Like on the first day of high school, a room filled with Carver/Marquis dealers sat silently when vp of design and engineering Josh Delforge asked for feedback on the recently launched Carver 43 Coupe and renderings of their new 50. No one wanted to be the first to raise his or her hand. It was an inauspicious start to the brainstorming session at the group’s annual dealer meeting held in Ft. Myers, Florida.
But once the can of worms opened just a crack, a passionate conversation flowed forth. “You know the air conditioning is great but what about adding a forward window to improve airflow?” suggested one dealer. “In that rendering the cockpit seating looks to be a little short, how deep will that space be exactly?” asked another. Delforge jotted down nearly every suggestion or comment a dealer offered, knowing that because of their time spent aboard the vessels and with potential customer they can offer an intimate knowledge of each boat.
Conversation also shifted to various trends the dealers and designers were seeing. Just some of the trends directly influencing new designs are:
· Hydraulic swim platforms: More now than ever these are growing in demand on smaller and smaller boats, not just for easy tender launching but for the infinity-pool-like fun they offer.
· Double-open cockpit doors: Once owners get a taste of having a fully opening space between the cockpit and saloon, there’s no going back.
· Headroom: After some debate, the group seemed to agree that boats over 40 feet need to be able to accommodate guests and owners that are 6 feet 6 inches tall.
· Joystick control: According to the dealers, today’s buyers demand joystick control on a new boat over 35 feet.
It will be interesting to see how this feedback will influence the design of Carver’s new 50-foot flagship, which is set to debut in January 2016.
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