Stepping inside the saloon of Carver's new 366 Motor Yacht is deceiving. The feel is, without question, that of a much larger boat. She is to express cruisers what "pocket fishermen" are to convertibles, sort of a "pocket motoryacht".
At the 366's recent unveiling in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Carver dealers said she would be a good fit with the growing number of express cruiser enthusiasts looking for a weekend family liveaboard. The boat blends functional accommodations with outside tranquility.
Relaxing on the afterdeck with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee will not require wrestling with the wind, since the space is shaded by a fiberglass hardtop and shielded by acrylic doors. I recommend the optional bimini for the command bridge, as well.
Down three steps, the saloon is further evidence of Carver's ability to find the most space a design will tolerate, then optimize its use. Almost to the inch, the saloon is full beam. The two-tier window layout not only allows natural light in, but eliminates the need for guests seated at the dinette and settee to strain for a full view of passing scenery. The ambience will be comforting for guests who appreciate seeing the horizon while under way.
The dinette is three giant steps across from the galley. Both areas have cherry joinery. It is a working galley in every sense, which is a primary consideration if you are looking to live aboard for a long weekend. Settees in the dinette and saloon have clear lines of sight to the entertainment center. Forward, the guest stateroom shares the day head to port. This works well, keeping traffic as far from the aft master stateroom as possible. Even on a boat of modest LOA, the master's occupants will have privacy.
They will also be able to look out the after hatch in that stateroom, with a resting seagull's view of water rushing by at eye level. After a few moments, I found the view of the boat's foaming wake therapeutic.
Options are numerous and include diesel power and a gray-water holding system.
Carver Boat Corp., (920) 822-3217; www.carveryachts.com.