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Old 08-05-2016, 10:11 PM   #1
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Mainship 34 Pilot

Considering buying 34 Pilot 2000. Any pros/cons. What do you like or dislike about them. Is there anything I should be aware of?

Thanks for input.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:36 AM   #2
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Since no one has responded I will take a shot. I looked at several but ended up with a Mainship 30 that fit my needs. The MS34 is a lot of boat for the money. What is she powered with? I personally preferred the Cummins over the Yanmar. Both are good engines but I am more familiar with the Cummins. Also I preferred a soft top over a hard top. I think the HT adds about 1000lbs of weight. Again at the end of the day these are just personal preferences. Hardtops are good for the life of the ship and soft tops need to replaced periodically. The MS34 performs well with either engine and top setup.

On the con-side, Mainships in general suffer from a poor exhaust design. There is a lot of discussion about this on the boat diesel site which is worth the 25 bucks a year to join. I have rebuilt my exhaust to maximize the distance from the waterline to the top of the exhaust run. Also the mixer is now oriented so if it fails, salt water will not be ingested into the turbo. This cost me a boating buck to reconfigure with a local welding shop.

Also, one MS34 at my Marina suffers from vibration problems at certain RPMs. The owner just avoids those engine speeds. From what I have read, it may be due to the prop pocket design.

A good survey will ferret out any problems including the ones I mentioned above.

Good luck with your quest.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the insight and comments. The ones I have looked at have been powered by a Yanmar.

Was also considering the 30 as well but like the more spacious cabin on the 34 as we are a family of 4 and a 30 could get a little tight on overnighters.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:17 PM   #4
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Hello. I am also looking at purchasing a Pilot 34. Some of the information above was very helpful. I have also been looking at boats with the yanmar engine.

Any other input would be great.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meden View Post
Hello. I am also looking at purchasing a Pilot 34. Some of the information above was very helpful. I have also been looking at boats with the yanmar engine.

Any other input would be great.
I owned a 2004 Pilot 34 with a single 370 hp Yanmar, 5 KW generator, helm deck air conditioner. It was a was a hardtop, and a great boat. Sometimes I wish I had it back. It really was a sweetheart.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:51 PM   #6
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That is good to hear. Do you know if the hp went up from the 2000 to the 2004? also could you tell me what speed your boat cruised at?
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:25 AM   #7
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I have onwned a 2003 Pilot 34 hardtop with a single Yanmar 370 for the last four years.

It is the perfect short term cruiser for a couple. We typically cruise slow at 1,600 rpm and 7-7.5 kts and burning about 3 gph but when we need to we can kick it up to 14 kts at 2,800 rpm which is the sweet spot to go fast, but she burns 12 gph.

We have done 5-6 day cruises but that is about the limit due to size and lack of refrigeration space. Our boat has a 3.5 kw NextGen generator which is part of the Rumrunner package. We use it for a half hour or so in the evening to charge batteries, heat water for showers and if we need to operate the twin burner electric stove- but not all at once with the 3.5 kw unit.


Ours also has a 12,000 btu A/C which the generator will run and one other of the above simultaneously, but we have never used it overnight- just to heat up the cabin in a chilly morning with the reverse cycle heating.


Some hate electric stoves, but in practice you don't do that much cooking down below- boil water for pasta or heat a pot of beans and running the generator works fine for that. We even run it for ten minutes in the morning to make coffee with the built in perculator.

I would not have this boat with twins- not enough beam to be able to maintain it. It would take a Houdini to change the impeller on the port engine with twins. And FWIW the location and crammed in design makes changing the impeller on the single a bitch of a job, but that is really the only routine maintenance operation that is tough. Engine access in general is good with the tip up sole that gives total access to the aft of the engine and there is enough room to crawl around both sides and up to the front.

Some issues to watch out for:

The exhaust system is poorly designed as noted above- not enough vertical clearance above the water line and the mixer is not self draining. I fixed both issues by having an vertical extension and another dry elbow welded in. Lots of owners report no problems, but I will bet if you look in their turbo exhaust you will find sea water corrosion. That is certainly something I would recommend doing in a survey.

Some have reported prop cavitation at high speed. Mine has some cavitation at wot, so I decided to fair the dead wood around the prop to improve water flow. No effect was noted although others have reported significant drop in cavitation. I suspect that prop tuning with more cup might help.

The engine is noisy at high speed. You can rip out the insulation in the engine compartment and replace with Soundown if it bothers you and some have reported improvement by doing that. We don't cruise fast enough to matter.

David
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:43 AM   #8
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David, how would you compare the noise level of your 2800RPM generator compared to one that runs at1800RPM?
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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My 2,800 rpm NextGen 3.5 with its sound enclosure and inside an insulated engine room, makes very little mechanical noise. An engine compartment ventilation blower makes more noise.


But the exhaust has an annoying putt-putt sound. This is a one cylinder engine and it is hard to differentiate the effect of 2,800 and one cylinder vs 1,800 rpm and typically three cylinders firing, but it there is one. I will bet that a sound meter would show little difference behind the boat between the two. But the sharp putt-putt is definitely more annoying than the low rumble of a 3 cylinder, 1,800 rpm machine.


But a 3.5 KW NextGen is probably half the price of a 5KW Northern Lights, 1,800 rpm generator. And with the way we use ours, I would never consider paying the difference (if it would fit!) for the 1,800 rpm genset.


David
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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We used to rent an early 2000's Pilot 34 out of Sausalito for day trips and weekends. Single Cummins with a bow thruster. Really fun boat for a couple with a good layout for that purpose. While we ran it slow, usually, I recall it planing up to about 14 knots or so. For us, 4 people on board for an overnight sounds tight; one of the 350/390 series is better suited IMO. I would bet your buddy with the vibration has a propeller out of whack.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:12 PM   #11
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Thanks David.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:48 PM   #12
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Thanks David, very helpful information.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for feedback Cal
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:02 PM   #14
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I have a survey scheduled for a 2001 Pilot 34 ( hardtop) and noticed the bedding between the glass and the hardtop to be deteriorating. Any thoughts? Also curious about fuel burn rates with Yanmar 350 at different speeds. Thanks,j
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