Review: Carver C34 – Quimby's Cruising Guide

Review: Carver C34

Based in Pulaski, Wis., Carver Yachts has carved a niche in the recreational boating marketplace as a builder of flybridge cruisers that maximize almost every inch on board for entertaining areas and accommodations that are among the roomiest in their class. The brand has been on the scene since 1954, and over the decades the builder has made waves with models that made lasting impressions. In the early 1980s, for instance, Carver cruised onto the scene as one the pioneers of the aft cabin motoryacht. Today, the builder is poised to make another big statement with plans for a new line of cruising boats, one it calls the next generation in design.

“This is an exciting time for Carver,” said Robert VanGrunsven, president of Carver. “We’re developing new, finely crafted yachts while remaining true to what made Carver the respected brand it is today. We see this new product line as just what the market is demanding: great design, comfort and space, and most importantly, tremendous value as compared to what is currently offered on the market.”

The first boat in this new series is the C34, which made its debut at the winter boat shows. With an overall length of 35 and a half feet, it’s anchored in the heart of the production powerboat market, a competitive slot filled with models of all types. Yet arguably, many of those makes just don’t offer the same amount of usable space within the same footprint.

Add to that the Carver’s very competitive price. At $325,000, the C34 represents eyebrow-raising value, as that price includes twin inboards, two staterooms, enough standard equipment to make this a turnkey cruiser and homelike living areas.

The exterior lines show the new direction that Carver is navigating toward. The sheerline is new for the builder, as is the plumb bow. The lines are full and enhanced by the 34’s broad, 13-foot beam. The beam makes for nice accommodations. There are two good-sized cabins. The master, forward, has an island berth, hanging lockers, an impressive six-feet-five-inches of headroom and a bulkhead with door for real privacy. Likewise, the second cabin with twin berths also has a door, plus standing headroom near the entrance. A head with a separate shower stall is shared by both cabins.

One of the best uses of the broad beam is along the sidedecks, which are close to 13 inches wide amidships. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another cruiser in this length class that’s so easy to get around. And with tall rails, the sidedecks are safe to maneuver.

One of our favorite spaces is the salon, which is open and contemporary in style. The galley is up and located aft, so you can more easily serve passengers in the cockpit. Opposite the galley is a long settee with high/low table. (Lower it to create another berth.) Key here are the views. When seated in that settee, you can take it all in.

For power, there are two Mercury 5.7-liter gas inboards coupled to V-drives. A diesel option is available, too: twin 300-hp Volvo Penta D4s. Docking with twin engines shouldn’t be too challenging if you’re new to twin-screw boats, but if you want a confidence booster, the C34 is offered with bow and stern thrusters.

On the diesel boat, thrusters can be rigged to an optional Xenta joystick control. Teleflex SeaStar hydraulic steering is standard, as are Bennett trim tabs. The boat is operated from the helm station on the bridge, but an optional driving station in the cabin is available, too. That’s a good choice for those who want to extend the cruising season.

The C34 has been designed to deliver easy handling, competitive creature comforts, a new look and a great price. It’s no wonder the company is calling the debut of this boat an exciting event.

Carver C34

Length Overall: 35 feet, 6 inches

Beam: 13 feet

Draft: 3 feet, 6 inches

Dry Weight: 18,000 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 250 gallons

Water Capacity: 90 gallons

Power: (2) Mercury 5.7L gas inboards

Price: $325,000

Explore More from Quimby’s

Quimby’s 2024 Photo Contest Winners

We would like to send a big thank you to all that participated in the Quimby’s Cruising Guide 2024 Photo Contest. 2023 was a great year to cruise our Inland Rivers and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The ever-increasing interest in transient boating has sparked an even greater wanderlust for the American heartland. Cheers to a great year […] Read More

My Fun Five Picks for Your Cruiser Dad this Father’s Day!

#1 the BOTE Inflatable Hangout Chair Classic $349  If you’ve ever sat on an Adirondack chair and thought: ‘Dang, this would be cool in the water’, then the patent pending Hangout Chair is for you. Perfect for hot days when the sun is glaring and you need to keep cool while you float, the Hangout […] Read More


YANMAR Marine International (YMI) proudly announces its selection by Linssen Yachts to power its new Linssen 45 SL AC 75 Edition, set to debut in May this year, ahead of being the engine of choice across its entire range. The collaboration marks a significant milestone for both esteemed companies, each boasting a rich heritage in […] Read More