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Old 08-04-2019, 09:31 AM   #1
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Question Mainship 40 Double Cabin

I am 74, new to boating and thing about purchasing a 1984 Mainship 40
Double Cabin. It is equipped with twin Crusader 350 engines. Initially, I plan to use the boat for local cruising,but eventually want to take extended trips down to Florida and the Carribean.

My question is whether or not this is too much boat for a newbie.

Additionally, does anyone know if this is a full or partial displacement hull?
How will it handle in open water?

All advice and opinions are welcomed.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:07 AM   #2
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I am biased but suggest you consider a smaller tug style trawler with a diesel engine. I think you will find it much easier to handle and lower cost to maintain. Two side doors from a safe and comfortable cockpit. A nordic tugs 32 can sleep 4 using the slide out couch. Trade off is it is not a private cabin and you only have one head. But rarely do most people have extended guest stays unless perhaps grandkids and they will love it!
Those Crusader gas engines will consume a lot of fuel and if they are original well past expected life.
I think the mainship would be considered semi displacement but the fuel burn to get it up to speed is going to be high as are the RPMs. It will probably not be the most comfortable ride in mid size swells especially following seas.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:36 AM   #3
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I am 74, new to boating and thing about purchasing a 1984 Mainship 40
Double Cabin.
Oh, to be that young again--
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:01 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard. I am of the school that you should buy the boat you really want. Then take the time and effort to learn how to run it safely. Maybe get a captain to teach you or hang around the marinas and make friends. Get them to teach you. Take a sit down boating course, not just one from the internet. That way you can ask questions specifically in regards to your boat. If you buy something you donít really want, you will never be satisfied. If you buy a smaller boat first and then sell it to buy the one you wanted in the first place, you will get hammered financially. Get some formal training and as much informal training as you can get. Get a Vessel Safety Check and pick the examiners brain. Start with small cruises around your local area until you are comfortable with the boat. Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:36 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard TF and to the boating communuty.
So much depends on attitude and abilities more than age.
You didn't mention if you will have help with handling lines for docking, etc.
A good way to test whether any boat would work is to charter before buying. Most won't charter to an inexperienced skipper but will charter with a qualified captain. It could be a worthwhile way to confirm abilities, desires & comfort level.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:34 AM   #6
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I'm 64, and pondering my "retirement" boat. While right now I have no problem crawling around tight spots in dark places and navigating ladders in a boat underway, but I do think about how long I'm going to be able to do that in years to come.
Right now I have the Mainship 390 in my sights, stairs to the flybridge instead of a ladder with a lower helm as well, a door at the lower helm to the side decks, good and secure access all around the weather decks, a transom door to the swim platform, single level cockpit/salon/galley.
What level newbie are you? If you're a complete newbie with little to no time at the helm and limited mechanical skills, the 40DC may be a challenge. She's 35 years old and will need attention, mechanical skills will come in handy, even if you plan to pay for service, a tech is not always handy. Handling a boat that size can be learned, but as mentioned help for docking and anchoring will be nice.
If the 40DC fell into your lap, that's one thing, if you're shopping be sure you have looked around and thought it through before jumping in.

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Old 08-05-2019, 05:32 PM   #7
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Just saying..40 feet, 35 year old boat with gassers? A lot of weight and could be a lot of hours. For sure a lot of gas. If you keep it at hull speed it won't be too bad on gas but remember that at 1,500 to 2,000 hours those engines will be getting tired. Replacing will be around $5,000 each plus labor. I would downsize a bit and go with single diesel. Maybe a bow or stern thruster for a newbie.

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Old 08-05-2019, 05:42 PM   #8
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5 feet too big, look for diesel
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:25 AM   #9
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5 feet too big, look for diesel

??

Too big for what? Why?

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Old 08-06-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
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Welcome aboard TF and to the boating communuty.
So much depends on attitude and abilities more than age.
You didn't mention if you will have help with handling lines for docking, etc.
A good way to test whether any boat would work is to charter before buying. Most won't charter to an inexperienced skipper but will charter with a qualified captain. It could be a worthwhile way to confirm abilities, desires & comfort level.
Most of the time I will single hand, and my biggest worry is getting into and out of a dock/berth/mooring ball without someone to handle the lines. I’ve watched a YouTube video by Slow Bells that showed using the engine controls in opposite directions ink der to turn it he boat, but I’m not sure that this will be of any help docking.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
I'm 64, and pondering my "retirement" boat. While right now I have no problem crawling around tight spots in dark places and navigating ladders in a boat underway, but I do think about how long I'm going to be able to do that in years to come.
Right now I have the Mainship 390 in my sights, stairs to the flybridge instead of a ladder with a lower helm as well, a door at the lower helm to the side decks, good and secure access all around the weather decks, a transom door to the swim platform, single level cockpit/salon/galley.
What level newbie are you? If you're a complete newbie with little to no time at the helm and limited mechanical skills, the 40DC may be a challenge. She's 35 years old and will need attention, mechanical skills will come in handy, even if you plan to pay for service, a tech is not always handy. Handling a boat that size can be learned, but as mentioned help for docking and anchoring will be nice.
If the 40DC fell into your lap, that's one thing, if you're shopping be sure you have looked around and thought it through before jumping in.

$0.02
I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty doing work myself and plan to take hands on courses on electrical and engine maintenance. I live in central Pa. but will be keeping the boat in either Maryland or Delaware so that I have ocean and bay access. I was able to locate basic and advanced Diesel engine courses in Annapolis but no gas engine. I would prefer a diesel boat, but so far have not found one.
If I do end up with gas engines, I have been reading about how it o convert them to a closed cooling system to prolong the septic ngine’s life. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:00 AM   #12
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Just saying..40 feet, 35 year old boat with gassers? A lot of weight and could be a lot of hours. For sure a lot of gas. If you keep it at hull speed it won't be too bad on gas but remember that at 1,500 to 2,000 hours those engines will be getting tired. Replacing will be around $5,000 each plus labor. I would downsize a bit and go with single diesel. Maybe a bow or stern thruster for a newbie.

pete
I’m worried about the hours on a gas engine. I’ve been looking into how many to convert the engines to a closed cooling system. It’s supposed to prolong their life. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LateStarter View Post
Most of the time I will single hand, and my biggest worry is getting into and out of a dock/berth/mooring ball without someone to handle the lines. I’ve watched a YouTube video by Slow Bells that showed using the engine controls in opposite directions ink der to turn it he boat, but I’m not sure that this will be of any help docking.
My opinion, the newer Mainship 350/390s are a tad bit more "single-handing friendly". If you want to look at more Mainships. Or there are boatloads of other brands/models.

Our Mainship 34 Mk III -- same vintage as the original 40 -- had a ladder to/from the bridge, no side door at the lower helm... and both of those factors added just a little time getting from one place to another in a hurry.

The 350/390 has stairs and a door at the lower helm.



Quote:
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I live in central Pa. but will be keeping the boat in either Maryland or Delaware so that I have ocean and bay access. I was able to locate basic and advanced Diesel engine courses in Annapolis but no gas engine. I would prefer a diesel boat, but so far have not found one.
I found the Annapolis courses very useful... although they use relatively tiny engines for hands-on. No turbos and aftercoolers, etc. I didn't find that to be a huge problem, though.



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I’m worried about the hours on a gas engine. I’ve been looking into how many to convert the engines to a closed cooling system. It’s supposed to prolong their life. Any thoughts?
There's a legitimate role for gas; just depends on whether your requirements and that role are in sync.

Just shop for freshwater cooled gassers. IOW, they already come that way... as opposed to raw water cooled.

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Old 08-06-2019, 11:53 AM   #14
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Anyone who has read any of my posts knows I love my 36 foot Albin with a single F.L. 120.
That is what I would recommend for the O.P. But that's not my reason for adding to this post..

So many people are afraid of docking, even willing to spend many thousands of dollars for twin engines, bow and stern thrusters or to give up on single handed boating altogether for fear of docking. Let me comment on this:

1. A bow (or stern) thruster is nice, but not absolutely needed. Even on a single engine boat!

2. Docking is EASY! Even alone, JUST DO IT!! Practice a bit and you will have it under control.

3. There is almost always someone on hand to catch a line or assist in docking. If there isn't anyone around then there isn't anyone to criticize your technique.

4. Docking is a VERY small part of boating. It consists of about 5 minutes in an 8 hour day of boating, lets not over emphasis the difficulty or stress of docking.

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Old 08-06-2019, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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So many people are afraid of docking, even willing to spend many thousands of dollars for twin engines, bow and stern thrusters or to give up on single handed boating altogether for fear of docking. Let me comment on this:

1. A bow (or stern) thruster is nice, but not absolutely needed. Even on a single engine boat!

2. Docking is EASY! Even alone, JUST DO IT!! Practice a bit and you will have it under control.

3. There is almost always someone on hand to catch a line or assist in docking. If there isn't anyone around then there isn't anyone to criticize your technique.

4. Docking is a VERY small part of boating. It consists of about 5 minutes in an 8 hour day of boating, lets not over emphasis the difficulty or stress of docking.

pete
Yes indeed. Read the section in Chapman's and it will tell you how to handle a single screw.
And remember that if you think you missed, you did. Pull out and start over.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:54 PM   #16
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??

Too big for what? Why?

-Chris

it will be easier to handle a 35 ish boat than a 40 first time, that's all
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:15 AM   #17
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If I do end up with gas engines, I have been reading about how it o convert them to a closed cooling system to prolong the septic ngineís life. Any thoughts?
What Chris said, almost every gas engine in larger boats are fresh water cooled (what you call closed cooling) through a heat exchanger, and every Mainship built in those days was fresh water cooled. Diesels just by nature last much longer than gassers. They are simpler and diesel does not explode.

This:

[/QUOTE]"Iíve watched a YouTube video by Slow Bells that showed using the engine controls in opposite directions ink der to turn it he boat, but Iím not sure that this will be of any help docking." [/QUOTE]

Kind of indicates a serious learning curve ahead of you and tends to make me agree with those that think 40ft may be on the large size for you as a beginner. Using the engine controls in a twin engine boat while docking is how its done, and with all due respect, if you didn't grasp that concept after watching the video, you really need some significant time on the wheel of a like sized boat before taking off as the operator. No disrespect intended, you asked, and based on your answers this is my humble opinion.

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Old 08-07-2019, 07:29 AM   #18
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We just met a guy over this last weekend who's very first ever boat purchase is a 45' motor yacht, actually about 50' OAL and not particularly well-suited to single-handing compared to some other designs...

And he's simply getting on with it, no big deal...

Not everyone can do that, of course. We've also met folks who can't easily dock a 12' center console.

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Old 08-07-2019, 09:17 AM   #19
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I vote with the single diesel crowd. My opion is the fuel consumption savings and the safety factor out weigh the the initial price difference of the vessel.
The size of the boat is going to have to be based on what you think you can handle and still be comfortable on. And I know first hand how a bow thruster can make a world of difference. I will be installing a stern thruster too and can't wait to see how easy that makes docking in transient docks.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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OK, I am partial to diesels (especially the non-electronic diesels) and partial to single engine with a thruster. But read what David Pascoe opines in his "Mid size Power Boats" treatise. He states that they are an economic wash. As far as "is this boat too big" just find a captain and have him/her train you.
But...all said and done, welcome to the Forum, best wishes and you got a lot of folks pulling for you in the TF community. Keep us informed
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