4200 Open — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
|A Michigan-built express cruiser takes the grouch out of one cold boat tester.|
It was a cold, mid-November, I-should-have-stayed-in-bed morning when my plane took off from New York's Kennedy airport amid mist and fog. I was on my way to Fort Lauderdale to do a "turnaround" of Hull No. 1 of Tiara Yacht's 4200 Open, which meant I'd test the boat all day and head back to New York that evening. I was feeling grumpy about the winter and thought this trip would only remind me of what I'd be missing for the next several months. Little did I know that the 4200 would leave me with some breezy, palm-tree calm to help me endure another season in the tundra.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale, I stepped off the plane and immediately felt the warmth of the 85-degree air and enjoyed the view of bright blue sky. The cold, gray morning behind me, I felt the grouch within melt in the same way that infamous Grinch had his change of heart. I was in warm weather and going for a boat ride. It looked like it was going to be a good day after all.
I met up with Tiara's marketing manager, Rob Everse, at the Marriott Marina, and he wasted no time starting the optional twin 700-hp Caterpillar C-12 diesel inboards (535-hp Cummins QSM11s are standard). On startup I saw no smoke, and I'm sure the patrons having their breakfast on the dock just a few feet way appreciated the cleanliness of these electronically controlled powerplants as well.
With a bulkhead lying ahead and larger boats surrounding the 4200 (complete with anchors hanging out), our end slip was a bit tight. However, Everse, a skilled helmsman, demonstrated the maneuverability of the 4200 in close quarters. Pushing the standard Teleflex hydraulic controls forward, the 27x37 four-blade Michigan wheels bit the brackish water, and the 4200 exited the slip with purpose. A simple adjustment of the starboard shifter to reverse and port to forward, and the 4200 spun out of her berth effortlessly. I'm accustomed to the ease of finger-flipping electronic controls, so I'd recommend the optional Glendinning electronic controls, which run $13,750. This may seem pricey, but the benefits are worthwhile.
The ocean was flat like a checkerboard, so I can't attest to the 4200's seakeeping in a swell or a chop, but I can say that she made a top speed of 39.9 mph at 2300 rpm. I was impressed by her speed, and at WOT the Cats ate a respectable 70 gph, giving the 4200 Open a 232-NM range. At 2000 rpm, the 4200 easily made a 34-mph cruise while burning 48 gph and providing a 288-NM range.
The 4200's sweet speed comes courtesy of big power and light weight, but don't think for a second that Tiara skimps on construction to achieve speed. She has a hand-laid solid fiberglass hull bottom, and from the chine up she's balsa-cored for reduced weight and added stiffness. Composite stringers are integrated into the hull for even more strength. This combination keeps the Tiara 4200 Open lightweight at 28,000 pounds (dry).
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.