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Old 08-15-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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2004 Mainship 390 vs 2005 Mainship 34T

Hi Folks,

We have narrowed our boat search down to the 390 and the 34T. We have been aboard both boats. I was able to hear the engine and gen set run on a 34T and was very impressed with the low sound levels, but I have not heard a 390.
The 390 is a different design with engine access thru the cabin sole versus the 34T's stairway access. This I am told makes the 34T quieter and isolates the cabin from engine fumes.
My question to you 390 owners is are noise levels and fumes an issue for you? I like the added tankage ( fuel, water, holding) on the 390 vs the 34t which may come in handy while cruising the Bahamas. On the other hand I like the 34T engine access better.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Bill and Beth
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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I owned a 34T for several years and have casually looked at the 390. The 34T is a perfect boat for a couple. But if you stay overnight with more than two then consider the 390. Some 34Ts have a pull out sofa but they are in the way and rarely comfortable.

And the 34Ts flybridge is huge as it goes from beam to beam.

David
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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We have a 390 and love it. The genset is noisy when sitting in the cockpit as the sounds bounce off the overhead. I would have to think the 34T would have the same affect. From inside the boat the genset noise is not an issue. Have never been on a 34T with the main running so i can't really comment on them. The 390 main is not overly noisy in the salon and there is no odor or fume issue. I like the port stateroom for storage. Works well for the occassional guest. One issue and i don't know if the 34T has this issue; lay down on the bed in the forward cabin and make sure the headroom is ok for you. I've gotten used to it, but it is tight.
When I'm changing oil, filters, antifreeze, etc, I like having the hatches off and being able to stand up. Not sure how i would like crawling around. That said, moving the table, rolling up the carpet and lifting the hatches just to check fluids can be a pain. I prefer the galley up design myself, but some like the galley down on the 34T. Keep in mind, the last production year for the 34T, they called it the 395, put the galley up and added the second cabin. The flybribge for the 34T probably wins because on the 390 your guests and first mate are sitting side ways. because of the wider flybridge on the 34T they could position better seating.
They're both really good boats and i think it really boils down to whether you need the second cabin or not
John
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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one last point. I saw your comment about cruising the Bahama's. When 390 owners are changing fluids or working on the engine, it is in airconditioned comfort!!!
John
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info John. I too like the galley up and did not know about the 395. I need to do more research.
So much to consider....
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
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The 34T has HORRIBLE engine room access in my opinion. Plus I think the 390 is a better boat all around except for slow speed handling without the truster.
For me it's the 350/390 hands down.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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Not sure if it is in your price range, and I'm not dissing any 390's or 34T's out there....
But the 400T is really upgraded over the 350/390/34T. We looked at both when we were in the market last year but it wasn't until our boat (a 2005 400) was docked right next to a 2003 390 that the differences really became apparent.

Many, many upgrades, some of which (like the anchor set up without the plastic hatch and improved galley cabinetry) seem to be build quality related. Biggest things are a roomier engine room, covered walkarounds, more headroom in fwd cabin, and straight steps from the FB down to the cockpit, which waste far less space in the cockpit and on the FB.

Prices are coming down on the 400, you can buy a clean one for about $175,000. Just a thought.

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Old 08-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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I agree with Doug's comments on the 400T. I looked at them when i bought the 390, but at the time they were close to $100K higher. I liked them, but not $100K more.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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B & B... I have a 2005 34T and for the 2 of us, it's a perfect fit. Strong points are the engine room (ER) not being open to the salon... was in a 2004 40 and there was no escaping the diesel fumes from the ER - not so in the 34T. This arrangement cuts down on gen and engine noise. Perfect use of stairs - access to upper helm plus integrated access to ER. Mine has a single 370 Yanmar and at 6' (70 next B'Day) getting around in the ER is no problem. Room enough on both sides to do operator maintenance and Yanmar tech had no problem when he performed the 1000 hr service. For me, no fumes in salon is preferred over sitting/squatting in ER occasionally... for extended stays in the ER, a fan keeps the air moving. Lower galley is preferred - I stay out of the cook's way and that's her preference also. Crew and guests prefer the upper helm even in wet weather - room for all. We slept on the fold out sofa to see what guests would experience, and it was reasonably comfortable. The 34T is easy for 2 people to handle - have bow thruster, but no stern thruster. We did not need the second stateroom, so the 34T was our choice.

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Old 09-29-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your thoughts. Seems to me the 390 and 34T are both good boats. Both have good and not so good features as all boats do.
I just finished reading "Mid Sized Power Boats" by David Pascoe. He considers Mainship an "entry level" boat. But the book is ten years old. Guy seems to know boats but comes across as kind of a dick too.
Maybe i'll buy a motor coach instead.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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what the heck... 1 of each... "entry level" is good analogy, but from a 34T owner, getting into a 34T wasn't like getting into a GB or a Nordhavn... I still have $ for fuel...

good luck with your search... I looked for over a year, and MS kept meeting criteria...

et
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pluto View Post
I just finished reading "Mid Sized Power Boats" by David Pascoe. He considers Mainship an "entry level" boat. But the book is ten years old.

Maybe a fair comment, but that probably means Chevrolet (ranging to Buick maybe, in some models or years), not Yugo ranging to Kia.

Buck Algonquin thru hull castings, not Groco. Jabsco electric heads, not Raritan. And so forth. All decent systems, just not the high-priced spread.

-Chris
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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This is a great thread, I learned plenty. We just bought a 2003 MS 390 (after looking at FIVE of them). Ours is a single Yanmar 370 with bow thruster.

Comments/responses to items raised in this thread:

Engine noise? Not a problem. Sound insulation is very thick and effective. Even if a 34T is a bit quieter (???), I will trade ease of maintenance access for a little noise eight days out of every seven day week.

Fumes inside the boat? If you are smelling fumes inside the saloon, something is dangerously wrong -- get it fixed! 100.00 percent of your exhaust should be going out the back and if it's not you have bigger problems than just the odor. If it's crankcase blowby, that can (and should) also be fixed.

I agree that the galley-up design of the 390 is better, but that is personal preference.

One thing I can definitely say, the upgrades Mainship made to the 390 in 2003-2004 were excellent. Going from aluminum rails to stainless was LONG overdue, and the switch to Cherry and Holly from Teak gives the boat a much more contemporary appeal. While these changes might seem superficial, we found they make a huge difference.

As others have mentioned, we couldn't justify the extra 70k-120K for the MS 40/400, but it definitely has appeal. The addition of a washer/dryer below and the Jenn-Aire grill up top are nice touches.

Entry-level boat?? Our MS 390 is built every bit as well as my dad's classic '67 Chris-Craft Commander and numerous other boats we have owned and loved. Yes, the plumbing and such is a grade lower, but that's not really what makes or breaks a boat IMO.

In general, I'm not sure how one can go wrong with any of these Mainship 'Trawlers'. They are all good quality build construction and the tradeoffs Luhr's Group made for the various target markets seem to be very intelligent -- even moreso in retrospect.

In any case, we're clearly happy with our choice!
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #14
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Yes sir I agree. I just recently bought a 2004 390 with the Yanmar and brought it to Savannah mostly singlehanded from Fort Lauderdale and had no trouble. Now that the boat is at my local marina I am going thru it learning its systems.
So far I have replaced bad float switch in the shower sump that was stinking up the boat, in process of replacing engine raw water strainer because top was not removable and bowl flange was broken, replacing engine anodes ( 4 of them) , scrubbed the bilges, and just today ordered the air heater plugs that the plcard on the engine says should be replaced every 2 years( mine are original ). Local yanmar distibutor says tips can get brittle and break off in the engine causing massive damage.

The list is long but for me working on a boat is mental health therapy. I was boatless for 8 months and was bored shitless.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
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Congratulations Pluto, wish you all the best with your new vessel.

Could you share some tech details like cruise speed/rpm to fuel consumption?
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:46 PM   #16
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34T vs 390

I considered the 390, but did not like the Idea of access from the salon...like the Idea on the 34 access outside... because of this they were able to add insulation for noise reduction. Also keep the mechanics out of the salon area.

I have twin 240s and I'm 6ft. I have plenty area to work on the engines.

I don't mind crawling. In fact sometimes, ( when the admiral is particularly tough on me) I'll go down there just to hug my port engine.

My opinion 34T over 390 hands down.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:24 PM   #17
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I agree the 34T is a great boat too. Its all about choices and priorities. We think we are going to need the larger tankage and fridge for staying out longer between marina stays.
We also think we found an exceptional version of the boat. Low hours, less than 800. It was one of the last 390's built. The one owner was a big shot broker in Fort Lauderdale, his personal boat. Boat was inspected during production by him as it was built in St. augustine. It has custom features I have not seen in other 390's.
Cant wait to get out there...
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:31 PM   #18
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Good call jann... I looked for over a year and the 34T fit my criteria - however, criteria will differ from buyer to buyer - my 34T does all I want and need in a trawler and then some... please post some photos as you explore your new toy....
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:56 PM   #19
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we bought our 2003 390 in 06 and are very happy with it. Mainship built great boats all around. Pluto and Riverguy, good luck with your 390's. A couple of maintenance items I've learned over the years: keep the shower sump clean you WILL know when it gets dirty. If you start smelling head odors look for the inline vent filter that Mainship put in the vent line and take it out. It blocks oxygen from getting into the holding tank. You will find it in the compartment below the lower helm. The midship bilge pump access hatch is under the steps leading down to the berths. If it keeps cycling on and off get an extra couple of feet of hose with some double barbs and add it to the line in a loop. its a long way from the pump to the through hull and the line holds about a gallon of water that will back feed into the bilge and cause the pump cycling. For winterizing the main get an extra hose from the filter to a 5 gallon bucket. that way you're not bending the the hose into unnatural shapes and causing premature wear. Thats it! 4 issues in 7 years and almost 950 miles.
John
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