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Veteran Member
Jan 17, 2016
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Mainship 30 Pilot II
After many years cruising around the LI Sound on our Regal Commodore 242 we have made the move up to a Mainship 30 Pilot II Sedan just last month. It'll be a long couple of cold winter months till April when I'll be moving her from RI to CT. Being my first experience piloting a boat with a rudder and diesel engine I'm sure I'll have quite a few questions; in fact I have one already...what part of the maintenance and systems section of this forum would I ask about installing a stern thruster? By the way, a thank you to Don '08 MS 34 HT "Bacchus" for suggesting this forum from over at the Yahoo Mainship group. Thanks for having me aboard!

Welcome to the Trawler Forum. Try the search function and you should find plenty of info on thrusters.
RT Firefly, Thanks for the anchor critique, have any suggestions?

From your avatar, I'm sure you'll appreciate this quote...
"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."
~Groucho Marx
Welcome to a new Mainship owner

Welcome aboard - I think you will enjoy the company on TF :)

I'm not sure where you are in CT but believe a fellow TF'er DJMARCHAND is also in CT now and is also a MS Pilot owner... not to mention a great resource re: everything marine electrical... hope he picks up on the post and responds.
To your question... probably Other Trawler Systems or Power Systems would be a good place to start re: thrusters but the search function works pretty well on TF and best to start w/ a search to get familiar w/ what already exists. You may also find something in the MS Builders sub-forum.

As I mentioned in the PM I'll post my write up of my charging system mods in the MS Builders forum. It's not exactly what you are thinking about but it does have the dual thruster wiring diagrams that MS installed along w/ a few pics of the switches, fuses & wiring on the MS '08 34HT.
Mt. T. Nope, I'm not going to the "A" place and I fully concur with my quote but a number of members are somewhat dull types (sailboat converts) and need cheering up from time to time. It's my civic duty...My charity work, as it were...

Todd (I will use that name because Don did):

Also welcome to TF. As Don noted I have a Mainship Pilot 34, the big sister to your boat. Before bringing her up to Connecticut last spring where we keep her on a mooring in Essex, we kept her at our dock in Oriental, NC. I backed into that slip every time. The bow thruster works fine for that and I don't usually need a stern thruster too.

Well once I was backing in against a 20 kt wind on the beam and got very crosswise, but besides that one time where a stern thruster might have helped, I got by without it.

Do you have a bow thruster? If not I would start there as pointing the bow where you want to go is more important than the stern, unless you are backing up. But installing a bow thruster is a big deal. A stern thruster is easier to install however as it more or less bolts up to the transom.

Where do you cruise? We are just getting re acquainted with LI Sound having cruised through there as transients years ago. Did a nice weeklong trip to Block Island, Hadley Harbor, Martha's Vinyard, Newport, RI and back home. Locally we like to run up river a few miles and grab a mooring at Hamburg Cove and hang out, although the mooring at Essex is quite peaceful at night.

I want to try Watch Hill, RI next spring. Looks like a nice anchorage behind the dunes.

So maybe we can link up somewhere.

Congrats on the Pilot 30.
Being a sailor 34'C&C and various outboard powerboats.
My mainship took a bit to get used to. Mostly I feel it wanders a lot at slow speeds ,seems to always need a fair amount of steering. Over 6 knots tracks well. Owning the boat for one season I can say I never felt I needed a stern thruster.
Mine is a hardtop as well
Thanks for the welcome everyone. Yes djmarchand my name is Todd and my wife's is Cristina we are going to keep our new boat "Chesapeake" on the Branford River (Branford Landing to be exact) where we kept our previous boat for the past 12 years. Branford is just east of New Haven. By the way, Stoney Creek Brewery just opened their brand new Brewery this past summer on the river right next to Branford Landing. On our previous boat over the years we cruised from Port Jefferson to Block. Our most favorite places to stay are the Essex Island Marina, The Seaport Marina in Mystic, anchored inside Naptree Pt. in Little Narraganset Bay - Watch Hill, Mitchell Park Marina - Greenport and Lake Montauk. In fact we visited all those places on a 10 day around the Sound excursion this past summer. I can't wait to see how far Chesapeake will take us. I'll be posting some questions about adding a couple of batteries and a stern thruster in the Maintenance and Systems when I get a chance. Thanks!
Todd, welcome to TF! I am fairly new here also and I think you will find very knowledgeable members who have great patience with those of us with questions about boats and systems. You guys have great waters to explore on LI sound and the islands in close proximity.

I also have a feeling that the capabilities of your new boat will allow you to expand your home waters. I started out with a 22' cuddy-cabin on Narragansett Bay and when I stepped up in size, as you have, my cruising grounds grew proportionally.

My advise, if you will allow me to throw my 2 cents in, is to give yourself a season on your boat before you pop for the stern thruster. The learning curve is not that great in learning to handle your boat without either thruster in my opinion. The better you get without it, the better you will be if you finally decide to get the stern thruster. I don't think you have said whether you have a bow thruster or not. Going sideways with both thrusters sounds like an ideal way to dock, but there are as good ways to dock without either thruster and the sooner you accomplish those skills the more enjoyment you will have. FWIW, if I remember correctly, a stern thruster will probably will hit you up for $15K or more. Best of luck to you and keep us informed with your upkeep and travels.

I'm a new guy here myself so bear with me. A couple of things come to mind. First, I have been conducting my own personal Connecticut Lobster Roll tour. The final results have not yet been tallied, but the little shack across the river from your new slip, is a serious contender for "Top Roll". As for the brewery, as I was enjoying my lobster roll that day, I couldn't help but notice the building itself. I was wondering if anyone might know what it was built for. Looks like it could have been a small shipbuilding operation. I tried Google and the local historical folks, to no avail.

Lastly, I have to attend a wedding in August at Lighthouse Park Point in New Haven. I'd like to stay on my 22" Surf Scoter. I noticed a small inlet at Morris Creek and was wondering if anchoring inside there is possible with a small boat. There is a small marina around the point, but they have yet to return my inquiries concerning a transient slip. Any local knowledge would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Ah, the Lobster Shack...yes, great lobster rolls, clams, footlongs, we eaten their many evenings after a day at the Thimbles. Keep in mind it's BYOB. The old factory building was actually a foundry. Here is a link to for more info. Diamond in the rough: Branford Landing Marina brings businesses to repurposed foundry & waterfront for 20 years - News - Shoreline Times heres the link to Stoney Creek Brewery Home - Stony Creek BreweryStony Creek Brewery
I doubt that your boat could navigate Morris Creek. I have never seen anything but kayaks in there. Since the prevailing winds during the summer are SW, to anchor on the CT shore you need to tuck in behind some land. The Thimble Islands are a great place to anchor for the night and if you get in close to Stoney Creek it gets really quiet, I accidentally left the Thimbles off my list for favorite cruising destinations in the Sound in a previous post. If you wanted to stay closer to the park, farther to the west, you could try the Farm River Gut just behind Kelsey Island or you could try Morris Cove or somewhere in New Haven Harbor...definitely more protected on the west side of the harbor north of Sandy Point. Light House Park has a boat launch about a half mile north of the lighthouse. The couple of small marinas just north of LH Point are Harbor Point Marina and the New Haven Yacht Club but you would have to contact them to find out if they take transients.

Thanks for the tips. I did not realize that the yacht club had guest moorings available. I will be taking the boat up to the wooden boat show in Mystic this June, so I will do a little recon of my available options on my way east. I'll get a slip for the night somewhere in Branford afterward and dingy over for a lobster roll. I'll work my way to Mystic from there.

Thanks again.


How are you doing over there with all the snow? Hope all is OK with the boat!
I spent quite a few hours piloting two different Mainship 30's. There is no reason to have a stern thruster on that boat; rudder and throttle do the job just fine. A bow thruster would be far more useful, as I learned when using a 34 Pilot equipped with one. However, I was taught by a good trainer how to manipulate the 30 with neither, including backing into a small slip. I do not consider myself a particularly adept helmsman either.
Made it through the storm with about a foot of snow in New Haven CT where I live. I expect Wickford RI where my boat is wintering has about the same. The boat is wrapped so I don't foresee any problems. This Sunday morning we have a bright blue sunny sky!
Made it through the storm with about a foot of snow in New Haven CT where I live. I expect Wickford RI where my boat is wintering has about the same. The boat is wrapped so I don't foresee any problems. This Sunday morning we have a bright blue sunny sky!

This is one of those circumstances I'd still advise everyone to be sure their boat is checked. Whether it's storage or wrapping or whatever winter method, most facilities are not use to snowfalls like this one. I've seen cases of larger than normal snowfall where it took a large crew of employees working around the clock to keep up with it. The weight of this much snow can cause a lot of things to happen, including collapsing wrap, sinking boats, collapsing roofs of boathouses. Just make sure things are checked to insure all is ok.

Just google and you'll find a lot of stores and other buildings with collapsed roofs from this snow. A cubic foot of snow weighs anywhere from 10 lbs to 20 lbs. So take a 40 x 15' boat and put two feet of snow on top of it and you have 12,000 to 24,000 lbs. That's the extreme case but shows the magnitude.
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Three things:

1. Welcome to TF, great forum. Probably my favorite boating forum. Much more polite and gentlemanly and (mostly) civil than many others.

2. On lobster rolls, I don't know why there's any debate. Clearly it's Bill's next to the singing bridge in Westbrook. HOWEVER, sadly, since my teenage years Bill's has become such a busy zoo that most of the time it's so painfully noisy inside you can't have a conversation and so badly overcrowded it's not worth it. Therefore, our new favorite place and a very close second is Edd's, just a couple good baseball throws down the road from Bills. The lobster rolls are just about as good, but the beautiful outdoor seating areas or inside the gazebo is what Bill's used to be before it got too crazy. Crinkle cut fries like the old days.

3. Okay, I can't help it, it's a trivial thing, but I just can't shut up, the title of this thread is driving me nuts. Having grown up there it's Long Island Sound, not *the* Long Island Sound. Just like Cape Cod, nobody says "the Cape Cod." Maybe a mod would put me out of my misery and whack the "the" from the thread title.

Seriously though, welcome to the forum. (Come to think of it, if you get as far east as Newport, whole belly fried clams at Anthony's. Oh, and the stuffed clams. They call them "stuffies" there but Connecticut types like me simply called them stuffed clams. I don't know where those Rhode Islanders got this "stuffy" thing.)
kthoennes, Yes, you are right. I actually rarely call it Long Island Sound around here anyway, just the Sound. So...Greetings from the Sound! Of course this wouldn't quite work if I didn't include the the in the Sound:)
kthoennes, Yes, you are right. I actually rarely call it Long Island Sound around here anyway, just the Sound. So...Greetings from the Sound! Of course this wouldn't quite work if I didn't include the the in the Sound:)

Ah, you're right of course. Language is such a funny, slippery thing. Chop one of the words off and the "the" comes back - the Sound or the Cape.

My brother moved to California and he finds it odd that in LA they add a "the" to major highways, which we never do in CT. On the East Coast it's simply I-95, but in California it's *the* I-5.
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I'm with you, Karl. Saying "the" before a highway number is so southern CA! Now it's creeping into AZ, too. Don't try that sh1t up here in NorCal! We'll correct you!

I've taken the liberty to correct Tamrow's title to his liking. How's that?

Tamrow, welcome to TF! Hope you find what you like here. It's kinda hard not to, if you like power boats and trawlers.

My wife grew up in your neck of the woods...Orange, CT. Nice area and good food...especially burgers and pizza! I missed my chance to try lobster rolls. They're on my dinner list next time I'm in the area.
in California it's *the* I-5.

No, it's "The 5" , no I. And that is pretty much an LA thing. Go to the SF bay area and the rest of the state it is simply 5, or 880, or 101, whatever. Now over in Texas it is often the name of the road: LBJ, Airport Freeway, Central Expressway, Inner Loop, etc. Chicago too. In New York, it's a combo... The Garden State Parkway, The Cross Bronx Expressway, etc
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Belated welcome to the forum. I've had my Pilot 30 for almost a year now. A stern thruster would be nice, but I found it's not necessary. The only times I wished I had one was backing into my slip with a stiff cross breeze, but on those occasions I simply use my wife as a fender. ;)
FltWright, Thanks for the fix. I considered the new title for my original post but anticipated a slew of post asking...which Sound??? Thanks for the warm welcome.

I am new to this forum as well and also just purchased a MS pilot hardtop last summer. I keep the boat at Ragged Rock marina on the Connecticut river. Just down the river from Essex and djmarchaund I just figured out by reading this thread. I have a single Cummins with a bow thruster. I am new to a single screw inboard as well, having owned a number of outboard center console boats previously. I had no trouble learning this new boat and the bow thruster honestly makes it very easy to maneuver this boat wherever I want.
Good luck with the new boat

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