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Old 01-19-2015, 07:58 PM   #1
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34 Mainship Operations

I have been looking at the early Mainship 34s ('78 - '88) and getting interested in buying one. I note that some of the original promos for the boat talk about a helm steering station as being "optional" and that there are comments on-line about primarily operating from the flybridge due to difficulty seeing over the bow. Would appreciate any info people have about running the 34s from the wheelhouse as I would be operating it in a lot of rainy/windy weather.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #2
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I put 2000 hrs over 7 years and used the lower station 90% of the time. 360 degree view. I did custom make a chair to keep my sight line about 4" higher than standing, and I'm 6'. Better visibility and less fatigue I think.

Scott
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:10 PM   #3
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On an '82 34 mk I
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thanks. Good to hear that the lower helm worked well for you. I would imagine that good trim tabs are also a help in keeping the bow down a bit.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:58 AM   #5
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We had an '87 Mk III with both upper and lower helm stations. We ran 95% of the time from the flying bridge, but used the lower station when the weather was cold and/or rainy or when sea states made the big dogs (a Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever) unhappy.


Forward visibility from below was adequate, about equal to running any other "slow-ish" boat from a low helm, possibly better than running some express (faster) boats from a low helm, since we didn't have much bow rise to be concerned with. Cabin heat in cold weather was always very welcome!


That said, I preferred running from above mostly so we could dodge crab pots easier.


-Chris
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:25 AM   #6
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I had a 78 Mainship 1 for 14 years. I ran it 99.9% of the time from the flybridge.
The bow gets in the way when trying to see from below.
I made a small step platform to stand on below, and even with my head almost hitting the ceiling I was still not happy with the visibility, even in open water.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:32 AM   #7
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My 34' MS has both upper and lower helms and I have never steered from the lower helm. In rain, I lower the isinglass and keep running... slower. The temp in the upper helm isn't severe either way. Visibility is much better from the upper helm and the first mate can hear 360 directions plus seeing crab markers etc is much better from the upper helm. I have no complaints re my MS - she meets my "use" needs as expected. Good luck with your search - and please post photos as you wade through the options..
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for the posts. The flybridge is certainly nice on good days here, but unfortunately we don't have a lot of those some years. I would likely want to operate from the lower helm most of the time as we also often have friends or family along for cruising and fishing and like to be with them to stay warm and visit. I have been looking at all three of the models - currently focused on the MK ll with the smaller flybridge and larger cockpit since it seems it might fit uses here better. The MK l's and lll's look to have some good options as well.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:36 PM   #9
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I didn't run mine from the lower helm until the rainy Columbus Day weekend. The visibility vastly improved after I tore off all the wavy, heavy tint film. I'll get a cover made in the spring to replace the tint's cooling effect during the summertime. The Perkins is quiet enough that you can effortlessly carry on a conversation too. I haven't brought it into the slip yet from below, I'm not confident enough yet since I only acquired it in May. It's effortless bringing it into the slip from the flybridge and I don't have a bow thruster control at the lower helm. If I had an eisenglass enclosure I wouldn't even think about going below. I love everything about the boat except the vee berth.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #10
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Thanks again for the info on steering stations and visibility. Another question I have with regard to the older 34s is the construction / strength of the keel. We have limited options for travelifts so often use marine grids that you go on and off with the tide. The grids are usually 12" x 12"s or similar that are spaced at 8' or so. I always try to have minimal fuel etc on board but, but wondering about the ability of the keels up to carry the basic boat weight (which I believe is about 14 to 15 thousand pounds) in a grid situation.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKboating View Post
Thanks again for the info on steering stations and visibility. Another question I have with regard to the older 34s is the construction / strength of the keel. We have limited options for travelifts so often use marine grids that you go on and off with the tide. The grids are usually 12" x 12"s or similar that are spaced at 8' or so. I always try to have minimal fuel etc on board but, but wondering about the ability of the keels up to carry the basic boat weight (which I believe is about 14 to 15 thousand pounds) in a grid situation.
In my younger days, I worked at a yacht yard. You describe to a 'tee' the early method of using cribbing, and bilge posts for hauling, and storing boats that was common in the 'pre Travel lift days'. Even after travel lifts, it took several years for boat yards to switch from cribs and bilgepost cradles to hydraulic trailers and jack stands. People who have never used the 'old fashioned' system are mystified at how simple a boat storage can really be.
This is how all boats used to be hauled before the miracle hydraulic trailer. Nothing different. Just make sure the cribs are under the bulkheads, and put post up to the bilge with wide blocks ON the frames. Don't block between frames.
On a different subject: I learned something while looking for a trawler while leaning on a Mainship (l ll and lll) That even though the age of the boat would include gelcoat crazing, some cracks, and use, these tough little boats are worth every penny. I am not going to go on a trans oceanic voyage with one. But they are dependable cruising boats. The one I got to go visit on did NOT have a lower helm. Although I don't believe it would preclude running from a lower station, if you want to make sure you don't bring a fish trap home with you, stay up top. I don't think trim tabs would help much. Single screw, slow speed, it's just a 'plower' anyway, no matter what you do with it. May help a little. But, not much.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:55 PM   #12
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I will usually have access to a trailer or travelift for winter storage so can support the boat as needed then. My use of a grid would be for needed in-season, below the waterline cleaning / maintenance or to deal with a bent prop, leaky through-hull, etc. In these instances I would be on the grid for 6 or 8 hours between tides and would not have much ability to support the boat other than on the keel. As such I want to make sure that having all the weight on the keel for that amount of time won't cause problems.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:19 PM   #13
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I too drove my olde 78 MK1 95% of the time from upper helm. Visibility from the lower station was adequate, and I thought better than most.

If your boat is to be hauled in a boat yard, it will be blocked under the keel which will take the load. There will be jackstands, but they will stabilize, not take any real load. So what you describe should be no problem as long as you support the keel in enough and the right places.

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Old 01-23-2015, 06:23 AM   #14
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IIf your boat is to be hauled in a boat yard, it will be blocked under the keel which will take the load. There will be jackstands, but they will stabilize, not take any real load. So what you describe should be no problem as long as you support the keel in enough and the right places.

Sounds right to me. Whenever we were hauled and blocked, it looked like the keel had the whole load, and the jackstands were simply for keeping the boat upright.

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Old 01-23-2015, 06:42 AM   #15
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I don't think I have ever seen a boat that didn't sit on it's keel for dry storage.

Usually it is about enough support and while many would use 3 blocks for a e Mainship...I prefer 4 most of the time when you get over 30 or so feet depending just how long the keel is.

The biggest question V for grid use... and if I recall...the Mainships prop should be Ok sitting on the grid as it is higher than the bottom of the keel.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #16
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Here is a picture of my "ex" a 1978 Mainship model 1 showing support on the keel, with plenty of room for the prop.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:15 PM   #17
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That picture also shows the much discussed keel fairing technique used on racing style Mainship with a massive HP Cummins engine

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Here is a picture of my "ex" a 1978 Mainship model 1 showing support on the keel, with plenty of room for the prop.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:05 PM   #18
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That picture also shows the much discussed keel fairing technique used on racing style Mainship with a massive HP Cummins engine
LOL I resemble that remark!! Come on now, I could only get 18.5 knots out of her.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:28 PM   #19
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Thanks all. I figured the Mainship construction was up to good support, but I have seen some of the lighter fiberglass boats that had keels for performance that would "crush" a bit when carrying full weight on blocks.

A lot of the older models seem to have the Perkins 6-354s. Not my favorite engine (I had one for a number of years) but I gather they have been pretty serviceable on the Mainships. Is 9 knots cruise -- 12 or so if you push it a reasonable expectation for a Mainship ll with a 165 h.p. turbo 354 (assuming it has the right prop). ?
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:51 PM   #20
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On further thought - I think a lot of the 6-354 165s are more like 120 h.p.
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