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Old 01-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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Mainship 31 purchase advice

Wow! What a great web site! I look forward to using this valuable resource a lot in the future. At present I am searching for our next boat. We are planning on retiring to Maine (at least for the boating season), and we are looking for a dayboat/occasional overnighter cruise boat for these waters. I have been studying the Back cove line, primarily a used 29 or 30. I am also considering the Mainship Pilot series in the same size range. I am hoping to draw on this vast sea (get it?) of knowledge. Any input into these two boats, or others of a similar style/value would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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I know both boats fairly well as my slip mate had a Back Cove 29 that I helped him maintain and I looked hard at the Mainship Pilot 30 before settling on the bigger model.

I much prefer the Mainship over the Back Cove. The upper cabin of the Mainship is more useable and the forward V-berth of 2003+ models has a flip down feature that lets the area aft of the V berth be used as a lounging area.

The Mainship comes with either the Yanmar 4LH 240 hp engine or the Yanmar 6LP 315 hp engine. The Back Cove only comes with the latter engine. The bigger engine is preferred on the Mainship and will let it cruise in the upper teens.

The Mainship comes in either hardtop or softop vesions. The hardtop is preferred and commands a $5-10K premium.

Good luck on your purchase. Either are great boats.

David
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
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Hi David,

Thanks for the rapid response. Your points all make sense. I was looking at 2004 and newer in the Mainship line. Pricing on Mainships is much more "comfortable" as well. Any thoughts on hull design for boating in the more open waters of Downeast Maine?

Dick
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #4
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Even though the lobstermen over on downeastboatforum.com make fun of the Mainship Pilots as not being a true downeaster hull, it is. They have a full keel that terminates at the prop stern tube. It has a full skeg underneath to protect the prop. Some say that a hard chine boat which the Mainship has is not a downeaster but I can give you plenty of examples of Maine built boats with hard chines.

So like most downeasters it handles well in rough seas. You can cruise fast, about 17 kts in the Pilot 30 and not kill yourself (figuratively of course) in up to 4' seas.

It is the perfect picnic type boat that can also handle an occasional overnighter. We would have bought one if my wife hadn't said bigger. And I am glad we did. The Pilot 34 has been comfortable for us on week long cruises.

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Old 01-12-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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Hi, after coming from a sailing background, I switched over to a 1998 Mainship 30 Pilot with only 200 original engine hours on it's diesel. It has turned out to be a great 1 couple boat that handles very well.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:51 PM   #6
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Thanks Alan54!
Glad you found a good one! Which engine are you running?
Dick
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:23 PM   #7
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The 175 hp Yanmar..not real fast...12 knots, but I am good with that, not to mention excellent fuel consumption.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
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I was curious what the speed was with the 175. Thanks for that. We used to have a 33 foot Cruisers Inc. when we lived down at Burnt Store. Great cruising in your area! Thanks for your reply!
Dick
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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The Pilots due have a reputation for being "wet" boats, but the addition of spray rails fixes that easily.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #10
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I wouldn't think 12 kts would require spary rails (?)
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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12 knots does not require a spray rail. Boat is dry at that speed.
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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The Flybridge is a very nice feature.. mine is a 34'... everyone likes going topside...
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:51 PM   #13
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Thanks Earl,

We haven't looked at vessels quite as large as yours yet. I'm sure that stepping up one more "size" offers many more amenities!
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:35 AM   #14
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Dick... I looked for over a year for a trawler that met my "must have" list and I kept coming back to the Mainship. There are hundreds of boats to choose from and my 34' Mainship hasn't disappointed me. I think that most boat owners feel the same way about their boat. There are some discussions about "the perfect" boat, but the consensus seems to be whatever meets your "must have" list is your perfect boat. Happy boating with whatever you choose.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:56 AM   #15
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I have been looking at the Mainship 30 Pilot as well, 2005 model. I haven't seen it in person yet only in pictures. I was curious about overnight accommodations. It says it can sleep 4, but I am having trouble envisioning how. My wife and I expect occasional overnight guests but not often. With the queen birth down does the dinette provide adult sleeping space?
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:24 AM   #16
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I owned a 2004 Mainship Pilot for 6 years. It is about the most perfect DAY boat or picnic boat you can reasonably have. I say day boat because overnight accommodations are pretty slim. It is the only reason I sold that boat. It was just too small. In 2003 and later they made significant hull modifications as well as interior changes. The hull they made more into a planing type hull. It is still a semi planing hull but they just flattened it out a little sooner which means it was a a little faster. While theoretically it should ride rougher due to the flattening of the hull, it did not. They also put the prop up into a pocket which made the thrust vector more parallel to the longitudinal axis...again, increasing performance. The keep was cutaway after the prop exited the hull about midship to provide for the flatter after sections. It is still provided a strut as well as a "sandshoe" all the way back to the rudder. All of this really did help performance. I cruised easily at 15 knots with the 4LHA. A close friend of mine has a 1998with only 10 less horsepower and they cruise at 13 at the same power setting. With all of that said, I like the earlier interior better. The 2003 and later were subject to market pressures of adding a fold out centerline queen. When that bed was folded up it pretty much completely blocked off the forward 12 feet of the cabin....whereas the older boats had a V-berth and you could access the entire area all the way up to the forpeak. It just gave a feeling of more space....and you need every bit of that feeling on that boat!!! Given the choice....I would still take the newer boats and their performance. BUT given a clean slate....I would take new boat hull and engine with old interior.
NOW....all of this can be remedied if you went with the 34. Still not a big boat. BUT, much more space than the 30.

You also have to be honest with yourself in how you are going to use it. If all you are going to do is use it mostly as a day boat....then the 30 will serve wonderfully!!! If you are going to spend a lot of time overnight.....then I would stretch for the 34. Seriously, overnighters on the smaller boat are a challenge. There is absolutely NO storage...ok a little...but it is minimal and you are constantly rearranging your shit just so you can walk around.

Hope this helps. I got more but I am tired of typing!!!
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:49 AM   #17
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All good information/advice Baker... overnighting on my 34 is doable - not ready for the loop with guests, but some may attempt that. Again, great advice - go for the arrangement that syncs with intended use..
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:10 PM   #18
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Thanks for your input Baker. All very good advice. After putting my wife on a Pilot 30 for the first time the other day, she was pretty happy with the arrangement, but it has so much less storage and sleeping space than our current 28ft. Bayliner Express cruiser, that she has started to look (on her own) at what's available in the 34 ft.!
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:03 PM   #19
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What engines are fitted to Mainship 34s in USA? There is a 2008 for sale here with a single 380hp Yanmar. Seems excessive for a trawler, maybe not if they are really intended to plane.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
What engines are fitted to Mainship 34s in USA? There is a 2008 for sale here with a single 380hp Yanmar. Seems excessive for a trawler, maybe not if they are really intended to plane.
Most have single Yanmar 370/380's. A very few have twin 240's.
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