570 Voyager — By Capt. Bill Pike — January 2001
|Part 2: Carver 570 Voyager continued|
This sort of roominess and abundance also hallmarks the engine room, which is accessed via a hatch in the cockpit sole and a hinged, stainless steel ladder. Although headroom is only about five feet here, the area encompassed by hull sides and bulkheads is darn near as big as the master stateroom, a fact that makes for excellent all-around access to both the mains-- Cummins QSM11 diesel inboards in our test boat--and the genset, an optional 17-kW Onan located close to centerline, just forward of the mains. Saddle-type, welded-aluminum fuel tanks and cross-linked poly water tanks are trunion-mounted close to amidships to obviate trim problems associated with changes in ullage. The rudder stocks in the lazarette and the prop shafts are outfitted with Tides Marine dripless logs.
Two suggestions. First, substitute a fastening that's more positive and safer for the fabric band with compression snap that's used to hold the aforementioned access ladder when it's swung up and out of the way. And second, how about replacing the small halogen lights down here with a couple of large fluorescents? The current lighting is dim.
From what I could see of the electrical system in the engine room, it's at least as well engineered as everything else. Divvied up abaft the mains are four hulking 8D batteries, one starter per engine, and the other two paralleled for house application. A bank of four Group-31 batteries beneath the diamond plate walkway serves the 10-hp Volvo Penta QL bow thruster, and another Group-31 serves the genset. In addition to a Charles Marine Iso-Boost isolation transformer that guards against shore-power-related low-voltage damage and a Heart Interface inverter for reliable a.c. power, there are two C-Charger multistep, life-extending battery chargers. A top-shelf setup? You bet, especially with added features like tinned-copper-strand wiring harnesses prefabricated by Carver; color-coded, loomed wire runs throughout; and waterproof pin-type connectors, also made by Carver.
I learned some interesting things about the 570's handling during a two-part sea trial. My first encounter took place last summer in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. After an easy undocking and brief test drive in open water, I attempted to return the boat to her slip using the Twin Disc single-lever electronic engine controls and thruster at the futuristic-looking lower station. Despite the simple nature of the task and slick operation of the controls, I got a bit flummoxed and turned the boat over to Carver's propulsion engineer. While the difficulty perhaps had something to do with the fact that I'm not used to docking this type of boat from a lower station, limited visibility astern was an issue as well.
A few months later, during my second encounter with the 570, the cruise to Hawk's Cay, I noticed labels at the upper and lower helm stations warning about "limited visibility." Such labels, I subsequently learned from the American Boat & Yacht Council, have more to do with open-water navigation than with docking. Moreover, they are typically affixed to secondary helms that fail to satisfy certain basic visibility guidelines promulgated by the ABYC, a measure that makes ABYC certification--or in the case of the 570, NMMA certification--possible for a given vessel as long as there's a primary helm onboard that totally complies with the guidelines.
So why a warning at both secondary and primary stations on the test boat? Carver says the label on the flying bridge during our sea trials was a mistake; topside visibility satisfies ABYC guidelines. The label at the lower helm, Carver says, is there to address a couple of thick windshield mullions that partially obscure the view ahead.
At any rate, the trip to Hawk's, with its several dockings and near-constant 25-mph northerlies, gave me little reason to revise my original take on the 570's dockside handling from the lower station, even with a Carver skipper at the controls. I remain convinced that for some folks, maneuvering in high or gusty winds from here (a spot reserved for open-water navigation on most boats anyway) may be a challenge. On the other hand, open-water visibility from the upper helm in the ICW was fine, with clear sightlines forward. And performance was inspiring, with a sporty top speed of 34.8 mph, a dry ride, and smooth, hydraulically assisted steering. The turning radius, however, was wider than most, and based on several foredeck forays, I'd judge the side decks as uncomfortably narrow, although they are well equipped with handholds and rails.
final aspect of performance I particularly enjoyed was the solidity the
570 evinced while charging the ICW's feisty gray water, a quality
that undoubtedly stems from construction features like a Sika polyurethane-adhesive-bonded
hull-to-deck joint, aluminum truss reinforcement around the fashionably
frameless windows, linear-span (rail-type) steel engine beds, and an all-glass
stringer system. Add such features to an interior layout as plush as it
is roomy, and you've got a fast, seaworthy coastal cruiser that
rivals a condo for comfort.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.