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An Insider’s Perspective On The 100th 43-Foot Midnight Express

Editor’s note: To celebrate the company’s 100th 43-foot luxury performance center console hull, the owners of Midnight Express Boats—Eric and Harris Glaser—decided to build themselves an over-the-top 43’ Solstice powered five Mercury Racing engines that they could show off at the Miami International Boat Show and run it the following week in the Florida Powerboat Club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run. They did just that and have a summer full of events planned in the No. 100 boat, starting with the Tampa Bay Poker Run later this month, the Midnight Express Rendezvous (May 13-15), the Rockin the Harbor Poker Run in Baltimore (June 24-26), the Tiki Lee’s Shootout on the River (also in the Baltimore area July 15-17) and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri in late August. According to Eric Glaser, who shared his objectives for the 100th edition with speedonthewater.com below, the Midnight team is going to participate in the street party, poker run and shootout during the popular Lake of the Ozarks event.

It’s exciting that we have built 100 of our Midnight Express 43s. In reality, we are actually about to deliver the 116th 43’ because we had to hold the No. 100 boat to the side while we waited for a few special parts. We are sold through about No. 160 depending on when this story goes live.

The team at Midnight Express Boats decided to turn its 100th 43-footer into a special-edition model with new options from hardware and electronics systems to batteries and interior features. Photos courtesy Midnight Express Boats

When we decided to build a factory boat a few years ago, we knew it had to be special, so I looked at the schedule and noticed hull No. 100 was coming up. I thought that would be the perfect boat to celebrate, so Harris and I decided to put that boat aside for ourselves. It didn’t stop there though, as we knew we had to make the boat special. The first decision for us was making it one of our new Solstice models. It also had to be a quint 450R-powered boat because we are all about performance.

We knew this was the perfect opportunity for us to showcase some new options we were planning on coming out with. We know people love exposed carbon fiber from looking at the exotic car industry, so we decided to start offering multiple new exposed carbon-fiber options, and introduce them on this boat.

The next choice was the colors. I’ve always liked vehicles of all varieties painted black with a dark rich red, and I love metallics, so we picked a metallic black first. Then we thought it would be eye-catching to do some of those new exposed carbon-fiber parts in a red carbon fiber.  After we chose the red carbon fiber, we had to match the red paint to the carbon fiber to bring it all together.

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The slideshow above includes several detail images of the 43′ Solstice.

Another new option for us that was introduced on this boat is having all-black hardware. This means there is no polished stainless steel on this boat which includes everything down to the anchor, hinges, latches, mercury controls and even screws where possible. We were a little worried about coating the anchor as it would get scratched every time it gets used, but we found a new extremely durable coating that has withheld some serious abuse so far.

We then chose the upholstery in a black Alcantara, and red vinyl with a different design on the combing pad taken from our 60’ Pied-a-Mer, and a Q-centerra pattern. That same pattern was brought into the flooring in black and red, and placed on the gunwales and hard top as well, all of which is cut in house. The cabin has a very nice vinyl wood look floor that is extremely durable, elevates the interior finishes to the next level and is a first for a 43’.

This boat also utilizes a new capacitor system to start the motors, meaning that even if your batteries are totally dead, the motors will still have a very high likelihood of starting. Once the motors are started, they will recharge your batteries. Due to this extra layer of protection, we also require far fewer batteries. This boat only has three house batteries and a small generator starting battery. We also chose to upgrade these batteries to lithium-ion for more longevity as well as weight savings. The capacitor system is now standard on all of our boats 43 feet and above, and the lithium-ion batteries are optional on all boats.

We also are using this boat to test an electronically controlled antenna mounting system as well as an automatically lifting anchor light. These will be optional on all boats once we have decided that testing is complete on this boat.

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Check out more running shots of the 43-footer in the slideshow above.

Of course, the boat has a laminated glass windshield and an extended hard-top, plus a built-in shower, generator, air conditioning and Seakeeper 6 as the majority of our 43’ Solstices are equipped. There are many other options in this boat that are not listed, but I wanted to mention the ones that made the biggest difference in making this boat stand out and showcased what Midnight Express is all about.

To top everything off, we had a custom graphic paint job applied to the hullside with ‘#100’ ghosted in it, along with the ‘#100’ logo being placed in a few other locations on the boat.

Needless to say, we are extremely proud of this build and can’t wait to hear what people think at the different events we’re attending.

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