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Old 04-03-2016, 10:57 PM   #1
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Reviews of Mainship 30 Pilot II

Hi All,

New member here. I'm considering purchasing a Mainship 30 Pilot II Express w/315 Yanmar. I've just heard today that it's a wet boat and a noisy boat. I'd be interested in what any owners have to say about this. I have the boat under agreement with a survey and sea trial scheduled this week, so If you can help with your opinions on this, I'd be most grateful. Thank you.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by truespirit77 View Post
Hi All,

New member here. I'm considering purchasing a Mainship 30 Pilot II Express w/315 Yanmar. I've just heard today that it's a wet boat and a noisy boat. .
Welcome aboard TF
Our MS is a 34HT so can't speak for the 30P...others here have \ had Pilots and will likely chime in.

I've heard similar comments (wet) about MS 34T's and agree to a point.
We do get a fair amt of spray on breezy days. Not a problem for us as we just close windshield & helm door and open one or more side windows...or sun roof. This one will likely depend on where you boat and typical conditions. We try to pick good days for Great Lake crossings which are our biggest challenge.

Noise level is actually very low on ours...no interior hatches...eng access is from the cockpit.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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Jack Horner, an Annapolis areas surveyor, did a review of the Pilot 30 here BoatUS - Boat Reviews - Mainship Pilotâ„¢ 30


He doesn't talk about wetness underway, but our Pilot 34 is wet, so the Pilot 30 may also be. He does talk about prop vibration which was probably corrected with the addition of a prop pocket in 2003.


Our Pilot 34 is noisy, mostly due to engine noise and not exhaust. It is particularly noticeable at high cruise speeds near 15 kts, but we don't cruise ours in that neighborhood.


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Old 04-04-2016, 12:28 PM   #4
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I had the 4LHA engine in the same boat you are looking at. Yes, it is wet. A semi displacement hull in this size range is always going to be wet if you run in the chop on plane with any sort of crosswind. Why? Because the front half of the hull is going THROUGH the weather/water, not over it. If you go through it, spray will occur. If there is a crosswind, that spray is coming over the boat.

Yes it is noisy because you are standing on top of the engine and Mainship did not really use a lot of sound dampening material. Also as someone said, the noise is more harmonic(vibration thru the hull) than it is engine noise.

If any of these two things really bother you, I would suggest spray rails and flexible engine mounts and couplings. It didn't bother me and I would assume the 4 banger would be louder and with more vibration...just a guess.

Overall it is an excellent boat IMO. I LOVED it. My only reason for selling is I wanted more amenities/space. Otherwise, for a day application(and shorter overnighting), I don't think it can be beat. I say shorter overnighting is because I think it would a stretch in the comfort department to go for more than a weekend. I was not fond of the interior set up and liked the older setup of a V-bert instead of the (marketing department's) fold out queen. Having to build and stow that bed is a pain in the butt and it is wickedly uncomfortable. It just takes up too much space especially when stowed...it cuts off the forward 8 feet of the interior of the boat. It is usually where you stow all of your crap when aboard...just throw it up there forward. Well guess what? That crap has to find a place when the bed is deployed....so you end up with crap EVERYWHERE!!!! Anyway, just opinions of an owner for 6 years. If you have visions of extensive traveling, have a storage strategy or just be a minimalist.

It is a great sea boat. It is easy to maintain. And it is awfully efficient for a planing 30 foot boat. If you search this site, I have reviewed this boat extensively and probably more than once.

I have nothing but great things to say about the boat except interior space. Realistically, the vast majority of us use our boats in a day application. It is about the best day boat good money can buy.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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I have one. Love it. Yes, it is loud and wet, like Baker said. We just have to close up the windows when the spray is flying -- then we're high and dry! And the noise... well, you have to make sacrifices if you want to go fast (18 knots cruise with the 315 Yanmar). Throttle back to "trawler" speed and it's not bad at all.

It's the perfect weekend boat for us. Unlike Baker, we really like the fold-out bed. It's much more comfortable (i.e., roomier) than any V berth we've shared, especially after my wife added an egg crate memory foam cushion on top of the standard mattress. And, I don't think it takes up much more room than a regular V berth when it's folded up, though you do lose some much needed storage space.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:16 PM   #6
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Thank you for the feedback

Thanks, everyone. From what I've been able to learn over the past couple of weeks, the Pilot 30 II is just too tender, wet and noisy, so we did not go forward with the purchase. We're still looking for a 30' or so downeast style boat that might be a little more seaworthy. If anyone has ideas - or if the 34' Pilot is significantly less tender, noisy or wet, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Again, thanks for your replies.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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Tender, hmmm!!! I don't think you will like any 30' downeaster style boat, then. Our Pilot 34 is definitely not tender. Wet and noisy at high cruise speed, yes.


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Old 04-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by truespirit77 View Post
if the 34' Pilot is significantly less tender, noisy or wet, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Again, thanks for your replies.
Have you considered the MS 34 T or HT if no interest in a flybridge.
Our 34HT is certainly quiet...do get spray but we just close up windward side & open oposite.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:10 PM   #9
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Good point about the Mainship 34HT.

I owned the flybridge version of that boat- the T model, some years ago and it is lots quieter inside than inside my Pilot 34. The 34 whether the HT or the T version does not have a hatch in the cabin sole. All engine access is through a hatch in the cockpit that you get to by pulling up the stairs to the fly bridge. That makes it lots quieter inside.

Also somewhat dryer than the Pilot 34. Lots of beam, so lots of room inside. It is heavier so it is slower than the Pilot 34, however. My Pilot 34 is a couple of knots faster with the Yanmar 370 running at the same rpm.

Not many HTs on the market however. Lots of Ts though. One intrepid soul reportedly took the fly bridge off to convert a T to an HT, more or less.

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Old 04-07-2016, 08:20 PM   #10
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You might consider the Albin 31 Tournament Express. I read good things about their seaworthiness and looked at a few when I was shopping last year. Unfortunately, the nice ones were out of my price range so I went with the MS Pilot instead. They are definitely more roomy than the Pilot in the cockpit and down below in the cabin. They just aren't as pretty.
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