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Old 03-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Bayliner "trawler" vs Mainship

Hello all,

We are old sailors who are looking at buying a trawler to live aboard in the warm south during our cold winter months. The budget isn't high, so we (think) we have narrowed it down to either a Mark 111 Mainship 34(1984) or a 1988 Bayliner 3870. Apart from the obvious difference in fuel consumption, what other comments do people have about the pros and cons of each of these boats?

We appreciate any and all input.
Cheers,
Alison
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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Never been aboard the Mainship so no comment.

I was aboard a couple late 1980's Bayliner 38's and liked what I saw. Good use of space and fairly efficient layout. That said it was just more boat than we felt was needed for the gunkhole day and overnight trips we planned. We stopped investigating them after that.

Good luck in your search and welcome to the forum Alison.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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I looked at Mainship 34's when looking for a liveaboard as my last boat...a friend who was a broker said I wouldn't be happy with the smallish head...he was correct and I bought a 37 foot sportfish instead (back when diesel was reasonable).

If only for 4-5 months it may be OK for you but if you are looking for a liveaboard to cruise south for the winter (which is exactly what I do for 4 months with my current job) then REALLY look at household creature comforts.

When people start talking seaworthiness or construction....basically that's the end of that conversation because unless you plan on farther than Florida or the Bahamas...just about any boat in decent repair is OK. Yes economy both in operation and size for dockage and repairs, especially if on a budget are important, but which brand is entirely debatable...at that point getting what's comfortable is tops because if you hate the trip because of the boat's discomfots...wh cares what it CAN do in a hurricane....
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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These are great comments. Keep them coming!
I'm focused on the creature comforts - berth, head, galley(!) and my husband can worry about the engine and whether or not there are soft decks.
Alison
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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When we bought the Eagle the 47 Bayliner was our compare to boat. Bayliner is a great for the best bang for the buck and very few boats can even come close to. My wife was concerned about safety, room, and creature comforts. Being we were planning on using the boat as a dock condo, we where not concerned about its capability.

I will say at 38 ft is a little small to be a live a board for a long period of time, but in the warmer climates, might be OK as you can go and be out side.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post

If only for 4-5 months it may be OK for you but if you are looking for a liveaboard to cruise south for the winter (which is exactly what I do for 4 months with my current job) then REALLY look at household creature comforts.
That's good advice.
Having been aboard a BL 38, 45 & 47, I'd opt for either the 45 or 48. They both have a really nice layout for liveaboards and if it doesn't work out the re-sale is excellent for these two boats. Not knowing what your budget is, it's hard to make a decent suggestion.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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If you are somehow locked into that size range, consider also the Krogen Manatee 36. My personal favorite mid-30s boat for long term use. As well as that of some experienced folks who actually have and do use them for that purpose.

But you really need to spend some real time on boats (days being much better than hours, and minutes being useless) and then you can determine what is comfortable for YOU.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
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I have not spent all that much time aboard the 38' Bayliners but they are roomy with a nice layout. They can also be purchased for a suprising low price in todays economy.

We have a member at the Bayliner Owners Club that keeps his boat on the great lakes and lives aboard with his wife all summer to escape the heat of Florida where he resides in the winter.

He loves the boat and has had this lifestyle for a very long time.

Personally I think as others have mentioned the 45 or 47' Bayliners make an almost perfect liveaboard coastal cruiser. I admit at being biased since I own a 2001 4788, so take it with a grain of salt I supose.

Best of luck in your hunting.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leading Edge View Post
Hello all,

We are old sailors who are looking at buying a trawler to live aboard in the warm south during our cold winter months. The budget isn't high, so we (think) we have narrowed it down to either a Mark 111 Mainship 34(1984) or a 1988 Bayliner 3870. Apart from the obvious difference in fuel consumption, what other comments do people have about the pros and cons of each of these boats?

We appreciate any and all input.
Cheers,
Alison
Having owned a 3870, I think they are great boats. They are 2 cabin boats; the "cave" cabin is plenty large for my 6'2" frame, and comfortable. I really liked the tub/shower combination.

Another nice feature is engine room access- there's a door in the cockpit, port side, that allows for easy engine access without lifting floorboards.

I think they are a truly underrated value for the money.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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Based on the OPs selections so far...boats ike a 36 KK or even the bayliner pilothouse models are WAYYYYYY abouve the budget line.

A 34-36 taiwan boat in reasonable shape would be closer.

If I was never going to the islands...then a houseboat would be my first choice.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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Even though I'm a Mainship guy, i think the early 34's would be a little tight to use as alive aboard. The Bayliner 38's are a really good looking boat with a pretty good amount of interior space. the lower helm is worthless because the bow is so high off the water visability is poor. A guy near us had a custom flybridge extension made that covers the cockpit. He bought a davit, had chocks mounted and thats where he stores his dinghy. If you were looking at the boat you would swear it came from the factory like that. If you're having trouble visualizing this, look at my avitatar. Of course mine is a 390 Mainship but his final product was similar. The interior's of 1980's Bayliners (i had an 88) are designed in "Early Miami Vice" (pink and grey pastels), so redecorating is in order.
One other consideration for the Bayliner is that the flybridge ladder is a looong way up and when you're underway it's beyond straight up and down
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #13
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The Bayliner has about twice the room of the Mainship. I have a hard time with the interior colors of the Bayliner as Johnma suggested. But that can be changed. For a live aboard, the Bayliner wins....and I am a Mainship fan and owner as well.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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Mainship 34T

We have a later model Mainship 34T and love it.Using it as a cruising couple boat it works great .We think that the fit and finish is impressive and would recomend it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #15
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #16
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Thanks to all for your comments. We will have a look at both again with these comments in mind. And....now the water has been muddied by the sighting of an old Defever 40! Good thing we aren't in a hurry!
Cheers,
Alison
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #17
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Pick your boat based on what you will use it for.
A Bayliner is not a "trawler". A Trawler is a Full Displacement vessel. Bayliners are "Planing" hulls.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #18
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Pick your boat based on what you will use it for.
A Bayliner is not a "trawler". A Trawler is a Full Displacement vessel. Bayliners are "Planing" hulls.
You are going to start a war. How many of these avatars are displacement hulls.

For god's sake don't tell anyone but I completely agree with you
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:43 PM   #19
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Pick your boat based on what you will use it for.
A Bayliner is not a "trawler". A Trawler is a Full Displacement vessel. Bayliners are "Planing" hulls.
I'm not so sure that a trawler can be defined as a Full Displacement vessel. Se about a thousand posts on what is a trawler in other threads. I would suggest that a Bayliner could be efficiently operated as a trawler at certain speeds, likely 6 to 8 knots?? I consider my boat to be a trawler and it is semi planing. I also have looked at both the early Mainship and the 3870 Bayliner when we were looking. I would pick the Bayliner for better utilization of space and comfort imho.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:47 PM   #20
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I also have looked at both the early Mainship and the 3870 Bayliner when we were looking. I would pick the Bayliner for better utilization of space and comfort imho.
At the risk of starting another war, I agree with your comments about the Bayliner which also has far superior build quality. Any Bayliners below this size are low quality boats but from this size up they rival any other top line production boat.
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