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Troubleshooting Mainship Pilot 30: [8 Common Problems & Solutions]

popular mainship pilot 1

Mainship Pilot 30 has become a popular choice for people who want to buy a new boat. However, it is really disheartening to have problems arising with your beloved boat. We understand if you are struggling with problems with your Mainship pilot 30.

So, what are the Mainship pilot 30 problems, and how to solve them?

One of the most common problems that people face is a sputtering engine that’s losing power. A new in-line fuel filter should solve this issue. Sometimes, the engine fails to shift between gears. It could happen due to a linkage being stuck or broken. Re-attaching or wiggling it should do the trick.

This is just a superficial view of what we have in store for you in this article. You’ll be able to solve any problem with your Mainship pilot 30 very easily.

So, what’s the hold-up? Start reading right away!

Troubleshooting Mainship Pilot 30 Problems: [8 Common Problems & Solutions]

There are several very common issues that your Mainship pilot 30 may encounter. In this article, we’ll be talking about 7 of these problems and how you can solve them by yourself.

Without further delay, let’s begin, shall we?

Problem 1 of 8: Sputtering Engine That Is Losing Power

Sputtering Engine

If you encounter this problem, your engine is probably facing a power shortage. It’s very frustrating since it ruins the whole experience.

The usual reasons behind this problem are insufficient to fuel or a clogged fuel filter. If you have enough fuel, it’s most likely the fuel filter.

Fixing it should make your motorboat go brrrr!


A change of the in-line fuel filter should solve it just like that. However, if you forgot to bring a spare, detach the fuel filter and clean it properly. Also, get rid of any accumulated water inside the filter.

Before starting your engine after the repair, make sure to vent the engine box properly. Otherwise, it could follow a series of problems for you.

Always make sure that you fill the tank before storing the boat for a long time.

Otherwise, there could be condensation inside the tank. If you store the boat for more than 3 months, a fuel stabilizer is highly recommended.

Problem 2 of 8: Engine Isn’t Igniting

It is super frustrating turning the ignition key on and getting nothing from the engine. Electrical issues often cause something like this.

It could be your battery as well. If the battery is dead or low in power, the engine might not start. A break in the circuit of the engine could also be a prevalent cause.

mainship pilot 30 electrical issues


First put the boat in neutral. Then check if the ignition switch is loose or not. A loose ignition switch means the whole thing is rotating when you turn the key on.

Get behind the dashboard of your boat. Tighten the screws that are mounted with the switch. Remove the steering for ease of operation.

If it isn’t the ignition switch, it is most likely an electrical issue. It could be the battery being low and therefore, not providing enough power for the engine.

Also, check the wire connections since there could be poor connections.

Problem 3 of 8: An Overheating Engine

If your engine is overheating, the needle will keep rising on the temp gauge. If the cooling loop has an insufficient flow of water, your engine may overheat.

Motorboats do not come with radiators like other vehicles. They use the very water that they tread on to cool down. With an insufficient flow of water, it can fail to maintain its temperature.


First of all, you need to identify the source. In most cases, something is stuck in the intake of raw water. It could be mud, weeds, or even bags.

Identify the intake and then clean it properly so that nothing is obstructing it.

You could also have a hose clamp that is loose or split. It can potentially slow the flow and damage the engine by spraying. Simply, locate it and then proceed to replace it.

Problem 4 of 8: Sudden Stoppage Of The Motor

Mainship Pilot 30 motor

If your boat’s motor stopped all of a sudden, it indicates a probable electrical failure. These outboard motors are super expensive.

A breaker could be tripped or maybe a fuse has just blown. It could also be corrosion. The problem could also be with the ignition switches if the motor shuts during start-up.

Corrosion may also cause this problem where the big wires are connected. People often forget to clean those ends of the wire.


Check the breaker if it’s tripped and replace it if necessary. Replace any blown fuse after inspection. Check the switches for loose connection and re-adjust them accordingly.

Occasionally clean the other end of the wires to make sure there isn’t corrosion.

Problem 5 of 8:  Engine Fails To Shift Between Gears

If you encounter gear shifting issues, you are not the only one. Your speedboat will not move forward if you have shifter problems.

There could be a linkage that is broken or obstructed. The cable connecting the gearbox to the shift lever could come off. Or maybe, the cables started to stick to one another due to corrosion.


Start with the gearbox and see if the cable is in place and re-adjust it accordingly. Repair the linkage if it is broken or obstructed in any way.

However, if it’s the transmission side, there is a possibility of a transmission failure. If that’s the case, a mechanic would be your only option at hand.

For corrosion problems, wiggle the wires and clean the corrosion off the wires to free them.

Problem 6 of 8: Driver Belt Is Broken

With the overheating alert on and the alternator not altering, you probably have a broken drive belt. Hearing the sound of the driver’s belt breaking is unlikely due to the rumble of the motor.

In such cases, the water pump and alternator don’t work.


You can make a temporary repair by making a belt using a pantyhose or something similar.

 Mainship Pilot 3 Engine Fails

Problem 7 of 8: Engine Has A Stuck Trip

If there is a trip stuck in the engine, your Mainship pilot 30 won’t rise. It means you won’t be able to put it in your truck.


Check the fuse. If they are intact, it’s a hydraulic issue. Locate the trip release valve which is near the bottom of the main ship. And release the pressure.

Hopefully, these instructions will help you solve the problems with your Mainship Pilot 30.

Problem 8 of 8: Exhaust System Layout

If you are having trouble with your Mainship Pilot 30’s exhaust system layout, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.  To determine whether the problem is caused by a faulty component, you will first need to identify which part of the exhaust system is malfunctioning.


To do this, you will need to remove all of the components from the engine and check them for signs of damage or wear. Once you have identified which part of the exhaust system is malfunctioning, you can start troubleshooting by replacing that part.


How was Mainship built?

Mainship’s parent company is Luhrs Marine Group which is owned by Silverton. Silverton introduced Mainship 34 in 1978. Mainship was initially a spin-off of that. They built 1200+ trawlers during the fuel crisis that took place around 1970 to 1980. The boats were in the 30 ft-40 ft range in length.

Did Mainship face bankruptcy?

Yes, Mainship had filed for bankruptcy at one point. Mainship was hit hard since they had relied on the seemingly long-term demand of priced products. The dealers who hoarded new trawlers in the inventory also incurred huge losses. After that, Mainship had to file for bankruptcy in 2012.

Is Mainship pilot 30 worth buying?

Yes, Mainship pilot 30 is definitely worth buying. Cainship had a middle-of-the-road approach and it was a super success. The reason was their traditional looks, best quality, and affordability that’s offered throughout their product line. They also have a decent resale value in the after-market.

How many hours is Mainship Pilot 30 engine good for?

Mainship piloted engines are designed to last for 30 hours or more of continuous operation. The average engine will usually last between 18 and 24 hours depending on the conditions in which it is used. Engines that have been run for a long period of time may go beyond the 30-hour limit, but they are typically less efficient and produce lower amounts of power


Mainship Pilot 30 is an exceedingly popular motorboat in the current market. Hopefully, we were able to help you with the Mainship pilot 30 problems and their solutions.

Always maintain the ‘Rule of Thirds’. Use ⅓  of your fuel for going, ⅓ for coming back, and ⅓ as reserves.

We will see you in another article real soon. Till then, Happy Boating!

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