An adventurous mother chooses Carver's 360 Sport Sedan as a home away from home for cruises around Jacksonville, Florida, with her two sons.

Sherry Fix is a lady with a mission. She wants to introduce her two sons, Julion, 3, and James, 1, to a world beyond Playstations and the Internet.

"I grew up in Indiana, she said with a soft smile, "and went camping a lot as a kid. I want the boys to enjoy the out of doors, too."

A willowy blond, this Florida resident looks as if she might someday soon be playing hostess to a Cub Scout troop- oatmeal-raisin cookies, games and all. But there are no sleeping bags, mosquito nets or smoky campfires in the offing. Fix wants her family campground to be a very smart and commodious Carver 360 Sport Sedan. Whoa. Mamma, are you listening?

Her husband, Dr. Thomas Fix, has spent some time on the boat, but -her smile widened, "...it really isn't his thing," she said. So, under the tutelage of Capt. Bryan Reid, Fix is preparing for the day when she and the boys can take off on their own. Her story brings to mind the saga of M. Wylie Blanchet, a newly widowed mother of five small children who set out with them on a 25-foot cabin cruiser to explore the southern reaches of the Inside Passage in Canada's west. The time was the 1920s. She wrote a wonderful book about it called The Curve of Time. It is a minor classic of cruising literature.

I met Fix last fall, when Carver Yachts arranged for me to sea-trial and photograph her 360, which is a new model for this builder. So it was that we found ourselves maneuvering through the lock at Queens Harbor, a gated community near Jacksonville, and out into the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). I was in a photo boat with Carver Marketing Manager Elliott Mintzer. We were running alongside the 360, where Fix was aboard with Reid. It was a brilliant late fall day, with the temperature hovering in the high 70s and not a breath of air. Even in the ocean, as seen from my motel room that morning, was flat calm.

Our route took us north toward the St. John's River. As we traveled, we bucked a steady stream of snowbirds fleeing the northeast's impending gales. There were sailboats under power and motoryachts, all patiently enduring the endless no-wake zones. Off to our right, a large naval frigate sat in dry dock, its screws bigger than suburban cottages.

As we cruised, Mintzer talked about the new 360. "Last year we launched its sistership, the 410 Sport Sedan," he said, "and the feedback was so strong from consumers, who said 'Hey, we'd love this boat in a smaller version so we could step up from an express cruiser.' The 360 is for people who are not ready to go to an aft-cabin boat. They still want that sporty, sleek look, still want sharp lines, and they want a tremendous amount of room. Plus, you're getting all those big-boat amenities.

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This review/article originally appeared in Motorboating Magazine, May 2003 and is written by Roy Attaway. For more great boat reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://www.mby.com/subscriptions/motorboat-yachting-subscriptions