power_boat_review-mainship_35-largeLet me first admit that I am always attracted by a traditionally styled boat. In the early days of powerboats, form needed to follow function and those traditional designs had an honesty and sense of purpose that I still really like.

The brand new Mainship 35 Trawler looks like a traditional trawler and features many traditional virtues, yet it also delivers key features that today's buyers are looking for: a spacious and well-equipped galley, an ocean-going "family room" on the bridge and the convenience of joystick docking.

Compared to new express cruisers, what you give up is high speed cruising. The Mainship 35 Trawler cruises at 7 knots (8.05 mph) with quiet serenity and such economy that some owners have achieved a 900-mile range on one tank!

The single Yanmar 380 hp inboard diesel with electronic shift and throttle is a new high-tech design that produced nary a trace of smoke or smell during our test and had the muscle to move the Mainship 35 up to 15.3 knots (17.6 mph) so you can fight high seas or make a reasonably fast passage from A to B.

Joystick docking is big now and the Mainship 35 Trawler delivers on that with separate bow and stern thrusters. You can easily manoeuver this boat and even "steer" it move sideways to make docking a breeze.

Spacious, comfortable and economical to run, this may be the perfect boat for a cruising couple who really want to go places and do things. Sell the big city home and use this boat as a main residence in Canada spring through fall and cruise south for the winter to a condominium in Florida and explore the Caribbean from there. Where an express cruiser is a "getaway boat", a trawler is a floating home away from home.

Starting from the stern, you get a big, full width swim platform with a pull-out boarding ladder that can be accessed from the water in an emergency (very important). There is a proper transom door that keeps the sea out and let's you in. The cockpit has room for a few deck chairs or a group at a cocktail party (when at anchorage); it is all shaded by the bridge overhang.

The wide side decks lie well below the hull sides that are capped with big side rails, also under an overhanging cabin roof. You feel you can safely get all around the exterior, even while underway. You are walking in the boat, not merely on it. Forward, there is an electric windlass for the anchor, big cleats and a traditional Sampson post for heavy lines. You can sit comfortably on the cabin trunk as well, facing forward as you go.

The flying bridge is accessed from the cockpit up a set of stairs on the starboard side. Well-placed handrails allow you to back down like using a ladder if you were in really rough conditions.

The flying bridge is your ocean-going family room. You get a commanding view from the upper helm station where the captain sits in the centre with companion seats on either side. This is the way to go while cruising long distances; everyone has a great outlook forward and most can also view the navigation screens and gauges on the helm. Both dash sides have flat areas for chart reading.

The bridge also features bench seats all around where you can recline for sunbathing. For parties, turn the helm and companion seats around and about 10 people can gather to talk under the Bimini roof. Full zip-out Eisenglas side curtains make this an all-weather area. Mainship's parent company, the Luhr's Group also build the Hunter sailboat line and you will find a clever folding table like those on sailing yachts, in the middle of the bridge.

Better yet, just outside the Bimini on the aft bridge deck, Maniship gives you a "summer" galley with sink, refrigerator and space for a BBQ. Feed the whole gang right from the bridge!

If you like to cook and entertain, this boat is nicely equipped. The galley lies on the port side of the salon and it is simple and straight but spacious and well equipped. There is an impressive length of Corian counter with a polished, round stainless steel sink in the centre and both an aft bulkhead window and lots of side glass. It is bright and open. Mainship resisted the temptation to hem it in with cabinets, opting for storage under the counter including big pull out drawers for the fridge and freezer – a really nice solution. It is also equipped with a two-burner stove, convection microwave and a trash bin.

Opposite the companionway is your choice of either a pair of recliner chairs or a pullout sofa bed like our test boat had. A 20" flat screen TV with DVD and stereo comes standard.

Ahead of the sofa is a standard, fully equipped lower helm with leaning post seating; right beside that is a sliding door to the side deck. That's convenient for docking and by opening the centre windshield section, the side door and the aft bulkhead door, you can really let the breeze circulate through!

Air conditioning with reverse cycle heat is optional. Few owners would miss the opportunity to ensure comfortable cruising through three seasons. The lower helm is perfect for those rainy days or super hot days when the flying bridge is too exposed; the dinette in the salon is both perfect for dining and also as a companion seat where you can read charts as you go.

On the lower deck is a forward master stateroom with hanging locker, private access to the head and a contoured queen berth while a second double-berth stateroom lies on the starboard side.

The head is attractively appointed with the same cherry wood cabinetry as the rest of the boat, boasting a Corian counter and private shower stall with bench.

Everything is a livable size and it is a very people friendly yacht in all respects – well suited to being a floating home for exploring today and retirement tomorrow. See the world from your Mainship 35!

By Andy Adams

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