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Old 02-03-2020, 08:17 PM   #1
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City: Savannah, Ga.
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Vessel Name: Indigo Star
Vessel Model: 2006 Mainship 400
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 182
Maniship 400 - as far as the BVI or USVI or further?


I understand that with 300 Gallon Fuel capacity, the distance one can travel on a Mainship 400 with a single Yanmar 6LY 440 HP is about 400 miles.

Is this close to being the case cruising at 8 knots @ 3.5 GPH?

Has anybody gone as far as the US or the British Virgin Island or further?

Thanks for any and all comments.


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Old 02-03-2020, 08:38 PM   #2
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Jeff, I will leave it to those who have Mainships to comment specifically.

But I will add this for what it is worth.

We WILL be cruising, when the time is right (probably around four or five years time), all the way down the semi-circle of the Caribbean islands to the ABC islands and back.

We have a 2000 NM range, 400 less when planning for our 20% reserve.

We have tentatively laid out some ideas, evaluated the challenges etc. Maybe we are a bit more conservative than you, but we feel that our boat, our crew with additions where we want them, our spares inventory, and our pocket book, means we can do this.

But we are taking it very seriously. With the range and boat that we have.

With your Mainship, I feel you need to at least quadruple that sensitivity.

But just consider this. Your total range is our reserve.

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Old 02-04-2020, 12:42 PM   #3
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Vessel Model: '05 Mainship 40T
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I don't think it would really be the range that limits it, I think it would be the offshore capabilities. Plenty of fuel available in less than 400 mile hops, but there are some passages that would really scare me with our boat. You would have to be very careful when choosing weather windows and have plenty of time.

I think your range is greater than 400 miles, even allowing for a reserve. My boat has twins and I consistently burn 4.5 gph at 8 plus knots. That gives a range, with no reserve, of more like 550 miles, so I think 450 to 475 is reasonable and conservative.

On our Bahamas trips, we run at 15 knots across the stream all the way to grand Cay (110 nm) and then at hull speed to Green Turtle (another 100 nm). We usually do this over about a 5 day period and have quite a bit of generator run time mixed in, plus added miles getting in and out of anchorages, fishing etc. We fill up in Green Turtle, it's always about 200 gallons, give or take. If you ran at hull speed and limited generator run time it would be a lot less.

There are some Mainships down there in the Carib, so clearly it is possible. They didn't all get there on ships.

Lots to see and explore in the Bahamas and maybe as far down as the DR, for which the 400 is, in my opinion, very well suited.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:34 PM   #4
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Fuel isn't the issue on a Mainship 400 and you can easily explore the Eastern Caribbean through island hopping. Now, the offshore capabilities are the challenge and you'll have to be prepared for some long delays in looking for windows and seas you can comfortably handle.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:24 PM   #5
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Read Van Sant's Gentlemen's Guide to Passages South. He talks about working your way around the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, mostly at night to avoid pounding into head seas during the day. Then waiting for the right weather window to make the Mona Passage, a notoriously rough leg, to get to Puerto Rico. And finally moving down the chain of islands getting pounded with 20+ kts winds in between the islands.

So it can be done. It takes time to wait for the right weather and without a ballasted hull and or stabilization you probably won't be happy. And that says nothing about the consequences of getting caught in 30-40 kt winds and 10-15' seas.

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Old 02-05-2020, 03:12 PM   #6
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City: Sassafras River, Maryland
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Vessel Name: Seventh Sojourn
Vessel Model: Mainship 400
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Posts: 124
My first thoughts echo what has already been said. We took our MS400 on a trip down the Chesapeake to Baltimore but that day, with the wind on the aft quarter, the rolling was too much for the Admiral and we had to duck into Fairlee creek for the night. We will be ok going to the Bahamas but the BVI's would be a stretch.
Gary Armstrong

The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore. Dale Carnegie
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:32 AM   #7
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I would be cautious about taking the Mainship outside rivers and the ICW.

We crossed the Albemarle Sound one bright windy day and the seas, in a time period of 2 hours, went from 2 ft. to 7 ft. I thought the boat was going to capsize in the beam sea.we readjusted our heading to handle the sea, but it was extremely uncomfortable and borderline dangerous.

I love the MS 400, but it's not an oceangoing vessel.
Jeffrey F. Guttenberger
2020 Back Cove
Cathy Ann
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:40 AM   #8
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City: Sint Maarten DWI
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Vessel Model: 2000 Mainship 390 Trawler
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All, I live in the Caribbean full time and run a business here on Sint Maarten. I have a 200T Master CG lic, and still shipped my trawler down here from Florida for all the above reasons.

My 2000 MS39 is NOT an ocean going vessel. Even when I take her out for day trips or island visits (7-12 miles), I check on sea & wind conditions just hours before departure, and look at 24 hr forecasts as well. Seas/winds down here can change unexpectedly in hours with fronts moving through.

On fuel usage, I have a Cat 3116, and been getting 2-2.5 g/h at 1600 RPM, which on my boat translates to 6-8 of speed. I have 300 US gal fuel, so using my range factor of 120 hrs engine time on said fuel and speed, even when I take into consideration of 20% reserve, it seems it is significantly longer than what I am reading. I have been to BVI/USVI several times, and the trip can be down right crazy if you don't pick your weather window carefully, especially coming back through Anegada Passage (can be a real nightmare with this semi disp hull design). The Mona Pasage is no walk in the park either LOL.

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