Author: Tom Thompson
One of the fringe benefits of doing this job is being able to enjoy the occasional day on the water in absolutely idyllic conditions. Such was the case when we tested the new Mainship 34 Trawler.
The sea trial took place in the tidal flats around St. Catherine’s Sound in Southeastern Georgia, not far from where Mainships are built. It turned out to be a test of both substance and style.
Weather conditions were picture perfect on this March morning. A bright sun was shining in the nearly cloudless sky, but the temperature was a bit on the chilly side, mostly because of the stiff breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean. That provided the means for a good assessment of how the 34 Trawler handled, as we had to pick our way slowly through the winding and narrow channels.
From our starting point to the ocean was only about 6 miles, as the crow flies. The actual distance traveled was over three times that much.
The 34’s large rudder and power assisted steering made negotiating the turns easy, and it handled well in the cross winds. The boat also has a full keel and a skeg to protect the running gear. That’s a comfort when you”re in waters where you could run aground around the next bend.
Take Your Time
The 34 Trawler is for enjoying the passage, and we certainly weren”t in any hurry on this day.
Our test boat had a single 370 hp Yanmar diesel engine. With its 13-knot cruising speed, it has a range of 225 nautical miles with a 10-percent reserve. For short bursts of speed, it will top out at 16 knots.
Mainship offers a selection of diesel power options from single 240 to 370 horsepower as well as twin 240’s. The engine was quiet, too. At 3,000 rpm, the sound level was only 70 dbA on the bridge.
When we reached St. Catherine’s Sound, the wind off the ocean roiled the waters enough to give us a taste of the 34 Trawler’s seaworthiness.
The well-defined keel provided arrow straight tracking. The low center of gravity kept pitch and roll to a minimum. The boat pushed through the chop unruffled.
The ride was dry and comfortable. Of course, we could have gone below and used the lower station, but this was too nice a day to be inside.
The Inside Story
For those times when you are inside, however, the 34 Trawler is a comfortable respite.
The main saloon has a settee along the port side and an adjustable-height dining table in front of it. A pair of rattan lounge chairs is optional, and they can be placed along the starboard side when not in use at the table.
A nearly 360-degree panorama of glass brings in abundant daylight. The main electrical panel is in the aft starboard corner bulkhead.
Beneath it, a fold-up table can be used as a computer station for your laptop. A 110v AC outlet and telephone jacks are conveniently nearby.
If you don”t choose the optional lower station, the pedestal in the forward starboard corner can be used as a base for the standard flat-screen television and a DVD/CD stereo entertainment system. Otherwise, the television is mounted outboard of the electrical panel.
Another option to consider, if you expect to have overnight guests, is a convertible settee for the saloon.
The galley is two steps down from the main saloon and on the port side, but it is completely open. A counter along the aft end can be used as a breakfast bar for informal meals.
Two stools placed on the saloon level provide seating. The Corian countertop is U-shaped and holds a complete array of kitchen appliances, along with plenty of storage space. All of the cabinetry is nicely done in solid cherry wood.
A two-burner stove, a microwave oven, a coffeemaker and a dual-voltage refrigerator/freezer are standard equipment.
The steps down from the galley are hinged to lift upward. You can either use the space underneath for storage or as a place to install the boat’s optional central vacuum system.
The 34 Trawler has a single stateroom belowdecks with a centered queen-size pedestal berth. There’s a full-length hanging locker to port and a storage compartment under the mattress, along with drawers and smaller cabinets along the port side. A cabinet on the starboard side holds an optional television and audio equipment.
The head compartment has two entrances — one from the stateroom and the other from the companionway. It contains an enclosed shower stall with a seat, a vanity sink with a Corian countertop, plus the toilet.
The 34 Trawler’s layout gives easy access to all points on the main deck. The side walkways are covered, as is the entire cockpit. The high gunwales are topped by a railing, for security when you”re moving around the boat in rough seas.
There’s a well-sealed watertight door to go out from the saloon to the starboard sidedeck. The foredeck has plenty of space for working lines and ground tackle.
Access to the engine room is under a section of the flybridge stairway that lifts up. Although getting in is a little tight, requiring some twisting and turning, once inside, there is a surprising amount of side-to-side room for doing maintenance.
Mainship thoughtfully provides a 110v AC outlet, a freshwater spigot and a machinist’s vise here, for your convenience.
There are three swiveling bucket seats at the 34 Trawler’s helm. The console extends the entire width of the flybridge, so there’s plenty of room for electronics.
The netting underneath is a handy feature, to hold all the odds and ends you want to keep secure. An L-shaped seating area is behind the helm and to port — and it is served by a fold-away table.
Canvas options include a Bimini top, as well as a four-sided enclosure. A Magma propane barbecue grill is another available option on the flybridge.
The 34 Trawler’s radar mast is hinged to provide additional bridge clearance. With it and the Bimini top folded down, the highest point on the flybridge is the top of the steering wheel.
Mainship first introduced the 34 Trawler in 1978, and it became an immediate hit with boaters looking for an affordable, yet nicely equipped midsize yacht. The brand-new version of this classic shares the same goals, but in a more accommodating, updated and seakindly design.
If you”re considering a trawler yacht purchase, the all-new Mainship 34 is definitely worth a look. You”ll be pleasantly surprised with all of its standard features — and with its low base price.
CONTACT: Mainship Corp.; Midway, GA; (912) 884-9595; (800) 578-0852; www.mainship.com