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Old 01-09-2019, 12:10 PM   #1
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Newbie Needs Purchase Advice

New here. Not only new to the site, but new overall or in general. We are looking for some help and advice from you seasoned folks here. We think we have decided upon a Mainship 34 Trawler. I have found 8 of them that are on the east coast (north to south), ranging from 2005 to 2008 models. We do not have the time nor the inclination to go look at 8 boats from MA to FL and several locales in between. Is there a path to take or a route to take to cut this list down to 2 or 3 boats and then make a final decision? We have owned runabouts in the pst but nothing with the complexity, uniqueness and price of these boats we are looking at. Appreciate any help that you might provide us.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:49 PM   #2
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Have you been on a Mainship 34? If not, I'd visit the closest option and go through it from stem to stern to see if it is really what you are after.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mikala View Post
Have you been on a Mainship 34? If not, I'd visit the closest option and go through it from stem to stern to see if it is really what you are after.
I'll second that, get a ride if you can.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:38 PM   #4
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I owned a 2006 MS 34 for some years. You first have to realize that it only has one stateroom so if you routinely invite guests or have children then this boat probably isn't for you. But it is a great couples boat.


It is also one of the few 34'ers that I would consider with twins. This is due to its unusually large beam of 14' that gives decent maintenance access. The single Yanmar 370 hp engine will cruise at about 12 kts and the twin Yanmar 240s will push it a bit faster, maybe 14 kts cruise.


There really aren't many vices. On mine there was a low dip in the fly bridge sole that collected water. The factory could have fixed the mold in later models so this doesn't happen.


A genset adds value and that and A/C are about the only major things to consider if you need cooling at anchor.


Good luck. I don't think there are many stinkers in that crop of boats.


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Old 01-09-2019, 02:46 PM   #5
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Welcome, and good luck with your search and purchase.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:48 PM   #6
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No we have not been on one ever. it just seems to fit the bill for what we are looking for.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:49 PM   #7
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Thank you. All good insight. If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to let us know. Really trying to make a right decision here.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:16 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard. I would go on Yachtworld and Boat Trader and study all the photos you can. There is a Mainship owners group on Yahoo I believe. You do indeed need to get aboard one and see if it firs you even if it isnít the one you think you want. Then decide what options you want on the boat. That will help you narrow down which boats to look at. Take a camera with you and take 100+ photos of the boat you look at so you can remember what it looks like. Also take a tape measure in case you need to take any measurements. Good luck with your search.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
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Definitely go look at a 34T. Great boats. There are a bunch, so check off the features you want. ie: wood floors vs. carpet
Then rely on the broker (yours not theirs) He or she may be willing to make the trip or call the other broker. They can talk broker to broker. Let him know, if you go thru the trouble of flying out to see something and it's a stinker, you will find another broker.
They only have 1 state room, which is fine with me. Very comfortable.
They have electric stoves. (I prefer propane) We live with it.
Separate shower stall (very nice)
GREAT engine access
Bow thruster a must, even with twin screws
I love mine, had her for 1 season so far. Fuel burn is 10GPH, more or less.
I cruise 8-10 knots. Been up to 16 knots to get in before the rain. OK in crappy weather. Pretty good windage (or bad windage)
Perfect for a couple. 6 for drinks, 4 for dinner and 2 for overnight (no overnight guests)
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:41 PM   #10
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My 34T with no air conditioning or genset (we lived in SoCal and didn't need it there) came with a propane stove.


I think factory genset or no factory genset determines whether you get electric or propane stove.


Also 10 kts probably isn't the best cruising speed. Even though this semi displacement hull doesn't have much of a "hump", it smooths out nicer at 12 kts or even a knot or so more. So running a 10 kts is putting more strain on the engine.


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Old 01-09-2019, 08:07 PM   #11
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Write down all the questions you can think of now. You will forget them otherwise. Some answers will become apparent when you see the boat, others you will have to ask about.
I agree about the camera.
Take a good size notebook or lots of paper on a clipboard so you can jot notes and sketches. Verbal notes can be on your phone or tablet.
Good flashlight, tape measure.
For your own satisfaction take a look in the engine compartment for access around things.

I realize some good people have said it's good but take a look regardless.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:35 PM   #12
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A lot of good comments here.

I could add to look at other similar boats. The MS400 is one, which is not a whole bunch more expensive, but has a LOT of nicer features. I looked at both and ended up with the 400.

And look at other boat so you have a comparison.

Make a list of the features you like and the ones that you can't live without.

BUT, absolutely, get on one before you get too serious.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:34 AM   #13
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I suggest you make a list of what you want the boat for , and what you need it to do.

I would refine the list,, is offshore required or mostly inland and near shore, guest requirements , and especially your cruise vision.

Will you be mostly at a marinas or do you prefer "the hook" anchoring out.

Look at as many boats as you can , each have virtues and flaws that may fit or not your boat plans.

Plan on at least 6 months to refine your desirements before pulling out your credit card.


READ a lot!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:52 AM   #14
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Steve
I agree w the lists Musts, Wants and Don't Wants... accept have the other half (I'm assuming of Steveandkelly) do the same separately then compare/combine/compromise (do it her way) before getting too deep in the search.
Above makes a good first checklist and will help decide the top choices to go see.
MS 34 & 40 are great boats for the right situation and cruising style. Don't forget to start by defining what your style is or planned to be. It helps sort out mists from wants etc.
I have some pics and mod projects on my Bacchus website in signature that may be worth a look if interested in the MS 34.
Ours is a HT vs T as we're not bridge people and figure the HT (no stairs or ladders) may allow us to stay in boating longer.
Good luck. Any questions about MS you'll find lots of experienced hands & knowledge here at TF.
Scan through the posts or search the Marlow - MS builders section.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:37 AM   #15
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Thank all of you! Very much. This information is very helpful. Sincerely, Stevenandkelly.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:12 PM   #16
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I hindsight we are glad we spend many weekends driving as far north as Boston and south to North Carolina. I miss boat shopping, especially when meeting the owners.
Don't rush the process and when in doubt--walk away.

Good Luck, feel free to invite yourself for a tour if you find yourself in NJ.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:02 PM   #17
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Attend a Trawlerfest. You'll probably see a Mainship or two as well as others that may turn your head.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #18
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SteveandKelly,
Welcome aboard and Good luck in your search.
My advice would be to go slow. These are expensive toys that can sometimes be either hard to sell or costly to sell (difference between what you paid and price you get) if you make a big mistake! You will want to get it as "right for you two" as you can on the first go round.
Read lots..... here, on other forums, magazines, books.
Walk the docks. Look at boats, talk to owners and ask questions. Often they will show you around and give both pros and cons to their model/make.
Go to boat shows, Trawlerfest, etc. and ask questions.
Before you get real serious, actually DO what many here have suggested. Really take the time to "figure out" what you want a boat for and will expect from it. EG. Short coastal day or weekend trips, or basically living aboard (at least for several months in a row). Marina or anchor out, etc. etc. etc.
Once you have that "agreed upon", then you can write down your lists of features. What are absolutely must haves, nice to have, absolutely don't wants, and can live withs (for features and equipment, etc.). For example, for us, we did not want screwed down teak decks. Too much potential for leaks (in our opinion).

Then you can narrow down what makes, models, and added equipment you would consider. If and when you do narrow it down (after all of that), you can use your lists to determine which exact boats you want to actually go see and or offer on. Remembering that you will probably have to compromise on some things as there is not likely a "perfect boat" with everything that you want in your price range.

IMHO, failure to take the time to do "all of that" could lead to a mistake that you may regret (especially since you start out your post saying you are newbies to trawlers and larger boats in general).
You may have already done some or all of this (as you seem to like the MainShip), but I would be very hesitant to "pick a boat make" simply from photos and suggestions. You have to spend time on board one, and really "poking around" to better determine if it will meet your needs (after first defining what those needs are)
Good luck,
Tom
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
steveandkelly,
welcome aboard and good luck in your search.
My advice would be to go slow. These are expensive toys that can sometimes be either hard to sell or costly to sell (difference between what you paid and price you get) if you make a big mistake! You will want to get it as "right for you two" as you can on the first go round.
Read lots..... Here, on other forums, magazines, books.
Walk the docks. Look at boats, talk to owners and ask questions. Often they will show you around and give both pros and cons to their model/make.
Go to boat shows, trawlerfest, etc. And ask questions.
Before you get real serious, actually do what many here have suggested. Really take the time to "figure out" what you want a boat for and will expect from it. Eg. Short coastal day or weekend trips, or basically living aboard (at least for several months in a row). Marina or anchor out, etc. Etc. Etc.
Once you have that "agreed upon", then you can write down your lists of features. What are absolutely must haves, nice to have, absolutely don't wants, and can live withs (for features and equipment, etc.). For example, for us, we did not want screwed down teak decks. Too much potential for leaks (in our opinion).

Then you can narrow down what makes, models, and added equipment you would consider. If and when you do narrow it down (after all of that), you can use your lists to determine which exact boats you want to actually go see and or offer on. Remembering that you will probably have to compromise on some things as there is not likely a "perfect boat" with everything that you want in your price range.

Imho, failure to take the time to do "all of that" could lead to a mistake that you may regret (especially since you start out your post saying you are newbies to trawlers and larger boats in general).
You may have already done some or all of this (as you seem to like the mainship), but i would be very hesitant to "pick a boat make" simply from photos and suggestions. You have to spend time on board one, and really "poking around" to better determine if it will meet your needs (after first defining what those needs are)
good luck,
tom
^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:46 PM   #20
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SteveandKelly,
One other "small" item I forgot to mention. Budget!!!! Take my advice, do not extend or worse yet overextend your budget when purchasing!
Why, your operating and maintenance costs in these (trawler type) boats can be high (depending at least in part on age, past maintenance or lack thereof, list of equipment, where you moor or store, updates and additions, required repairs, breakdowns etc.etc..
For example, when we bought our boat in late 2016, the surveyor stated it was in the best condition of any boat he had ever surveyed for it's age. Even with that, we have spent about $35,000 in repairs, routine maintenance to establish a baseline, some add ons and some upgrades. I still have vintage 2002 chartplotter, radar, VHF, etc. I did about half of the work involved myself, so if you are not handy at all, you can add to the costs considerably. Moorage, insurance, and routine operating costs such as fuel were on top of that.
It is best to go into this with your eyes wide open
Tom
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