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Old 07-10-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
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Greetings from not a coastline...

I do not own a boat...yet, and I live in the mountains. I may be as green as they come on this subject but that is why I am here.

We recently came home from a New England trip and the last place we stayed was Boothbay Harbor. Seeing all of the boats in the harbor stirred something inside that I'm having trouble shaking. I tried antacids but that didn't work...

Anyway, after a pretty good bit of wandering around the inter webs there is a boat out there that really peaks my interest because it seems to reflect our current travel style of enjoying a small, 20ft camper for excursions (except the last trip). I'm referring to the Mainship 34 of the 80s. The amenities of the boat seem similar to our travel trailer but I haven't set eyes or feet on one in person. I've read a lot of folks on here who have them and love them, and those who prefer something else.

My main reason for posting is to ask a question to whoever might own one of these boats in the Charleston, SC or Florida areas (we have cheap flights to most of Florida where I live): Would you mind, if I could arrange it, taking me (or us) out on the boat and giving me a thorough walkthrough of these machines? Not overnight or anything but I would like an education on these and to peer into the nooks and crannies to determine if we want to look at something like this for future cruising vacation options. I'll be glad to pay for fuel or beer or whatever.

What interests me at the moment is some simple ICW cruising with a potential Bahamas trip after I have some skill and confidence. I don't want to hear from a broker, I would really like to talk to someone in person and see if I'm even capable of such a leap into the unknown. It seems like a dang fun retirement lifestyle to be completely honest.

Anyway, if I'm asking something that is taboo or off limits, please tell me. From what I've read everyone on here seems to be pretty laid back so I hope I don't offend anyone.

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:17 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. The Mainship 34 is a really nice boat for 2 people. It fits a lot into a 34’ boat. Lots of them out there. Good luck with your search.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndawg View Post
We recently came home from a New England trip and the last place we stayed was Boothbay Harbor. Seeing all of the boats in the harbor stirred something inside that I'm having trouble shaking. I tried antacids but that didn't work...
Yeah, that'll happen...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndawg View Post
Anyway, after a pretty good bit of wandering around the inter webs there is a boat out there that really peaks my interest because it seems to reflect our current travel style of enjoying a small, 20ft camper for excursions (except the last trip). I'm referring to the Mainship 34 of the 80s. The amenities of the boat seem similar to our travel trailer but I haven't set eyes or feet on one in person. I've read a lot of folks on here who have them and love them, and those who prefer something else.
Can't offer a ride, 'cause we don't have one anymore... but our first big boat was an '87 Mk III... and I (still!) think it's a great boat. Several advantages, though not without a few faults and disadvantages. I've even thought about getting another one, and addressing what we began to see as the biggest drawback for us -- the ladder to the bridge -- with some some kind of circular staircase replacement.

Anyway, while you're pursuing this, you might also keep an eye on the newer 350/390 and 34T... both of which incorporated feedback from original 34 owners and addressed many of the "would like to have" issues -- like stairs vs. ladder, wider beam, a sliding door at the lower helm, etc.

-Chris
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:57 PM   #4
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Take a trip to a boat show with the sort of boats you're considering.

This way you'll get a chance to get on board many different models from multiple vendors. What looks good in pictures might not be all that great in real life. Ladders, stairs, passages, table edges, doors that hinge vs slide, etc. All kinds of little details that no two people will agree upon.

It's not until you get yourself onto a boat that you really start to understand how you'd see spending any amount of time on it. Keep an open mind, don't get your heart set on a specific style, brand or model until you see it (and it's competition) in person.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:14 PM   #5
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:09 AM   #6
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Take a trip to a boat show with the sort of boats you're considering.

Good advice... normally... but FWIW, I think the chances of seeing a Mainship 34 at a boat show is about slim to zip. Ditto the 350/390 and 34T... although one of those just might show up in a brokerage area (as at the Annapolis show). Don't remember any Mainships at the Annapolis brokerage area over the last several years, though (for example).

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Old 07-12-2019, 07:47 AM   #7
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Good advice... normally... but FWIW, I think the chances of seeing a Mainship 34 at a boat show is about slim to zip. Ditto the 350/390 and 34T... although one of those just might show up in a brokerage area (as at the Annapolis show). Don't remember any Mainships at the Annapolis brokerage area over the last several years, though (for example).
Agreed, my point was if the OP hasn't been on a variety of others it might be worthwhile.

If just to be able to walk in, sit in, move around on, both above deck and in the cabin and engine spaces. Get a feel for several boats in succession as a way to do 'live comparisons'.

That and meet a few brokers. Regardless of the boats they're selling at a show (or at that time) you can hire one to act on your own behalf for boats being sold by others. Given how infrequently most folks purchase boats it's often helpful to have a broker wade through the issues that come up during the boat search and purchase process.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:59 AM   #8
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Agreed, my point was if the OP hasn't been on a variety of others it might be worthwhile.

Yep, fair enough; good idea to survey the broader market.

-Chris
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