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.
The bridge deck/flying bridge is huge and this is where people will be spending
most of their time.
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
Note that the IPS joystick is handy for southpaws. Righties might want to move it abaft the throttles.
We suspect a second nav screen can be placed to starboard of
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
Note that there are large and numerous portlights to let plenty of light into the
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
We like the full-height fridge/freezer in the galley.
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
The master in the bow of the boat has an ensuite head with separate shower stall.
The guest cabin has an ensuite head with integral shower.
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.
The wet bar is to starboard of the seat in the aft area of the bridge.
nearly 1/3rd of the boat is available for activities on the stern.