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Old 06-13-2014, 12:52 PM   #1
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Mainship 34 Pilot

Ahoy members,
I'm totally new to this forum and wanted to introduce myself so as not to get off on the wrong foot.
I'm looking to purchase a 2001 Mainship 34 pilot and would appreciate any input positive or negative on the boat. She is equiped with Cummins 6bta, one owner boat very well taken care of. One of my concerns with semi displacement hual is in a following sea and how it will handle in a 3'ft chop, which is pretty common where I reside.

Kemah Tx
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by milbysbeach View Post
Ahoy members,
I'm totally new to this forum and wanted to introduce myself so as not to get off on the wrong foot.
I'm looking to purchase a 2001 Mainship 34 pilot and would appreciate any input positive or negative on the boat. She is equiped with Cummins 6bta, one owner boat very well taken care of. One of my concerns with semi displacement hual is in a following sea and how it will handle in a 3'ft chop, which is pretty common where I reside.

Kemah Tx
I had a Pilot 34 hard top. She handled a head sea in a chop quite well. She was wet in those conditions. I installed the Smart Rail System, and it knocked down about 70% of the spray.

She has flat aft sections with a broad transom. Running with the seas she could have a mind of her own. Changing directions to a slight angle helped a great deal. I would not classify it as a great problem. I had the 370 Yanmar with ample power to overcome many situations. I loved the boat.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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I used to day charter one out of Sausilito; equipped with the Cummins and a bow thruster. Having boated both places, the chop on SF and San Pablo bays on a typical windy summer afternoon is even tougher, steeper than the Texas Gulf typically. Recollection of the ride is similar to Don's, it would bounce around quite a bit into the chop, but that certainly didn't make it unusual; the Mainship 43 we also chartered on the Bay had the same issue. I thought it was a very well laid out boat and thought systems accessibility and organization was good. In a following sea, throttle control and tacking as necessary is key on most power boats.
I liked that boat, many fond memories.

Do you plan on fishing it? Otherwise, why would you be taking it outside?

There is an owner or two on the forum, as I recall.
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:24 PM   #4
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I support all of what has been said before. The Cummins 6BTA is a slightly superior engine to the typical Yanmar 370, but I wouldn't pay much if any of a premium to get it. Both require attention to maintenance and not just changing the oil and filters.

The single has pretty good engine access- great for the top aft and aft sides, ok for the front and front sides. I can get my 220 lb frame completely around the engine to work on the belts or raw water pump. I wouldn't consider the twin- not enough beam for engine access.

With either the Cummins or the Yanmar the boat will cruise nicely (although a bit noisily) at 14-15 kts at 2,800 rpm for the Yanmar, several hundred less for the Cummins.

If you buy one, join the Yahoo group and do a search on exhaust riser modifications- I increased my height by 8" and fairing the deadwood- some swear it cuts out a rumble and improves speed, but in my case it did nothing, just cost me a boat buck.

David
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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FYI to the OP, David's home waters are chop city too. The lower Neuse and all of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds can really bring it.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:55 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the input. This is a very big purchase for me personally and I want to make sure I buy the right boat the first time out so gathering as much information as I can is helping me with selecting the right boat.

I also have been informed this weekend by some other brokers that the mainship has a skeg problem. That at 14-18 knots they vibrate pretty good and are fairly loud. However once the skeg is modified it reduces the problem significantly. I'm not sure if this issue was corrected on later models i.e. 03-07 or not.

If anyone has any information on these issue or could elighten me, that would be great.

Thanks again
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
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On another note, I've been looking at the Lagacy 34's as well. In speaking with brokers over the weekend I learned that there where serious issues with Gel Coat cracking or crazing on many of some of the larger or more popular boat mfg's in the early 2000's. And that Viking, Mainship, Legacy and other boat mfg's are/where in a class action lawsuit over this issue with company that made the product according to brokers I spoke with.
From what I've been able to read on this subject, the lawsuit is over and that the boat mfg's lost and lost again on appeal.
Can anyone tell me what the fix would be for this issue?

Thanks again
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:00 AM   #8
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I alluded to the deadwood fairing issue in my previous post. Some Pilot 34 owners have reported a rumble at cruising speed. One or two owners have had the deadwood faired in and around the cutless bearing. One reported a tremendous improvement in noise and speed after doing this and posted pictures on the Yahoo site.

So, even though I didn't have much rumble, maybe some at wot but not at cruising rpm, I had the deadwood faired. It did nothing. A picture is attached. Before the deadwood was squared off at the cutless bearing flange.

The fiberglass work cost me about $1,000. I don't see this issue as a showstopper in buying the boat. Do it if you feel/hear the rumble.

A more serious issue is the design of the exhaust system which can cause thousands of dollars of engine damage and even a totally trashed engine. The fix is described in a post and photos I made on the Yahoo site. It also cost about $1,000.

David
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:24 PM   #9
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Thanks so much David, I appreciate the info and pic. Sounds like a reasonable solution to the vibration issue if it comes up.

Guess now Im concerned about the exhaust issue..............Geeez


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Old 06-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #10
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Don't let either the potential for rumble or the exhaust system stop you from buying an otherwise sound boat. But if you do buy the boat, fix the exhaust!!

The Pilot 34 has plenty of extra room in the engine compartment to add riser height.

I can give you the drawing and point you to a shop that will take your existing dry riser components and modify them to increase the height significantly so it won't be a risk. All for less than a boat buck.

David
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:08 AM   #11
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Thanks David,

I appreciate the info, please feel free to forward drawing and shop where this can be fabricated.

One other thing I heard from one of the local surveyors where the vessel is located is that the mainship pilot has issues with corrosion on the bottom of the fuel tanks. Have you heard of this being an issue? If so, is there a fix?

don
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:28 AM   #12
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I was a member of the Mainship Group on Yahoo for years, I have never heard of a problem with the fuel tank or tanks in the Mainship "trawlers".
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:41 AM   #13
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Don:

I agree with Bill. I have been following that group for almost ten years and have seen no reports of fuel tank corrosion. Those tanks are stainless steel so they are very unlikely to corrode. And they are supported well above the bilge so any water isn't going to stand underneath them. This was a problem on TTs with steel tanks, but not the Pilot 34.

David
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:44 PM   #14
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I did not have the Cummins engine, but Yanmar. The Yanmar had no problem with riser height that I know of.

There can be a bit of a harmonic type vibration at higher rpm. It was not a problem for me, but I heard from one of the Mainship people that it was caused by the 4 blade prop because two of the blades at a time will be in alignment with the keel, and not pulling water. He said that a five blade prop (very expensive) or 3 blade prop (a little less eficient) had solved the problem for some. For me, it was not that big a problem.

The Smart Rail system was the best addition I put on the boat. That is other than the helm deck A/C.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #15
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Don:

95% of the Mainship Pilot 34s on the water today get by without a problem from the exhaust system. Or maybe they don't know they have a riser problem but have replaced the turbo not knowing what caused the turbo failure. 90% of all turbo failures are caused by seawater.

But I know of three who have extended theirs and I know of one trashed engine due to the exhaust system design. All was discussed on the Yahoo forum and boatdiesel over the last few years.

Without question the riser height does not meet the minimum recommendation of 12" above the water line given by the gurus on boatdiesel. Mine was 8".

And yes it did cause a problem on my boat, but the engine wasn't trashed. After I bought the boat in Ct and had it shipped to NC I tried to start it. It made 1/2 turn and stopped. Luckily I didn't bend a rod. I used a 1" drive socket to slowly put force on the crankshaft and push seawater through the rings. The engine then started.

What happened? When the boat was hauled the travel lift guy (this was winter and I suspect the office guy operated the lift) lifted the aft higher than the bow and with a little swinging of the travel lift to help, water sloshed up the exhaust hose from the muffler, through the turbo and into the combustion chamber.

This was confirmed by: condensate drops out the vent hose and high sodium in the oil. All of which indicates seawater sloshing up past the turbo, into the combustion chamber and then I forced it down into the oil sump.

So I extended the riser 8" and now have 16" of clearance. I recommend that all Pilot 34 owners do this. It is relatively easy to install yourself with a few hand tools and a drill to make a bolt hole for the support strut. Just Right Auto and Marine in Wanchese, NC welded an 8" extension and another elbow for less than a boat buck.

David
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #16
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Do the pilot 31s also have this riser problem?
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #17
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Mainship Pilot 30/31s typically come with the Yanmar 6LP 315 hp engine. This engine has the same exhaust configuration as the Yanmar 6LY that is often installed on the Pilot 34.

So I would expect that the 30/31s would have the same low exhaust height as the 34s. Many, maybe most downeast style boats without an engine box have this problem.

But I haven't measured one.

David
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:09 PM   #18
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Was that a DIY project to raise the riser? Can I ask what it cost to DIY the fix ? (if that's actually what you did).
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #19
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Exhaust riser modifications

Just Right Auto Parts and Marine in Wanchese, NC did the welding work for me and it cost $850. Maybe another $50 in parts to extend the exhaust hose a few inches.

I started a thread over on boatdiesel which discusses this and another approach: http://boatdiesel.com/Forums/index.c...49368&Search=2

The other approach was to fabricate a new riser and mixer from scratch. That probably cost $2,000+.

My approach was to reuse the existing Yanmar v-clamp fittings and cut and weld in an 8" extension and another elbow to point the mixer downward to be self draining.

This approach is applicable to all three Yanmar trawler engines: the 6LY, 6LP and 4LH that use standard Yanmar fittings with the so called high rise option (adds another elbow which increases the rise, maybe 4"). This standard design has three major problems: not enough height above the waterline, the angle of the exhaust hose is too shallow, the mixer if it fails internally will back flood the turbo. The later problem will be there whether or not the riser height is correct.

Unless you are a boatdiesel member you can't see the pictures, so I have posted them below. The extended riser picture shows the riser before the exhaust blanket was added.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:16 AM   #20
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Great. Thanks. I think I get it looking at those pics.

So no problems with the hatch closing after the mod?
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