1976 CARVER MARINER 2896 'SEA WEED'
WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE.
Newsflash - The Sea Weed has just been sold and the new owner is a Carver enthusiast. She remains in Canada and will be staying in the Quebec region.
Hi my name is Paul Mitchell, from the province of Quebec, Canada.
I want to share my passion for Carver boats, especially the mid 1970's Carver Mariner 28 models, with other owners and enthusiasts.
Here is my story on how it all started for me with the love affair for Carver Mariner 28's.
It is a well known fact that Carver Yachts are some of the finest vessels afloat today with quality and craftsmanship second to none. This has always been the basis for Carver boats from day one, with many older boats like mine still in great shape having stood the test of time and continuing to give enjoyment to those who own them.
My objective is to share the knowledge and experience people have of these fine vessels and to encourage the restoration and preservation of them.
My passion for these beautiful craft started when my wife and I purchased our first Carver mariner 28, a 1974 Mariner 2895 model in a sad and dilapidated state in need of a full restoration.
I discovered this boat in 2002 lying in a Montreal South shore boat yard after she had been vandalized while having repairs done. I would drive past the boat yard and see her there looking rather derelict.
The graceful lines and general look of this boat impressed me. I often thought to myself and said to my very understanding wife that this would be a great boat to own and restore. This boat had been lying in this yard for about 6 years, stripped and vandalized. The plus side of things was much of the woodwork had been renewed, and the fiberglass hull appeared to be perfect. Most of the hardware including all the stainless railings were still there lying around in and out of the boat. All the instruments, windows and interior fittings such as lights etc were destroyed and top screen gone, but generally she appeared to be complete and a good project. I was impressed with the solid construction and room inside.
I approached the owner and after a period of bargaining, became the proud owner of a Carver Mariner 28.
The next step was to have her moved to a safe place, where she now is, and within close reach of where we live.
I have a lot of boating experience from back in New Zealand where I originate from, and have restored a few boats over the years. This however would be my biggest and most challenging restoration to date but I was confident that she was worth the effort.
She still had the original 255HP Mercruiser (351ci Ford based V8 gasoline engine) and TRII stern leg which was in storage luckily. The engine had not run for a few years but still turned over. I intended to re-power her with a diesel and had considered a 7.3 liter V8 Power stroke Ford Diesel but leave all else as per original specifications. I had also considered possibly using a Nissan RD 28, which may be big enough to drive her along, but I intended to research more before making a final choice. The diesel is much more economical, safer, and less troublesome due to the lack of many of the electrical components in a gasoline engine. It would also have a greater fuel range. (see RE-POWER WITH DIESEL page on this site)
The Mariner 28 is a very roomy boat with just over 6 feet of headroom in the galley and plenty of cockpit space. Overall dimensions are 28 feet 6 inches long, 10 feet 4 inches beam, and approx 11 feet high from the keel.
We renamed her “Natalie J” after my beautiful daughter Natalie. She would be the fourth “Natalie J” I had owned and was to be officially christened on her launching after restoration was complete.
Not much history of her is known but it would appear the early days of her life were spent in the States, possibly in Cape May, New Jersey, before a previous owner brought her to Canada.
It had been my hope that in the not to distant future she would once again grace Canadian waters and give many years of pleasure to my family and myself.
In May 2006, a very hard decision had to be made as to the future of the Natalie J. Work on her was slow due to my business commitments and workload.
I could see that my original time schedule to have her back in the water, was becoming more unrealistic by the day. Although I had built a custom shelter shed for her, not much actual boat restoration had been achieved much to my disappointment and frustration.
It was at this stage that I was approached by a friend I had become acquainted with in the States, who had a beautiful 1976 all fiberglass Mariner 2896 he wanted to sell due to personal reasons. I had known of this boat for about three years and had always admired her and the dedication her owner of some twenty odd years had for her. She was just what I needed to renew my love of boats and especially Carvers so after discussing this at length with my wife, the decision was made to purchase her.
This now leaves the problem of having two boats so of course the Natalie J needed to go to a new home. I hope that some loving restorer will achieve what I had dreamed of and she will grace the waters once more.
In the meantime, the new Mariner, named "SEA WEED", had arrived from Annapolis in the States and is now afloat in Canadian waters.
She had been cleared by the authorities and was now officially a Canadian licensed vessel.
We have already had many wonderful hours of enjoyment aboard her and look forward to future seasons when we hope to cruise through to Lake Champlain in New York State or to Lake Ontario.
She is well equipped for extended cruising and is a comfortable boat to relax on.
In October 2006 I was to have my first taste of winter preparation for the Sea Weed and I quickly learned how to prepare a boat for our severe Canadian winters.
It was to be a few months until she could be put back in the water once again for another wonderful summer of boating but the wait was to be worthwhile.
A lot of personalizing will done done over the next year or two and some upgrades are envisaged in the future but for now she is just fine and suits our needs perfectly.
( See the next page "Sea Weed" )
In June 2008 I placed a local advertisment for a loving home for the ''Natalie J''
She was soon claimed by a new owner in Sherbrook, Quebec and is going to be restored by him to her former glory.
Updates of the progress will be posted on tis site.
At last I am happy that all was not in vain and she does stand the chance of a new life on Canadian waters.
A BOOK ON CARVER MARINERS AND THERE HISTORY
I would also like to gather information to produce a book on the history and development of the Carver Mariner 28. This is a long-term plan but I would like to hear from anyone who has knowledge of the old "assembly line" construction, development, design team or tests and reviews on the Mariner from the mid 70's. Any information or photos of the plant, boats under construction, testing, or even problems that have occurred with your mariner over the years will be of interest.
I would like to contact the families of the founders of the Carver Corporation back in 1954, Mr Charlie Carter, and Mr George Verhagen. I believe they were in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The design and development of the Mariner is the brain child of the then director of Carver Mr Walter Markham who I understand was the sole designer. He was the man who put the marque Carver on the map and made Carver the envy of many American boat designers. As the saying goes "often copied - never duplicated".
I would also like hear from any other Carver personnel or directors who may be able to contribute to the fascinating history of the Mariner 28 and Carver Yachts.
Therefore, if you have any stories, advice, photos of your Carver 28 or just want to share your boating experiences please feel free to sign the visitor’s book or send me an email.
For photos of the "Natalie J" please go to my gallery
MY COLLECTION ON CD-ROM or DVD
I have collected many photos, manuals, brochures etc on Carver Mariners and have put them all on a CD or DVD which is available for purchase.
A must for every Carver Mariner owner or enthusiast. A great gift idea.
See link below.
FOR SALE AND WANTED
See link at bottom of this page
CARVER MARINER 28 FORUM
SEE MY CARVER MARINER 28 FOOT FORUM - (click on the link below)
I could not find a forum for Carver Mariner 28's so I have created one for everyone to use. This is free to use and available to all.
Many seasoned and experienced Carver Mariner owners out there have a lot of knowledge and experience with these boats. We can all perhaps save a lot of time, money, and frustration by learning from others and sharing our views, experience, and knowledge through a forum such as this. Please use this with consideration and respect for others with Boat and Carver related topics only.
I want to say a very special thank you to Mr Rich Brown of Carver Yachts for his help in my research of Carver history and development.
If you enjoyed this site, please take the time to sign the guest book by clicking the link below, Thank you.
TO VIEW MY OTHER CARVER MARINER PAGES AND RELATED TOPICS CLICK THE LINK BELOW - TO SEE MY CARVER PHOTO SELECTION CLICK ON THE GALLERY BUTTON BELOW.