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Text and photographs by Martino Motti
n. 528, April 2006
Carver Yacht Group
CARVER 38 SUPER SPORT
The 50-year old Carver yard is renowned for building
production boats of good quality, resulting from a
precise design but also from its vast experience gained
in so many years of activity. Its boats have excellent
seakeeping abilities and at the same time are extremely
practical like all American products.
The Carver 38 is an average-sized boat nevertheless she
is extremely comfortable thanks to the layout and
fitting-out making her the ideal boat for a cruise as
well as for deep-sea fishing. The outside line features
two large windows on the sides, one of them being
connected to the windshield and to the small but well
organized flying bridge.
Her strength lies in the ample and spacious cockpit ideal
for fishing but also for any marine activity.
The sizeable swim platform is easily accessible through a
port in the cockpit aft. Interiors are comfortable. The
idea of raising the dinette to increase the guest cabin
headroom was excellent. The salon, with a large sofa
opposite the galley is bright and elegant and the cabins
are surprisingly ample for a 38 footer. The rakish
waterlines offer an excellent cruising speed with reduced
Dealer for Italy: Carver Motor Yachts - Blu Yachting; via Garofalo, 26; 20133 Milan; tel. +39 02 7064941; website: www.bluyachting.it; e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
EC category type: B
L.O.A.: 39 ft 11 in
Beam: 13 ft 5 in
Depth at the waterline: 14 ft
Draft from lower tip of propellers: 2 ft 7 in
Light displacement: 21,973 lbs; full load displacement: 26,431 lbs
Maximum passengers capacity: 10
Test boat power: 2 x 370 hp Volvo Penta D6-370
Total installed power: 740 hp
Light displacement/installed power ratio: 29,69 lbs./hp
Type of transmission: in-line shaft
Maximum declared speed: 30 knots
Cruising speed: 26 knots
Declared fuel consumption at cruising speed: 31 gall. 2 quarts/hr
Range at cruising speed: approx. 75 miles
Fuel capacity: 334 U.S. gallons
Freshwater capacity: 86 U.S. gallons
Road transportation: special cargo
Price with standard equipment and test boat power: Euro 355,000.00 + VAT, ex yard
Notes: Owner may choose between diesel and gasoline engines; engine power from 280 to 370 hp.
Fuel consumption indicated in the graph is supplied by
builder, nevertheless effective consumption at sea may
differ from published data depending on the loads and
their distribution on board, on the navigating
conditions, on the engines state and adjustment as well
as on the characteristics of the propellers used.
Hull: solid fiberglass with Knytex layers and vinyl ester gelcoat
Hull and structures construction and material:
engine bed foundation; strengthening of bottom
transverses with longitudinal girders; angle steel plates
support the floor aluminum plate. Hand-laid fiberglass
reinforces with longitudinal and transverse stiffeners.
Interiors are in glossy cherrywood. The swim platform is
fitted in way of transom. The superstructure is in
Deck: anti-slipping fiberglass
Bow area: sun-pad with two simple cushions, hatch
(communicating with underlying cabin), anchor windlass
with stainless steel chock. Lifeline is high and safe and surrounds the bow.
Cockpit: large cockpit designed as the cockpit of
deep sea fishing boats, with high bulwarks, rod holders,
spacious lockers under the cockpit flooring and ample
afterpeak. Stainless steel reinforcement with mooring
winch and bitt starboard aft; a ladder connects the
cockpit to the flying bridge and three steps on both
sides of the cockpit take to the side decks, aft a
fiberglass closing port connects the cockpit to the aft platform.
Aft platform: the aft fiberglass platform is fixed
and quite large for a 38 footer, it is fitted with a
swimming ladder concealed when not in use.
Helm station: the helm station is on the flying
bridge. It appears as a car's dashboard with walnut
inlays and flush Raymarine and Volvo Penta instruments.
The GPS and multifunctional instruments occupy most of
the dashboard. Standard instruments include Raymarine C80
with GPS, chart-plotter and depth-sounder, ST60 with
indication of speed, temperature and depth and Ray 215
Vhf radio. The pilot and co-pilot chairs have armrests
and are adjustable.
Layout and characteristics: direct access to the
salon from the large glass door. The galley is to port.
It is fitted with cabinets on its sides, Karadon counter
with sink, ceramic hobs, refrigerator with freezer and
many closets for storing kitchenware and serving as
pantry. A TV set is mounted on the slanting bulkhead
facing the sofa, to starboard of the companionway.
Forward of the galley there is the dinette with a leaf-
shaped table and a sofa on two sides. To starboard a
ladder takes down to the cabins. The master cabin with en
suite bathroom is forward, the guest cabin is aft and is
fitted sideways; the en suite bathroom is in the middle
and is fitted with a second door accessible from the
corridor at the bottom of the ladder.
Standard fittings: 32,000 BTU split system air
conditioning with inverter cooling two zones, cherrywood
finishing, radio and CD player in the salon, 7.3 kW
generating set, water heater, 3 ceramic hobs,
refrigerator with freezer, live well and hot/cold water
shower in cockpit.
Optional fittings: teak in cockpit and aft
platform, gangway, autopilot, fishing package, DVD and
video system in salon and in master cabin, Bimini top for
partial or total protection.
SEA AND WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING BOAT TESTING
Wind: 6 -15 knots
Sea: force 1-2.
PERFORMANCE (with 79 gallons of water, 79 gallons of diesel, 3 persons onboard)
Time needed to reach planing speed: 7.5 seconds
Minimum planing speed at 2,100 rpm's: 10 knots
Maximum speed at 3,550 rpm's: 29 knots.
EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE
Seakeeping ability, turning and behavior on waves: the V-hull
contributes to a direct course and a firm ride without excessive heeling
and when the yacht heels she quickly returns upright. The yacht's seakeeping
ability is excellent and she rides smoothly through the
waves, she is easily maneuverable: turns are ample and
smooth. When the Captain tries to make close turns the
boat tends to sink and the propellers are subject to
cavitation. Overall, the yacht's behavior on waves is
satisfactory. Given the high bulwarks her course may be
influenced by the wind blowing on her sides. The use of
flaps may considerably change the ride. The wheel is of
adequate size and turns smoothly even during maneuvers.
The boat responds efficiently to the wheel. The bow
thruster greatly facilitates maneuvering in harbor
Helm station: the helm station is comfortable, the
pilot seat is adjustable and the distance between pilot
seat, wheel and control levers is good.
EVALUATION OF COMFORT AND FUNCTIONALITY
Deck: the layout is good except that the side
decks are quite small and the lifeline is low. The
cockpit is sizeable and may be used for any marine
activity. The flying bridge, which can be shaded by a
folding Bimini top, is quite comfortable.
Interiors: the dinette is ample, airy and bright
thanks to the large windshield, to the side windows and
the aft sliding door. Interiors are suitably designed to
save space, e.g. the LCD TV set is mounted behind a panel
for its ideal adjustment. The sofa is large and
comfortable. The idea of raising the dining table and the
sofa that lines two of its sides is excellent, but
closets and lockers are scarce.
Passengers' comfort: in general, living onboard is
pleasant and comfortable even in case of medium-range
cruises. This comfort is favored by the air conditioning
and heating system and the hi-fi system fitted in all
rooms and common spaces.
Galley: fully fitted and secluded and for a boat
of this size it even includes a refrigerator with freezer
like the one at home.
Bathroom: the bathroom with two access doors, one
from the master cabin and the other one from the hallway,
is sizeable and well fitted.
Engine room: a visual check of the engine is
easily made by opening a port in the salon. For
maintenance operations, the different floorboards may be
removed so that only the longitudinal frames are visible.
Sound-proofing is good.
Electrical switchboard and plants: the two
switchboards, 220V and 12V, are fitted at the entrance of
the dinette, they are simple but appropriate.