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Old 12-19-2015, 10:37 PM   #1
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Thoughts on the Mainship 350??

Hi All,

I am looking at a Mainship 350 in BC. I had thought that these were pretty nice trawlers, and then someone told me that they should be called MainlyShit versus Mainship! This individual said that they are difficult to operate in any heavy seas, and that in a stiff wind that they are like being in a sailboat. Also have heard that the materials used were so cheap that things that last for years in most boats are constantly needing replacing (e.g., taps on the bathroom sink).

So ... thought I would see who out there might have opinions agreeing/disagree with the info I had got? In comparison to Nordic Tug - is there any? In comparison to a CHB? Any thoughts appreciated as I don't want to even look if there is a big chance for buyers regret!!

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Old 12-20-2015, 12:34 AM   #2
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Cool *cough"bullshit"....

Well, as they say, everyone's got an opinion. Mine is obviously somewhat biased as I own one (390). She's a 2001 with over 3000 hours on the Hobbs, thousands of miles under the hull, and a good majority of the equipment and accessories original. She's cruised the west coast of California and Mexico and around into the Sea of Cortez.

They were decent production boats. Not custom. Not high-end. But reasonable quality-for-the-price cruisers. A few known design issues, but nothing significant. Like autos, there are folks that swear by Fords, and those that swear by Chevy's and swear that Fords are crap.

This is a semi-displacement hull, and does not profess to be a blue water passage maker. She's designed for coastal cruising, not storm bashing in the North Sea. A following sea will tend to push her around, like any other flat transom, SD boat. With AP not a big issue, and I've never felt uncomfortable in moderate seas.

Like most semi-planing/semi displacement hulls, a stiff wind will push her around when trying to dock. Especially with full canvas enclosure. Just like every other SD boat of similar size and design. But than her draft is only a few inches over 3' as well.

I don't have experience with NT, but do know CHB can have a widely variable build quality.

But, do your own research. I did, and did not uncover anything close to what your "someone" professes. Never heard that expression for Mainship either.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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Also have heard that the materials used were so cheap that things that last for years in most boats are constantly needing replacing
I'll let other owners of 350/390 Mainships address the boat overall, but I agree with what Phyrcooler says.

I want to address the "cheap materials" comment you heard. I was a supplier to Luhrs/Mainship and still am to many boat builders. They did not make purchasing decisions based on price. The steering system is Sea Star, look in the bilge and see a Rule Pump. The wiring and plumbing meet ABYC standards and is installed properly. Most of the cabinet hardware for the production run of this model is Southco. The engines are mostly Cat and Yanmar with some having Volvo and Cummins. Generators on most of these models were Kohler or Onan.

The galley equipment is Princess stoves and NovaCool fridge. Much of the deck hardware and underwater gear come from Marine Hardware Company. The windlass is Lewmar.

Look around at the equipment on "someone's" boat and you'll find many of the same brands.

Just to finish for a Coastal Cruiser these models are one of the best values on the market.



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Old 12-20-2015, 08:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by AlaskaDreaming View Post
and then someone told me that they should be called MainlyShit versus Mainship!

This individual said that they are difficult to operate in any heavy seas, and that in a stiff wind that they are like being in a sailboat.

Also have heard that the materials used were so cheap that things that last for years in most boats are constantly needing replacing (e.g., taps on the bathroom sink).

A) Horse-hockey. Mainship always built a pretty good Chevy. (Or Ford, or Dodge. Or even DeSoto, if that's your preference.)

B) Many boats are "difficult to operate" in "heavy seas." Flybridge boats do offer some additional windage, compared to an express cruiser. We usually find that inconsequential, except during some docking situations -- and that's pretty much a flybridge thing, not a Mainship thing.

C) Most of our faucets and related hardware (sister brand to Mainship) were made by Shurlfo, now available through Ambassador. 14 years old, all fine. ONE of our faucets was made by Scandvik and I've recently replaced the cartridge. Same brands as those installed in many other Chevies. Or Fords. Et cetera.

D) Our water and macerator pumps are Jabsco; water heater is Atwood; gauges, Faria; sea cocks and strainers, Buck Algonquin; engines, Cummins; water hose and fittings, PEX and Flair-It; genset, Kohler; CO, high water, and fire alerts, MTI Safe-T-Alert; ACs, Marine Air; fridges; NovaKool; oil changer, Oil-X-Changer; primary fuel filters, Racor; charger, ProMariner; props Federal/Michigan Wheel; engine room fire suppression, Sea-Fire; steering, Sea-Star; microwave, Sharp; bridge stereo, Sony; marine gears, ZF; and so forth... Mainship likely used mostly the same or similar stuff. Same brands as those installed in many other Chevies. Or Fords. Et cetera.

Your "someone" is even ess reliable than the Internet.

-Chris
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:31 AM   #5
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Agree w the comments above...
Could you do better... if money was not an issue...most certainly!
If the basic design fits your needs I feel like MS's are a good value.
They are not a blue water boat but I don't believe that all the coastal owners are disappointed...most I've talked to are quite happy.
We are inland \ Great Lakes cruisers and quite happy.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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The guy that told you this didn't own a SR by any chance?


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Old 12-20-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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You will find these prejudices everywhere. I belong to the downeaster forum and most there will not recognize my Pilot 34 as a downeast hull and claim that the structure is crap. Just not true.


I suspect that the Hinckley forum would say the same thing. And the Lamborghini forum would say the same thing about a Ford or Chevy.


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Old 12-20-2015, 01:36 PM   #8
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OP: Everyone has an opinion. Here is one that seems to be more nuanced than what you've "heard":

Boat Review by David Pascoe - Mainship 350 Trawler
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:14 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts/opinions. I had seen the Pascoe review and it seemed to suggest that this was a fairly good vessel. It is in a price range I can afford, and looks clean and well cared for. It is equipped with a single screw Yanmar and I have heard that these were less hassle than the twin engines, and left more room to get to needed areas for repairs, etc.. The opinions that were shared on it scared me a bit, as while this boat is in the affordable region for me, it is still a fair chunk of change and I would hope that is would serve for many years of cruising in the NW, SanJuans, GulfIsland, DesolationSound, and maybe on up to Alaska. I will be retiring so no need to get out in the snarky stuff, so would only need to deal with that if accidentally got 'caught' unexpected. Given the above, I think I will schedule a sea trial and see how she feels. She has a bow thruster, I would imagine a stern thruster could be added if the docking is a real issue, though to be honest, I prefer hanging on a hook whenever possible, so may spend less dock time than some.

I do appreciate any thoughts on things to have 'closely' looked at in a survey - if there are any Achilles' heels to be aware of. I know them all for the CHB, Taiwan trawlers (leaking decks, rusting fuel tanks, topsides weakened from leaking windows) ... so if there are any similar weak points people think I should be aware of, please let me know - ether by post or a message!

Thanks again for thoughts to date - it helps to counteract the negative info that was making me second guess making the effort to really check this boat out! Not being either a Chevy or Ford person, but clearly a dual citizen when it comes to Mac and PC ... I get it
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I do appreciate any thoughts on things to have 'closely' looked at in a survey - if there are any Achilles' heels to be aware of.
There are lots of 350/390 owners on the Mainship Owners group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/mainship/info who I'm sure would be glad to provide specific info on the model and year you're considering.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:44 PM   #11
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I guess it would be great to have a bow thruster. And a stern thruster too. And, how great would it be to have a true, heavy displacement hull, that is not as prone to being blown around by a stiff breeze?! But, you learn with what you have. With no thrusters to engage and with the wind just another obstacle to overcome, you just learn to deal with it. There is a learning curve involved, but once you have that confidence of being able to control your vessel, it makes the whole endeavor that much more enjoyable.

So, the Nordic Tug is exactly the same as the Mainship. There are issues with the survey when you buy it. Systems break and are expensive to repair. It floats and depreciates. But, the harbor fog horns sound the same, the sunsets are just as inspiring and the day you sell her will be just as bitter-sweet.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:43 PM   #12
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Thoughts on the Mainship 350??

We chartered a Mainship 350/390 in 2012. I thought it handled decently in 5' seas. I thought it was a nice boat, but a bit challenged space wise and the bow thruster was ineffective. A nice weekender or boat for single week trips.

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Old 12-20-2015, 08:20 PM   #13
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The Mainship I own is a bit older, 1979 34ft. What I will speak to is the quality of the boat. This is built like a tank. Single Perkins diesel, Vetus bowthruster, and many carefree miles under the hull. I have owned Glider for just over 6 years and I have put on over 7300 miles. I know that many older boats seem to be built a little heavier than the same builders boats today. But I love my 79 and it has served me very well.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaDreaming View Post
I do appreciate any thoughts on things to have 'closely' looked at in a survey - if there are any Achilles' heels to be aware of.

Not being either a Chevy or Ford person, but clearly a dual citizen when it comes to Mac and PC ... I get it

The only specific issue I've read about is something about potential water ingestion into the swim platform area on earlier 350 models. I think there was a known fix, and that was incorporated into later 350 models and all 390 models. That from memory though, and mine ain't what it used to be.

Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Peugot, VW, Hyundai, Volga, Fiat, Vauxhall... whatever.

-Chris
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:59 AM   #15
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The bigger question is "how good is this specific Main ship?" A 10 to 15 year old vessel of any brand bears careful scrutiny before making an offer. Are you using a buyer's broker or who is representing/assisting you?
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:39 PM   #16
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I agree with everything said above. We've had our 2003 390 for 8 years and have had no issues at all with quality. We have a single Yanmar with a bow thruster. We first brought her home there were small craft advisories on the Chesapeake. Had to run the entire length of the bay and then into the Delaware (over 350 miles) in 5' breaking seas for half the trip. The boat took it better than the crew. With the thruster docking is never a problem even in a heavy cross wind. I did that my first night and had never docked this boat before (or any other singe screw boat for that matter)
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