Boarding the new Carver 570 Voyager Pilothouse, again I was agape, but this time at the level of luxury before me. There's an element of stature. Presence. And the boat's obvious capacity for long-range cruising - surrounding passengers in sumptuous luxury.
Issue: April 2002
The first time I tried Kava was in the Pacific at a traditional ceremony hosted by the King of Tonga. I was in that country to write travel stories and to cover a joint exercise between the Australian Army and Tongan forces. Personally, I would have preferred a cold beer, rather than a belt from a hand-carved wooden bowl filled with an intoxicating beverage made from the macerated roots of a Polynesian shrub. But when in Rome! With great apprehension I took a sip. My tongue went numb and I slobbered as I tried to talk. My mouth fell open just as if a dentist had gone mad with the Novocain. I was left agape.
So what's the point of this story? Well, boarding the new Carver 570 Voyager Pilothouse, again I was agape, but this time at the level of luxury before me. There's an element of stature. Presence. And the boat's obvious capacity for long-range cruising - surrounding passengers in sumptuous luxury.
But this luxurious cruising yacht also offers new technology in construction techniques, improved materials, coupled with refined styling, design and performance. The Voyager series concept represents the social aspects of cruising. This boat lends itself to entertaining while underway. According to the brochure she converts the voyage itself - and not the destination - into the centre of attention. And after spending a few hours aboard this gracious motoryacht the Modern Boating team can attest to that statement.
Watching the Carver 570 from the camera boat (a Trojan 49 sports cruiser) she cuts a gracious figure heading out through Sydney Heads. Both boats are heading out wide to find some clean blue water for the running shots we were about to take from a chopper. But we had a problem. Even flat out the camera boat could not keep up with the Carver and mobile phones don't work this far off the coast.
"What about the radio?" I hear some ask. No joy there. The Carver was having a new electronics package fitted before the test and the radio had yet to be installed.
Long-range hand signals eventually pay off and the Carver throttles back to around 20mph, allowing us to catch up.
Once onboard this new Carver it is evident why she has so much grunt. Under the hood of the 570 are twin Cummins QSM11 635hp diesels. These optional engines produce a top speed of around 35mph. The standard fit-out is twin Cummins 450C shaftdrive diesels, which propel the boat to a comfortable cruising speed around 20mph. With a fuel capacity of 3029lt - much greater than most other motoryachts in her class - the Carver 570 Pilothouse has a cruising range of around 420 nautical miles.
Once behind the helm, the Carver feels solid, but surprisingly light to handle. Like most vessels of this size she doesn't exactly turn on a dime using only the helm. The water passing across the oversized manganese bronze rudders can only do so much in this department, but throttle back one engine and accelerate the other and she comes about quickly. Driving from the upper helm station 360-degree visibility is excellent, as is the layout of the generous instrumentation adorning the vast dash. At this stage there is little point listing all the gauges and electronics fitted to this vessel. Suffice to say that if you can think of it, it's probably here.
On this vessel entertaining isn't restricted to below decks. The flybridge features a fully adjustable skipper's seat and an electrically controlled, swivelling, dual companion seat. This gives the occupants the ability to face either forward to converse with the skipper, or aft to talk with fellow passengers seated on the eight-place rear L-shaped lounge. There is a davit behind this lounge and plenty of room on the aft cockpit roof to store an RIB tender. Stylish stairs lead down into the raised pilothouse, which looks more like the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise than that of a cruising motoryacht.
The main feature of the pilothouse is the fully adjustable, leather and high-backed skipper's chair. It is a dream to sit in and takes the bumps out of a lumpy sea - not that you experience many bumps in a boat with a weight of around 24 tonne. A sophisticated overhead electronics console projects the image of stability and control, while the comprehensive instrumentation is all clearly visible and at the skipper's fingertips.
Surprisingly, for a boat of this size, all-round visibility from the pilothouse is excellent, even looking aft through the main saloon, thanks to the clever layout of the windows. There's no black spots on this boat, which gives the skipper control of the vessel at all times.
Here again entertaining is a main focus, because friends naturally gravitate towards the climate controlled comfort and the wraparound seating that surrounds the pilothouse console. The whole crew can sit here enjoying a drink while watching the scenery slide by. Steps lead to the ultra-luxurious main saloon. Here large windows draw the warmth and beauty of the outdoors into this main cabin.
All the creature comforts are catered for in the main saloon. Reverse-cycle air conditioning; central vacuum system; comprehensive entertainment centre, dining table; coordinated Ultraleather d?cor including a large L-shaped lounge to port and two comfy lounge chairs to starboard. There's a breakfast bar at the end of the galley servery that boasts Corian bench tops and two beautifully designed and upholstered bar stools.
The fully equipped galley has a coffee maker; microwave/convection oven; an electric three-burner range with vent; fridge/freezer, icemaker; two-basin sink and a heap of storage. In fact, it has everything you'd expect to find in a small housing unit. Both the galley and the main saloon feature fine cherrywood joinery, while the cabin's impressive headroom adds to the boat's overall impression of space.
The boat can be configured to sleep six or eight persons. The test boat is the three-cabin version. Walk into the main stateroom and the first thing that strikes you is the sheer size of this cabin. It's actually more of a room; a room with a 6' 11" headroom, massive queen-sized bed, wardrobes, chest of draws, side tables and television.
There's a step-up into the main bathroom through double frosted-glass doors where the finish and fitment is all five star. To starboard is the separate shower come bath compartment.
The forward stateroom is just as luxurious as the master cabin, albeit smaller, and sited in the bow of the boat. It also features a large island double bed and hanging lockers, but shares a bathroom with the smaller third guest cabin, which has two single berths. The staterooms are finished with beautiful cherrywood joinery and panelling, which adds to the air of luxury throughout the boat.
Out in the spacious rear cockpit there's room for outdoor dining and an expansive rear swim platform with ladder and transom freshwater shower/wash-down. There is also a bow wash-down facility; large bow sunpad and a remote controlled spotlight on the bow rail. The anchor locker is enormous. This boat is fitted with a Maxwell 3500 VWC Lo Profile windlass with 60lb anchor and 200' of 3/8" chain.
The focus of the 570 Voyager is living - living onboard in luxury and entertaining - and making your guests feel like more than just passengers in five-star surroundings, but part of the boat's compliment.
Carver has made excellent use of all available space, allowing high ceilings in all cabins and more storage area than would normally be found on larger craft.
The Carver 570 Voyager Pilothouse is just that. A vessel that's more than capable of extended voyages with a level of luxury and comfort normally confined to the world's best hotels.
All those years ago in Tonga, Kava made my mouth fall open. Today, the latest Carver 570 has the same effect on all those that board her, agape at what opens out before them. And it's this reaction that has this Carver 570 carving up the opposition. A vessel of this luxury and class isn't cheap, but at around A$1.8m, depending on your options list, you're getting a lot of boat for the money.
For more information about this and other luxury Carver motoryachts telephone Pathfinder Marine on (02) 9948 5911.
The Carver 570 Voyager Pilothouse test boat is powered by a twin Cummins QSM11 635hp diesel shaftdrives. Standard engines are Cummins 450C diesels. Other engine options include: Cummins 480C-E; Cummins QSM11 535hp; Volvo TAMD 74P EDC; and Volvo D12 EDC 675hp.
The test boat is also air-conditioned, so the Kohler 15.5 kW or 23.0 kW generator located in the engine room is required to operate the unit. The throttle and gear controls are electronic and give smooth, exact and instant response from both engines. A bow thruster aids using the engines to manoeuvre around the marina, so docking becomes a simpler affair.
During the test, with growth on her hull after some months in the warm summer waters of Sydney Harbour, this latest Carver 570 hit a top speed of 33.6mph. The engine room is heavily insulated so engine noise levels throughout the boat are extremely low.
Story by Ian Macrae, Photos by Kevin Ling