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.

Carver 44
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 shine.

Carver 44
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 the wheel.

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.


Carver 44
Note that there are large and numerous portlights to let plenty of light into the main salon.

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.

Carver 44
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.

Carver 44
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.

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.

Carver 44
The wet bar is to starboard of the seat in the aft area of the bridge.
Note that nearly 1/3rd of the boat is available for activities on the stern.

We hope to be testing this boat in the near future, but until then if you want more information, go to the Carver website.