New Carver 44 Sojourn - 09/17/2008
Carver's new addition to its 11-model family from 36' to 56' sits squarely in the middle. The concept of this boat is to provide affordable comfortable cruising accommodations for two couples or for a family. The emphasis in boat building these days is at the stern, and Carver has certainly zeroed-in on that aspect of the boat to provide plenty of space for all sorts of activities.
With its large bridge deck the 44 Sojourn can be used for day cruising and entertaining
and Carver says that 12 people can sit here. There is no doubt that this will be
the focus of the boat. We'd go for the optional items that would make her an all-weather,
long season cruiser -- the hardtop with full enclosure and the full wet bar with
fridge, ice maker and sink. Then you can party until the cows come home, rain or
Engine Options and Gas IPS?!
Standard power is twin Crusader 8.1 liter 385-hp gasoline V-drive engines. Or, you can go with IPS drives, powered with either 330-hp, 370-hp, of 435-hp Volvo Penta diesels. We have not tested this boat so can make no recommendation at this time.
Carver lists as an engine option the Volvo Penta gas 8.1 liter IPS. However, Volvo Penta has not yet announced the release of this gas engine IPS product despite the fact numerous builders have installed prototypes in their 2009 boats this summer.
The V-drive and the IPS drives are critical to this boat as getting the engines back as far as possible has allowed the Carver designers to get the second cabin into the boat.
Standard Equipment Worth Noting
As we look down Carver's list of standard equipment several items pop out which deserve to be mentioned. First is the "Carver Docking System"(tm) which is both a bow and stern thruster. So even if you do go with the 385-hp Crusaders, you can maneuver the boat just as well as with the optional and more expensive joystick on the Volvos. However, bear in mind that these thrusters are driven by 6-hp electric motors and all electric thrusters are problematical. There is nothing like having the full thrust of your main engines driving through directional pod drives when you have a strong cross current working against you.
Two other standard items are worth noting: Carver installs a CO-Safe 10kw Kohler generator and has shaft seals on the drive shafts.
Optional Equipment We'd Order
We've already mentioned a couple of things on the optional list that we would install and here are a couple of others: 1) A grey water holding tank. Odors can come from shower sumps that are not regularly cleaned and here is a way to avoid that problem. 2) We'd go with both the freshwater and raw water washdown systems on both the bow and stern. The boat's freshwater capacity is only 100 gallons, so you'll want to do the hard washdown work with raw water. 3) If you plan any serious cruising, then I would go for the washer/dryer that fits into the master cabin. You can always use the dryer for bathing suits. 4) Paint on the hull is optional, and we would not hesitate to go for the navy blue which makes any boat look good and separates your boat from the mass of white fiberglass out there.
We hope to be testing this boat in the near future, but until then if you want more information, go to the Carver website.