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Old 05-08-2015, 10:34 AM   #21
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EDIT: One other point is that NT factory support in my experience has been amazing. We bought our boat used, but the factory has been there whenever we have questions, even going so far as to pull the specific wiring diagrams for our boat to assist us when we were upgrading and adding some electronics. Again, I cannot speak to other companies.

Useful point, especially in this case. Not sure what current Mainship support will be like -- for Luhrs Group boats -- under the Marlowe regime. It was very good when under Luhrs, but the Luhrs Group bankruptcy may have put the kibosh on that, going forward.

There's a Mainship owners group, I think on Yahoo (somebody here said?) so those folks may be able to speak to it.

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Old 05-08-2015, 10:35 AM   #22
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To me, the issue is not "is an NT better quality than a similar aged Mainship," but rather can a buyer of certain skills, interest level and experience note the differences or really care?

The same question applies on Beech vs Cessna, Infiniti vs Maxima, Chevy vs Cadillac or St Pauli Girl vs Budweiser.

Watching anchor debates where some may drop the hook once per year, or talk about fuel polishing or 3 stage filtration while not burning more than 200 gallons per year of fuel could similarly be construed.

Some just like better things, whether boats, anchors, fuel systems, women, cars, airplanes, whiskey, cigars etc. Whether it is termed acquired taste, selection of the species, awareness or ---- ? For sure Elon Musk nailed it with the Tesla, whatever it is.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:37 PM   #23
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Hey Chester, are you still here?

On your original post, you described the features you like about the Mainship and then stopped?

What do you like about the NT?
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:05 PM   #24
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On a purely financial basis the resale value for the boats in question may speaks for the relative value. An expensive boat(item) is not so expensive if it holds it value well.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:20 PM   #25
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Well, my parents have a Mainship and I have a Nordic Tug. I bought my NT with the intent of resale. Buy it, play with it, improve it, sell it, and buy a Taiwanese trawler 10' longer without any additional funding.

I think part of the value of a NT is due to maintaining a high resale value. I it is a similar to the marketing scheme that John Deere used for many years. Sell high, and take them back in at a high trade-in value. Don't let anyone else in the market and "fix" the price of a used tractor. Sell the used equipment at a high value, and over time the value remains high.

Now, to be sure, this "inflated" value can only be maintained as long as there is an inherent quality value, and an active market. I think the active market has dropped off considerably.

I think Nordic Tugs are well built boats. I go on board other brand boats (not custom) and see where corners are cut. Generally speaking, people judge boats on the tactile and visual aspects. I go to boat shows and look in the bilges, corners and where bulkheads are connected.

Does this matter? In the whole scheme of things, probably not.

I recently spent money on having a custom kitchen made by a cabinet maker. Once he was done, I had him do my laundry room and ensuite. Had him make new doors out of old growth fir, too. Is it any better? Probably not. In fact, a lot can be said for industry design, efficiency, and value. I'd say a lot of mass produced cabinetry (and boats) have better features, than my custom stuff. So that may be why I like my Nordic Tug, and may never part with it. I prefer small, simple, and custom.

But really a Mainship would likely be more desirable on the ICW. When I visit my parents back east, we spend a lot of time on the flying bridge, but I wouldn't want it out here in the PNW.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:39 AM   #26
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The vast majority of you have totally missed the point...except David and Ranger and PSneeld.

He mentioned how he was going to use the boat. You get the best boat for how you are going to use it.
I will say this. A Nordic Tug 32 is TINY!!!!....regardless of how well built it is. The Mainship likely has TWICE the space if not more!!! Is that important to you????? It is to me. And it likely is to most of you. I would not be comfortable cruising on any NT under 37 feet. Somebody using a NT32 as a retirement boat is likely a blind brand loyalist...or someone that does not value space!!!!
While the Mainship build quality is not as good as NT, it will absolutely positively serve the purpose of the OP. Main ships are fairly basic boats sourced with easily available equipment and easy to maintain. The thing is not going to implode and sink anytime soon.

If it is value we are talking, the Mainship wins hands down. If it is living space we are talking, the Mainship wins hands down. The only edge the NT holds is build quality. And just how is that going to make you feel while doing the Great Loop???? I don't know about y'all....but one of things about boating and cruising to me is enjoying the space aboard the boat. Where is that space on the NT??? A smallish salon and an even smaller uncovered cockpit. On the Mainship you have a much larger salon that opens up to a large COVERED cockpit. The Mainship provides very easy and safe access to the bow. While a nice thing to have it is also a safety issue. And finally the 34T has a HUGE flybridge. Look how the Mainship overhangs flare out. Yes it looks slightly odd....but that is because they carry the width of the flybridge FULL BEAM!!!! Anyway....I have made my point....opinion.

And this is with due respect to our NT32 owners out there. Not a bad weekend boat. But not a great retirement boat....IMO.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:12 AM   #27
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Hi John, good to see you touching base. Absolutely agree with your post. Of course if one could afford great build quality, AND space...
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:29 AM   #28
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"or someone that does not value space!!!!"

A roomaran may have more empty space , mere volume , but the measure of an inteior is how well it functions , how comfortable it is , how it ventilates and admits light.

Being able to be thrown an extra 10 ft across a cabin may not be a great advantage.

Comfortable living is more important.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:07 AM   #29
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Baker has got it spot on. I have had the opportunity to run and go through both boats; the charter club we belonged to in SFO had both in their fleet at one time or another; I've run the MS in both a single and twin version. The NT is the solider better built craft, the MS has much more living space. The NT handled severe SF Bay chop in a steadier fashion than the MS. The bow slap noise in the forward stateroom is loud on the MS; we ended up using the fold out couch in the salon ourselves, which is actually a real nice set up for a couple. Others don't mind the noise so much, and we were good friends with a couple we met cruising who used their MS 34 (390 version, same boat actually) for the exact use of the OP for years, very happily. The flying bridge on the MS is, as noted really nice, and lack of same on the NT would make it a non-starter for us for the OP's intended use. Overall, I think the Mainship is a good, honest boat. We enjoyed a lot of fun cruises on several flavors of them 30 and 34 express, 34 and 43 "trawler".
For live aboard and long cruising, I would opt for the MS with a single engine, a small generator and a bow thruster. The twin engine version had way too cramped an ER for my taste.

Is the NT worth more than the MS? Yes, that's what the market says and that is what establishes worth, and I think the build quality justifies it Plus, NT is still in business, offering full support, though I do not know what support Marlow is now offering legacy MS models. But the issue for the OP is, the MS will offer a better long term cruising and living aboard experience for most people
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:27 AM   #30
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We've a friend who is an 80 something live aboard on his NT 32 with his dog. His travels in the PNW listing dog shore sites is legendary.

Most impressive in the PNW are the multitude of journeys by Baidarka I, a 32NT. This crew and vessel logged thousands of anchor sites. Look it up and if you are not aware of the Baidarka inspired cruise guides you will be amazed.

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BTW, when comparing the NT32 to the Mainship a key difference is the Cummins vs Yanmar, not only the engine but the install especially when talking exhaust elbows. No doubt the Mainship has a much bigger volume for partying and sitting around. I much prefer the sight lines and helm position on the NT32.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:31 AM   #31
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The vast majority of you have totally missed the point...except David and Ranger and PSneeld. IMO.
Or we just don't agree with you.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:39 AM   #32
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The vast majority of you have totally missed the point...except David and Ranger and PSneeld.

He mentioned how he was going to use the boat. You get the best boat for how you are going to use it.
I will say this. A Nordic Tug 32 is TINY!!!!....regardless of how well built it is. The Mainship likely has TWICE the space if not more!!! Is that important to you????? It is to me. And it likely is to most of you. I would not be comfortable cruising on any NT under 37 feet. Somebody using a NT32 as a retirement boat is likely a blind brand loyalist...or someone that does not value space!!!!
While the Mainship build quality is not as good as NT, it will absolutely positively serve the purpose of the OP. Main ships are fairly basic boats sourced with easily available equipment and easy to maintain. The thing is not going to implode and sink anytime soon.

If it is value we are talking, the Mainship wins hands down. If it is living space we are talking, the Mainship wins hands down. The only edge the NT holds is build quality. And just how is that going to make you feel while doing the Great Loop???? I don't know about y'all....but one of things about boating and cruising to me is enjoying the space aboard the boat. Where is that space on the NT??? A smallish salon and an even smaller uncovered cockpit. On the Mainship you have a much larger salon that opens up to a large COVERED cockpit. The Mainship provides very easy and safe access to the bow. While a nice thing to have it is also a safety issue. And finally the 34T has a HUGE flybridge. Look how the Mainship overhangs flare out. Yes it looks slightly odd....but that is because they carry the width of the flybridge FULL BEAM!!!! Anyway....I have made my point....opinion.

And this is with due respect to our NT32 owners out there. Not a bad weekend boat. But not a great retirement boat....IMO.

That was a GREAT post!!!

In my opinion, unless you are crossing oceans, living space is the single most important thing for someone spending extended time aboard.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:55 AM   #33
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In my opinion, unless you are crossing oceans, living space is the single most important thing for someone spending extended time aboard.
Especially when you have a sled dog team.

AC weather in Southern BC yesterday. How is Seward's weather? We're headed to Glacier Bay soon.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:59 AM   #34
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WOW! Very good posts. Everyone sort of backs up what I was thinking. I love the the NT looks, but the NT32 has a Vee berth. If I go to a N37, that's another $40 - 50K. The NT is probably a better constructed boat, but like someone said, "It's not going to blow up and sink any time soon". I like the lines of the NT, but on the hook or at a marina, the interior space is most important. I still have 2 years to go. I will probably change my mind at least 25 times between now and "launch". I like the idea of chartering an NT. I believe the Chesapeake has a NT charter company around Annapolis. The good thing about Mainships, is there are plenty of them around and that keeps the price down. As far as the comments on resale value, well I think this boat will be part of my estate. Let my kids worry about resale. I do like the Cummins. I seem to remember seeing a Mainship with a Cummins? I have looked at so many, I can't keep them straight in my mind. All I know is I have to be a decent position. I'm worried about which boat to buy, not can I buy a boat. Life is good! Thanks to all that posted.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:03 AM   #35
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Especially when you have a sled dog team.

AC weather in Southern BC yesterday. How is Seward's weather? We're headed to Glacier Bay soon.
Seward has had a mixed season so far, probably on par with Alaska. Some days are gorgeous, others miserable, but that's spring time.

Hope you have a blast in Glacier Bay. Are you coming across the gulf this season? You know Prince William Sound is calling your name!

For us, we'll be going out on a shrimping expedition as soon as I get off shift. Nothing like fresh Alaska Shrimp in the evening while watching the Sea Otters Play!
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:55 AM   #36
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Mainship used Cummins in a few of it's boats, I've run both a 30 and 34 Pilot that had one.
The two "trawler" 34/35/390 models we cruised, one had a single Cat 3208 and another twin Yanmars. I personally wouldn't have any aversion to any of the three brands, though I tend to be a "buy American" type.
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:13 PM   #37
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Or we just don't agree with you.
And you missed my point!!! While his title may elicit certain answers, ultimately he stated the use of the boat and was basically asking which would be better ref his stated use. Quite a few people just answered the question of which is the better boat....PERIOD.....without referring to his stated use....which is about the biggest mistake you could ever make in buying a boat.

It also brings up another relevant point.....GEOGRAPHY!!! WHERE are you going to use the boat???!!!!!! I can tell you right now, NT are not at all very popular on the hot and humid Gulf Coast. Why??? Because there is no decent outside space. Picture the OP...at anchor....Marathon, Fl....in a NT32. It is at least 649 degrees with at least 400% humidity. Where is he going to go???? The only place TO GO is down below. And now you are faced with running a generator and A/C or stinking up the anchorage because your rotting carcass hasn't been found yet and you are no longer amongst the living due to heat stroke. In the MS you can open all windows....open the large sliding glass door making the cockpit and salon one congruent covered sheltered space. Add a breeze and all is right with the world.

Now put us up in the PNW. The argument for the NT gains some consideration. Outside space is not as heavily weighted because it is cool and drizzly most of the time. Even if it is sunny it is still quite pleasant. NTs are designed by people from the PNW....for people in the PNW. Anyway, my take on it as it relates to this particular person's purpose for the boat. The NT dealer in one of the largest boating area in the country(Clear Lake,Tx) went out of business. Nobody was interested in a boat that was that expensive and didn't offer outside space.

Again, please realize I am not hammering on the boat in general. As has been noted, they are very well built boats and fit a certain buyer. I just don't think it makes a good boat on the Gulf Coast(and Florida) and the market seems to agree...
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:17 PM   #38
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PS....the Yanmar vs Cummins argument should not really be an issue. They are both excellent engines. I actually lean towards the Yanmar simply because they have offered me such excellent service in the past. Now I am married to a pair of Cummins and they are slowly winning me over.

Good luck!!! Exciting times!!!
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:24 PM   #39
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"or someone that does not value space!!!!"

A roomaran may have more empty space , mere volume , but the measure of an inteior is how well it functions , how comfortable it is , how it ventilates and admits light.

Being able to be thrown an extra 10 ft across a cabin may not be a great advantage.
Paralysis by analysis, FF!!!! We aren't talking passagemaking boats here. I have a roomaran(complete with an elevated oxygen tent) and have never felt unsafe moving about. In fact, Carver, being a large American company where hungry litigation attorneys dwell, has to make sure there are handholds in the right place and they do a pretty good job.

PS...I have been on a custom 65ft sailboat and it is one of the smallest boat I have ever been on...for the reasons you stated. It is a proper yacht designed to circle the globe. And it has numerous times!!!
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:27 PM   #40
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I have no experience with the Mainship, but I have quite a bit of experience with my NT 37.

First of all, the NT will not really do anything that the Mainship can't do. They're both coastal cruising boats and will take you anywhere within their fuel range as long as you keep a decent eye on weather.

A NT37 is closer to a Mainship 34 in size. The 37 is way more boat than the 32—an island berth in the master, a second cabin (either for guests or storage), a stall shower in the head, a much bigger engine room and standard generator, no step down into the salon. I know a really nice early model NT 37 just sold for $210k on the East Coast—it probably would have sold for around $250k in the PNW. That's a double edged sword—on the one hand, the price back east means it's not as desirable a boat for that area, and on the other, a NT 37 might not be out of reach for you.

With the dinghy on the swim step I have lots of space on the "boat deck" (above the salon) for entertaining. I've had 8 people up there for drinks, and routinely have 4-6. But when it's sunny in the PNW, I like to be outside in the sun. In hot and humid areas, it'd probably be nice to be under a bimini.

Build quality on Nordics is excellent, but they're certainly not maintenance free. While the factory mostly installed "best of breed" components, they all wear out over time, and they can be expensive to replace. Thankfully, I've found access to almost everything is pretty easy.

That said, I could have bought a very nice 4788 Bayliner (or many other boats) for the same money as I paid for my 37 NT and I'd have WAY more living space, both inside and outside. But for my use (singlehanding over half the time, about 700 hours per year, living aboard almost full time) the 37 NT struck the right balance.
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