Carver 360 sport sedan
Length overall  37'8"
Beam  13'2"
Draft  31"
Bridge Clearance
(with arch)
Displacement  24,746 lb
Fuel Capacity  280 gals
Water Capacity  75 gals
Standard power  Twin Volvo 5.7 GXi 315 hp gas engines

(Above) The master stateroom in the bow features an oval full-sized island berth with plenty of storage underneath. (below) The centered helm up in the flybridge features adjustable swivel chairs for the skipper as well as a co-pilot on either side.

They pack a lot of living space in this compact yacht, thanks to the generous 13-foot beam and the loft of the flybridge. You enter across a large cockpit through a sliding door into the saloon, which has a unique arrangement. The galley is immediately to port, right inside the door, conveniently situated for quick fixes as well as more elaborate meal presentations.

There's a comfortable Ultraleather-upholstered settee across from the galley, and the TV/DVD player is in the opposite corner, set in a beautifully finished cherry cabinet above the side-by-side refrigerator/freezer.

The galley features an L-shaped granite-like counter with a generous amount of work space, a flush mounted two-burner electric stove with a microwave oven underneath, a large circular stainless-steel sink, and plenty of storage in drawers and cabinets under the counter.

But the most unique element is the dining area set on a tier two steps above the galley. The settee curves around a cherry table, and sitting up that high provides a great perch to enjoy the 360-degree vistas through the wrap-around windows.

Overall, with the light tan color of the upholstery and headliner, along with the deep brightwork finish of the cherry cabinetry and the expansive windows, the saloon has a very light and airy, modern feel to it. Access to the twin 8.1 Crusader engines is through a hatch in the sole.

Step down the curved staircase forward to the overnight accommodations. The master stateroom in the bow features an oval full-sized island berth with storage underneath and hanging lockers on either side. A round hatch serves as a skylight, and again, the cherry brightwork and light headliner add to the high headroom for an open feel. A door provides private access to the shared head.

Here, too, you'll find a unique arrangement, as the Vacuflush toilet is actually inside the enclosed shower stall, doubling as a seat while showering. Or, I suppose, you could put a whole new spin on the concept of multi-tasking. The vanity has a good amount of counter space, as well as plenty of storage behind the mirror-faced cupboard doors above and the cabinet below. A second door leads out into the passageway.

There's a mid-cabin with twin berths that convert to a double with an insert. This area lies underneath the raised dinette, so there's adequate headroom when sitting down on the bed.

But it's above decks that the Carver proves most commodious. Along the swim platform, there's plenty of storage for lines and shore-power cables. In the cockpit, there's a really huge lazarette accessible through a large hatch in the sole. That's where you'll find the generator, water heater and large water tank, positioned on center.

Molded steps lead up on either side to the side decks to the foredeck, which is protected by a high stainless-steel bow rail. A Maxwell winch can be operated either by foot switches or remotely from the helm on the flybridge. There's a searchlight mounted on top of the bow rail.

You get to the flybridge via wide molded stairs from the cockpit. Once there, you'll find quite a unique arrangement, with the center helm seat braced by companion chairs on either side.

A picture of the Carver 360, packed with potential buyers in mind, was featured in a story about the Annapolis powerboat show in the local daily newspaper. It's curious seeing this boat at a boat show, because it gives you a chance to compare and contrast. For instance, I'm sitting here in the flybridge of this Carver 360, and I'm just about as high off the water as if I were in the Carver 570 berthed right alongside. And now that the show is over, we were ready to take the boat back to the dealer's docks at Shady Oaks Marina.

It wasn't long before the boats berthed ahead of us started moving out. We left our slip at the show, way up the Market Slip, on a first-in, last-out sort of system, so it was on the Monday morning after the show, and the sky seemed to have that hung-over look, with streaky gray clouds framing the dome of the Statehouse. We inched past the empty floating docks that just twelve hours ago had been packed with nearly 500 new boats of all descriptions, past the end of City Dock, where the work crews were busying themselves dismantling tents and guiding the trailered boats out of their exhibit spaces.

We joined the parade of yachts stringing out the harbor, weaving among the anchored cruising sailboats and trawlers, gathered together like a flock of geese resting along their migration southward. The waters of the Chesapeake reflected the clouds, leaden and roiled, with about a three-foot slop and a stiff current running up against a dank breeze blowing down out of the northeast. We, however, were high and dry, up in the fully enclosed bridge. With the waves crashing around us, we continued dodging late-season crab pot buoys all the way, making a straight shot for West River and the well-protected docks of Shady Oaks Marina.

Carver factory figures indicate that the twin 8.1 MPI Crusader 385 hp gas engines should provide a cruising speed of about 27.5 mph at 3600 rpm and a top speed of about 35 mph at 4600 rpm. You should expect to burn about 36 gallons per hour at cruise and about 60 gallons per hour running at wide-open throttle.

There's a wide range of engine options, including MerCruiser, Cummins and Volvo, in addition to the Crusader 8.1 in this boat, or the Crusader 5.7 MPI's. A long list of standard features includes such niceties as air conditioning and a 7.3 KW generator.