Boat Review: Chadwick 57

The Chadwick 57 comes with every feature and amenity you could want, and the fit and finish throughout is exacting and perfect.

March 15, 2007


Is it a charter captain’s luxury workboat or a millionaire’s no-frills sport-fisherman? … Tough call. The Chadwick 57 comes with every feature and amenity you could want, and the fit and finish throughout is exacting and perfect. What the Chadwick doesn’t have is tens of thousands of dollars of flashy frills.

Proprietor Jamie Chadwick, a third-generation boatbuilder from Harker’s Island, North Carolina, carries with him many generations of an almost indecipherable Southern dialect peculiar to that island alone. I found myself putting my hand to my ear and playing deaf so I could get him to repeat things a Yankee like myself couldn’t begin to understand. But his boats I understand intimately. They transcend language, speaking for themselves in functional beauty with no rough edges.

This Chadwick’s owner runs his boat, the Carnivore, for charter out of Morehead City, North Carolina. He also plans to take a year’s sabbatical with his wife and four children, consisting of extensive cruising throughout the Caribbean and both coasts of Central America. So sensibly, fuel efficiency and midrange throttle response rank higher than top-end speed for him. He chose twin 825 hp Detroit Series 60 diesels – smaller power than many private yachts of this size would use. Despite the relatively small horsepower, the Chadwick 57 lifted onto plane in just under six seconds.


In 2- to 4-foot seas, the Carnivore offered an incredibly stable ride in a beam sea. She drifted with a short roll moment with very gentle transitions.

Use tabs to drop the bow up-sea, and the Chadwick provides an extremely smooth, dry ride. Down-sea, I ran for about four minutes before I needed to make a minor wheel adjustment. At 30 knots, turn the wheel hard over, and the Chadwick 57 reverses course in an astonishing three boat lengths – and never falls off plane.

Hooked up to a baby bluefin, I discovered that the Carnivore backs down straight as an arrow at 6 knots and spins like a boat half her size. She also boasts one of the cleanest wakes at trolling speed I’ve ever seen. The moderate prop wash dissipates by the first wave back at 7 knots. Tiny flecks of surface white water mark the hull’s passage.


Without a doubt, the visibility from the helm constitutes the most significant attribute of this bridge. From the wheel, you can see 75 percent of both the foredeck and the cockpit. Instrument pods rise on rams, and the new Bausch American outlet in North Carolina did a superb job on the hardtop with recessed teaser reels.

A straight settee along the starboard side and an L-shaped one in front of the console provide plenty of seating. Of course, all the seats as well as the console hide copious storage.

Engine Room
The Carnivore has very tight engine-room access, and once inside, you’ll find more room outboard of the power plants than you will above them. To maintain the sleek, low profile of the hull and house, the cabin sole leaves just enough room above the engines to pop off the coolant cap. So even average-size owners and crew will find only kneeling headroom within.


Chadwick employs numerous transverse bulkheads in his boats – a terrific strength and safety feature. One, with a heavy, soundproof door, encloses the aft end of the engine compartment, adding to the tight access. However, it makes a superb first line of defense against fire and water intrusion from other compartments, and it certainly attenuates the noise that so often rumbles through the passageway to the under-cockpit area.

In addition to the owner’s charter work, he has a close-knit family who also fishes and cruises with him regularly. This interior provides room for four children in over/under twin berths: two in the forward cabin and two more to starboard in the companionway. The master stateroom, with a queen berth to port, has its own head with shower, while the other berths all share a head. Each cabin provides loads of storage for both rods and personal gear. Additionally, Chadwick provides substantial stowage under the companionway stairs and in the brow.

The salon sports an L-shaped settee to port with the galley just forward. A dinette that seats three adults faces the galley, while a small built-in seat with a desk serves as a navigation/work station just aft.


**I have never seen a teak cockpit sole like this 57’s: Rather than standard strip planking caulked with black Thiokol, this boat has sheets of teak with a custom compass-rose inlay centered on the sailfish pod stanchion. It’s quite lovely and in the end, proved less expensive than the strip planks.

Modules along the forward bulkhead hide the Eskimo ice maker’s collection bin with an access hatch on the front face, a rigging station, a deep freeze (that drops in rather than being integral for easy replacement) and an insulated drink box.

Hooks under the gunwale provide gaff and mop storage, while the five rod holders in each gunwale (with two more in the transom) assure a gargantuan trolling spread should you so choose.

Other Chadwick signature features include that oversize overhang, sure to please the cockpit denizens who desire shade, and fuel fills in the engine access with molded troughs to catch any minor overflow. I say minor because the fuel-level sight tubes are right next to the fills. How sensible is that?

Design and Construction
True to the Carolina custom-boat genre, Chadwick cold-molds his boats’ hulls and cores the cabinets and bulkheads with Tri-Cell. Unique, semicircular trim tabs fit flush inside the prop tunnels.

Not the lightest boat of its size, Jamie Chadwick claims, “I build these boats as strong as I can.”

Overall, I found this particular Chadwick very handsome and elegant, but without the flash many owners have come to expect. Everything that you need on a well-equipped sport-fisherman is here and in exactly the right place.

LOA…… 56’8″
BEAM…… 17’4″
DRAFT…… 4′
WEIGHT…… 56,000 pounds
FUEL…… 1,000 gallons
WATER…… 190 gallons
POWER…… T 825 hp Detroit 60 Series
BASE PRICE…… On request

Chadwick Boatworks / Beaufort, North Carolina / 252-728-3903


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