I tested the Carina 21 when it made its debut, powered by a 260-hp MerCruiser sterndrive. You can read the analysis and see our test results here.
Recently, I had the chance to run the boat with the new Volvo Penta V8-300 gen-5 engine paired with the Forward Drive spinning K4 props. (The engine is based on the GM block found in Corvettes.)
Here are some of the raw numbers compiled with five people aboard and a full 34 gallons of fuel:
Top Speed: 49.6 mph at 5600 rpm
Time to Plane: 3.96 seconds
0-30 mph: 7.2 seconds
One thing I noted, as with other tests of boats with the Forward Drive, such as the Regal 2100 RX Surf Edition, is that the handling felt more responsive at the helm. Volvo techs explained that this is because the props are situated 21-inches farther forward than they would be with a rear-facing stern drive, moving the pivot point forward. Also, as the props face forward they work in cleaner water and get more bite.
The most surprising thing about running the Carina 21 with the Forward Drive, though, had to be our ability to drop down to 11 mph and create a surfable wake. I say that because Chris-Craft had not installed any ballast systems on our test boat, just bigger tabs. While the wake wasn’t up to tournament levels it would definitely work for the weekend warrior. Adding some ballast would only help sculpt it.
(If you haven’t seen it, check out this photo of the Forward Drive below.)