Mainship 430 Trawler Page 2

PMY Tested: Mainship 430 Trawler
Mainship 430 Trawler — By George L. Petrie — February 2001

Simple Pleasures
Part 2: Mainship 430 Trawler
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In keeping with the emphasis on practicality, the lower helm station offers excellent sight lines forward and to either side. Standard items that include a windscreen defogger, windshield washers, and articulated wiper arms promise good visibility even in foul weather. Instruments and controls are all within easy reach of the helm seat, and a built-in footrest should add to the comfort during long voyages. A tilt-up console mounted atop the teak helm station offers easy access to bus bars and wiring. The console and an overhead box with 12-volt supply provide plenty of space for mounting electronic equipment.

Alongside the helm, steps leading to the lower deck tilt up, providing access to a washer/dryer and stowage space beneath the saloon sole. A hatchway from there leads into the engine space and provides you with a whole lot of access for things like minor maintenance and daily fluid checks. For more extensive engine work, three large hatches in the saloon sole provide complete entry to the engine room.

Fortunately, on the 430 practicality does not obviate comfort. Forward on the lower deck, the guest stateroom offers a big centerline V-berth with stowage beneath and in two cedar-lined hanging lockers. I found the space airy and well lighted, thanks to a large overhead port and three side ports. And it was nice to see that the guest head offered space and amenities nearly the same as the master head, including Corian counters, mirrored cabinets, and a large stall shower with bi-fold door. In the stern, the master stateroom has a queen-size berth flanked by matching nightstands. Built-in reading lights and an innerspring mattress are two of many standard conveniences. On the more practical side, two large stowage bins beneath the berth lift out to provide access to the struts beneath them, while removable steps up to the saloon allow access to the shaft stuffing boxes.

Driving the 430 should be just as pleasurable as living aboard her. Thanks to a full-length keel, my test boat tracked straight and true, even at reduced speed with a strong tide running through the inlet near Stuart, Florida. Outside in two- to three-foot waves, she rode comfortably on all headings, with hard chines aft providing effective roll damping that virtually eliminated the wallowing characteristic of many round-bilge displacement hulls.

Though the 430 has a modified-V planing hull, her forward sections are more like those of a displacement hull, with a deep forefoot and full-bodied bow sections. So when she's running at displacement speeds (less than 10 knots or so), her forebody acts more like a displacement hull, pushing water aside at the bow rather than struggling to climb on top. But at higher speeds she runs on the flatter surfaces near the stern, where deadrise is only about 12 degrees. She's consequently just as comfortable cruising at 8 knots as she is sprinting with the throttle wide open. And she's no slouch either. With standard twin 300-hp Caterpillar 3126 diesels, I measured a top speed of nearly 20 mph, and the hull seemed raring to go for more, picking up more than 5 mph with the last couple hundred rpm.

Such performance does not come courtesy of lightweight construction. The 430's fiberglass hull has a solid laminate bottom, with weight-saving cored construction above the boot top, in the decks, and in the superstructure and interior. The deck liner is molded as a single full-length piece so that when joined to the hull it essentially forms a unibody. Premium low-emission gelcoat is used to resist weathering and yellowing.

Though my time aboard the Mainship 430 was short, I could see she was loaded with features that would make her a pleasure for the long haul, not flashy gimmicks that will soon go out of style or showy brightwork that will wear you out trying to maintain it. Just simple pleasures that make boating the joy it was meant to be.

Luhrs Marine Group (904) 827-2003. Fax: (904) 827-2151.

George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at the University of New Orleans and provides maritime consulting services. His Web site is

Next page > Mainship 430 Specs > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This article originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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