Text by Barry Thompson
The Carver C37 is a boat that has a look all of its own, that incorporates the best cruising attributes with a solid performance and a generous splash of elegance.
The distinctive plumb bow shape of the Carver C37 makes it somewhat unique in the world of sport sedans and while it may not have the long low, sleek bow profile of some of its competitors, it is done for a specific reason.
The C37 plumb bow design enables the 3.96m beam to be carried farther forward in a more rounded fashion, with the result is a wider foredeck and more living space in the forward cabin below.
The full bow shape and step stem mean the main stateroom is maximised and is surprisingly large for a boat this size. The central island berth is flanked by loads of storage options from the hanging lockers to drawer storage. A step either side of the berth makes access easy and while the signature side ports are fixed, there’s an opening Bomar hatch above.
The dark timbers are accented by light fabrics and furnishings, giving a spacious and homely feeling to the cabin. Concealed pelmet lighting adds a touch of mystique.
This is a one bathroom boat so the port side head/shower compartment is shared between the master and the starboard guest cabin. The C37 has an extra large walk-in shower stall behind a stainless and glass door. Again there is a nice mix of dark timbers and light tones from the Corian vanity to the wall panelling.
The second accommodation area has a double berth taking up most of the space of the long low cabin. The height above the bed isn’t great, but there is enough standing headroom at the foot of the bed for changing. Ceiling lighting and a side port keep the cabin well illuminated.
One Level Living
One of the features I love about sedan boats is that the cockpit, helm, saloon and galley are all situated on one convenient level. Once you open the saloon’s dual doors, they all become part of one single-level, indoor/outdoor living space for entertaining, relaxing, and simply enjoying life on the water.
Carver has gone all out with four different colour fabrics around the dash, twin adjustable helm seats and dual MFD screens. Everything is easily at hand and viewed, such as the Raymarine VHF and Raymarine 12” MFD. I found the driving position suited me perfectly. Something you don’t see on most boats is the helm on the left-hand side of the two-seat arrangement, which means you have to move every time your passenger wants to get out. Think I would have swapped that around. There’s good visibility through the split front screen and with the adjustable wheel and seat, it means the helm can be set up to suit almost anyone. There’s also a bolster seat arrangement if you want to drive standing up.
While there is an optional air con available, the C37 has plenty of natural air coming into the saloon, with sliding side windows and a large Webasto overhead sliding sunroof.
The C37 has an exceptionally efficiently designed galley that takes up all the saloon aft of the helm. Nothing is missed, from the convection microwave, fridge/freezer to the Kenyon electric hob.
Opposite the helm is a generous size settee with a dining table that can be dropped down to transform this area into another double berth. There is storage under the squabs, a TV opposite and an ottoman that can be used for extra seating around the table. No problem having six people for dinner. The rear seat bolster can be reversed so when the cockpit doors are open you can sit facing aft and be very much in touch with what is happening in the cockpit or over the stern of the C37. There are bifold doors to port and a single to starboard which can be opened to provide a seamless interaction of the inside and outside spaces.
Also, I reckon the C37 probably has the most storage space you’ll find in any boat of this size. No spaces have been neglected, such as the massive area under the saloon sole which is ideal for the diver compressor, watermaker, heater, storage bins and a place for stowing your food and drinks for extended cruising.
The cockpit is all about entertaining with wrap around seating broken only by the step through to the boarding platform. Large scuppers displace any water that might come aboard and so you don’t have to walk inside there is a drinks fridge to starboard. There’s a large central table for those evening cocktails or breakfast in the bay.
While certainly not designed for fishing, if you’re a Kiwi owner you probably going to have rods and tackle aboard. No worries, there is plenty of places to stow the gear and the moulded transom extension makes a perfect fishing platform.
A transom locker, which is also accessible from above is ideal for the fishing tackle and it’s a simple job adding some rod holders. I would even fit custom-made stainless steel stables across the back of the platform and attach my bait board and bbq.
The C37 is more than a cruising boat, it is a boat that responds to power. It’s agile and responsive and the wide beam and plumb bow put more hull in contact with the water. In a short quartering sea, it runs at a very stable and level attitude and I had no issues in the short seas we experienced on Auckland Harbour. One US magazine reviewer described it as a boat where on-water comfort meets cruising thrills, with a little extra flair. Perfect description!
Flat out we touched 29 knots and had a sweet spot around 22 knots. The right speed to cruise across to Great Barrier on a Friday affo and enjoy the journey. Acceleration from zero to on the plane was rapid and there is minimal bow high attitude. From the helm, visibility is reasonably good all round and at all times when I was driving the boat, I felt entirely at ease. It’s a boat that inexperienced skippers will easily adapt to.
While the standard power is a pair of MerCruiser 377 Magnum Bravo Three, SeaCore stern-drive engines, the petrol option is not something that most Kiwis will want.
Diesel packages are available from both MerCruiser with their 3.0l and 4.2l engines and Volvo Penta with the D4 300. Our boat was running a pair of Volvo Penta D4 EVC-300, through shafts. The boat is also available with the D4 300 EVCE stern drive, with both Volvo Penta options rated at 300hp.
The C37 has an unmatched level of luxury and finish that makes it an excellent choice if you are looking for a boat to spend days or weeks away on. Its layout is impressive and so are the amenities, that sets it apart from a lot of other boats in its class. It comes with a lot of extras, is exceptionally well finished and I loved the modern style.