The new Carver C34 Coupe is designed to pack a lot of boat into a compact space—and she delivers.
References to generations are commonly discussed topics in the media, in social settings and just about everywhere else. We’ve all heard and, perhaps, said how different one is from another and not always in a complimentary fashion. Yet in spite of the tendency of some to criticize certain age groups as a whole, each generation brings a certain significance and makes a mark on history. The same might be said about generations of boats, and in particular, the Carver C34 Coupe.
Carver Yachts ingeniously packed a surprising number of amenities in the Wisconsin builder’s new C34 Coupe. Her plumb bow allows the boat to carry her beam further forward to maximize cabin volume. A long hull stripe that houses interior portholes and portlights help break up her ample freeboard. Dark accent colors on the coach roof and contoured windows enhance her aesthetics presenting a sleek modern style. With her 34-foot length, she may be more puffin than a swan, but she has an appealing look.
Stepping aboard from astern, the molded swim platform has ample room and includes a hot and cold washdown and an under-mount, centerline swim ladder. The Carver C34 Coupe I toured came complete with an optional electric barbecue and sink that open aft from a transom pod.
When not using the grill, the aft-most seating in the cockpit folds down flat to create a transom sunpad. This connectivity between the cockpit and swim platform is important on a vessel this size as it gives owners and guests more areas in which to congregate. Whether sunning and swimming or grilling and cocktailing, everyone is within sight and easy conversation range. Carver did a great job of connecting the outdoor areas on this model all the way from the swim platform to the foredeck.
Two steps up and through a folding stainless door, you enter the cockpit to starboard. Molded steps continue up to ample side decks for foredeck access. The L-shaped seating to port (unless the sun pad is deployed) offers built-in drink holders for use whether sunning or lounging. The port side of the settee lifts for storage or an optional refrigerated drink cooler. There is also a removable cockpit table for alfresco dining.
A three-panel sliding glass door gives access to the salon which can be entered using a single panel or both panels can be slid to port, opening the salon to the cockpit for entertaining when the weather is mild. The galley is aft and to starboard for easy pass-through access to the cockpit. Galley accoutrements on the Carver C34 Coupe include a refrigerator/freezer, microwave/convection oven, two-burner electric stovetop, and a deep recessed, stainless steel sink with a lid. Entertainment controls and a gimballed TV are also to starboard above the fridge.
Salon seating is one step up to port with a dining table that can be folded down for extra sleeping space. With wide windows all around and the stepped-up level, passengers can see out yet are still in close proximity to the helmsman to starboard. Overhead, an electronically-controlled skylight opens to provide more light, air or both.
There is a single helm seat to starboard with an opening window on the driver’s side. The helm seat has a bolster that easily pops up to give helm access while standing as well as footrests to use while seated, one folding, one fixed beneath the dash. With no center mullions on the wide windshield, visibility forward is excellent, although I found the placement of the spotlight on the bow rail a bit of a distraction.
That said, it did not interfere with vessel operations and would be useful at night or in low visibility. The custom helm seat was comfortable, and controls are easily accessible from the helm. I particularly liked the location of the optional joystick to the port of the wheel. It allows you to stand centerline in the salon and look aft across the cockpit for maneuvering in reverse. Sophisticated electronics package options from either Garmin or Raymarine should satisfy most owners.
There are four twin-engine power options on this vessel all from Mercruiser. Standard is the V6 4.5L 250-hp gas with Bravo 3 sterndrives or there is an available upgrade to the gas V8 options, 6.2L DTS 300 on sterndrive or the 6.2 350-hp on shafts (V-drive). You can also opt for diesels with a pair of 3.0L Axius 260-hp sterndrive or the mighty 4.2L 335-hp straight inboard diesel on V-drive shafts. A bow thruster is optional and even a stern thruster is available for those who want it. The joystick has options with some of the engine configurations for easy docking, and to match the four engine choices, Westerbeke has four different generators to match (5-8kW in both gas and diesel).
No Cabin Fever
A few steps down from the salon brings you into the athwartships queen master. There is ample headroom in this cabin, and hull portlights keep it light and feeling open. The beamy configuration is advantageous: it creates a lot more space. The only drawback is that someone will need to climb across the bed to get in and out at night. This set-up nicely tucks the bed forward where an opening hatch can provide ventilation when on the hook. It also leaves a lot of room for the double hanging locker and some drawers but mostly for the head to starboard, which includes a separate shower compartment that’s very spacious and an opening porthole for fresh air intake.
Aft of the cabin there are seats with limited headroom. The seats can provide space for lounging or reading a book away from the action. This is a great area for kids because it easily converts into a bunk or two. There is also an option to wall off the area with a door to provide privacy for children, but the vessel I was on did not have this setup.
The Carver C34 Coupe is nicely finished throughout with high-end fabrics, quality solid surfaces, and finely finished woods; high gloss varnished cherry is standard. The overall ambiance is light and airy. So whether you entertain friends, take an intimate cruise with your honey or pack the kids in for the weekend, the C34 can deliver. Her clever use of space and ample storage throughout means she provides a lot more usable space than other boats in her size range.
Her compact design also means she is easy to handle. And she won’t burn up your cruising budget paying for dock space. In this size range, the Carver C34 Coupe stands out as a capable and versatile midsize cruiser. But most of all, she is built for fun. With power options to fit most everyone, she will prove to be another in a long line of enjoyable and affordable boats from this venerable American builder that’s been manufacturing boats for generations.
By Arnie Hammerman, Southern Boating May 2018
LOA: 34′ (with swim platform)
Draft @ full load: 40″(V-drive); 37″(sterndrive)
Dry Weight (std.engine): 17,300lbs.
Fuel (Diesel) Water:210/78 U.S. gal
Power (in test): 2x Merc 6.2L 300 hp Bravo 3 sterndrive
Cruise/Top Speed: 24/35 knots
Range:160 nm @ 24 knots
MSRP: $335,715 (with 2x Merc V6 4.5L 250-hp Bravo 3 sterndrive)
790 Markam Drive
Pulaski, WI 54162