a far cry from the original. As each boat is custom-built, it isn’t easy to have standard parts available.
As there is no concrete information about parts for older models, we would hazard a guess that the factory does not make parts for older models.
However, if you have purchased a model from 2006 or newer, you will be considered part of the Midnight Express family.
This means that you will have full access or contact with the owners, Harris and Eric Glaser, who will do their utmost to sort out any problems you may have with your Midnight Express boat.
What Are Typical Problems With Midnight Express Boats?
According to all the reviews and the boating and fishing forums, Midnight Express Boats are built to extremely high standards, and there don’t seem to be any typical problems with the boats.
However, the company does push boundaries to pursue new innovations and technology. In 2009, Midnight Express was one of the first to put five 350hp Mercury Verado outboard engines on a 43-foot boat.
During testing, one of the engines came off the boat, which went viral. The company quickly pointed out that this was a prototype and nothing for owners to worry about.
A problem that can occur with any boat brand and is not typical of Midnight Express is mechanical failure. If you regularly push your fast boat up to and beyond its limits, mechanical issues should inevitably happen.
How Long Do Midnight Express Boats Last When Compared To Similar Brands?
Midnight Express boats are not produced en-masse.
The company only manufactures around 40 boats per year. With each boat customized to individual customers’ needs, the attention to detail and the build quality are second to none.
Plus, the man-hours required for the production of each boat are high, making them an expensive boat.
Similar brands include Blackwater Boats, Hydra-Sports, Cigarette Racing, Nor-Tech Boats, Mystic Powerboats, and Marine Technology Inc.
Midnight Express boats compare well with any of these other brands. How long your boat will last will depend on how well you look after it.
Any boat will deteriorate fast if it is not well maintained, continually pushed to the limits, or left out uncovered in all weathers.
Do Midnight Express Boats Hold Their Value? (Do They Depreciate Faster Than Normal)
No two boats are ever the same, even if they are massed produced.
So a fully customized boat, like a Midnight Express, is very difficult to say if they depreciate faster than normal.
Midnight Express boats, with their distinctive modern lines and elaborate color schemes, stand out. If the person who the boat was designed for likes a red hull and green upholstery, this may be a difficult boat to sell to someone else.
However, Midnight Express Boats are generally known to be top-quality boats, and not everyone can afford one, even secondhand!
A quick look at Boattrader.com currently lists fifteen Midnight Express Boats for sale, ranging from 34 to 43 feet. Four of these are the popular Midnight Express 39 Cuddy from different years.
Let’s take a look at how these four boats compare at price:
|Midnight Express 39 Cuddy||2019||$695,000|
|Midnight Express 39 Cuddy||2007||$325,000|
|Midnight Express 39 Cuddy||2003||$239,000|
|Midnight Express 39 Cuddy||2000||$229,500|
Info courtesy of Boattrader.com (correct at time of writing)
These boats may all be the same model, but the year and their individual inventories all contribute to the pricing. A Midnight Express Boat is a high-end boat that should hold its value if well looked after.
Are Midnight Express Boats Still Being Made?
Midnight Express Boats are still being manufactured in Miami, Florida.
Today they offer a range of 7 boats which include the following:
- 34′ Open
- 37′ Open
- 39S Open/Cuddy
- 43′ Open
- 43′ Solstice
- 52′ Vitesse
- 60′ Pied-A-Mer
Each of these models is designed to the exact specifications and requirements of the individual client.
The client can choose the colors, designs, navigation packages, seating arrangements, upholstery, and even the stitching, ensuring a truly customized powerboat (to create unforgettable experiences).
Midnight Express Powerboats – President Harris Glaser