Carver C34 Coupe
If you’ve been hanging around the docks for a while, you know that every boat is a compromise. And on those same docks you probably learned that boats from Carver Yachts play the space game well, with attention to human-size areas long on volume and features.
“We’ve come out with a lot of models over the past four years and during that time you get a lot of feedback from dealers and customers,” says Josh Delforge, vice president of design and engineering at Marquis and Carver Yachts. “After we finished the C52 Coupe we were having some discussions about what the next project was going to be. Our best-selling model is the C37 Coupe so we wanted to do something that was smaller and a little more affordable.”
Turns out Carver doesn’t use boat shows only to introduce models to the public. The company also makes sure to speak to its dealers, and show them designs of things to come. This helps the dealers prime the pump with their clients, but the design teams also get insight from dealers, who deal with customers on a regular basis.
“We had this layout done in a more traditional way at the 2016 Ft. Lauderdale boat show,” Delforge says. “It had an island berth with all the bulkheads that we would typically do—very traditional at the beginning stages of the design. We met with our dealers and I spread out the drawings and we talked through it.” The design team listened closely and reworked the design.
That handiwork was evident when I climbed aboard the redesigned—and built—C34 Coupe. From the swim platform, there are two steps up through a transom door to a cockpit with an L-shaped settee to port. A sliding door grants entry to the salon, surrounded by huge windows, with a lounge with hi-lo table to port and a galley to starboard. The galley console abuts the back of the single helm chair. The helm offers a nice perch with clear sightlines all around the boat.
I took three riser-less steps down to the lower deck, where this design really shifts into high gear. The first thing I noticed was the berth, athwartships in the bow—but wait, was it truly transverse? I looked at the ceilings to either side, trying to orient myself in the space, and noticed that the hullside windows, which narrow as they come forward, appeared to be asymmetrical. I took a step back and saw a lounge seat to port and a head compartment to starboard, with the shower at the forward end. Then I saw it, a guidepost to help me orient myself: Through a hatch in the overhead, I caught a glimpse of the bowrail with a remote spotlight on it. On tiptoe, I confirmed the light was centered on the bow.
“It was the discussion with the dealers that sparked the change,” Delforge says. “One of the dealers said, What if you made the foot of the bed parallel with the bulkhead for the shower and just opened things up? The bed is is not perfectly transverse, so it does skew the whole room to maximize the space.” The open plan, including the midships berth abaft the stairs, all can breathe thanks to the lack of bulkheads.
“We wanted it to be the ultimate couple’s boat,” Delforge says. “If you were just a couple you would like it to be an owner’s suite. But we also gave the flexibility so if somebody had a family the boat could be functional both ways. But it was really designed to be the ultimate couple’s boat.” — Jason Y. Wood