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Old 02-18-2017, 12:24 PM   #1
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Mainship Shopping

All you Mainship experts....

Can you offer opinions about the 35/39/40 Mainship? Ive been shopping for a loop boat, and seems like the Mainship offers a lot and is one of the most common boats out there.

The 35/39/40 series are essential the same boat (hull), with improvements along the way, and are priced from less that $100k to over $200, with a fairly big jump going from the 35/39 to the 40.

If one had a goal to do the loop, keep the boat for a few more years, which boat makes the best sense?

A quick search shows 6 35s, 28 39s and 36 40s for sale. The goal would be to sell with a minimum loss, and have the most enjoyable boat with minimal issues.

Is there a strong argument to just pay the $170 to $220 for a 40, enjoy a nicer newer boat that will sell faster, and be in more demand when then time comes to sell? Or perhaps buy a cheaper boat, without the features and have less dollars at risk, also considering a lot have been upgraded?

Also, it seems like a big jump in improvements in the 40, a lot that couldn't be done on an older boat. Some are very nice, like the straight stairs, side deck overhead creates space for kayak storage, more engine room, more storage, better swim platform and access door, etc. (see attached).

Also are there other similar boats to consider, like the 42 Beneteau?

Thoughts?
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File Type: pdf Difference 390:400.pdf (165.7 KB, 119 views)
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:05 PM   #2
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Well, although the 350 and 390 are essentially the same boat, the 40 is an entirely different boat. In addition to newer, I think everything about the 40 is better than the 350/390s. The pdf attachment shows these differences very well.

As another resource, see Steve Cyr's website about his 40, Stella Blue- Stella Blue Home

Stella Blue has a single Yanmar 370 and I would look for one with that engine. I think if you find one with twins, it will have two Yanmar 240s which will just burn a lot of fuel to push that boat a little faster. But if you have to have twins, the 40 is wide enough to make maintenance tolerable.

Look at this web archive of the Mainship site for further info on the 40- https://web.archive.org/web/20070815...awler/40T.html

If it were me and I could afford it, I would buy a 40. Bigger, nicer, less potential trouble, good resale.

David
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:28 PM   #3
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David

Thx for the info. As far as twin vs single, I'm up in the air. Sure, at full throttle the twin will go faster and drink a LOT of fuel, but a nice option to have if needed. However, seems like the twin and single are very close at hull speed, both showing the same in your article with the yanmar, but a bit better with the Cummings, but not huge.

I sure like the single for serviceability, and easy access. And with bow and stern thruster, docking should be easy (never did it, though). Thoughts?
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #4
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Seavee:

Do an advanced search using "twin" and "single" as keywords and select titles only. You will find more on the topic than I could ever give you.

But seriously, for that size boat, two Yanmar 240s will give you about the same fuel efficiency and top speed as a single 370, the engine access will be acceptable and you will have all of the benefits of twins. OTOH, you will have all of the disadvantages of twins. Read the posts in the search to find out about these.

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Old 02-19-2017, 07:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
Can you offer opinions about the 35/39/40 Mainship?

The 35/39/40 series are essential the same boat (hull), with improvements along the way, and are priced from less that $100k to over $200, with a fairly big jump going from the 35/39 to the 40.

If one had a goal to do the loop, keep the boat for a few more years, which boat makes the best sense?

The 350/390 is different from the 400, even if similar size specs.

We started shopping on the 350s when they first came out... mostly because these boats included solutions to most all of my "what if?" thoughts about our 34' Mainship III. (What if we had stairs to the bridge instead of a ladder? What if it was beamier? What if it had a side door from the lower helm? And so forth...)

Nice boats. Just never had a chance to pull the trigger on one before we decided to try a "rancher" ("one story" -- sorta -- express boat) to deal with the flybridge ladder thing...

When we decided that "living in a cave" thing didn't suit us well...

We started shopping again, and at about the same time, the 400 appeared on the scene. The 400 quickly became our third choice on the short list of three that we developed then. (The 430 was tied for first with the model we eventually bought.) The 400 seemed to improve even more on the direction the 350/390 had begun.

FWIW, had we chosen to pursue the 400, I would have shopped for a single, with thruster. Probably Cummins, assuming that was a possibility (I've forgotten).

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Old 02-19-2017, 10:09 AM   #6
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The 350/390 is the previous "generation" to the 40/400. As you noted there were a number of design changes-most of which I would categorize as improvements.

When comparing two similar boats (or planes or cars or..) it has been my experience that, all other things being equal, the newer example is preferred. Manufacturers do make changes over time that improve their product and remedy perceived shortcomings.

Are the changes in this case worth the money to you? That has to be your call.

I note you leave out the 34T from your list, I assume because it lacks a 2nd stateroom. If you can live with a single stateroom the 34T provides many of the advantages of the 40/400 for less money. And even though it is a "34" it is only about 1-2 feet shorter overall than a 40/400.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Seavee:

Do an advanced search using "twin" and "single" as keywords and select titles only. You will find more on the topic than I could ever give you.

But seriously, for that size boat, two Yanmar 240s will give you about the same fuel efficiency and top speed as a single 370, the engine access will be acceptable and you will have all of the benefits of twins. OTOH, you will have all of the disadvantages of twins. Read the posts in the search to find out about these.

David
Good advice, but I'd differ slightly. I chartered a 40 with a single 380 Cummins for a week. Perfectly fine at trawler speeds but just not quite enough power to get past the hole at 10-11 knots even at WOT. I suspect twins here might give you the ability to semi-plane (TM) more comfortably at 12 knots or so and maybe 4-5 knots more at WOT.

My preference is for a single-engine but maybe in this case....
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danderer View Post
The 350/390 is the previous "generation" to the 40/400. As you noted there were a number of design changes-most of which I would categorize as improvements.

When comparing two similar boats (or planes or cars or..) it has been my experience that, all other things being equal, the newer example is preferred. Manufacturers do make changes over time that improve their product and remedy perceived shortcomings.

Are the changes in this case worth the money to you? That has to be your call.

I note you leave out the 34T from your list, I assume because it lacks a 2nd stateroom. If you can live with a single stateroom the 34T provides many of the advantages of the 40/400 for less money. And even though it is a "34" it is only about 1-2 feet shorter overall than a 40/400.
Danderer,

Hadn't thought much about the 34. I just googled a few adds to try to get some specs and here's what I've found, please correct me if I'm missing something:

Boats are very similar, get about the same mileage, excepting the Cummins single which does much better.

The 34 is 4000# lighter, has 2 back doors vs. 3, but fluids are a lot different:

Fresh Water Tanks: 70 Gal vs. 130 gal
Fuel Tanks: 250 Gal vs. 300 gal
Holding Tanks: 34 Gal vs. 47 gal

I'd think the water and fuel quantity in the 40 a fairly big advantage.

The second stateroom is not a priority for me, but storage space is.

Is the back cockpit area the same size, as well as the aft flybridge area? Outside space is a premium for me, have toys to store: kayak, windsurfer, bikes, etc....

And, looks like the 34 doesn't have the flybridge overhang, good for kayaks, correct?

Also, do all the 34s have a sunken galley? I'd much prefer the galley on same level, and really like the layout of the 40 with the galley right behind the lower helm. Like it in the middle of things as it's a focal point and the cook wants to be part of the action.

Overall, I'd prefer a smaller boat, but seems like a few of the things I like would be missing with the 34 and not a huge price or operating difference. Does this sound correct?
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:02 PM   #9
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I used to own a 34T, so I can give you some perspective. As you note the 40 beats the 34T in every respect, except for price. a 34T can be had for the low to mid $100s but a 40 will be in the upper $100s.

If you like the galley up, then you might look at the last model of that 34 hull that Mainship built before they went belly up. They called it something like a 35T. It had the galley up and a second berth, but otherwise was the same. The older 34T has a much bigger main cabin though.

The 35T or whatever will be commensurately more expensive as it is newer and maybe to some, better.

You said that a Cummins engine gets better fuel consumption? Not so. But if I could find one, I would prefer the Cummins QSB for other reasons: common rail- smoother and no smoke and a more robust engine than the Yanmar.

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Old 02-19-2017, 04:01 PM   #10
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First, don't trust the specs that Mainship published absolutely. They were, well, creative.

For example, Jim Krueger of Mainship stated that:

Quote:
The 34 Trawler is 39' 5" LOA
The 40 Trawler is 41' 4" LOA
Those numbers match my experience, but I never saw Mainship publish that length for a 34T in any of their literature.

Another example is the fuel tank on the 34T. Mainship literature says it is 250 gal. Well, mine is 300 gal, as were the tanks on the 5 others I looked at before buying mine.

Just saying don't put too much stock in their published specs.

My boat has 300 gal fuel; I don't know the actual water and waste sizes. We tend to refill and pump-out about every 3rd day.

All 34Ts were galley down. The successor model David refers to (the 395) had the galley-up. Even with the galley-down the cook isn't that far from the center of the action.

One huge plus of the 34T to me is the engine room layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danderer View Post
..the S/E 34T has the best engine access I've seen in a boat this size.

In fact the engine room has great access to the engine, transmission, generator, batteries, steering gear, isolation transformers, water heater and water pump... This access is one of the primary reasons I selected this model boat.

The layout is very different from the 40T.
Finally, there are lots of 350s/390s, 34Ts, and 40s for sale. It is well worth the time to find one of each and wonder thru them in-person. You'll quickly find what works for you and what doesn't.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:30 PM   #11
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I don't want to start up the too long running twins vs. single debate but I own a 2005 400T with twin Yanmar 4lha-stp 240 hp and looked long and hard at single vs twin IN THIS SPECIFIC BOAT before I made a decision. Sorry for the caps, but I want to be clear that I am speaking of the Mainship 400 and only the Mainship 400 here.

Unless fuel economy is your primary concern to the point where a very small difference will swing it for you the twin is a better boat. The single has two advantages, the aforementioned minor difference in fuel economy and a lower purchase price though this is off set by a higher resale value for the twin.

Our boat runs comfortably at 15 knots at 2800 RPM, sometimes a hair faster sometimes a little slower depending on sea state and load. I've put about 200 hours on my motors at that speed and have been tracking my fuel burn. It burns right at 13 GPH, so 1.15 MPG. At 1700 RPM I run at hull speed, right at 8 knots, again give or take according to conditions, and burn 3.75 to 4 GPH, or 2.13 MPG. Over a month long cruise, a mix of hull speed and fast cruise, I always end up burning 10 GPH including genset use.

The specs I've seen on the single have it burning pretty much the same at hull speed, but it really jumps up at higher speeds. I suspect that the boat doesn't start to flatten out unless you really push it with the single. With tabs down my boat flattens at about 13 knots.

The single just isn't made to run faster than 8 knots, which is OK I guess if that is all you ever want to do. But for me the ability to go faster when I want to is a huge advantage that far offsets the tiny difference in fuel burn.

Think of it this way: It's 110 NM from our home port in Stuart, FL across the stream to Grand Cay Bahamas where we usually clear in. If I ran it the entire way at hull speed we burn 51.6 gallons and it takes us 14 hours. If we run at fast cruise we burn 95 gallons and it takes 7.5 hours. In the single, assuming a fuel burn of 3.5 GPH, that's 48.24 gallons and 14 hours.

So if you are in a single and go slow (really your only choice) it costs you $145.

If you are in a twin and go slow it costs you $154.

In a twin and go fast $285.

The single saves you nine bucks. One and half Kalicks in the Bahamas.

Or, if you choose in the twin you can spend $150 more and get there in half the time.

If it's rough and your wife gets tired of slogging around on the banks you can bump it up, bang through the chop instead of rolling and keep her happier.

Some other advantages of the twin in the 400T: They draw less water. You have a get home motor. You don't need a thruster, which aren't free and are one more system you need to maintain. From an engine access standpoint the twin has some advantages and the single has some; pretty much a wash.

Overall, for a Mainship 400, the twin is the way to go.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:58 PM   #12
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DougCole,

Very good points and that actual experience specs are valuable. I kinda thought that was the way the single vs twin works. From what you say, the twin is a no brainer. Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:42 AM   #13
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No problem. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about the 400. We've owned ours for 3 1/2 years and really love it, though it is not without its faults.

By the way, I don't think it is the best boat out there for faster cruising, it's really made to go 8 knots, but with the twin can do better when needed. We looked at sportfish types which didn't fit from a comfort standpoint, Sabres, which are awesome but out of our price range and various other types of boats but the Mainship 400 checked the most boxes for us.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:01 AM   #14
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DougCole, From what you say, the twin is a no brainer. Thanks!
I wouldn't come to that conclusion without reading both sides of the argument. See my post at the beginning of this thread for how to do it.

For me, the single was a no brainer. But different strokes......

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Old 02-20-2017, 08:15 AM   #15
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From memory....

Our Mainship III with single DD 8.2T -- 220 hp I think -- was very comfortable at 8-9 knots, would make 12 kts when necessary... and WOT was about 14 kts.

I'd have guessed a 400 with single QSB -- more horsepower, but heavier boat... but also longer LWL -- might be sorta similar...

Not a recommendation, just a thought in case it helps...

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Old 02-20-2017, 08:48 AM   #16
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I wouldn't come to that conclusion without reading both sides of the argument. See my post at the beginning of this thread for how to do it.

For me, the single was a no brainer. But different strokes......

David
DJ,
Doug has a strong argument, if the economy at hull speed is the same, and the twin has the option of going fast, they the only downside of the twin is the extra room in the engine compartment, and the maintenance. A small price to pay for the extra speed option and the extra maneuvering capability.

Nice to have the option, and eliminate a thruster (probably small potatoes).

Agreed, different strokes, but Dougs argument sure seems like a no brainer. Would like to hear other thoughts, however.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:49 AM   #17
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Dougcole,


"Think of it this way: It's 110 NM from our home port in Stuart, FL across the stream to Grand Cay Bahamas where we usually clear in. If I ran it the entire way at hull speed we burn 51.6 gallons and it takes us 14 hours. If we run at fast cruise we burn 95 gallons and it takes 7.5 hours. In the single, assuming a fuel burn of 3.5 GPH, that's 48.24 gallons and 14 hours.
So if you are in a single and go slow (really your only choice) it costs you $145.
If you are in a twin and go slow it costs you $154.
In a twin and go fast $285."


We have seen the same thing with a number of single and twin engine boats over the years. At slow speeds there is a little advantage to the single as long as the sea states and tides/currents are neutral or in your favor.
So I would agree with your observations although it is not from viewing the 40' mainship as our only mainship was a 34 Type II.
But I have also seen where the advantages of being able to travel faster when you have opposing tides/currents and or less than perf3ect sea states can narrow the gap even further. Taking your numbers and adjusting for a head current of 3 knots you actually end up with these results ... 8 knots at 3.75 gph becomes 5 knots and 15 knots at 13 gph becomes 12 knots. So now if you take your 110 mile trip the hours and fuel use changes to 9.15 hours at 12 knots and 119 gallons or 22 hours at 5 knots and 82.5 gallons. About 37 gallons or about $100 for the difference of about 250% more time in route or traveling stopping when you do not want to stop or maybe cannot stop.
This has been the case with us traveling through higher currents and seas in LI sound , up the Hudson, and south to north shores of Long Island.
When the currents, tides and seas are with you the decisions become easier when they are against you the speed capability can often help.
Being able to travel faster in some cases gives you a choice between that sometimes makes for safer weather windows, daylight travel, or even less expensive travels overall.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:57 AM   #18
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And if the current is 8 knots, the twin is infinitely cheaper and faster.....
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:16 AM   #19
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"And if the current is 8 knots, the twin is infinitely cheaper and faster....."


Except for those trips where the current and weather are going the same direction where you are going.
The real problem only arises when you are in a head sea state - like the time I was under the George Washington Bridge looking up at the beams for what seemed like an eternity.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:47 AM   #20
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Headed to Trawler Fest next week in Stuart. I like the Mainships but still a few years away from buying. Is there any significant difference or issues with the V-Drive vs the Direct drive? The 43 aft cabins seem to have the direct drive and the ones without the aft cabin have a V drive.
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