Mackinaw for a solo hi sec miner

I keep reading about how good the Skiff is especially for solo miners due to its survivability and as a dedicated miner i gotta say my pvp skills are pretty bad and i’d much prefer to avoid pvp combat whenever possible.
However, I am personally drawn to go for the Mackinaw due to its really big ore hold, which would allow me to avoid constantly going back and forth to a station.
Now, my question is: which level of hi sec space do you guys recommend for a solo miner in a Mackinaw? 0.9/1 only? Or maybe up to 0.7?

Solo? No space, because I’m going to guess you’re going to be afk some of the time.

So even in 0.8/0.9 the Mackinaw is not recommended over the Skiff?

Even in a 1.0 system, if you mine in a Mackinaw, you’re going to have a bad time. The only people here who are going to tell you “oh yeah you’ll be fine” are suicide gankers who will use locator agents to pinpoint where you are mining and take you out specifically knowing you’re using an Exhumer.

As a rule of thumb, using a T2 Exhumer in hisec is categorically a bad idea, but if you’re going to do it, stay aligned and vigilant for instant warp to a station, or have an Orca in fleet and right next to you so you can deposit your ship in the ship maintenance bay when the gankers come and keep it safe… unless they go for the Orca itself, which they are fully capable of doing.

Oh, and a Skiff won’t protect you from gankers in hisec. Don’t bother trying to boost defense in hopes of warding them off, because it won’t work. You’ll just have a very expensive ship that they’ll kill anyway and whose throughput was inferior to the T1 Covetor.


The amount of trips you make to the station in a given time will be pretty small compared to how much time the larger hold saves you. Most of the highsec asteroids only last 1 to 2 cycles anyways. So unless you are constantly scanning and short cycling your lasers you are going to be just wasting time waiting on them to finish. The amount of time you spend warping to a station and back will be insignificant to the amount of time you wait on your lasers.

If you really want that Mack then go for it but be prepared to be a target every time you go mining. the Mack has almost no tank and can’t stand up to Trigs or gankers. As much as you may want to avoid pvp it is never your choice to do so, that is on the attacker.

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Why is this? I understand the price difference over T1 Barges is really high but isn’t the point of let’s say the Skiff to survive untile concorde arrives? Then when are T2 exhumers recommended/preferable to be used? btw thanks for the input

In theory? Yes. In practice? Not even close.

When gankers see Skiffs, they think to themselves “this guy isn’t going to try to run from us because he actually thinks he’s going to survive an assault when he isn’t”

Gankers love Skiffs, because Skiffs = cocky pilots, and cocky pilots = dead pilots. If the Skiff pilot blinged out their Skiff’s defenses… even better for the ganker.

It is safer to use then in lowsec and nullsec where you actually have the opportunity to engage in a preemptive strike without getting CONCORDed yourself. Ideally, you would have PVPers guarding the mining fleet and/or have the miners with PVP skills swap their barges for PVP ships combat ships stored in the Orca/Rorqual’s Ship Maintenance bay so they can keep the barges safe and use combat ships to ward off gankers.


Gotcha. Makes sense. Just one last question: is there ANY real use for the Mack? Or skiff is always better no matter what?

You rarely see a Skiff being ganked on Zkill. If gankers have a choice they will gank a procurer, retriever, hulk, or mack before they will gank a Skiff. Just look at Zkill, there are far more other types of barges and Orcas that get ganked compared to Skiffs. Plus with the Skiff, you don’t have to run from the roaming Trig squads…

In this current Meta of Trigs and gankers there is no real point in using the Retriever, Mackinaw, or Hulk. The Procurer or Skiff should be used when solo mining in nearly all situations. A case can be made to use the Covetor in places like Ice anoms but under the assumption the ship is completely expendable. I use a Skiff to mine in all the time and have had no issues with gankers and only slight issues with Trigs.


You can mine in your Mackinaw in an 0.5, no problem, just make sure to put some faction shield modules on it to keep gankers away.


Exhumers suck pretty bad. Honestly, they could use a lot of love. Their performance is marginal over T1 barges, but they cost 10x as much. In particular, the Mackinaw and Skiff’s throughput is inferior to the T1 Covetor, and since Exhumers are usually part of mining fleets with ore hauling, it’s kind of pointless to “”“upgrade”""

This is true in the sense that gankers prioritize when they sweep systems for prey. My CODE buddies have shown me some sweet Skiff kills, though. Low-fitted Skiffs don’t require that much more manpower, and the better fitted ones are that much more worthwhile to kill when. You have A-Types you say? Loot Fairy says YES!

:point_up_2: this specimen here is one of the most infamous gankers you need to keep an eye out for


Yea i kinda figured that out already haha
I guess i’ll go for a Skiff with a tank fit in 0.8 and above and ideally this will keep me safe for a while

Would you like to buy a mining permit? For 10 million isk a year, I just might look the other way when I spot your mining expedition…


I regret that you have not taken my advice. Oh well, I tried :upside_down_face:

Learning/understanding that “High Sec” space does not equal “Safe” space is probably the best thing you can do for now. If someone decides they want you dead in your mining barge/exhumer, you will more likely than not be dead.



Well now you can send your CODE friends over and show them the error of their ways. I wonder if I should make a bunch of barges/exhumers to sell…

The real question every miner needs to ask themselves, is not “What mining ship is best for me?” but “Is a mining ship really what is best for me?”

As always, I am happy to help you develop a healthy mining habit.


As a solo miner, my experience with Mac is extremely limited due to its attracting far too much attention. I trialed it in 0.7 on ice and got far more grief than in a fail-fit retriever. Don’t think I even own a mac now.

Later trials with a blinged-out skiff got much less attention than anything else. Bling here means sacrificing rig slots to fit ice harvester and mining drone rigs then flying an augmented ice drone. That drops ehp significantly and waves a flag, but means you get drone equal to 0.5 of a maxed-out ice harvester (that’s 5 blocks every 2 cycles; very neat).

Even if you fit skiff conventionally, knock down a few npc’s, leave wrecks and jetcan into the jumble. Pick cans up once an hour with orca and that solves your to and fro problem. This was my routine mining method before moving to dual-box. Lost a couple of cans, tops.

I still routinely jetcan in low sec with procurer and miasmos, although there are far more risks. But in hisec, most people just “see” a skiff without looking at it and don’t bother finding out your fit never mind having a go at you. Yes, all other replies in this thread are correct; if someone wants you gone, you are gone regardless of what you fly. But, your typical ganker is a lazy ganker - quick wins, pump up the volume and move on (unless they are bumping, which is another story).

Bottom line, don’t bother with mac as solo miner. Skiff instead gives you an edge, including when (semi) afk and especially when more troublesome npc are around.

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It’s annoying, but Skiff is your best bet here.

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