Hulk vs Covetor, Mackinaw vs Retriever

Oï !
I recently joined a corporation based in a C1 wormhole, with enough Athanor to keep a good mining rythm during the week, with different ores in each moon. I was using two Hulks and a Porpoise until I learned that it’s not really good to go mining with shiny ships when there are no scouts on the static --"
Anyway, I now learned my lesson the hard way, and I think I’ll use the Mining Barges for mining now. I used a lot two Covetors before upgrading to Hulks, and I would like to know : does Hulk really have a bigger yield than Covetor, justifying that enormours price tag ?

Also, I’m using Retrievers when I don’t have access to Boosts or it’s simply a bit too dangerous to fly out Porpoise, and I would like to know : is there a difference in mining yield between Retriever and Mackinaw or the Exhumer only have the ore hold upgrade for for than twice the price of Retriever ?

Thanks in advance =)
Sasha Viderzei

1 Like

nah people just fly them for style points

10% it’s in the bonuses mate…

in all seriousness if you are going to mine in a WH use a prospect if you are worried about losing ships and use a procurer if you are in a group. you would be surprised just how well procs skiffs and orcas can defend themselves


A lot of things in Eve follow the 80:20 rule - 80% (sometimes more) of the functionality for 20% (sometimes less) of the price. Sometimes a little bit of additional functionality can make a big difference in outcome, sometimes not.

For mining in risky space, think expected value. You are going to lose ships, the question is, can you still make a reasonable profit? A Retriever costs around 20 million ISK + fittings. With insurance, you only need a couple of loads of ore to pay for it. A Mackinaw is 300 million ISK plus fittings - but life expectancy is the same.

1 Like

That’s why a lot of miners say the Procurer and Skiff are pretty good for lawless space, the life expectancy is far greater compared to the Retriever/Mackinaw and the Covetor/Hulk. Thanks :slight_smile:

1 Like

Procurer and Skiff are better in highsec since CONCORD will come to your rescue within 20 seconds. In lawless space, additional tank simply prolongs the agony - unless you have a defense fleet nearby! Without that defense fleet the additional life expectancy is measured in seconds. A Skiff can hold its own against nullsec rats (they fly battleships) but not other players. The attacker has the initiative and won’t attack unless he is reasonably sure of the kill.

1 Like

spreadsheets are nice for organizing the differences between each of the mining barges. and its not that difficult too. just use a fitting too, max the skills for said char, and try various fits n ships and record the potential outputs. hulks mine the most m3/min … besides the rorqual and idk about the orca… but who ever said machs mine more, you are wrong. do the math and look at the numbers. there is a reason the hulk cost more…

I’m sorry but what?

a proc can hold its own against most solo and small gangs and a skiff is a monster. we learned this back when we tried to use them as bait and they wound up killing everything before they could even light the cyno.

one of his biggest threats mining in WH is bombers and a proc has no issue dealing with them.

1 Like

yeah, 2 orca’s to provide a full spread of shield and mining boosts, and a small fleet of skiffs can put out some serious hurt.

1 Like

IDK I rarely have to worry about “hostiles” as to the way I fly in game…

I wasnt referring to how well they defend themselves… lol mind you they are mining barges. what do you expect? drones and a shield extender wont save ANY mining operation from Code or gankers, or high sec war privateers… Moreover, mining barges are rather helpless. the way I counter their weakness is not with an orca or a fleet of corp mates in battlecruisers sitting on standby. Id rather be wise about choosing WHERE I mine, for one, and for two, WHO I am around…

wh is easy to isolate yourself, but you never know whos in system. In null sec or low sec, you have local… use it to your advantage. I guess if you are in high sec, and you get war deced a lot, or gankers are always flying round, then the ship is not your problem… you can choose to mine with a station if you want. yo uare putting yourself in harms way by undocking with hostiles nearby.

m3/sec wise, the hulk hands down, beats all mining barges out there. how do I defend them? by the fleet warp button, and my scouts who relay intel back to base for any upcoming connections, or locals, and I try to get this warning a jump or two out from where I am actually letting the birds out of the nest.

If you have to take into account more than m3/sec then I guess… maybe the other tankier ships are ideal, given they have a slightly less mining output, still high enough to profit from. Im not a big time industrial guy or whatnot, but I got several accounts for indy and I use them weekly, and have for years, and only have a few losses mining… its not because Im using super tanked mining barges, but because I use intelligence when setting up an operation… and I think in a particular way when doing so. Rarely, will anyone be in system, and if in a wh, there will be no open connections. When we mine in nullsec, we have an intel channel, and I tend to choose “the right system” despite where everyone else mines… :slight_smile:

numbers to numbers, the mining barges have a slight difference in output, but a significant difference lies between the t1 and t2 versions…

of course the proc/skiff has a huge tank, for less mining output.
the retereiver and mackinaw have a huge ore hold… unlike the other barges.
covetor and hulk, give less tank, less ore hold, for more mining output.

these are to serve you best where you use them. I have a fleet of 6 miners, thats either one booster rorq or orca or porp. and 5 miners… or I can do dual rorq and 4 miners soon, upgrading one of my miners to make him a lead man and get the rorq so I can have sister rorq operations. Its more about how you use the tool you have.

I know just how difficult it is to sit and mine with no incidents in high sec… thats why I NEVER mine in high sec… lol… its more dangerous than mining in low sec systems surrounded by goons… provided you know how to evade, mislead, or misrepresent the locals. and null sec well is pretty awesome for rorqs…

For the young miners who feel they have to sit in high sec, id say to you, go out and stick with the t1 barges, and find you a 0 local system to set up indy operations in so you can provide for your fleet better protection, simpyl by removing them from the hostiles of high sec all together.

If you cant and have to stay, then choose the ship that benefits you the most for your situation, environment, etc. I make crazy m3/s with my setup. and it will double with the second rorq. pretty much the way you want to go anyway.

1 Like

More ore, less time. Yes.

See above.

Is a Ferrari really cooler than a Geo Metro? < This is what you are asking.
Are you sure this is the game for you? Fork Knife sounds more your speed… stay away from the oranges and purples, stick with the grey. :wink:

Just do what is called “isk tanking”. Fly Covetors and the when the ship gets blown up, you replace it. A Porpoise is fine - they’re not expensive either. I suspect that you will mine more than the cost of the fleet in the first evening devoted to mining. Using hulks might take several evenings to mine more than the cost of the fleet.

Good reading;

I would like to have your opinion between the Covetor and the Hulk…

I currently mine in LS, using a Covetor and I jetisson the cans and fill them… After a while, I come with an industrial to pick up the can. So I don’t waste alot of my time to empty the covetor. In others terms, the small ore bay of the covetor is not really a problem for me…

Also, the place we mine is quite safe so we don’t have real troubles with gankers and our intel is quite good. So, I Don’t really need a big tank (Procurer / skiff). If I’m caught, the agony will just be longer with a procurer / skiff

Now my question is to know if it is really Worth it to train Exhumers to switch to a Hulk?

I currently have Exhumers III so I need 23 days of training to reach Exhumers V. And as I understand my yield will only be 15% more compared to my covetor…

The Hulk is 310M more expensive to only get 15% more yield… As I said the area is quite safe but nobody is 100% safe…. I understand that the equation will be to calculate how long I will have to keep it to earn the difference…

Your thoughts?

1 Like

Yes. So if you are making 20M ISK/h in a Covetor, a Hulk would make 15% more or 3M ISK more per hour. That means it will take you 310M/3M or about 103 hours of mining to earn the cost of the Hulk back. If you lose your Hulk before about 100h, you are worse off than if you stuck with the Covetor. If you are making more than 20M ISK/h then the time to replace the Hulk goes down, but only you can estimate how frequently you will lose one versus the increase in yield.

So the answer is almost certainly no. Like most things in Eve, the T1 version is usually good enough and way more cost effective. With insurance, a Covetor loss is negligible, while the Hulk will set you back many hours of mining. Perhaps fully Rorqual boosted, in very safe space it would be worth it, but I would just stick to the Covetor for now especially if you have to train for three weeks to even sit in the Hulk.

Exhumers are overpriced. Only skiff is worth your money, but thats only for people in nullsec, when back up can come fast.

I took the numberf from here

if you don’t have a moon, you may as well mine moon ore in HS.
in HS an orca alone can mine 33M/h (just as much as a covetor with implants).
if you have basic xenotime it is 100M/h with covetor. otavite is 150M/h.

the hulk grants +17.6% yield over covetor, max skills. that means +17.6M/h
let’s consider you only get +15%.
That means with xenotime you need to mine 21h without gank to reimburse the skiff
With otavite it is 12h.

It is a numbers game. You need to take all the advice given here but then use your own numbers to reach a conclusion.

The covetor I have in LS mines @ 24.8 m3 / sec. That is done using T2 crystals but only 2 MLUs. (It will fit 3 laser upgrades so can do more).

I was mining xenotime today and can guarantee that at the above mining rate you can make 173 M / h. More realistically, if you jetcan for 50 minutes and allow yourself 10 minutes for pickup that actually gives you 144 M / h. You then apply a bonus for the hulk (at Exhumer I) and use the real purchase price for your locality to calculate your payback time…

Where it gets interesting is in what 15 - 17.5 % more yield can get you. Tactically, you get 20 M extra per hour. But what about strategically ? What if you invested 1 B in a drilling stability rig that kept your moon belt alive for 3 days not 2 ? That extra ore could pay for the rig after 7 hours … if it was xenotime. But how much extra ore in total would a hulk give you over those three days that the belt was now active. (And a bigger rig will give you four days, and you could then drill on longer cycles to give bigger belts.) It is still a numbers game, but sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture, not just hourly rates, to calculate the best outcomes.

Thanks for your answers, yes big dilemma and there are no easy answers….

I decided to reach the next step, training the skills to Exhumers V and pilot the Hulk… the gain is not that huge (15%) but it has to be next step for a miner anyway… We mostly mine moon ore, sometimes quite good ore even if we don’t have xenotime but we crush big Numbers so the 15% upgrade will represent a nice addition of isk every Week…

That’s just a game anyway… If I make enough mining to payback the Hulk, good for me… If not, oh well, it is just a game afterall… I won’t lose my life or real isk…. It just has to be fun, sometimes we just have to see the fun and not only profit or isk


This. Well said and well considered.

1 Like

@Jenne_Wain Yup, well said ^^
Even if mining isn’t the funniest thing to do in EVE, it’s still real enjoyable :slight_smile: