With an enclosed bridge to rival that of a riverboat, Carver's new 506 Aft Cabin Motoryacht features all-climate control and spacious accommodations...

When you first see Carver's new motoryacht you are immediately struck with its unconventional look and commanding presence. What appears to be a 60- or 65-footer with enclosed bridge is in fact a 50-foot aft-cabin model designed with Carver's signature feature-an amazing amount of living and cruising space. Because form follows function, Carver has successfully worked from the inside out to offer a cruising motor yacht for those who are moving up from the sun-drenched layouts of the big express cruisers and want the privacy and comfort of an aft-cabin design. This boat is also attractive to mid-life couples who now have extended families and/or entertain a lot. It's a yacht with capacity for long cruises in both hot and cold climates at a price that's way below the millions required for world-hopping offshore custom yachts.

The untraditional look, with oval windows and sculptured features, is a direct result of the flush-deck raised gunwale design that Carver has successfully developed in its smaller 35- and 45-foot versions. Though stylish, these features are not simply for looks. They are there for a reason; actually a multitude of reasons.

Carver 506 Motoryacht Layout SpecsFirst, the windows both in the salon and on the bridge are positioned to enhance lines of sight. When seated in the salon, you can see out through the lower ovals while, when standing, open views are made possible by the second tier of wraparound windshields. On the bridge, the helmsman can not only see well ahead of the boat, but has good views aft for docking and undocking.

The big windows and wide wing doors supply great views for those lounging on the aft deck. Not only is the raised gunwale calculated to provide adequate views from the inside, it also provides secure walkways forward to the flush deck bow.

But, the two features that inspire the most comments are the bridge/aft-deck enclosure and the enormous amount of space found below decks in the three-stateroom, three-head, aft-cabin layout. The enclosed flybridge with all-climate control is, in fact, a $30,000 option, but one that everyone should really consider. The hardtop covers the bridge and is designed to include the aft deck lounge area as well. What this enclosure offers is comfortable cruising, be it in the cold waters of Maine and the Great Lakes or in the torrid zones of the subtropics.

An integral part of the enclosure is an electronically controlled sun roof that slides back at the flip of a switch to let in the invigorating air. Should the weather turn foul, it closes easily.

Though the boat does come with an open bridge and aft deck or with canvas enclosures, it's the hardtop model that is truly outstanding, with three-seat helm, L-shaped settee and wet bar, all on the bridge.

Below the bridge is a huge layout. The salon is the result of a wide-body feature that takes full advantage of the 15-ft., 4- in. beam. This cavernous area can be furnished attractively for sit-down entertaining and conversation. (Check out the secret reclining couch.) You can see out leak-proof windows and the view is not lost when standing. You don't ever feel the restriction of the raised-gunwale design. Even the galley has been designed with only a small "casual step" down so whoever is readying the meals is still seen and heard.

Forward of the salon/galley/dining room area are two staterooms, each with its own head. First, there's the primary guest cabin with full head and shower. Ample storage is available even beneath the queen-size bed. The second cabin (third stateroom) is purely functional with two bunks that could be tagged as quarter berths. Kids will love it.

A FINE FINISH

But, it's the master stateroom, located in the stern for privacy, that really attracts the attention. It is engineered as an athwartships design with lots of storage and hanging lockers. The two amazing features in this "bedroom" are the closet for a washer/dryer, and the split head arrangement whereby the commode is in one enclosure, separate from the full shower-with-tub in the opposite enclosure. A vanity is located between the two "closets."

Highlighted in the master stateroom as well as throughout the yacht is the fit-and-finish of the woodwork. It is impressive and club-like. There is more furniture finish here than I've seen in many a yacht.

The engine room, of course, is as spacious as the rest of the boat. Any captain can easily perform daily checks, while mechanics can quickly get to any piece of gear for maintenance or repair work. This includes both sides of the engines.

Depending on engine option, the Carver 506 will cruise quite comfortably at 25 mph and top out from 30 to 33 mph. Specially designed four-bladed props are held in place by massive pocket-mounted struts. Hefty trim tabs can be adjusted for running performance of the modified- V hull. Wide chines provide good stability, while side-dumping exhausts cut down on the fumes aft.

The drive-train elements all come together to produce a 50,000-lb. yacht with exceptional maneuverability. Smooth acceleration without vibration is evident at startup and in tight turns at speed. Backing and filling is very easy while docking is a snap, especially with the optional bow thruster. Our captain, Arthur Grin of Bob Stella Marine in Palm Beach, Florida, put the 506 with swim platform in a dock space no more, I believe, than 60 feet long, a tight fit.

With its untraditional style and its wonderful accommodations, Carver 's new 506 is bound to become a classic in years to come, especially with a seven-year transferable warranty.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL CARVER YACHTS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

This review/article originally appeared in Motorboating & Yachting Magazine, February 2000 and was written by Dan Fales. For more great yacht reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://mby.com/subscriptions/motorboat-yachting-subscriptions

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