In Brief

Pacific Seacraft Mariah 31 Sail Plan and Line Sketch Touted “the most expensive boat of its size” at her introduction in 1977, the diminutive Mariah 31 helped build Pacific Seacraft’s reputation for making quality boats. She was designed by the original co-founder of Pacific Seacraft, Henry Mohrschladt who only two years earlier kicked off the business with Mike Howarth building boats out of Howarth’s garage.

The Mariah 31 is a ridiculously sturdy boat, with hull thicknesses seldom seen in boats twice her length. We’re talking one inch at the topsides extending to 3 inches at the bilge, and deck thicknesses of an inch and a half (where you can hear owners complain they can’t readily find through-deck bolts long enough). As testament to her strength, Paul Lutus during his solo circumnavigation in Selene writes of surviving a blow with a semi-submerged shipping container without taking on any water, the impact had enough force to throw him clean off from his berth while he slept.

Not surprisingly she is heavy, requiring a lot of canvas hung from her 4ft bowsprit to keep her moving. Later MkII versions introduced a 5ft bowsprit. The interiors have a nice layout, loads of headroom and are finished in high quality teak.

Under sail she’s generally considered a slow boat, expect to clock regular 100 mile days in the trades with a well set up rig. She’s at her best on a reach, with 14-18 knots on the beam – expect a solid 6 knots. However with the wind from behind, her tub-like underbody and shoal keel doesn’t do much to reduce rolling motion which can get uncomfortably large.

Production ceased in 1983, the rumor was that the boat was too expensive to keep going. Before production ended a number of boats were sold as hull and deck kits and finished by their owners.


LOA MkI: 36′ 0″
LOA MkII: 37′ 0″
LOD: 30′ 11″
LWL: 25′ 0″
Beam: 10′ 8″
Draft: 4′ 5″
Displacement: 16,000 lbs.
Ballast (lead): 6,000 lbs.
Sail Area: 596 sq. ft.
Bridge Clearance: 45′ 4″

Headroom: 6′ 5″
Designer: Henry Mohrschladt
Builder: Pacific Seacraft
Year Introduced: 1977
Last built: 1983

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Links and Further Reading

» Mariah 31 Yahoo Group, owner discussions.
» Confessions of a Long Distance Sailor by Paul Lotus, a solo circumnavigation in a Mariah 31.
» Mariah 31 Sea Trial by Earl R. Hinz, Sea Magazine, Aug 1978.


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3 thoughts on “Pacific Seacraft Mariah 31”

  1. Marc Blondin says:

    Excellent website. I am using it extensively as a reference to shop for a small pocket cruiser.
    I don’t know much about boat design, so here is my meager contribution to this goldmine of info: The man who circumnavigated his Mariah 31 is named Paul Lutus (not Lotus). I encourage everybody to go read his free online book about his voyage. His writings initiated my quest for blue water adventures.

  2. Jim Lee says:

    Last August we bought a 1978 custom built Mariah from the original owner/builder. Entirely unique interior design using a masterful combination of wood, metal, and light colors to open up the interior space and create a sense of space not found on other 31 foot boats. So much storage space and the systems are simple and reliable. We couldn’t be happier with the boat. Lot’s of room for the two of us and she’s as sturdy as they come. 

  3. SeaBorn says:

    Years ago I had the opportunity to take a Mariah with a friend from St. Petersburg, FL on a 3 month cruise to the Bahamas. Leaving out of Marathon, FL we caught the Gulf Stream and headed to the Bahamas, with landfall to be at Gun Cay. Unbeknowst to us a Norther was blowing in and the normal overnight passage turned into a 52 hour ordeal with the necessity of heading south of the Cay Sal bank before we could turn and make any real heading towards our landfall. We were the only boat to come in, in 3 days. The only damage sustained by the boat was a slight crack in the bowsprit after taking lots of bluewater aboard.. We continued on as far as the Exumas and never once did I fear for our safety. The only negative aspect with the boat was in backing.. With the large rudder which made for easy of handling it was necessary to use full throttle all the time to get her moving when setting the anchor.. A great boat.. no doubt about it. We often outsailed other boats of over 38 feet in length.. We were able to drive our way out of cuts after anchoring when other boats had to sit and wait until the seas subsided or the tide turned which made it much easier to make landfall at our next anchorage.. This is a quality boat!

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