New Owners, New Boat
Corvette Marine built the first Corvette 320 in Britain in 1974; the boat, often refined and improved, became one of the U.K.'s most popular cruisers, with steady sales throughout Europe and in Japan as well. However, like many boatbuilders, over the years Corvette saw several ownership changes; finally, in 2008 the company shut its doors – but not for long: In 2009, Duncan Cowie and Adi Shard, the management team for Fleming Yachts, bought Corvette, moved it to Taiwan and started work on the 340. The first hull shipped to the U.K. in the spring of 2010.
The Corvette 340 is built at the Tung Hwa boat yard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the same yard that builds Fleming 55, 65 and 75 Motor Yachts. Flemings are known as high-quality boats, so we expect that level of construction is carried over to the Corvette, although we haven't seen a boat yet so can't be certain. But the relationship between Corvette and Fleming is strong, so we'd be surprised if the 340 wasn't in many ways a miniature Fleming. And that's a good thing in our opinion.
Typically, trawler yachts this size have forward and aft staterooms separated by a salon with galley and lower helm station, and that's what you'll find aboard the Corvette. And why not? This layout has worked for decades, and we can't think of anything better.
We like the extra volume in the master stateroom provided by the full-beam aft deckhouse – it carries the headroom out to the hull sides, rather than restricting it to fit in side decks above. There's room in the cabin for a centerline queen berth, a desk/vanity, a large hanging locker and plenty of drawers and cabinets. The en suite head is divided, with toilet and sink to starboard, shower to port.Please note that the forward cabin has a wet head on the centerline. This is a creative and practical use of space which is rarely seen. We like the separate single berths nestled in along the bow's port and starboard.
Power and Performance
Standard power is twin 315-hp Yanmar 6LP-315-STP diesels. The only power option is a $25,715 upgrade to 330-hp CMD QSB 5.9 engines with digital controls and Vessel View displays. We doubt the small increase in horsepower will make enough difference alone to justify the upgrade, but the electronic aspects of the Cummins MerCruiser Diesels might, at least for many buyers.
Corvette installs fiberglass fuel tanks, a fact that will mean nothing to many readers, but be important to those with experience with older Far East-built boats with black iron tanks. Iron tanks have an annoying tendency to rust out if water sits on top of them, which it often does. Replacing tanks usually means removing the engine, so Corvette's spending the little bit extra for fire-retardant fiberglass tanks now will save their customers big bucks, and big aggravation, later. If you're thinking of buying a Far East boat, check her tanks first. (The 340's freshwater tanks are stainless.)
Prices and Recommendation
As for prices: The base boat, with Yanmars, lists for $415,000, without a genset ($18,500 for a 7.5-kW Onan) or A/C ($11,400 or $12,500, depending on the system). You'll probably want another $5,000 worth of options. On the other hand, the base price includes a nice electronics package that includes Raymarine C120W displays at both helm stations and a 4-kW radar. In short, a nicely equipped Corvette 340 will run about $450,000 FOB Taiwan, plus freight from Taiwan (which is about $27K to the U.S. West Coast.)We can't make a recommendation yet, since we have not tested the Corvette 340. However, we think it never hurts to look, so if you're one of the many cruising folks dreaming about a boat like this, why not add this boat to your list. We would.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
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