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Old 02-20-2021, 06:06 PM   #1
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Mainship 34 or 39?

We are a mid 60’s couple looking for a boat to cruise the Chesapeake Bay and ICW the next 10 years. Budget is +/- $150k. Started at Comano Troll, then looked at Nordic Tug 32. Troll was priced right but too small. NT was priced right but no upper helm which would seem to really be nice in good weather. NT is still in the running but we now seem to be focused on Mainship 34 or 39. For single engine, the 1998+ boats are running in the same price range. If anything, the 34 is a little more expensive.

I need some help understanding why a the 34 would be more expensive than the 39. The 39 has everything the Admiral wants: full sized fridge, comfy couch, walk around bed, AC and more room than the 34. I understand that the cost of keeping a 39 ft boat will be more; bottom paint, insurance, slip rental, haul outs, etc. Is the 39 ft boat a better option for us? I'll need to be able to single hand it at times.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:14 PM   #2
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Can't answer your question, Mister D, but would like to look over your shoulder at the responses, as I have also been scratching my head about those Mainships.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:34 PM   #3
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I am not as familiar with the 390s as the late model 34s. Not sure why the price difference other than owner expectations?
There are some layout differences from what I see online. The 34s are popular and well respected may have an affect in current sellers market.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:07 PM   #4
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Don't take the model designations as reflective of the size of the boats.

The 350/390 is around 39' I believe. The 34T is 39' (I used to have one).

The 390 has two staterooms, galley up, and access to the ER through the salon floor.

The 34T has one stateroom, galley down, and access to a large ER via a hatch in the cockpit.

There are lots of other (small to some; significant to others) differences between them.

You really need to get on board them to see what works for you.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:40 PM   #5
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I was under the impression that the 34T was generally a newer model than the 350/390 explaining the higher price. As mentioned, the 34T is quite a bit bigger then the 34' suggests. I have been charged over 40' at some marinas especially when they include the dinghy. I really like the engine access for the 34T under the stairs as there is no disruption in the salon. For a cruising couple, the single stateroom and larger salon works well.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:43 PM   #6
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I agree with above with most of the things however, the inside is a bit different depending if you prefer galley up or same floor. The difference in the price is related to boat age as MS390 got obsoleted when the 34 came to market.
I own an MS390 and I believe it does have more room down below than the MS34T (39ft9in Vs 38ft10in). also, you will definitely like the engine room with a single than twins if you are planning on doing your own maintenance.
I believe that 2005/2004 was the beginning for 34T and the end for MS390!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the helpful comments. This is what I hear:

1. The 34 is newer then the 39(0).
2. The LOA of both boats is about the same so slip, paint, and other size based costs will be similar.
3. Upper galley vs lower. Don’t know until we look BUT 39 has larger fridge.

One other thing that may be significant is the 34 has a 370 hp engine and the 39 has a 300 hp engine. Bigger engine, higher costs?
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:43 PM   #8
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That is not correct when it comes to Engines.
The MS390 do come with either a CAT300 or Yan370 and the CAT300 could cost more that Yan370 for maintenance.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:05 AM   #9
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I looked closely at the 390 and 34 The plus with the 390 is the second stateroom. The plus with the 34 is the seating in the salon. The 390 has the galley/refrig/cabinets across from the sofa. With this arrangement it reduces the permanent seating in the salon to the 3 person sofa. The 34 with a down galley has permanent seating for 5. The MS 40 also has this 390 problem. The price dif is the age of the vessels. The 34 was made until 2008. The 390 was made until 2002.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
I need some help understanding why a the 34 would be more expensive than the 39. The 39 has everything the Admiral wants: full sized fridge, comfy couch, walk around bed, AC and more room than the 34. I understand that the cost of keeping a 39 ft boat will be more; bottom paint, insurance, slip rental, haul outs, etc. Is the 39 ft boat a better option for us? I'll need to be able to single hand it at times.
We studied those two boats for a couple years and came away with the 350/390 every time. There are two distinctions that made the difference for us. There are no "nightstands" on the 34 and the only engine room access is through the flybridge steps. Those may or may not matter to you.

Selling price-wise, the 34 is enough newer that it commands a higher price. I think packing all that into a 34 foot (give or take) hull commands a lot of demand too.

We looked at three 390s in increasing detail each time. In the end, we turned away from the Mainship 390 after our first testing of the berth in the forward stateroom. Sleeping under the deck overhang created too much confinement feeling for us. Make sure you try that before going too far down that path.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:06 PM   #11
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They both have their plusses & minuses. I like the 390 with it's full protected keel and ER access. The new 34 seems to have better lower helm 360° views due to the galley being down and seems to be more refined than the 390. I think the 34 looses all of the step-ups & step-downs on the decks like the 390 has-I think I'm correct but can't remember for sure.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:24 PM   #12
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Thanks so much for all of the informed and helpful comments and opinions. I have a much better understanding of the differences in the two boats. Hope to see an example of each in the next few weeks. Will update with our thoughts after that.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:29 PM   #13
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Make a list of,
Must haves,
Like to have,
Then get on both models and see and feel them out.
Buy the boat that fills the most boxes.

FWIW, Same age, and same cruising grounds. The flybridge is not that important. It's nice to able to get out of the weather. Good or bad.

Good luck. Shopping is all the fun !!
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:33 PM   #14
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They both have their plusses & minuses. I like the 390 with it's full protected keel and ER access. The new 34 seems to have better lower helm 360° views due to the galley being down and seems to be more refined than the 390. I think the 34 looses all of the step-ups & step-downs on the decks like the 390 has-I think I'm correct but can't remember for sure.
34T/HT single has a full protected prop with sand shoe from keel to bottom of rudder. OAL ON 34T is 39'6" if I remember correctly. There is one step up on walk around just fwd of the stbd side helm door and matching on port side.
Bacchus website in signature has some pics in the projects section... aft deck project. The ER access is different as mentioned. I like having access w/o moving anything and underway if necessary. Mine is a 34HT so no stairs over the access.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:53 PM   #15
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34T/HT single has a full protected prop with sand shoe from keel to bottom of rudder. OAL ON 34T is 39'6" if I remember correctly. There is one step up on walk around just fwd of the stbd side helm door and matching on port side.
Bacchus website in signature has some pics in the projects section... aft deck project. The ER access is different as mentioned. I like having access w/o moving anything and underway if necessary. Mine is a 34HT so no stairs over the access.
You know the 34 better than I. I'm just going from the pictures I've seen of them out of the water. The pictures I've seen depicts the 34 with a tiny keel and sandshoe leading back to the shaft strut. The 390's have a much more substantial keel with the shaft strut & wheel close behind & no sand shoe since the wheel is above the keel.
IDK, I've bent enough prop blades on my prior boats by sneaking into places I shouldn't have so I tend to appreciate a full keel nowadays.
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:02 PM   #16
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I do like the ER access on the 34HT version. I'm not crazy about having to lift the bridge stairs to access the engine room like has to be done with the FB model. I see the one step up ahead of each door from the pics on your website. I like that much more than the 390 with it's step down then a step back up. But who am I to comment? I don't have any access doors at all! They sure would be handy sometimes.
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:09 PM   #17
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Agree that the keel on the 34T/HT is rather small but the sand shoe really helps with protection.
I do carry a spare prop I was able to find used and had tuned up but fortunately never had a need for it.
I cruise with a friend that has Volvo IPS drives that has had to have props changed & rebuilt twice. I'm not a big fan due to the exposure risk! I feel very comfortable compared to him.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:49 AM   #18
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I do like the ER access on the 34HT version. I'm not crazy about having to lift the bridge stairs to access the engine room like has to be done with the FB model.
You don't lift the bridge stairs to to access the ER -- rather, you tilt the lower 3 steps aft. No lifting involved.

The ER hatch is large enough for the generator to be replaced without disassembly. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:35 PM   #19
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As stated, for corroboration. The Mainship 350 was re-badged as the 390, however they are essentially identical with some minor exceptions. The 350 has a Full in the guest berth, while the 390 has twins. The 390 came with a Sampson post and stainless handrails. They also put latches on the deckplates, while the 350 has pulls and are held in place by gravity.

The 34 is the same class as the 350/390, however they deleted the guest berth and replaced it with a Galley-down setup, giving a larger salon space. they put a hatch to the engine room in the exterior cockpit, alleviating the need to move the furniture in the salon to remove the engine hatches.

Otherwise the basic dimensions are the same.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:05 PM   #20
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From the viewpoint of a new MS 34 T owner, we looked at both the 39 and 34. Better visibility from the lower helm along with a floor plan and room that fit our own needs made the decision. Got used to bed w/o side tables. Usually just the 2 of us, and I often handle it solo. No issue with ER access, prefer not have it thru cabin. Fly Bridge is my place unless very wet or cold, then the lower helm is wonderful. Agree with suggestion to spend time on and talk to owners of both, then chew on it for a bit, see what fits best for you and admiral especially. Enjoy the journey!
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