Contents of Report
- Major Features
- Hull Shape
- Boat Inspection
- Swim Platform
- Engine Room
- Aft Deck
- Ground Tackle
- Lower Helm
- Flying Bridge
- Upper Helm
- Main Deck Cabin
- Master Stateroom
- VIP Stateroom
- Guest Stateroom
- Options to Consider
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Mission
The C52 Command Bridge is a new design for Carver which employs modern Euro styling for owners who want to maximize living space in a 52’ (15.85 m) sedan cruiser. It also has amenities and a level of fit-and-finish that is impressive in a brand that has always specialized in offering good value in large cruising boats.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Major Features
• Fiberglass: combination of vacuum-infused and hand-laid
• Fiberglass hat section stringer system
• FailSafe shore power galvanic isolator
• Trim tabs, 12” (30.4 cm) x 30” (76.2 cm) planes
• Bow hatch integrated to deck styling
• Diamond pattern, non-skid fiberglass decks
• Welded premium grade aluminum electronics arch, painted with AWLCRAFT 2000 acrylic urethane topcoat
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Hull Shape
The C52 Command Bridge has a modified V-hull, plumb bow, hard chine with knockdown rail and lifting strakes – a 14-degree deadrise at the transom. Her forefoot is particularly sharp and should cut through waves without pounding.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Performance
The Carver C52 Command Bridge has an empty weight of 42,000 lbs. (19,051 kg). With 98-percent fuel and four people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 46,590 lbs. (21,133 kg).
With the twin 600-hp Cummins QSC 83L engines drive ZF V-drive transmissions connected to straight shafts turning 29 x 35 4-bladed Acme props.
Top Speed. Spun up to 3000 rpm, we reached our top speed of 29.9 knots.
Best cruise came in when we pulled back to 2000 rpm. That 16.7 knot speed produced a 27.5 gph fuel burn that resulted in a range of just under 300 nm all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve from her 550-gallon (2,082 L) total fuel capacity.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Handling
She has a plumb bow with a full-length stainless-steel stem protector to shield against anchor strikes. This leads to hard chines carried well forward to throw water clear of the hull and present a dry ride, even at speed. At cruise she rides 5-degrees bow high with flat calm test conditions.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to comment on how that plumb bow carves into head seas, but crossing wakes created no concerns. Because her forefoot is sharp, we suspect that she will not pound in moderate chop and sloppy conditions. Otherwise, she had the solid feel of a comfortable cruising yacht with easy handling characteristics.
Turning. Because the C52 Command Bridge has straight drives, as opposed to pod drives, she can be turned at a much sharper turning radius at higher speed. This can pay off if coming up fast on an obstruction that was obscured for some reason.
Another advantage of straight shafts is that a dinged bronze prop is far less costly for repair than stainless steel props. Further, even more damage such as a bent shaft, is still much cheaper to repair than the lower unit of a pod drive.
Docking. The large 29 x 35 four blade props make the C52 easy to dock even without the bow thruster and the joystick. Their large surface area makes arch-like paddles to move the stern to port and starboard with rudders turned in the opposite direction when docking. Boaters should remember that twin screw boats were docked without much trouble in experienced hands for nearly 100 years before the advent of thrusters and a joystick.
But if that was not enough, on our test boat, Carver took a belt and suspenders approach, installing both a bow thruster and a joystick. A bow thruster is all most people will need to help move the bow and perhaps work against an adverse current or wind.
The joystick is another option which someone new to boating might want to consider as it will give peace of mind and make docking far easier. Watch the video of our Captain backing the C52 Command Bridge into a very narrow slip.
In all cases, the operative word is – slow. Never go faster than you want to hit the dock.
Interaction between the joystick and the drives was dialed in perfectly. We made the approach, rotated, and backed into the narrow slip with exacting precision, and good visibility thanks to the flybridge stairs.
Overall, this was an extremely comfortable boat with docile handling characteristics. Her joystick functionality made her a breeze to handle around the dock, and with her big props, there’s enough thrust to negate even difficult crosswinds or cross currents.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Boat Inspection
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Swim Platform
The 63” (160.02 cm) swim platform is accessed from stairs to the starboard side. It’s full fiberglass with a non-skid surface. A 58” (147.32 cm) hydraulic version is an option. It allows easier launching of a PWC (personal watercraft) and creates a private beach. The remote-control stores in the starboard side enclosure.
It also includes an undermount reboarding ladder to starboard that drops 34” (86.36 cm) below the waterline, well exceeding ABYC standards for NMMA certification.
The storage compartment can be swapped out for one that goes right down to the bilge area or even an access from the cockpit seat to a crew space for one. Gas-assisted support struts hold the hatch open. A hatch to port conceals the hot and cold shower. The twin 50-amp shore power lines are to starboard.
Washdown connections are to port. The 12” (30.48 cm) cleats are recessed into the deck just ahead of the hydraulic swim platform, with additional cleats higher up on the bulwarks.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Engine Room
Raw water intakes are easily accessed between the engines. Dual fuel tanks are mounted forward. Each tank has its own Racor fuel filter and water separator. A crossover at the bottom allows them to self-level.
Seakeeper 9, optional equipment, will do a very good job of stabilizing the boat without adding underwater drag. Our test boat’s generator was 23 kW, which can run virtually all onboard systems, and is the proper size for a 52’ (15.85 m) boat with the appliances on board, including the Seakeeper.
The vessel’s main electrical panel is in a cabinet next to the private stairs to the master suite. AC and shore to genset transfer are to the left, DC and battery switches are to the right.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Aft Deck
An aft gate divides the transom bench seat, which provides another area for guests to relax. A solid cherry table expandable to 51.5” (130 cm) is mounted to a single pedestal ahead of the 94” (238.76 cm) x 26” (66 cm) at the widest port side seating which is 16” (40.6 cm) high.
The custom embroidered cushions are plush. A single seat is mounted to starboard.
Three molded 10 ½” (2667 cm) steps to port and starboard with courtesy lights ease boarding from a fixed pier and allow access to the side decks. Non-skid surfacing is everywhere. Channels cut into the toe rail direct water overboard.
We’re happy to see that the 13.5” (33.02 cm) side deck width on both sides hasn’t been sacrificed to add interior space. The 24” (60.96 cm) handrails leading forward add safety. They are mounted atop a 6” (15.24 cm) toe rail that increases to 14” (35.5 cm) at midships. In fact, we find convenient grab rails everywhere we move on the C52’s exterior.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Bow
The 12” (30.48 cm) cleats are safely mounted out of the trip zone in cutouts to the bulwarks.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Ground Tackle
The ground tackle is on an elevated platform 12” (30.48 cm) off the main deck. It includes a Quick windlass leading out to a deck-level stainless steel anchor roller supporting a polished plow-style anchor.
A 12” (30.48 cm) centerline cleat takes the standing load off the windlass. Foot controls are to port. A 32” (81.28 cm) deep rode locker with good access is to starboard. A remote-controlled spotlight is mounted at the top of the bow rail.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Inspection
Starting inside, the hallmark of every Carver yacht is the amount of interior space provided in the salon, staterooms and, even in the heads. It almost seems as if the C52 Command Bridge was designed from the inside out to optimize room and comfort. The design process also ensures that every cabin is built for good ergonomics and livability.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Lower Helm
Our test boat had the optional lower helm. It alleviates the penchant to enclose the flying bridge in isinglass. Access to the lower station is down 8” (20.32 cm) and 4” (10.16 cm) steps, highlighted with stainless steel.
The lower station consists of a compass atop a soft touch, non-glare dashboard. The panel includes two, 12” (30.48 cm) displays. It can accommodate a 16” (40.64 cm) engine display screen in the center.
To the lower left, a burl wood panel includes a beverage holder, the joystick, a row of electrical switches, trim tab rockers, and the remote spotlight control. The wheel is mounted to a tilt base.
The Seakeeper control panel and the engine control levers are to the right. Wiper controls are variable speed, and the autopilot head unit is just above. The VHF radio is mounted all the way to the right.
Two sections of windshield separated by a narrow mullion provide visibility. Defogging vents help keep the windscreen clear.
The helm seat is a double-wide 48” (121.92 cm) bench and is fully electrically adjustable.
A footrest is mounted forward of the seat. Two storage drawers are located aft. An additional drawer is located on the side. Above the footrest and to the left, the VHF speaker is mounted below a climate control vent. A second vent and a 110-volt outlet are located to the right.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Flying Bridge
The flying bridge is accessed from 29” (73.66 cm) wide molded 105” (266.7 cm) non-skid steps with storage underneath, which is much safer than the typical ladder.
Accommodations start with an aft gathering area consisting of a U-shaped settee wrapping around a table on a fixed stainless pedestal.
A refreshment center is located forward of the seating area. It includes a recessed sink and an optional electric grill under a lid supported by twin gas struts.
Moving forward, there’s an L-shaped observer’s position with a storage compartment alongside. The entire deck is guttered to channel water away and overboard. An overhead hardtop, which is 6’5” (1.96 m) off the deck, has supports aft and heavy-duty stanchions forward. An opening hatch is cut into the center of the top.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Upper Helm
Components are located below a soft touch dash with a centrally mounted compass. Dual 16” (40.64 cm) displays sit on either side of the vessel view engine monitor, just below the dash.
Electrical switches are grouped to the left. Trim tab rockers are just below the spotlight remote. The 14” (35.56 cm) wheel is mounted to a tilt base. The autopilot control head is to the right as are the Cummins joystick and VHF handheld remote.
A panel on the right side of the console and ahead of the engine controls houses the Seakeeper controls. A convenient storage compartment is located behind those controls.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Main Deck Cabin
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Salon
The main salon is well-appointed in cherry wood with a urethane finish. The high ceilings run from 7’4” (2.34 m) in the galley area to 6’6” (1.96 m) in the salon.
The space, coupled with the surrounding windows, create a feeling of openness that isn’t often found in yachts in this class. Keeping the ceiling height consistent throughout the boat creates the feel of a much larger yacht.
The port side couch wraps around a high-low table. The seating is 180” (457 cm) with a seat base of 22” (55.8 cm) and a back rest of 12” (30.4 cm) around a 51” (129.5 cm) x 28” (71.1cm) table. It can be converted to an additional berth in a pinch. The starboard couch can be swapped out for a smaller version behind the lower helm. This seating is upholstered in Ultraleather.
Lighted overhead soffits conceal climate control vents, so the salon warms or cools evenly. This is a far better treatment of A/C than having an open grate blowing cold air in one place. Cellular shades add an insulating component.
The entertainment center is mounted on the starboard side. It includes a 42” (106.68 cm) TV with a soundbar underneath. A cabinet housing the entertainment components is located alongside. A concealed trash receptacle and additional storage are found below.
Decking is all engineered wood consisting of plywood with a 3/8” (0.95 cm) thick piece of maple. All furniture, cushions, and cabinetry are made in-house by Carver. Controlling that part of production allows the company to offer a lot of customization.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Galley
The galley is located aft on the main deck and down two 8” (20.32 cm) steps, keeping it centrally located between the two primary social zones. There are 12 ½’ (3.81 m) of solid surface counters with outlets on the forward and aft ends.
Galley features include a two-burner induction cooktop with overhead ventilation. The double basin stainless steel sink can be covered when not in use. The covers are stowed under the sink.
Below and to the left are the microwave and optional dishwasher, beside an optional freezer/refrigerator. Storage is found below. Seven separate storage compartments are located above those galley components. The high gloss finish on the cherry woodwork is found throughout the galley.
Soap and sponge storage are hidden in a pull-out drawer under the sink. Another window has pull-down blinds. A second, identical refrigeration set-up is located directly across from the first. Glass doors behind the galley open completely to combine the galley and aft deck into a single area, all on a single level.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Belowdecks
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Master Stateroom
A ceiling height of 6’5" (1.96 m) leaves 44” (112 cm) over the berth. It is unusual to see decking that creates one level rather than steps to accommodate the contours of the hull.
The 78” (198.12 cm) x 59” (149.86 cm) berth is mounted on the centerline. At the bottom of the stairs, there’s a 40” (101.60 cm) bench beneath a hull side window with an opening port.
Cedar lined storage uses the space beside the port. A 61” (154.94 cm) sofa is found under a portside hull window. More storage is alongside.
The 32” (81.28 cm) TV is mounted in a bulkhead across from the berth and in an above carving that matches the headboard.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Master Head
Enter the en suite through a door beside the TV. It’s a fully featured head, but notice the separate walk-in shower is arguably the largest in class while still not sacrificing space in the head.
The shower includes a rainfall showerhead and a separate wand. An opening port provides ventilation.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: VIP Stateroom
As we make our way down the forward companionway, there’s a bit of a finger pinch point beside the handrail.
The VIP stateroom is located forward and has the typical layout of an island berth measuring 67” (170.18 cm) x 77” (195.58 cm) with 8” (20.32 cm) high stepped access to both sides. Headroom above the berth measures 45” (114.30 cm).
Storage is found to both sides and below. Two hull side windows combine with the overhead hatch to add lots of natural light. Blinds are manual pull so there’s no cords or mechanism to fail.
Climate control, stereo and connectivity are all within easy reach to the starboard side. There’s also a convenient shelf space for items we want to keep within reach.
A 24” (60.96 cm) TV is mounted on the aft bulkhead with a design panel matching the headboard just below. Refrigeration and a vanity are a couple examples of customization requests Carver has accommodated.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: VIP Head
The en suite has its own private 19” (48.2 cm) entrance. It’s fully featured, including a separate walk-in shower. A skylight in the 6’7” (2.01 m) overhead adds natural light. This head also has a second entrance to the companionway, allowing it to serve as a day head and as the head for the guest stateroom.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Guest Stateroom
A stacked washer and dryer are located immediately inside the door. This is a welcome piece of optional equipment that we recommend to anyone planning on cruising. Even for day boating, it is a good place to wash and dry bathing suits.
The inboard berth is 23” (58.42 cm) wide while the outboard is 26” (66.04 cm). A long hull side window includes an opening portlight. A 23” (58.42 cm) TV is attached to the forward bulkhead. Storage and entertainment connectivity are found below.
One customer had all this removed in favor of a pantry and office space.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Construction
The key to greater performance and better fuel economy is a lighter boat. To keep their boats lighter without sacrificing strength, Carver uses a vacuum infused resin technology that draws in a precise amount of resin to saturate the fiberglass laminate, rather than “over wetting” like hand layup can do. This state-of-the-art-technology results in the elimination of voids and excess fiberglass and resin build-up, making the part both lighter and stronger.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Options to Consider
• Bow and stern thruster ($21,870)
• Cummins joystick ($36,485)
• Air conditioning – includes dual 240V 50 mp shore service ($25,640)
• Cablemaster for shore power ($7,960)
• Generator up to 23 KW ($47,785)
• Central vacuum ($1,575)
• Crew quarters ($21,700 to $35,860)
• Galley island ($6,970)
• Bridge hardtop enclosure ($31,520)
• Colored hull upgrade: Sterling Taupe, Carbon Black, Mariana Blue or Anthracite Grey ($8,830 to $10,670)
• Hydraulic swim platform ($49,155)
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Price
The C52 Command Bridge has a base price $1,103,760 with twin Cummins QSB 67 480-hp diesel engines and an MSRP of $1,624,125 with twin Cummins QSC 8.3L 600-hp diesel engines.
Carver C52 Command Bridge: Observations
The C52 Command Bridge has a lot to offer owners/operators. She’s well-built and NMMA Certified to ABYC standards. The C52 Command Bridge has an appealing layout and clearly, her fit-and-finish should be seen to be fully appreciated.
We particularly like her V-drive propulsion system which eliminates costly pods, their maintenance, and costly repair if damaged. While pods may be slightly more efficient at cruising speeds, the savings in fuel will never make up for the added cost. The V-drive also permits the builder to make the living quarters below slightly larger.
By ordering the bow and stern thruster combo, there is no need for the joystick and even a newbie will get the hang of docking in a tight slip quickly. Even for old twin-screw boat-handling veterans we would recommend the bow and stern thrusters, because there are times when a side current in a tight marina can be problematical without them.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Carver C52 Command Bridge (2019-) is 34.4 mph (55.4 kph), burning 64.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 242.24 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Carver C52 Command Bridge (2019-) is 19.2 mph (30.9 kph), and the boat gets 0.7 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.3 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 345 miles (555.22 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3L.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
10-year structural hull limited
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