Following the success of the C37 Coupe, Carver’s new C34 Coupe emphasizes comfort, convenience and space management. It’s evident the moment you step aboard the nearly 4-foot-long swim platform. Activities begin with an optional Kenyon electric grill concealed within a fiberglass console with a small sink and freshwater faucet, but a closer look reveals Carver’s attention to more important details like grippy molded nonslip, built-in stowage compartments, a hot-and-cold transom shower, stainless-steel grab rails, and toe-snub-free recessed cleats in the platform corners for tying up a dinghy.
Up the steps and through the gate into the cockpit, I discovered that the L-shaped lounge converts to a sun pad, that its base conceals stowage, and an optional electric cold box in the bench keeps drinks handy. A high-low table creates an alfresco dining area, complemented by an optional SureShade power sunshade. Molded steps and overhead grab rails provide convenient access to the bow, and the narrow walk-around features an average rail height of 25 to 26 inches and a 1-inch toe rail. The bow rail has an intermediary run as well.
A three-section sliding glass door leads to the air-conditioned salon and opens the cockpit into the boat’s interior, creating multiple gathering areas. At the same time, it allows privacy and all-weather protection at the dock and underway. The salon is flooded with natural light, with a one-piece windshield, thin mullions, and large side panels. A fixed skylight and shade are standard, but our test boat had the available power sunroof. Carver’s interior glossy cherry joinery throughout is rich and complemented the easy-care laminated wood flooring. An L-shaped sofa on a raised platform and a high-low walnut table with fiddle rails deliver an invitation to relax and enjoy meals. To starboard, a 32-inch flat-screen television provides entertainment, and the galley area is outfitted with solid-surface counters, an undermounted stainless-steel sink, electric induction cooktop, refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave at a convenient waist-high level. Not as convenient: The AC power panel is beneath the table in the sofa base.
Visibility from the helm is good, although the sole-to-ceiling appliance package partially blocks the starboard corner. Backing into a slip, just keep your eyes on the port side. The dash is covered with brown leather to offset glare, and accessory switches and controls, including the Axius joystick control, are aptly placed. Try the seated and standing positions to ensure you can see the instrumentation. Our test boat had a Raymarine multifunction display, which I could see fine, but the MerCruiser readout on the flat to the right of the wheel would be better placed on the dash panel so it would be more easily read.
Head belowdecks and the intrinsic advantages of the plumb bow design are obvious in the size of the forward stateroom, which includes air conditioning, a full-size berth and 6-foot-8-inch headroom. Fixed hullside windows illuminate the space. Ample overhead and rope lighting, a 32-inch flat-screen television, sizable hanging locker, and Bomar translucent deck hatch fill the bill for sleeping in comfort.
Amidships, a lounge area with an L-shaped sofa converts to a full-size berth and can be ordered with a bulkhead from the factory to create a private stateroom. The space below provided another surprise for us in the nicely appointed head with its Techma freshwater-flush marine toilet, an opening port in the hullside window, air conditioning, and a walnut-framed vanity with a solid-surface top. The molded nonslip sole had us believing this was a wet head until we saw the walk-in shower stall with its seat and plexiglass door.
Performance impressed us as well. Our test boat with twin 300 hp MerCruiser 6.2 Bravo Three DTS SeaCore sterndrives rips to a top speed of 39 mph. It’s thirsty at 46 gph, yet it’s nice to know you can get home in a hurry. Its midrange performance in the mid-to-high 20s is comfortable and efficient. The twin props grab plenty of water for rapid acceleration, and maneuvering around the dock using the Axius joystick is intuitive.
I had to remove the cockpit table to access the engine compartment, but once inside, I discovered that Carver hits a home run. Mechanical installations are clean, and chafe gear abounds. Through-hull fittings and seacocks are labeled, and access to engines, the 6.5 kW Westerbeke generator, battery banks, bilge pumps and other equipment is a walk in the park. Acoustical insulation on the forward engine compartment bulkhead and sealed wire and plumbing passages result in a notably quiet ride. Carver even includes a pair of boxes that rest along the stringers for tools and spare parts. Beneath the surface, the C34 Coupe has a resin-infused hull, rugged fiberglass stringer system and 10-year structural-hull limited warranty.
Comparison shoppers might look at the Jeanneau NC 33 ($295,000 base price with 220 hp Volvo Penta D3 diesel inboards). The smallest Carver, the C34 Coupe will appeal to new boat owners moving into the cruising lifestyle, as well as loyal Carver fans moving down.
* Visibility from the helm is enhanced thanks to a one-piece windshield and thin mullions.
* Polished stainless-steel hardware is plentiful and oversize.
* Head includes a shower stall with a fiberglass seat that spouses will love.
* Transom grill could use a cover over the sink to provide a cutting board.
* Steep staircase heads below into the cabin.
* Cockpit table must be removed to access the engine compartment.
Price: $472,320 (as tested; base $335,715)
Available Power: Sterndrive + Inboard
How We Tested
Engines: Twin 300 hp MerCruiser 6.2 Bravo Three DTS SeaCore gas sterndrives
Props: 20" pitch stainless-Steel Bravo Three propset
Gear Ratio: 2.20:1
Fuel Load: 110 gal.
Water On Board: 50 gal
Crew Weight: 360 lb.
Carver Yachts - Pulaski, Wisconsin; 920-822-3214; carveryachts.com