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Old 03-12-2018, 12:47 PM   #1
City: NW
Country: USA
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Mainship 34 Trawler Survey

We are purchasing a 2008 34T and are curious what items we should make sure our surveyor spends a few extra minutes on? Boat is a single screw 370 Yanmar. Does this boat have any "gotchas"?


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Old 03-12-2018, 01:33 PM   #2
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City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
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I owned a new 34T from 2005 to 2009, so am reasonably familiar with it. The boat is fairly vice free. There are only a few common things that I can think of. One is the ZF Microcommander electronic throttle and shift. One some boats, ours included, the throttle and shift would suddenly go to neutral and idle. Cycling power restored normal operation. Mainship issued a service bulletin that suggested replacing a power supply relay located in the electrical chase. Some said it worked, others said it didn't and one owner was so frustrated that he replaced the whole system with mechanical cables. Another solution is the Kobelt equivalent electronic system that is reportedly rock solid.

Ask the owner if he has experienced any of this behavior.

You are unlikely to notice this in a sea trial as it is very intermittent. Just be aware and if it bothers you try replacing the relay. The service bulletin can be found if you root around here-

The other issue is that due to its rather wide beam and therefore aft transom width, the boat gets pushed around badly in a 3-4' following sea. With the standard autopilot it would do 30-40 degree S turns. You could hold it fairly straight by hand, but you had to work at it.

A fairly good solution was to add the gyro feature to the standard Raymarine autopilot. That quieted down the S turns to about 10-15 degrees. Most new autopilots have this feature standard and your 2008 might have it already.

It is a very nice boat for a couple as it just has the forward queen berth. Some couches pull out to make another bed but that means your guests are sleeping in the main salon. The fly bridge is huge and a great place for a cocktail party.

The single Yanmar 370 will push it to about 12 kts while burning 11-12 gph without stressing it too much. But we mostly cruised at 7 kts and burned about 3 gph. The engine room is open and it is easy to get around the single to work on all sides.

All boats develop their specific issues over time, but I can't think of any thing else common to all.


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Old 03-12-2018, 02:33 PM   #3
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City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,851
We have a 2008 MS 34HT and have owned it since 2012.
Agree w David... great boat for a cruising couple.
Weak point but by no means a show stopper is the hull / deck joint and many have leaks into the bilge from this area. Worth fixing if you are a dry bilge fenatic like me.
I have added shelves in many cabinets & closets to increase storage and convenince.
MS use of diode isolators in charging system is less than ideal but not hard to improve on.

Pics and project details as well as the BOM and many part pics / source available on the following
The other weak point in my mind is the poor holding tank venting that is the cause of a pretty foul smelling holding tank. It was nearly impossible to modify the existing vent and I ended up adding a DIY bubbling system which has really improved tje system.
I would have surveyor check around all flybridge pentrations as moisture ingress has been an issue on many MSs.

Any specific questions ask away.

2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:43 PM   #4
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City: Watts Bar Lake, Tn River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: RedBoat
Vessel Model: MS 34T
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Ditto on the flybridge hull penetrations; soft spots in the flybridge decking were the only potential showstopper in my buyer's survey. Check proper ground in the AC circuits in the boat side of the isolation transformers. Look for poor salon air distribution due to faulty ductwork. Everything is negotiable and anything is fixable. You'll find annoying OEM issues that are not really surveyor issues, but I like my 34T well enough to keep.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:20 AM   #5
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City: tallahassee
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Vessel Model: 1979 Mainship 34
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I'd want someone who is very familiar with mainships in particular but not a deal killer.

I'd ask they spend less time on electronics/wiring and more time on finding rot, engine systems, running gear, AC/main electrical and genset.

I'd send off an oil sample asap to give them plenty of time on that too.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
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City: Westerly, RI
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Originally Posted by Mrwesson View Post
I'd want someone who is very familiar with mainships in particular
Probably an unrealistic expectation. The things that a surveyor would be looking at would NOT be brand irrelevant.

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