|LOA||34 ft. 10 in.|
|Displacement||23,236 lbs. (loaded)|
|Engines||Twin Yanmar 6LP STP, 315 hp each|
|Twin Yanmar 6LP-315-STP, 315 hp engines w/engine instrumentation at pilothouse and flybridge helm stations, Bennett trim tabs, 50-amp shore-power inlet, Mastervolt battery charger, 316 marine-grade stainless steel, Raymarine navigation package, hydraulic steering, radio/CD/DVD player and iPod dock at lower helm w/remote control on flybridge, teak decking, twin helm seats w/adjustable pedestals, gas oven and cooktop, refrigerator, teak-and-holly salon sole, L-shaped settee and high-low table that convert to berth, second helm station on flybridge and more.|
|See dealer for complete list.|
|Corvette Marine Ltd., Taiwan; corvettemarine.com|
|West Coast Dealer|
|Chuck Hovey Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.; (949) 675-8092; chuckhoveyyachts.com
Chuck Hovey Yachts, Seattle; (877) 222-3466; chuckhoveyyachts.com
Grand Yachts, Vancouver, B.C.; (604) 687-8943; grandyachts.com
Posted: January 1, 2012 | Boat Type: Motoryacht
Built at the Fleming yard, it’s better than everCorvette Marine’s new 340 is being launched in North America by Fleming Yachts, builder of the well-known Fleming 55, 65 and 75, all traditionally styled cruising yachts. Corvettes were originally designed by English naval architect Terry Compton in 1974 and built in the U.K. until 2008, when the builder shut down. Two of Fleming’s top managers purchased the tooling in 2009 and moved it, and two of Corvette’s managers, to Taiwan. Corvettes are now built in the same yard that builds Flemings.
The Corvette was originally designed as a 32-foot tri-cabin family cruiser, and the new 340 carries that traditional styling. It is a twin-stateroom vessel, with an en suite head/shower in each stateroom.
Corvette hulls are solid fiberglass, and vinylester resin is used for outer lamination to reduce the likelihood of wicking. Five epoxy barrier coats and two coats of antifouling paint are applied below the waterline. Stringers, frames, the engine bed and the forward engine-room bulkhead — collectively referred to by Corvette as an internal frame — are molded as a single unit and dropped into the hull.
The deck and superstructure are molded glass with a Corecell M foam core and U.S.-manufactured Cook gelcoat. All of the stainless steel is marine grade, and all of the welds are ground flush and polished. Stainless is used as trim around the roofs and on the rubrail. It is also used to protect the glasswork from chafing. This attention to detail is not often found on such small vessels.
The exterior glasswork on our test boat is fair and without haze or print-through. This was expected, since Fleming’s glasswork has always been noted for its excellent finish.
Access to the vessel is via port and starboard rail gates just forward of the steps up to the aft deck. You can also get aboard off the swim step up a ladder to the aft deck, but if a dinghy is stowed on that step, easy access is not possible. Moving forward to the bow from either rail gate is quick, safe and easy, because of ample sidedeck width and solid, well-secured handrails.
Substantial rails and an anchor pulpit rail make working on the foredeck safe, and a teak deck overlay provides good protection against slipping, even when it’s wet. The trunk cabin roof is glass with a molded-in nonskid finish. The chain locker, accessed through a locking deck hatch, is huge and divided into three separate compartments, allowing for substantial additional storage. Deck drains are plumbed to drain overboard at the boot stripe, reducing the likelihood of hull streaking.
Moving up to the aft deck, which is really the roof of the master cabin, presents no problems, and the teak step treads provide good footing. The aft deck, also teak-covered, is large and secured by substantial railings. Optional seating for four, with storage underneath, and a table make the area ideal for fair-weather entertaining.
The command bridge, forward and up two teak-treaded steps from the aft deck, offers excellent all-around visibility and plenty of seating.
The teak decking is vacuum bagged to the fiberglass decks; this method of construction ensures there are no bolts or screws required to secure the decking. Screwing wooden decking to an underlying glass deck inevitably leads to leaks through those screw holes. Not so with the Corvette.
You enter the deckhouse through a sliding door along the starboard sidedeck and just aft of the helm station. It is not a full-height door, and entry is a bit awkward. It is also the only door in and out of the deckhouse. The helm station is straight across from the deckhouse entry, hard against the port side of the cabin. Visibility forward and along each sidedeck is excellent. Visibility directly aft is blocked by the stair structure leading up to the command bridge, but aft deckhouse windows to port and starboard of the stairs allow the skipper to see what’s happening on most of the aft deck.
Forward and down is the guest cabin, and it’s laid out differently than in most other modern vessels. The head/shower is located farthest forward, hard against the crash bulkhead. Two bunks, one to port and one to starboard, complete the cabin. There is plenty of storage under and above the berths, low-voltage overhead lights and berth reading lights. I have been on a number of different boats with this layout and, while it is a bit unusual, it works very well and is quite comfortable.
Aft of the entry from the deckhouse and to starboard is the galley. Across from that is an L-shaped dinette, complete with a table. A horizontal stainless grabrail along the galley cabinet is a good touch. Corian countertops make for easy cleanup and wear well. A stainless sink, a gas cooktop and an under-counter refrigerator complete the galley. An aft window swings up and acts as a pass-through to the aft deck.
The full-beam aft stateroom is large and comfortable. A tapered queen walk-around berth occupies the space. It comes with port and starboard nightstands and twin reading lights. A carpeted sole makes walking to and from the head safe and comfortable. Side windows and top-hinged opening aft windows invite plenty of natural light and fresh air.
The aft head, complete with a separate shower stall, features an electric freshwater toilet, Corian countertops with a porcelain hand basin, plenty of storage and low-voltage lighting. The shower stall features a teak grate and an opening port.
The vessel owner fired up the twin Yanmar 315 hp diesels — six cylinders, 254 cubic inches (4.164L), turbocharged, intercooled — and we eased away from the dock. The engines idled along nicely at 750 rpm, at which point we made 4.4 knots. The noisemeter registered 72 dB. At 1000 rpm, we moved along at 5.9 knots. When we upped the engine speed to 1500 revs, we made 7.4 knots. At 2000 revs, we were doing 9.3 knots and burning a total of about 6 gph. We made 12 knots at 2500 rpm and burned about 11 gph. At 3000 rpm, we were burning about 17 gph and making about 17 knots. When we reached 3500 revs, we were moving along at 23 knots and burning about 24 gph. Wide-open throttle, about 3780 rpm, produced 24.2 knots and burned about 30 gph.
All speeds were measured with an independent GPS, and the fuel-consumption figures were calculated using Yanmar’s published technical information.
As we moved through our speed tests, the vessel handled well and felt very solid and sure-footed on the water. There was very little bow lift as speed increased, and the vessel handled normal turns without skipping or skidding. It tracked well and handled wake crossing solidly, without pounding, even at higher speeds. In fact, the 340 handled like a much larger, heavier boat.
There is no question that the Corvette 340 — referred to by some as a “baby Fleming” — is a solidly built vessel. It should be. It’s built by the yard that builds Flemings, and that means excellent glasswork, top-notch woodwork and first-class fittings. The vessel has enough window glass to be bright and cheerful inside, even in dull, dreary weather.
If there’s a downside to this boat, it is that there is only one way in and out, and there’s not even a full-height door. I’m sure the Fleming design engineers are working on this issue right now.
The full-width aft master stateroom is an excellent space for such a small boat, and a cruising couple would be very happy with this boat, even for extended periods. In fact, there are many liveaboard couples with larger boats that don’t have the effective space of this vessel.
Posted By: Steve Cooper On: 1/13/2012
Nice little boat but pretty ugly and expensive. They're trying to sell it as a miniature Fleming. but then Fleming's are expensive too.
Also a little surprised that Chevy hasn't trademarked 'Corvette'.