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Old 10-05-2021, 09:21 AM   #1
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Sea Trial and now what?

Like many, I am transitioning from sailing to trawlering (sounded right) and we are having a sea trial tomorrow. Looks close to 95% chance we are buying a 83' Mainship 34. I was initially going for sailing but was "coached" by my wife's family that she was not a really a sailor and her idea of cruising is on a large ship, so trawler it is! I will get a small sailing dink to tow and everyone will be happy.
We will be crossing Florida (west to east) via ditches and Lake Okeechobee. It's my understanding that the boat has not been used much for the last year or so. The fuel tanks are 1/2 full and seems to run well.

So, my questions are:



Prior to departing on our trip home should I have the Perkins gone over by mechanic and fuel polished?


Any tips for the trip?


The boat had a recent condition/insurance survey and the few items listed were corrected but I'm not planning on getting a pre-purchase survey, not sure if that's real smart.


Figuring the trip will take 2-3 days and hope the algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee won't make things uncomfortable.
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilPB View Post
Like many, I am transitioning from sailing to trawlering (sounded right) and we are having a sea trial tomorrow. Looks close to 95% chance we are buying a 83' Mainship 34. I was initially going for sailing but was "coached" by my wife's family that she was not a really a sailor and her idea of cruising is on a large ship, so trawler it is! I will get a small sailing dink to tow and everyone will be happy.
We will be crossing Florida (west to east) via ditches and Lake Okeechobee. It's my understanding that the boat has not been used much for the last year or so. The fuel tanks are 1/2 full and seems to run well.

So, my questions are:



Prior to departing on our trip home should I have the Perkins gone over by mechanic and fuel polished?


Any tips for the trip?


The boat had a recent condition/insurance survey and the few items listed were corrected but I'm not planning on getting a pre-purchase survey, not sure if that's real smart.


Figuring the trip will take 2-3 days and hope the algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee won't make things uncomfortable.

Talk to your insurance broker or agent regarding your plan to forgo a pre-purchase survey. Typically, the insurance will require a survey prepared for you (your name on it). They may be willing to accept a recent survey complete for insurance purposes but I believe that would be an exception to typical practice and it would be better to ask ahead of time. That said, I bought a 1980 Mainship 34 this spring, had it surveyed and ended up insuring with Progressive which did not require a survey. Progressive boat insurance does not have the best reputation and I am planning on shopping other options next spring when I'm up for renewal with my survey in hand.

With regard to the fuel, I would offer to buy fuel filter(s) and have them changed prior to the sea trial, perhaps even changed at the end of it so get an idea how clean the fuel is. You aren't likely to stir up much sediment running in protected water but if you have a chance to let the boat roll around in a passing wake and see if sediment ends up in the filter, it would be a good idea before you close on the boat and it becomes your problem.
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:51 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Congrats, hopefully, on your new boat. Personally I would get a survey. But if you donít then I think it would be a good idea to at least have a qualified mechanic check over the engine. And have him show you how to change the fuel filters and bleed the fuel system. That way you will know how to do it. Also stock up on fuel filters, both primary and secondary, so that if you do have fuel issues you will be prepared to deal with it. And then have some fun!
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:55 AM   #4
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Getting a full boat and separate engine survey is well worth the money. We paid thousands on doing both on several boats before deciding on the current one. Worth every penny beyond any issues with insurance. We vetted surveyors at length before choosing which ones to use. You’re potentially betting your life and big bucks on your decision. Not getting the best surveys possible is penny wise and pound foolish in my opinion. I’ve been boating for decades. This is my 8th documented boat. In every case the surveyors found things that effected my decision that I would not have found.
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
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Buy 'a number of fuel filters for the main and gen'
Yes, polish the fuel and have the tanks inspected.
I suggest you refuel before you start out after the onboard fuel is polished and tanks inspected.
A couple gallons of motor oil, couple of filters each for main and gen.
Strap wrench, couple screw driver of each design, couple of adjustable wrenches, pliers, wire cutter, water pump pliers, couple impellers each for main and gen engine.
Also change the impellers and inspect the belts. Buy an extra belt for each engine. Have the tech talk you through, bleeding the fuel pump and injectors.
Ideally, you will never use any of it but...
If you do all the above, you will be more knowledgeable than most.
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:12 AM   #6
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Yup. Get a survey, for sure! Buy tow insurance.


"...recent condition/insurance survey..." Two different types of survey, as I understand it, with the insurance survey being less intensive. Did I mention, get your own "condition" survey?
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:42 AM   #7
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Unless you have a lot of experience with the boats in general, and the type of boat you are looking at specifically, I would get a survey from a qualified/competent surveyor. . . . . .

Now FINDING said qualified/competent surveyor is all on you! Ask around, DON'T go with the surveyor your seller, or any broker that represents him recommends, unless he is recommended by unrelated sources.

DON'T count on any value "established" by even a competent surveyor to be anything different from the purchase price.

Best of luck in your potential purchase!
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:04 AM   #8
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On the survey for Type of Survey states "Condition/Insurance/Valuation". I have called around the area where this was done and the surveyor is well known and is highly regarded. I'm now trying to see if there are any engine surveyors that have time to do a survey as well.
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:12 AM   #9
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A good diesel mechanic that knows the engine is really all you need. Tell him what you want and see if he can do that.
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:29 AM   #10
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Welcome aboard and congratulations. I think I saw your boat on CL. Looks like a good deal. Yes, absolutely take the time and spend a little more on everything mentioned by the members above. She's 38 years old and it's a long haul back Good luck/God bless
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:31 PM   #11
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Second two things things that have been previously mentioned. 1) Replace Raycor and on engine fuel filters before you go; Have spare Racor filters and know how to change them. 2) Get towing insurance. And I’ll add a third 3) Replace sea water pump impeller before you go.

As for the survey, have been disappointed in Suryeyors. Depends on your comfort level and what insurance company may require. I went ahead a got a survey because insurance shopping for the older boats is iffy.
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:41 PM   #12
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Above and beyond the changing of and carrying of spare filters, be sure you are aware of how to bleed the air out of the engine's fuel system. Got spare vee belts, raw water pump impellers for engine and genny? Welcome, and hope to hear of your roaring success!
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilPB View Post
Like many, I am transitioning from sailing to trawlering (sounded right) and we are having a sea trial tomorrow. Looks close to 95% chance we are buying a 83' Mainship 34. I was initially going for sailing but was "coached" by my wife's family that she was not a really a sailor and her idea of cruising is on a large ship, so trawler it is! I will get a small sailing dink to tow and everyone will be happy.
We will be crossing Florida (west to east) via ditches and Lake Okeechobee. It's my understanding that the boat has not been used much for the last year or so. The fuel tanks are 1/2 full and seems to run well.

So, my questions are:



Prior to departing on our trip home should I have the Perkins gone over by mechanic and fuel polished?


Any tips for the trip?


The boat had a recent condition/insurance survey and the few items listed were corrected but I'm not planning on getting a pre-purchase survey, not sure if that's real smart.


Figuring the trip will take 2-3 days and hope the algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee won't make things uncomfortable.
You didn't mention when you plan to cross the lake but be ware that the St. Lucie Lock will be closed for maintenance from 1/2/2022 to 3/31/2022.
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:09 AM   #14
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Thanks all! See trial went great and I have a mechanic/surveyor coming by to check out the motor. Everything seems to work very well. Of course there were a couple issues But nothing to can't be sorted out
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:15 PM   #15
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Congrats on finding your boat. BTW we sailed for 50 + years. Got our IG 32 2 years ago. Still like to sail - on someone else’s boat, but for ourselves, never go back to sail.
As mentioned, learning curve is straight up. If an “old survey” is available (not more than 18 months) and any work required has been completed, you are probably on safe grounds. I would definitely have a mechanic check it complete with an oil analysis.
After that, remember you are purchasing a boat with some age history. We put aside 15% of the purchase price to take care of the “didn’t see that coming” event for the first year. Upgrades to start this winter layup.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:37 PM   #16
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I've bought boats with and without a survey. Didn't make any difference over the years (40 years) but I am an extremely thorough inspector of the boat anyway. So it all depends on how deep you can get into the boat yourself.

Make sure you have insurance at least for liability and environmental damages BEFORE you close the deal. Insurance companies are pulling back from older boats, they've had a lot of claims the past 10 years. Then you'll know whether insurance requires a survey.

Once you buy the boat do a day-long trip or two and spend a night at anchor before making any serious distance or open water. once the boat knows she's yours she'll let you know what needs to be fixed.

fair seas and wonderful travel ahead
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilPB View Post
Thanks all! See trial went great and I have a mechanic/surveyor coming by to check out the motor. Everything seems to work very well. Of course there were a couple issues But nothing to can't be sorted out
Congrats and I hope you continue to share updates as you enjoy and maintain your new boat. A few of us share our projects and updates in the mainship section of this forum, I find it extremely helpful and would be grateful to have one more active contributor. Little things like recommending sources are of parts and rebuild services is really handy. For pretty much every project you take on, someone has already worked through it and it is great to learn from their triumphs and mistakes.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:00 AM   #18
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Sounds like you have this boat!
I had a 2007 Mainship 34 hardtop with Yanmar turbo. Racor with the clear bowl and vacuum gauge too. The engine sends most of the fuel back to the tanks so it is polishing the fuel constantly. If you have that set up there’s no need to change filters until the bowl or the gauge say so.

Love Mainships.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:51 PM   #19
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Good Luck!

Good luck on your trip. When are you shoving off? I am on the Okeechobee waterway right before you reach the St Lucie Lock.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:21 PM   #20
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All good thoughts. 2 things to add:

I agree with Symphony's post. Pic attached: This Racor vacuum gauge shows how much psi it takes to pull fuel thru the filer element. It has a recording needle so that hours/days after running you can see how high the pressure got last time running. Adding this $99 part takes [most] all the guess work out of fuel condition / delivery system conditions. I take a pic of it on my phone every week when checking fluids. Running the boat underway (with a NEW filter element) for an hour or 3 in not-flat-calm conditions... this gauge will tell a LOT about fuel, line, and tank conditions. (I use 10 micron primary elements... that is part of this equation too.)

Do not assume you will be able to easily get good full coverage insurance, as hinted by some. If you are not financing, and you don't need good full coverage insurance because the boat is low priced, fine. But if your risk tolerance or ability to recover from unexpected surprises is LOW, then you should jump thru all the hoops before you close on the boat: survey(s), insurance quotes, etc. Conversely, if it is "low dollars" for you on a cash deal, then it is OK to cut corners, IMO.
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