Welcome to the forum. There are others more familiar with the specific history of this problem, as it was more or less pronounced from year to year, so I will answer in general
The concept of reduced tip clearance is to increase thrust and speed, sometimes at the cost of added vibration. The standard "rule of thumb" for tip clearance is minimum 15% of prop diameter.
What you describe with the missing paint is called "tunnel burn," and is typically considered evidence of insufficient tip clearance.
On some Mainship models there was a factory warranty fix to correct this issue. I believe it was a propeller change to 5 blade with less diameter.
This is about the Pilot 30, but the same issue is well known in some 34 models:
BoatUS - Boat Reviews - Mainship Pilot™ 30
This is a thread about same in a P30
I expect some P34 Peeps to chime in, but this is a start.
If the P34 fits your Bill for what you are looking for in a boat, if it was my decision I would not let this be a deal breaker as its "fixable." The Pilot 34 is a great value and IMHO for what its designed to do a great boat.
Originally Posted by Keuka
And yes, I have heard rumors this is a known problem with the Pilot 34!
The clearance from the prop tips to the tunnel was slightly over 2" and there was some paint wearing in the tunnel over the props. My thought is the prop is over sized,