The Marlow Mainship 37’s rugged construction and systems are based on proven big-yacht techniques.
David Marlow’s considerable influence is clearly evident aboard the new Marlow Mainship 37, a speedy, seaworthy trawler introduced last year. His company bought the Mainship brand in 2012 and the MM37 exhibits the Marlow design pedigree that is both easily apparent—and purposely hidden—throughout the vessel.
Some of Marlow’s good ideas you just can’t miss. For example, the MM37 features a folding stern bulkhead that drops outward toward the water or dock. This was a big hit at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show because it was very simple to board the boat. The stern fold-down opens up the cockpit for easy access and more space, and when in the down position it makes for a nice platform to rest a chair or two. “It makes the stern more useful and offers more space to move about in the cockpit and swim platform,” says Greg Emerson, director of sales for Marlow Mainship. “It raises and lowers electrically and there’s a control station for remote operation.”
Marlow Yachts, the company David Marlow founded in 2000, rank among the most efficient and seaworthy recreational vessels on the water. When Marlow brought both Mainship and Hunter Sailboats into the fold, there was no doubt that Marlow’s ideas would make it into new builds, and that’s exactly what has happened with the MM37. The electric stern is an in-your-face feature that makes sense, but the really interesting upgrades take more investigation to discover.
For example, the Mainship 37 has a dry bilge, a concept brought over from the Marlow Yachts line. All water that accumulates inside the vessel runs to a common drain and off the boat. “Whether it is condensation, air-conditioning run off, sinks, or faucets, it all runs to this common drain,” Emerson explains. “This set of pumps (located under the forward V-berth) moves the water overboard. The mindset is that any time you have water in the bilge you are creating an opportunity for mold and mildew to grow. If the bilge stays dry you have less of an opportunity for that to happen.”
Another significant improvement that takes a little bit of looking involves the type of gelcoat used on all new 2015 Mainship models. “We changed to a better gelcoat with better production qualities, improved blister protection and less chance of cracking over time,” Emerson continues. “The new gelcoat is oyster white and you can see how much better it looks overall when comparing it to another boat.”
Mainship vessels also now feature wood-free construction, as all the balsa coring in the hull has been replaced by Nida-Core. “Nida-Core is stronger in addition to not retaining water,” Emerson maintains. “We tested the panels that included balsa and found they would separate in shock tests, while Nida-Core would not.”
Building strong, seaworthy boats is certainly a tradition with the Marlow boats family, and the 37 Pilot carries a CE Category A rating, the highest designation possible. The 37 Pilot isn’t going to set any speed records, but most owners of this type of vessel are more interested in comfortable cruising than top-end speed. The 37 Pilot we reviewed, however, was outfitted with twin Yanmar 220-horsepower diesel engines, an upgrade from the single Yanmar 320-horsepower diesel that comes standard. Not only does the twin-engine setup provide a redundant safety factor over a single powerplant, but it also makes a top end speed of more than 26 mph.
Comfortable conversation areas abound aboard the MM37, beginning with the cockpit/transom area. Whether you’re lounging in a chair or just lying out on the teak deck or swim platform, the aft end of the MM Pilot puts you in touch with the outdoors while having all the shipboard comforts within easy reach. A hot-water washdown is in a starboard compartment off the transom, so it’s easy to rinse off after a swim.
Moving forward into the salon, the teak theme continues with the flooring and woodwork. The salon features facing settees to port and starboard with a table and flat-screen TV that raises and lowers into a starboard console. Large windows let in lots of natural light, and further forward is the helm station to starboard with a twin-seat setup looking toward a wide dash. A large steering wheel is in a good position for the pilot, while the dash itself offers an abundance of room for one or two multifunction displays. “The dash can be configured however the customer wants it,” adds Emerson. “Some people want a lot of electronics in front of them, some don’t, so we leave it up to them.”
The MM37 features a light-filled open portside galley, two staterooms and two heads below. Customers have requested variations off this theme, such as a single master stateroom in the V-berth bow, with the second stateroom changed over to a dinette. Another option is to turn the second head completely into a full shower. “Again, just like the dash electronics there are many ways we can customize the boat,” Emerson states. “And I know the amount of light and openness of our galley down design will surprise people. You don’t feel claustrophobic down here at all. The open galley is achieved by moving the windshield forward and not covering the top of the galley space.”
The galley features lots of storage as well as a full complement of appliances you would expect in a boat of this class, including a refrigerator, microwave, stove, and oven. A dual sink and countertops offer plenty of work space for whipping up meals. Opposite the galley to starboard is the guest cabin with a double berth, and forward of that is the dayhead. All the way forward is the master stateroom, with a double V-berth and private head. All closets are cedar-lined and the teak joinery adds to the boat’s elegant feel in the cabins.
“You’ll notice that even on a warm day it’s cool in this boat,” Emerson says. “That’s because there are three 10,000 BTU air-conditioning units. The boat also has a 7.5kW generator, which is enough to run the three units. Having three separate A/C units helps ensure you get the cooling you need throughout the boat. Each cabin has its own A/C controls so you’ll stay comfortable.”
The Mainship 37 Pilot is at the forefront of the new direction that David Marlow has set for the company. Emerson had been with Luhrs Marine Group for 34 years—the previous owners of Mainship and Hunter—and says the future is bright. “It’s a great rebirth for this company. The quality and expectation level is beyond anything that I have seen over the 36 years I have been here. It’s exciting to learn how much people enjoy their Mainship boats, and we’re all proud of what we are doing here.
SPECIFICATIONS: LOA: 41’11”; Beam: 12’4″; Draft: 2’4″; Weight: 16,000 lbs.; Fuel/Water: 305/120 U.S. gals.; Standard Power: 1x Yanmar 8LV 320-hp diesel; Optional Power: 2x Yanmar 6BY3 220-hp diesels; Cruise/Top Speed: (w/twin engines): 15/28 knots; MSRP: Inquire; CONTACT: Marlow Mainship; Route 441, P.O. Box 1030; Alachua, Florida 32616; (800) 771-5556; email@example.com; mainship.com
By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating February 2015