65 Marquis — By Richard Thiel —
|Carver’s 65 isn’t just a bigger Marquis. She’s another huge step up the learning curve.|
About 18 months ago I received a call from Mike Murawski, Carver’s vice president of sales and marketing, asking if I’d be interested in taking a first look at a “major new project.” Over the years I’ve been privy to more “major new projects” than I’d care to remember, and without casting aspersions on Murawski or Carver, in most cases those three words have translated into “a new boat” and not much more. Murawski assured me this was different.
Wonder of wonders, he was right. For I discovered that Carver was working on not just a new boat but a new line of boats radically different from anything it—or, according to Murawski, any American builder—had ever built. Carver intended to build an Italian boat in America, or as Murawski put it, “blend Italian style with American craftsmanship.”
It seemed just a tad pretentious, a traditional Midwestern boatbuilder challenging the best of Europe. Yet as I watched the project develop and met the people involved in it—especially the Italian duo of Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard—it was hard not to be convinced. In fact, it was hard not to get excited.
Then came the first model, the 59 Marquis. Yes, so determined was Carver to give this boat its own pedigree, it gave it a different name. In fact, as I walked around her, I was hard-pressed to find the Carver name or logo. In PMY’s exclusive first test of the 59 (“Italian-American,” May 2003), I concluded that Carver had, with a couple of exceptions, met its goal. The boat was beautiful, stylish, and well fitted, right down to her custom stainless steel bollards. I also guessed that a lot of people would have trouble figuring out whether the 57 was American or Italian.
A year later comes the 65 Marquis, touted not as just the second Marquis but the second-generation, and as I stepped aboard her at the 2004 Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami, I wondered whether Carver could repeat its success. It didn’t. It exceeded it. It quickly became obvious that the 59 was merely the first step on a learning curve. The 65 is better than the 59—noticeably better.
Let me give you three examples. First, the joinery is perfect, the cherry and pomelle sapelle being finished to a level on par with some of the best yachts in the world. The finish is deep, clear, uniform, flawless.
Second, the 65 is better proportioned than the 59. While the 59’s master and VIP were generously sized, her third stateroom was barely big enough for two kids. The 65’s three-stateroom design provides plenty of room for everyone and justifies Carver’s reputation as a master of space planning. Indeed, overall the 65 is one of the roomiest boats I’ve been aboard in this size range. The forepeak VIP is only marginally smaller than the midship master, and the two en suite heads, each with a stall shower, are virtually identical in size.
Third, while the 59 was finely detailed, the 65 bristles with high-end touches that mark it as a world-class yacht. All plumbing fixtures are manufactured for Carver in Italy by Valli and Valli, and the door hardware is heavy, solid, and stylish. Nearly everything displays the Marquis logo (the Carver “wave” is all but extinct), giving this the feel of a custom yacht. The stainless steel work, particularly around the anchor and in each aft cockpit corner—all done in house—is a work of art. And not only can those corner line-handling stations have warping winches—they’re optional—but the bins for the lines have spigots inside to make rinsing them easier.
This article originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.