John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
Midnight Express Interceptor
AUGUST 2008 
Length 39'2"
Beam 9'6"
Draft 1'8"
Displacement 13,000 lbs
Maximum HP 1200

 . . . 67, 68, 69, 70 miles per hour. My eyes were glued to the GPS. If we'd been on the highway, we'd have been begging for a ticket. But we weren't on the highway. We were aboard the Midnight Express Interceptor heading out of the Severn River into the Chesapeake Bay—and what a ride!

Built for military use and law enforcement, the Interceptor is an impressive piece of hardware. With four 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards, this 39-foot center-console boat is obviously fast, but it's also quiet and agile. 

Joe Crook, the Midnight Express director of sales, was at the wheel as we topped 70 miles per hour (60 knots). He turned to me and said, "I think that's as fast as I want to take her today." Surprisingly, our conversation was only at a slightly elevated volume—that's how quiet those engines are. Before heading out, I'd had visions of a deafening white-knuckle ride, but what I experienced couldn't have been more different.  

As we passed a large express cruiser (approximately 45-50 feet) that was heading towards us on the opposite course, Joe cranked the wheel over to starboard to take a crack at his three-foot wake. "Here we go!" I thought as I took a firm hold of the seat. But when we hit the wake it was hardly noticeable–I've had a rougher time on speed bumps at the mall. I could tell that we were briefly airborne only by the sudden increase in the pitch of the engines. And the Interceptor made a smooth landing, made even smoother by the shock absorbers built into my seat.  Midnight Express is a family-owned-and-operated company whose story is rooted in the owner's passion for boats and the company's commitment to quality and cutting edge design and construction. Their 39-foot Interceptor is actively used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs Service who deem it "the most powerful law enforcement vessel on the water."

Unfortunately, we can't tell you all of the cool features of the Government Interceptor model, but the good news is that you don't have to join Homeland Security or the Customs Service to get behind the wheel of one of these boats. Midnight Express builds two civilian versions of the 39 on the same hull. The open model is well suited for fishermen looking to get out to the fishing grounds in a capable and fast offshore cruiser. The cuddy cabin version offers the same capability and speed plus overnight accommodations for two. They also offer a 37-foot Open and Sport Model ( Chesapeake Bay Magazine, May 2007).

This fall, Midnight Express plans to unveil its newest model at the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis. The 34-foot Pied-a-Mer will offer an open cockpit and overnight accommodations in a full forward cabin. As usual, Midnight Express engineers have tweaked their design to maximize both efficiency and performance.