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Carver C43 Coupe: The Entertainer

The Carver C43 Coupe is a big boat. It isn’t so much the nearly 14-foot beam, but the height.

November 3, 2016
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Carver C43 Coupe
High bow rails, wide side decks and sturdy handrails on the hardtop ensure safe transit between the cockpit and the foredeck. Courtesy Carver Yachts

The Carver C43 Coupe is a big boat. It isn’t so much the nearly 14-foot beam, but the height. Without ­creating a floating condo, Carver raised the foredeck to eye level from a dock, allowing 6-foot-8-inch headroom in the salon. In styling, the C43 Coupe has visual weight forward, a lean and low superstructure, and a simple, comfy cockpit. And best of all, Carver didn’t try to jam the big interior with eensy staterooms: The two inside are comfortably sized for two couples to enjoy a civilized weekend aboard. With reasonable cruising speed in the mid-20-knot range, this yacht won’t melt your credit card at the fuel dock, either — and she makes for one heck of a weekender.

Carver C43 Coupe
Elongated side windows and wide forward windows offer impressive vistas. Courtesy Carver Yachts

Inside and Out

Many builders try to wedge too many people into a boat. Carver could have tried for three staterooms, but instead created two well-appointed ones. The dinette converts for extra overnight guests.

Likable Layout
Dining and cocktail tables are in the cockpit and salon. The galley is handy to both spaces, so no chef will feel left out, and the snacks are nearby no matter where you are sitting. I loved the versatility of the flip-back on the salon dinette to have it face the cockpit.

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User-Friendly
Given the wide side decks (with handrails all the way forward), the C43 should be easy for a couple to handle. Add the optional Cummins joystick control to link the engines and bow thruster, and you can place the C43 alongside a dock effortlessly, regardless of wind or current.

Weather or Not
Truly a vessel for all seasons, the C43 has a sunroof and wide doors that open the cabin; they can also close to make the most of the air conditioning (or heat). Either way, guests in the salon have wide window views of the world.

Party Time
The cockpit has wraparound lounges. On our test boat, the optional table plus ice maker and fridge would be enough for a self-sufficient party. Add the slide-out awning, and you’re made in the shade.

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Safety First
Family-friendly ideas on the C43 include a child-resistant walk-through gate to the transom, where everyone will enjoy the wide swim platform with hidden ladder. High coamings around the cockpit are an added safety feature.

Carver C43 Coupe
Carver could have tried for three staterooms, but instead created two well-appointed ones. Courtesy Carver Yachts

Power
Standard power for the Carver C43 Coupe is a pair of 380 hp Cummins 6.7-liter QSB common-rail diesels, but owners will likely go for the 480 hp Cummins option. The bigger motors give this yacht a top speed around 33 knots. And at about a 20-knot cruise speed, the engines burn just 0.76 nmpg. That’s a reasonable fuel burn for moving a nearly 15-ton yacht across the water. Like the engines, the generator is owner’s choice, and options range from a 7.5 kW Westerbeke up to an 11 kW Kohler, as on our test boat.

Carver 43 Coupe
A word with… Josh Delforge, VP design and engineering, Carver Yachts Courtesy Carver Yachts

Q: What is your goal with the C43 Coupe?
A: When we finished the 37 Coupe, we knew we’d hit a market, and we knew the 43 would appeal with more room and a second head.

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Q: Who is your target owner?
A: We thought it would be perfect for people moving up from express cruisers who didn’t want canvas enclosures. The 43 is perfect for families or for cruising with two couples. We also found a market for older couples who are downsizing from larger flybridges.

Q: Your favorite part of the C43?
A: I love the openness from cockpit to salon to helm, all on one level. Open the doors and you have a massive entertainment area with lots of flexibility. Once we got rid of the threshold, the ideas started flowing, such as the flip-back to the settee to face the cockpit.

Q: Any surprises?
A: When we ran the performance trials, we found that we were outperforming our competitors with IPS drives. Resin-infusion kept our yacht light, while our hull form is well-proven and distilled from decades of Carvers. And, with a joystick, you get all of the maneuverability of pod drives without any of the complexity.

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Carver 43 Coupe
One-level living keeps the helmsman and guests together. Courtesy Carver Yachts

Feature-Filled

Just as there is a shoe for every foot, there is a yacht for every yachtsman. The Carver C43 Coupe should appeal to many. Whether you’re looking at vessel volume, attention to detail in the obvious (and not-so-obvious) places or the yacht’s 360-degree connection to the sea, she checks quite a few boxes.

Stargazer
An electric sunroof opens the salon to fresh air on pretty days (or dining under the stars at night). It also has two cleverly hidden shades for bright sun, so you never feel like an ant under a magnifying glass. This salon makes the C43 feel like an open-air runabout.

Even Keel
I give Carver great credit for creating a single-level sole from helm to transom. Trifold doors open the salon completely (adding to the sunroof’s airiness), and I loved the absence of a step up into the cabin. Discreet cockpit scuppers keep water away from the salon.   Finer Points
I applaud the twin electrical panels, one for DC and one for AC. They are under the helm seats, neatly arranged and well-labeled, and I was lucky to be aboard during commissioning, when they were folded open to reveal tidy color-coded wiring in perfect looms.

Savvy Stowage
Under the salon sole is walk-in (that’s right, walk-in) stowage that should be called a basement. It has racks for tubs to stash all the gear you end up carrying. My first thought, of course, is that there’s room for perhaps 30 cases of my favorite wines. Cheers!

Room to Spare
Most potential owners will find the forward master suite surprisingly large for a 43-footer, and they’re right: big windows and plenty of headroom (6 feet 6 inches). But I’m more pragmatic. I beelined for the head and stepped into the shower. Ahh. There was enough room for real-size guys to turn around.

Carver 43 Coupe
A build that is more than skin-deep. Courtesy Carver Yachts

Carver Yachts are built for serious cruising, and construction starts with a strong backbone. The C43 Coupe has full-length, molded-fiberglass longitudinal stringers that add rigidity. A series of transverse supports amp up the strength. Further reinforcement is around the engines and generator. A vacuum-infused hull means a stronger, yet lighter structure than a hand-laid hull, thanks to an optimized glass-to-resin ratio. To back up its build process, Carver Yachts offers a 10-year warranty on the hull and deck.

Carver 43 Coupe
The Carver C43 Coupe’s modified-V hull form should provide a seakindly ride in most conditions. Note her striking, relatively low profile. Courtesy Carver Yachts
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