Carver 43 Motoryacht — By Jeffrey Moser
— December 2005
Carver and BMW team up to create a new design that retains the builder’s signature charms.
As I made my way through downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin, to the Harborside Yacht Center, I expected the Carver 43 Motor Yacht to look unlike any Carver I’d ever seen. I’d been told her exterior design resulted from a collaboration between Carver and industrial design guru BMW Group DesignworksUSA (see “Carver’s California Connections,” this story), and as she came into view, sitting stern-to at the marina on the Fox River, the result of the collaboration was apparent. I recognized many elements of Carver’s popular Motor Yacht line, such as the lower cockpit and upper-aft-deck layout on the 41- and 44-foot Cockpit Motor Yachts. But missing were the signature elongated side windows, replaced by long, single windows whose sharp angles accentuated the contours of her hull. Gone also were the oval ports. Instead, she was graced with two elongated windows per side that blended in with the hull. There was no evidence of excessive top-heaviness. Instead I was looking at something vaguely reminiscent of BMW automobiles: an aggressive stance with sharp lines, all seamlessly integrated.
But stepping aboard, I quickly realized that while most of Carver’s clientele will appreciate the 43’s refined new looks, the company hasn’t forgotten about its stock in trade: family-friendly functionality. Boarding her through the transom gate (she also has a 16-inch-wide door on each side to accommodate fixed docks), I noticed that her swim platform—nearly four feet long, full-beam, and with a 1,000-pound capacity—could easily hold a PWC or 13-foot RIB. Kudos to BMW and to Carver on its design: Despite the fact that this was the optional hydraulic platform, it appeared to be an extension of the hull and not a tacked-on afterthought.
But while the swim platform and lower cockpit are good staging areas for water activities, most of the 43’s alfresco goings-on will likely take place on the aft deck, which is three steps up and on the flying bridge. The aft deck’s standard wing doors and hardtop provide an escape from the weather yet still permit open-air enjoyment. The area’s comfort level for boaters will likely be enhanced with the optional canvas enclosure. However, the doors are only 20 inches wide, a bit narrow for well-fed boaters.
There’s also likely to be plenty of action on the flying bridge, where Carver’s retained the layout that works so well on its other flying-bridge models: easy access from the aft deck by a wide, molded-in stairway; room for four on a starboard-side, C-shape settee; two helm chairs; and, for the helmsman, a smart, easy-to-read instrument layout. Visibility forward and to port and starboard is excellent, but naturally limited aft; the only way to see the stern from the helm is to look over the starboard side, so docking in close quarters will likely be a two-person operation, even with standard bow and optional stern thrusters. Even so, Carver makes the most of of an area that will probably be crowded during cruising by not trying to stuff in superfluous features that would compromise the flying-bridge effectiveness.
In contrast to the new exterior, Carver chose not to alter things too much below decks. The 43’s layout is similar to that of other models in its Motor Yacht line, with the two staterooms—one fore and the other aft—separated by the saloon and each served by en suite heads. It’s a layout that, while conventional, maximizes both comfort and privacy.
This article originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.