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Old 08-09-2016, 07:47 AM   #1
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Mainship 30 Pilot

Good Morning. My wife and I are life long boaters. We currently run a 26 Shamrock Mackinaw out of Huntington NY. I like to fish and she likes to cruise and relax. Having reached semi retirement we are looking for a boat in the 28 to 30' range that will give us the needed space to spend more time on the water. We are very intrigued with the 30 pilot with a rag top. We are concerned about the wet ride and noisy cockpit. How bad is it? Our Shamrock is also a keeled semi displacement hull that can be very wet in certain conditions. The 350 Chevy engine noise is tempered with sound down insulation and acceptable. Can we assume the pilot will be no worse in the wet and noise factor? We are looking at 2000 to 2004 models with the 315 Yanmar. Are you fisherman comfortable with the small rear cockpit area? Thanks for any comments.

regards Holty
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:06 AM   #2
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Hello there. As far as comparing it to the Shamrock, I have no idea. My MS Pilot had the 240hp Yanmar. It was fairly noisy but not overly so. A friend of mine has the 230hp Yanmar in a 1998 Pilot. His is a lot noisier than mine was. But that is likely just a function of sound insulation. A lot of the noise comes from the harmonic vibration thru the hull...which should be much less with the 6 cylinder.

As far as wet ride goes...you can't have your cake and eat it too(in a small boat). You either have a boat that goes THROUGH the weather/waves. Or you have a boat that goes OVER the weather/waves. The one that goes THROUGH the waves is a better sea boat...but as you might imagine, going through it will cause spray and a wet ride. That is the case with the MS Pilot. Great ride...but a wet one. If you were going OVER the waves you would obviously end up with a rough pounding ride.

Another thing to think about in your vintage range of searching.... Mainship did a remodel on the boat in 2003 hence the Pilot II moniker. While it doesn't look like much, it was fairly extensive in my opinion. The first thing is engine options. I do not think you have an option for the 315 Yanmar on the earlier version(2002 and older). Secondly, the hull shape is totally different. The earlier versions are a classic semi displacement hull with a keep and the propshaft exiting the back of the keel at the rear of the boat. The II version has the keel cut away and the shaft exiting about midship with a carrier/shoe that takes the exposed shaft all the way aft in a prop pocket. You will notice earlier Pilots have a draft of 2.10. The II version has a draft of 2.2 because of the pocket. Not only does it reduce draft but puts the thrustline more parallel to the longitudinal axis of the boat making the thrust translate to forward movement as opposed to a (bow)downward moment. The shape of the hull is also fairly different. The cutaway keel allows for a more planing like hull taking advantage of the efficiencies of a planing hull versus a semi hull. AMazingly, you would expect the newer hull to pound more since it is flatter throughout the back half of the boat But it does not. It rides very well and is faster and more efficient.

Lastly, the interior of the II version is very different. Marketing wanted a centerline queen and by golly, they got it. At the expense of the forward half of the interior space. I personally don't like the newer interior. I like the V berth set up as it gives you interior space all the way to the forepeak. With the II version, you hit the landing of the companionway stairs and that is pretty much it. You have a few more steps forward and that it all you got!!!...the folded up queen bed taking up the forward 7-10 feet of the interior of the boat. 7-10 feet of VERY PRECIOUS space!!!

My final opinion of the boat after 6 years of ownership....an EXCELLENT value in an EXCELLENT DAY boat....DAY boat. For a 30 foot planing powerboat, you are not going to get a more efficient boat. The only reason I do not still own it is because it is a little small. OK, it is VERY small. You are still somewhat camping sailboat style. There just isn't a lot of space for all of the creature comforts you get in a larger boat. If you can stretch for the MS34 Pilot, I would try. It gives you much more space. Anyway, I loved my MS Pilot. Fantastic boat for what it was(a day boat). I just wanted more comfort. The lack of comfort forced me into a certain type of boating....day boating. If you are more inclined to camping style boating, then nothing wrong with that and I know a definite step up from the Shamrock.
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Baker that is some great info. We like the 34 but I often head out fishing by myself and want a rig that I can handle easily by myself. I read in the forums about the pros and con of the fold out berth. So If we want the 315 and the standard V bunk we are limited to a 2002? I like the 18knt cruise with the 315 as that is our cruise with the Shammy. I can't find solid cruise numbers on the earlier models (2000 to 2002) with the 230 and 240 yanmars. Coming from a 26x8' boat with a front cabin that you can't stand up in the 30 feels huge to us. I know bigger is better but if we find the right 30 we will be happy. Thanks again!

regards Holty
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:47 PM   #4
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I was under the impression that the choice of the 315 engine came about with the change of the boat in 2003....so not sure there there are 2002 1st generations pilots powered by the 315 Yanmar. I may be wrong. You would also be giving up the improvements to the hull and draft...which are think are very worth it.

As far as handling the boat by yourself....the 34 would be almost no different than the 30. ANd I will say handling the 30 is an absolute joy and a breeze...which adds to its attractiveness. I actually toyed around with the idea of getting another Pilot and keeping my current boat. Then my friend conked me over the head to remind me all of the expenses that would be doubled...slip...insurance.,.etc!
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