560 Voyager — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
One Cushy Cruiser
|Part 2: Carver has made some impressive upgrades in layout and materials for its latest launch.|
So do any of these changes have any effect on the 560’s performance? To find out, Foulkrod and I ran this cruiser from the upper helm out onto Galveston Bay to shake her down. This bay is shallow—it averages between eight and ten feet deep—and a steady 15-knot wind provided a short chop across the water. Despite the conditions and the fact that we were running sans trim tabs, the 560 made a respectable top speed of 36 mph with her optional twin 675-hp Volvo Penta D12 EVC diesels at 2330 rpm. (PMY recorded a 36-mph top end on the 570, which was powered by twin 635-hp Cummins QSM11 diesels.) At 2000 rpm she ran at 30.1 mph. The 560 has an 800-gallon fuel capacity, and with her fuel burn averaging 42 gph at cruise, it provides a range of 516 statute miles, more than enough to run to the Bahamas for a weekend or head down the ICW for a spell. Now, while I think the D12s—the largest available option for the 560—are a good fit from a power perspective, they come at a price. When I did my inspection of the engine room, which has 4'11" headroom, I noted port and starboard outboard engine access was hampered by the freshwater and holding tanks. It’s not an easy place to work.
The 560’s speed runs were in the books, and Foulkrod offered me the wheel. I pushed the single-lever Volvo Penta electronic controls forward and ran the 560’s warped-V hull form without tabs towards the chop. I soon discovered that her solid fiberglass hull, which transitions from a 23-degree deadrise forward to a 12-degree deadrise aft, didn’t appreciate the head-on course at top speed, and she took a couple of smacks on the chine. Part of that is probably because the 560 carries much of her beam well forward to maximize interior volume, and that means a blunt entry. I added some tab to get her nose down, and it helped smooth out the ride. In addition, I found the 560 was slow to react to hard-over turns at cruise speed. Her Teleflex SeaStar hydraulic steering was smooth enough, but it took several boat lengths for the two 29x32.2 four-blade ZF New Foil props and modified spade rudders to really bite and do a turnaround.
Although the helm here is well laid out and has clean sightlines forward, the view aft is naturally obstructed by the large overhang. Were I buying this boat, I’d order Carver’s optional video monitoring system for a clear view in this direction. Two cameras with monitors at the flying bridge and pilothouse helms give you views aft and of the engine room. Our console hosted a full array of Raymarine electronics (see specifications) as well as controls for the Volvo Penta bow and stern thruster, which provided quick spins in close quarters.
Down at the lower helm, sightlines forward were clear, and an overhead electronics console provides room for a couple of ten-inch monitors and video monitor. I found the aft cockpit camera valuable for getting a good look at the swim platform during stern-to docking, since you don’t have to look back through the saloon. The video setup adds a sense of security in tight areas, especially if a couple is handling the boat.
While the 560 Voyager’s running bottom is the same as that of the 570, Carver has made some impressive upgrades in layout and materials for its latest launch. In addition, the 560 is quick and economical. So if you’re looking for a comfy family cruiser that is elegant without being overstated, then the 560 Voyager might just be your next ride.
Carver Yachts Phone: (920) 822-1600. www.carveryachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.