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Mainship 43 Pilot

When you have a real passion for something, whether it’s baseball, art or music, you tend to want to share it, to pass it on to others, the kids or grandkids, as something special. That’s certainly true about boats and boating.

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Steve Reinecke can look back on a childhood of weekend fishing and sailing on a small lake at his family’s Wiarton, Ontario, home. He wanted to show his young son and daughter the same kind of experiences, so he and his wife, Brenda, started boat camping on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay in an 18-foot Bayliner. “When I was a kid, boating was a great way to connect with family,” says Reinecke, 47, an assistant vice president at Ergotron Healthcare in Strathroy, Ontario. “Spending time with the family on the boat is very important to me.”

As the family grew, so did the boats. In 2008, Reinecke stepped up to a 34-foot Bayliner. In 2011, with daughter Emily and son Trevor in their teens, the family moved up to a 2007 Mainship 43 Pilot, a twin-engine, twin-stateroom cruiser with a 20-mph top end that looks as if it’s going to be in the family awhile.

They bought the boat directly from Mainship in December 2010 for $290,000, using True North Yacht Sales, of Mississauga, Ontario ( “I knew that Mainship made a good value boat,” Reinecke says. In fact, the couple was considering a new Mainship 395. “This opportunity came up in Florida. I got on a plane and flew down to St. Augustine to see it.”

The boat had been on the hard for several years, virtually unused. “It was pretty much brand-new,” says Reinecke. There were just 67 hours on the engines, and most of the appliances and the mattresses were still wrapped in plastic. A sea trial sealed the deal.

The boat did need some attention. Some seals and caulking had dried out, and Reinecke had the second cabin redone as a two-bunk stateroom. “This was going to be our weekend cottage and our cruising boat,” he says. Since then, they’ve also added a FreedomLift for the dinghy, an Interphase forward-looking sonar, a FloScan fuel monitor, Kahlenberg horns and a Magnum Energy inverter system.

It’s all in support of their cruising lifestyle. “We love Georgian Bay — the 30,000 islands and the North Channel,” says Reinecke. “My favorite spot is a place called Bad River, where you can tie up in the wilderness on rock walls and have miles and miles of dinghy exploring.”

The 43 Pilot’s versatile layout works well for a family of four. The cockpit invites informal gatherings, and the saloon is good for watching movies or playing games. “We always cook on the boat and do a bunch of grilling on the back of the boat on the electric barbecue,” says Reinecke. “The galley is wonderful, and it’s just like cooking at home. If there is anything I could change on the boat, it would be to convert the range and barbecue to gas. It can be a bit of a pain to start the generator whenever we need to grill.”

A pair of 440-hp Yanmar diesels gives the boat an easy 6- to 8.5-knot cruising speed. “That’s best for fuel efficiency,” Reinecke says, “around 2 to 4 mpg.” At 18 knots, mileage is 0.6 mpg.

The Reinecke Family

Electronics include a pair of a Raymarine E80 multifunction displays, with autopilot and radar. “I use the chart plotter all the time and love the autopilot,” Reinecke says.

As for handling, he got to know the boat by driving it most of the way home from Florida. The beamy Mainship (15-plus feet) took on a variety of conditions. “She is a heavy boat, and she sits really nice in the water and handles the rough stuff very well,” says Reinecke, although “she does take a lot of spray over the bow.”

Part of the trip was made by truck, Reinecke points out. The Erie Canal was closed because of flooding, so he opted to travel up the Delaware River to Philadelphia and have the boat transported overland to Cleveland. “That boat is very big, and the trip was very eventful,” he says.

Meanwhile, the Mainship 43 Pilot is making memories, instilling a love of boats and boating in another generation. Bad River is, indeed, a very good place. “It is a wonderful anchorage where we tie to a wall and have a fireplace and a big pine tree right beside the boat,” says Reinecke. “It is so peaceful, and the security of being on the wall versus on swing when a summer thunderstorm comes through is priceless.”

Adds Reinecke: “I will have this boat for a long time.”


The Mainship 43 Pilot rides a semidisplacement hull powered by twin diesels. With its hefty fuel capacity (777 gallons) and versatile layout, it has the range and comforts for extended cruising. One of the models in Mainship’s Pilot series of sedan and express-style cruisers, the 43 debuted in 2006 and evolved into the 45 Pilot Sedan in 2008 with the addition of a second head and a redesigned second cabin. The basic layout otherwise remained unchanged.

The large master stateroom forward features an island berth, seating, hanging lockers and access to the adjacent head, which has a stall shower. The 45 Pilot has a second head to starboard, convenient to the second cabin, which can be outfitted with berths or bunks or used as office space.

The galley is down, to port, and equipped with an electric stove, a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink and Corian countertops. It’s just a few steps up to the saloon area. The helm station, with a side door, is to starboard behind a triple-pane windscreen. The overhead has opening skylights. There is an L-shaped settee and table in the saloon, along with an entertainment center, and molded bench seating with storage in the cockpit.

The 43 Pilot was in production through the 2009 model year. The series also included the Pilot 30 and Pilot 34.


Well known for its trawlers and cruising boats, Mainship was a brand in the Luhrs Marine Group, which also included powerboat builders Luhrs and Sliverton and the sailboat builder Hunter. The firm declared bankruptcy in 2012, and Marlow Acquisitions picked up the assets of Hunter and select assets of Mainship and Luhrs. Marlow-Mainship now offers two trawler models, a 32- and a 37-footer.


LOA: 47 feet, 9 inches

BEAM: 15 feet, 6 inches

DRAFT: 3 feet, 8 inches

WEIGHT: 38,000 pounds

HULL TYPE: semidisplacement

PROPULSION: twin diesels

TANKAGE: 777 gallons fuel,

200 gallons water

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October 2014 issue



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