Carver 59: Fancy That

Easy on the eyes and the mind.

Carver 59

Carver 59

Carver 59

Carver 59

Carver 59

Carver 59

When I raised the Carver 59 Marquis' engine hatch, I saw something that's been missing on many imported yachts-convenience. The hatch pulled up easily on twin stainless-steel gas struts. Plus, the grabhandles on each side of the opening are something I rarely see. They're exactly where you need them to be, and they keep you from reaching for the hatch-and thus pulling it closed on your head-to steady yourself when on the ladder.

At the base of the ladder is a panel with a backup set of ignition switches, breakers, and battery controls. That means no more running between the helm and the engine compartment when checking on the diesels.

Topsides, moving forward on side passageways protected by 3'-tall bulwarks with masterfully crafted stainless-steel rails on top is comfortable. Even cooler are the walking surfaces that are canted outboard to whisk away water. At the bow, the anchor locker has a dedicated chainbox, and if you need to pull in bow-first, there's a cabinet with a freshwater washdown and TV and phone hookups. You could also have a second shorepower and raw-water system placed here for $2,885.

Belowdecks, a sliding pocket door closes off the aft master stateroom. A hinged door opening into the passageway or into the living quarters would be less convenient. Plus, the berth is a true king and has an innerspring mattress.

There's room for another couple in the bow stateroom, which has a queen-size berth and a deck hatch that's actually near your head, not your feet as on many boats. Kids can crash in a cabin with two single bunks just ahead of the owner's quarters to starboard.

In the two onboard heads, the showers are big enough for you to turn around in without your elbows hitting the sides, and there are extraction fans in the overheads.

Tough Crowd. If you're comparison-shopping the 59 Marquis, you're likely to look at boats built overseas. Both the Ferretti 590 ($1,850,000 with 1,034-bhp MAN D 2840 LE 403s) and the Sunseeker Manhattan 56 ($1,392,000 with twin 800-bhp CAT 3406s) exhibit the strong performance that European boats are known for. The 59 Marquis is slower at wide open throttle than these competitors, hitting 32.3 mph. The Ferretti hits 39.1 with the bigger engines, and the Sunseeker peaks at 36.2 mph with less power. The Ferretti is longer (60'1" LOA), wider (17'3" beam), and heavier (71,663 pounds). The Sunseeker is also longer (61'2" LOA) but much narrower (15'1" beam) and lighter (58,200 pounds). Both use foam pads in their staterooms.

During maneuvers, the 59 Marquis holds its own against the Euro boats. Our test model made tight circles in each direction and rode through waves without that punchy feel some fast yachts have.

Because I tested the boat on a stormy day, I ran from the lower helm, and visibility aft was obstructed, especially when docking. Carver offers the boat with cameras mounted in the engine room and in the cockpit. The latter vastly improves your view when backing into a slip. This option is priced at $2,970, and Carver says that the first seven models it sold were all ordered with it. I say just include it as standard equipment and bump up the price by $3,000. Who's gonna bitch about three grand more on a $1.3 million boat?

Open Wide. Convenience also translates into comfort on the 59 Marquis. You can close the salon entry with a stainless-steel framed glass door or a screened patio-style model. The Ferretti has a folding aft salon window, with the top half opening to let in air, but it doesn't have a screen. The Sunseeker has only a framed glass door.

The 59 Marquis' open salon can be attributed in part to the manufacturer's use of an outer skeleton of aluminum I-beams in the boat's construction. It eliminates the need for bulkheads that would otherwise support the pilothouse. A grid of tubular aluminum and 2"-thick balsa is encased in fiberglass and laminated to the hullsides around the perimeter-and it makes up the foredeck, sidedecks, and primary cabin sole. The pilothouse and flying bridge are supported by a trussed aluminum superstructure that through-bolts to the deck plate. The hull bottom is laid up with solid fiberglass, foam coring below the waterline in the hullsides, and balsa above.

In the salon, owners can pick recliners, a straight couch, or pullout sleeper to starboard. Forward to starboard, Carver uses a galley-up layout, whereas Ferretti and Sunseeker use a galley-down setup. Our test boat's galley featured the usual appliances in a horseshoe arrangement that's logically laid out and easy to work in.

At the lower helm, the seat adjusts to multiple positions. Accessory switches are overhead, which I like because it leaves a clean, uncluttered dash. But this station needs some improvements: The port windshield wiper should stop to the outboard side, not inboard; a matte finish ahead of the instrument panel would reduce glare; and a footrest would improve driver comfort.

Up on the 59 Marquis' flying bridge, the helm seat is centrally located, and friends and family can sit to either side. Aft, a horseshoe-shaped lounge wraps around a removable table, and the lockers in the seat bases are compartmentalized. The wetbar comes with an icemaker, but you need to pay an extra $2,400 for the barbecue.

Have Carver put a hatch at the top of the flying bridge stairs so no one takes a dive-our test boat didn't have one. The Sunseeker and Ferretti have them standard.

Room to Wrench. You expect a 59' yacht to have 6'6" of headroom in the cabin, but how about more than 6' in the engine room? There, aluminum frames, not bulkheads, separate the area from the aft lazarette. The big MTUs are mounted on twin 7'3"-long metal bearers that run the length of the stringers. Gusseted L-brackets bolt down into the top of the structure, which has a tapped plate glassed into it, and bolt through the bearer down low with backing plates and lock nuts.

Although the competition uses them sparingly, the 59 Marquis' wiring and hoses are supported by cushioned stainless-steel clamps. Limber holes are gel coated to prevent water intrusion and wire chafing, and lines that pass through the transom do so through watertight threaded fittings. Access to the seacocks and fuel/water separators is outstanding.

Anything less just wouldn't be convenient.

The Highs: A boat with European looks and American practicality. Innerspring mattresses for all the berths. An engine room you could dance in. Two showers big enough for real adults. Tall bulwarks with canted walkways make bow access easy and safe.

The Lows: No hatch to close off flying bridge from the stairs. Cockpit camera is necessary when docking from lower helm, so why isn't it standard? Port windshield wiper should stop to outboard side. A footrest would make lower helm more comfortable.

Extra Point: Call it a happy mistake, but after Carver designers realized the Cuisinart coffeemaker that they chose to put in a recess in the 59 Marquis galley is a top loader, they put it on an electronically powered slide-out tray to make access easier.

LOA......................59'6"
Beam....................16'6"
Draft.......................4'7"
Displacement (lbs., approx.).............62,860
Transom deadrise.................14°
Bridge clearance............22'11"
Minimum cockpit depth......................2'8"
Max. cabin headroom...............6'6"
Fuel capacity (gal.)........800
Water capacity (gal.)........200
Price (w/standard power).........$1,295,000
Price (w/test power).........$1,385,375
Standard power: Twin 715-bhp Volvo Penta D-12 715 in-line-6 diesel inboards.
Optional power: Twin diesel inboards to 1,650 bhp total.
Test boat power: Twin 825-bhp MTU Series 60 in-line-6 diesel inboards with 855 cid, 5.24" bore x 6.61" stroke, swinging 32" x 35.5" four-bladed ZF Nibral props through 1.92:1 reductions.

Standard equipment (major items): Dripless shaft logs; freshwater engine cooling; hydraulic steering; sea strainers; bow and stern thrusters; ss hydraulic trim tabs; two battery chargers and AC/DC converters; a/c; dual Glendinning cablemasters; 15.5kW generators; inverter; 2 shorepower connectors; pressurized 12v freshwater systems; 20-gal. water heater; high-water bilge alarm; four 2,000-gph auto./manual bilge pumps; CO detectors; illuminated compass; fire-suppression systems; windlass w/60-lb. anchor and 200' chain; wetbar w/refrigerator and sink; 12v adapter; boarding ladder in locker; hydraulic swim platform; 32" color TV; AM/FM/CD stereo; 5-disc DVD changer; Cuisinart coffeemaker; Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer; microwave/convection oven; 2-burner Ceran stovetop; 2 ss sinks; 2 standup showers, exhaust fans, vacuum-flush commodes.