410 Sport Sedan — By Tim Clark
— November 2001
Great Lake Escape
|Cool comfort during an August heat wave aboard Carver's new Sport Sedan.|
The fish-packing plants and shipping operations of most small harbors along the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan are all but idle now, and with many wharves converted to marinas, the hard edge of rough-and-tumble enterprise has been softened to quaintness. Brick street fronts and clapboard houses, weathered jetties, and old lighthouses--all the rustic relics of an industrious past--seem now to endure only for our pleasure; the serenity of these places is somehow deepened by the knowledge that once they rang with activity.
Someone from Milwaukee or Chicago visiting such a place for a long weekend on the big lake might conclude that all small towns in northern Wisconsin are so sleepy. So a visit to Pulaski, the thriving home of Carver Yachts just a short drive from the coast, would come as quite a surprise.
The plant covers more than 100 acres at the center of town, and its workforce outnumbers the town's population of around 1,000 souls. "Carver is Pulaski," I heard more than once during my visit. The builder offers more than 15 models each year and creates nearly all systems that go into its motoryachts in-house, so in addition to hangars for hull and superstructure lay-up, its forest-green facilities include shops for metal work, cabinetry, upholstery, electrical harness assembly, and more.
As I toured the plant I saw several motoryachts in different stages of production, not only a 410 Sport Sedan whose sister I would board the following day, but also other models, from the popular 350 Mariner to the grand-scale 570 Voyager. The experience was pertinent to my evaluation of the 410 because, I realized, at Carver innovations in building techniques and craftsmanship are applied to all models, whether they originate on a 59-footer or a 35-footer. The sturdy saloon sole I saw being built for a 530 Voyager, with its aluminum box-beam braces and stainless steel supports, differed from the 410's sole only in its dimensions. Likewise, the same bar-stock aluminum trusses that I saw on a 466 Motoryacht are laminated into the 410 to support the superstructure and unify it with the hull.
The 410 also shares principled standards of hull construction with other Carvers. To virtually eliminate any possibility of water-seepage-related decay down low, no wood is used in the hull below the waterline. Its bottom is solid FRP, and its sides are cored with closed-cell foam. Nor is there any wood in the 410's beefy stringer system, which is full-composite with a wide footprint to firmly support engines that are through-bolted over heavily reinforced steel brackets.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.