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Old 06-20-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Mainship - soft spot

I did not want to hijack another thread but was curious about a response given to a comment.

Readers digest version - guy wants to buy a Mainship, asking about the experience others have in re-doing the cabin.
OP said seller mentioned a soft spot, someone responded saying Mainship 34 without a single soft spot would be rare.

I've looked at a few pics online and we like many features of the Mainship. Can anyone tell me the extent of the problem? Is this a systemic problem with the manufacturer, is this normal wear. Is it a plywood deck that's rotting? Would a survey point this out?

I'm going to start my boat shopping later this year. Mid-30s trawler is the starting point. We have a basic idea of what we want, but nowhere near settled on anything.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:58 PM   #2
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If you are speaking of the 34 MK1, 2 or 3 I can address that for you. The exterior decks: main. bridge and cockpit are all cored with end grain balsa, the curse of boating. If hole sawed and filled with resin and glass then drilled for attachment water intrusion is less likely. When water intrusion does occur it runs through the voids around end grain balsa in little rivers and creates havoc. I have seen this in my boat plus another MK1. Expensive, labor intensive and nasty to fix. I had water intrusion also on the bow that was not too bad.
On the bridge I took out buckets of balsa mush, then days of recoring of both the cockpit and the bridge. I have bought a larger boat, my restored and refitted 34 MK1 is for sale. Everything has been addressed.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degidio View Post

I've looked at a few pics online and we like many features of the Mainship. Can anyone tell me the extent of the problem? Is this a systemic problem with the manufacturer, is this normal wear. Is it a plywood deck that's rotting? Would a survey point this out?
Mule described the basics, how and why. I'd add it's more like part of boating, not so much attributable to any given manufacturer. Certainly some are better than others at installing (and sealing around) deck hardware. At the same time, coring is commonly used throughout the industry to reduce weight, so the problem could arise with many makers.

If you find a model you like (any brand) some will be in better shape than others. When you find the specific boat you like, inspection for such issues would be normal.

FWIW, our '87 Mainship III had no such issues, at least during our stewardship.

-Chris
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:51 AM   #4
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Thanks. I was just curious about a comment from another thread I read.

Mule, that's a lot of work, glad you were happy with the results.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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A lot of the water intrusion on the Mainships can be blamed on Mainship dealers. The boats were shipped out the factory with the railings, mast and bridge shipped loose for mounting at their destination by the dealer. Needless to say, the pieces were installed with varying degrees of quality, depending on who was doing the installing.
My 350 suffered a saturated upper deck due to an improperly installed/sealed radar mast. The moisture wicked out to a 6' diameter around the base of the mast over a period of 6 years prior to me owning the boat. When the fiberglass deck was cut out it was an awful site, balsa mush. It was a big repair, $9,000.00.
Then again, as Chris points out, he had no such issues. My surveyor missed it. Won't use him again because, as I understand, any surveyor worth his weight should be able to detect moisture intrusion.
Good Luck.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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I had no moisture intrusion on my 1993 Mainship model 40 Sedan Bridge. Anytime we mounted something judicious amounts of 4200 and in some cases 5200 was used.
The new owners had the vessel surveyed and there were no elevated areas of moisture.
My hardtop was finished fiberglass on both sides with Divinecell core it had lots of holes in it but all were bedded and backing plates were installed for all the components as the top was built. I also had tracks or raceways built into the hardtop for running wires to the equipment. It helped to have a list of equipment and their location when I had the custom hardtop made. I also installed a different arch the original had a horrible aft rake the new Radar arch lost the large rake and integrated into the hardtops Aluminum frame of the hardtop. The hardtop was supported by 2" Aluminum T6061 that attached to the boats structure not backing plates to the boats fiberglass shell.
Bill
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