By Tom Thompson
Mainship 400 Trawler: Sea Trial
Mainship 400 Trawler: Substance and style for comfortable cruising.
The lure of trawler cruising is as much about getting there as it is about being there. The pleasure en route matches that found at the destination.
Mainship’s new 400 Trawler was designed to take that cruising experience to a new level of comfort and convenience.
The 400 represents Mainship’s third generation of trawlers. The company built them during the 1980s, then, after a brief hiatus, resumed production in the mid-1990s. The 400 is the culmination of all the company’s trawler-building experience: It’s a well-crafted, substantial boat that is stylishly done.
Testing the 400
At 41 feet, 4 inches in overall length, and with a beam of 14 feet, 2 inches, the 400 is a remarkably seaworthy boat. It has a full keel for maximum stability under way. In versions powered by a single diesel engine, the keel extends to a skeg that protects the running gear and rudder.
The hull construction provides a sailboat-like ride that takes chop with a gentle up-and-down motion. However, the 400 Trawler can be quite nimble when it needs to be.
We tested the Mainship 400 Trawler off Stuart, Florida, on a sunny summer day. We found the 400 Trawler’s Teleflex Sea Star steering to be quite responsive. Full over, the turning radius was about 60 feet.
We noticed a slight amount of list when turning to port at higher speeds, due to the direction of prop rotation. Our starboard turns were flat, as expected.
Docking a single-screw boat can be a chore, but the 400′s bow thruster — a standard feature with single-engine packages (optional with twin engines) — makes it easy. This is a great addition that just about any skipper will appreciate — and will use regularly.
The 400 Trawler can be powered with one of five single diesel engine choices from Caterpillar, Cummins or Yanmar, ranging from 315 to 385 hp. The boat is also available with a pair of 240 hp Yanmar diesels, for those who insist on twins.
Our test boat was equipped with a single 385 hp Caterpillar 3126 diesel. At a slow cruise speed of 9 knots at 1,800 rpm, it burned an economical 7.9 gallons per hour. The top speed was around 12 knots.
Those numbers may seem snail-like to the go-fast high-performance boat crowd, but they give the 400 Trawler 1.3 mpg fuel economy and a cruising range of 394 miles.
We found the engine room to be surprisingly spacious. Our test boat had the largest single engine powerplant available, yet there was easy all-around access to every service point.
When you’re at anchor, you won’t have to be concerned with generator noise, as the 400′s optional 8 kw Kohler auxiliary generator is placed aft, in a separate compartment under the cockpit.
Added seaworthiness is not the only benefit gained by the Mainship 400 Trawler’s size. There’s an impressive amount of useable space, both topside and belowdecks.
The most striking example of this roominess is the flybridge. It’s one of the largest we’ve seen on a boat this size.
The helm is positioned on the centerline, and there are two forward-facing seats — one on each side. In addition, there’s an L-shaped bench along the port side and a straight bench to starboard.
All of the built-in seating can be put under cover with an optional Bimini top or a full enclosure. The flybridge extends aft over the cockpit, for added protection from weather.
On the bridge, a cozy round table with a pair of stowable chairs provides an intimate setting for watching the sunset. There’s room for a tender and an optional davit, or you can go for the ultimate entertainment option: a built-in fiberglass console that holds a Jenn-Air cooktop, a sink and an ice-maker.
The extended deck space on the flybridge provides a double benefit of covering the cockpit as well as the walk-around sidedecks, protecting both areas from weather. As an option, the aft area can be enclosed to expand the main deck living area.
Walk-around sidedecks leading to the foredeck are wide, with a high railing for security when seas are rough.
The optional windlass on the 400 is mounted under cover, for protection. There are two anchor rollers for securing ground tackle to meet varying bottom conditions.
Whether or not you enclose the cockpit area, the 400′s unique saloon door can give the space a whole new dimension. It features a stainless steel frame, holding three floor-to-ceiling panels of tempered glass.
The panel on the starboard side opens as the primary access to the cabin. The panels to port are hinged to fold out of the way. Once the panels are opened, the entire aft section of the saloon opens up to the cockpit.
The 400′s saloon is also open to a full galley, located forward and to starboard, which includes an oven and a three-burner range. An electric range is standard, while a propane version is optional. There’s also a microwave oven, a full-size refrigerator/freezer and a power ventilator — all of which are standard equipment.
The galley is set around a generous expanse of Corian countertop that holds a deep double-basin stainless steel sink with a designer faucet.
Best Seats in the House
Aft, along the port side of the saloon, you have the choice of a standard settee with a storage compartment under the cushions or an optional sleeper settee that opens to a double berth.
On some boats of this size, the dinette is a compromise — usually tucked away in a corner. I thought it was ingenious that Mainship’s designers made the dinette a focal point of the saloon — not only because of its high-gloss finish, but also because of its configuration. Just one bench seat is used, and that’s along the forward side of the table.
The seats on the aft side are comfortable bar stools with back supports. This opens up the area, eliminating the confining feeling a high-back bench would create.
A third stool doubles as a fifth seat at the table, when it isn’t being used by the captain at the lower helm station.
The 400 Trawler has two staterooms and one head belowdecks. The master suite is located in the bow and has a pedestal queen-size berth with an innerspring mattress. There’s generous storage in the stateroom — both under the berth and in lockers to either side.
An opening overhead hatch with a retractable privacy panel is screened, to let in welcome breezes.
The head is accessible from either the master suite or the companionway. The compartment’s shower stall includes a tub with a molded-in seat.
The second stateroom offers twin berths that can be converted to a king with an optional filler cushion. For a cruising couple who doesn’t anticipate taking on guests very often, Mainship has an optional drop-down desktop that fits over the inboard berth, so the stateroom can be used as an office.
Another option worth considering is an available washer/dryer unit that neatly hides under the companionway stairs.
With comfortable accommodations for a cruising couple, a seakindly hull and efficient single-engine performance, the new Mainship 400 Trawler is an attractive choice for gunkholing explorers or coastal cruising aficionados.
Mainship 400 Trawler Specifications
|Dry weight||24,000 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||300 gallons|
|Water capacity||130 gallons|
|Propeller||26″ x 19.5″ five-blade|
|Base price with single 385-hp Caterpillar diesel||$272,807|
|Price as tested||$324714|
|Top speed||17 knots|
|Miles per gallon at 9-knot cruising speed||1.31|
|Estimated fuel cost for 100 miles||$120|
|Range at 9-knot cruising speed||394 nautical miles to empty|
|Sound level at 9-knot cruising speed||75 dbA|
(Estimated fuel cost based on fuel price of $1.56 per gallon.)
Anchor pulpit w/dual rollers; folding table on bridge; flat-screen television, VCR and CD stereo in saloon; innerspring mattress in master stateroom; Corian countertops; full-size refrigerator/freezer; range w/oven; microwave oven.
Two-zone air conditioning; 8 kw Kohler auxiliary generator; Bimini top with four-sided enclosure; color hull; Jenn-Air grill; windlass; internal sea strainers; dripless shaft log; convertible settee; folding radar mast.
Fiberglass hull constructed with 2415 Stitchmat; sides contain 3/16-inch balsa and Coremat.
For More Information