The new Carver 530 Voyager is stylish, sophisticated, and exciting. And that's just for starters.
The Duke of Windsor changed the fashion habits of a nation with it. Frank Lloyd Wright displayed it in his architectural design in much the same way as Georgia O 'Keefe expressed it on canvas. And as the poet Samuel Wesley once wrote, "[It] is the dress of thought; a modern dress, neat but not gaudy." No matter how they said it, all were talking about the same thing: style.
Style can also have a profound influence on which boat you will own. If your taste runs toward a big, comfortable cruising yacht with the kind of style that satisfies the mind and eye, look at Carver's new 530 Voyager.
Style doesn't come easy. Carver invested 60,000 hours to bring this new boat to reality. The result is a complete departure from the styling you have come to expect from this Midwestern boatbuilder. While retaining its much-vaunted efficient use of interior space, the company incorporated a European flair that is obvious after just one look at her exterior. She's round where you would expect her to be square, and her bow displays a gentle downward slope. However, it's not until you step aboard and look inside that you really begin to appreciate what Carver's latest achievement has to offer.
The first big styling surprise comes when you use the double-wide sliding door aft to enter the two-level, fully carpeted main deck. The cockpit-level saloon has seven feet or headroom in a space measuring 12' 4" wide and 11'10" long. It's finished in dark cherry wood (instead of the lighter wood Carver usually uses) with wooden blind on the wide side windows. To starboard is an L-shape Ultraleather convertible sofa with adjoining cocktail table, while to port is a matching chair.
Powered by standard twin 450-hp Cummins diesels, the new Carver 530 Voyager makes a stylish and sophisticated statement.
Jutting out from the port bulkhead just forward of the chair is an island bar. Still on the port side, the fully equipped galley and adjoining entertainment center are housed in a cherry wood cabinet that extends past the starboard centerline. The resulting space allows a wide passage forward via two steps up. I found plenty of counter space, stowage areas, and equipment in the galley, including Sub Zero refrigerator/freezer, a pair of stainless steel sinks, three-burner electric stove, and microwave/convection oven that would make even an open-the-can-chef a winner. The entertainment center contains a 25-inch TV, VCR, and stereo rack system; you can beef up your audio and visual components by adding an optional Bose Surround Sound system and subwoofer.
Those aforementioned two steps on the starboard side get you into me most dramatic area aboard: the pilothiouse. Wim a design found on larger yachts, it features more than seven feet of headroom, a wraparound centerline helm station with a non-glare console, Twin Disc electronic controls, and custom gauges. Additional large-boat features include L-shape seating for six, an Avonite and cherry table, and a stainless steel and cherry stairway to the bridge deck.
There's also an overhead console for flush-mounting navigation equipment and an optional video display for the two-camera, closed-circuit television system that monitors the engine room and transom. And there's room for additional electronics on the lower portion of the helm. Our six-position, electrically powered helm seat had an optional Raytheon 650 autopilot joystick built into one of the armrests. As I sat in this comfortable seat, I noted not only excellent visibility forward and on both sides but, with a quick swivel around, had a clear view of the stern. Other options include a Raytheon electronics package including VHF/ hailer, radar, electronic chart reader, GPS receiver, and fishfinder.
Carver uses a bold design normally found on larger yachts. The pilothouse helm station features a black leather chair that has eight different, electrically controlled positions. The saloon is the perfect place for casual dining and gathering.
Carver has provided the 530 Voyager with an equally well-designed bridge deck. Accessed from the pilothouse or the cockpit ladder, this upper deck does duty as both a command and entertainment center. The helm, with repeaters for the electronics and full instrumentation, is to port, while to starboard is a molded-in wetbar with stowage underneath and optional icemaker. Behind the double-wide helm benchseat is a convertible, C-shape settee with seating for seven and an adjoining table. An additional two-person benchseat is opposite to starboard. Aft, the bridge-deck overhang measures almost six feet long and 11 feet wide, making it big enough to hold the optional 10-foot Zodiac dinghy and 300-lb capacity Marquipt davit.
Entry to the living accommodations is via a carpeted, curved stairway forward of the pilothouse and to starboard. There is cherry wood everywhere: bulkheads, doors, moldings, door frames, and even inlaid tabletops. Directly to port is the master stateroom, which has 6'3" headroom, dual night tables, two cedar-lined closets, a standalone chest of drawers, cabinets, arched doors with curved bulkheads, and queen-size bed in an alcove. As I stood in the middle of the room, I felt like I was in the master stateroom of a much larger yacht. The en suite head features an enclosed shower stall/tub and vanity cabinet.
Forward and to port is the mid stateroom, offering bunks with drawer stowage beneath, a cedar-lined closet, and port. You can opt for a mid-stateroom or office with master stateroom access, desk, cabinet, and cedar-lined wardrobe. Either way, a head lies directly opposite these quarters. And finally, the forward stateroom features a centerline queen-size island berth, circular hatch overhead, cedar-lined closet, drawer space, and an en suite head with shower.
While Carver ensured the 530 would make a strong styling statement both inside and out, it also made sure she would make her mark underway. Besides topping out at more than 27 mph, quickly answering the helm coming in and out of tight turning maneuvers, and being easy to dock in a tight spot without using the optional 10-inch Volvo bow thruster, she had impressive cruising numbers. At 21 mph, our 530 managed .83 mpg, giving her a range of almost 600 miles. And at a leisurely 12 mph, she recorded 1.05 mpg. For a 53-foot boat displacing 42,500 pounds, that's pretty good.
In making all these stylish changes, Carver hasn't forgotten the basics. You can board either aft via the swim platform or to starboard amidships through a twist-and-turn locking segment in the bowrail.
Measuring 10'3" wide and 6'6" long, the cockpit has plenty of room for al fresco dining space. For transit forward, there are two molded-in steps on either side leading to wide gunwales. Engine-room access is through a large gas-assisted hatch. While you can 't fully stand up inside, there is plenty of room to service the standard twin 450-hp Cummins 6CTA 8.3M2 diesel inboards.
So whether your style is uptown or downtown, city or country, east side or west side, give Carver's 530 Voyager a look. With her new design and big-boat features at an attractive $565,095 base price, she just might be your type.
This review/article originally appeared in Power & Motoryacht Magazine, October 1997 and was written by Capt. Ken Kreisler. For more great yacht reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/uncategorized/subscribe-power-motoryacht
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