— By Capt. Bill Pike
— September 2003
|Part 2: It features the perfect layout for a cruising couple.|
Our sea trial was equally impressive. I recorded a respectable average top speed of 35.1 mph, a number that might have been a tad higher had Tiara’s engineers seen fit to forego the prop/gear combo necessary for the dockside handling I’d just thoroughly enjoyed. The dashboard layout was savvy, too. With VDO gauges on top and a Raymarine plotter and other optional electronics just below, I could keep tabs on my instruments by shifting my eyes only slightly from the water ahead. Visibility over the bow was superb even while coming out of the hole, thanks to the large panels in the skiff-type windshield and the adjustability of the helm seat, which moved vertically as well as horizontally. Turns were smooth, with no prop blowout and little speed loss even in tight ones (a testament to fine tunnel design), acceleration was brisk, and the ride was silky-smooth in the two-footers that prevailed on test day. At the end of the trial, I had to squeeze the test boat into a slip that was well beyond the boathouse and fraught with a serious crosswind, as well as a dozen vulturish spectators. Again, a piece of cake.
My subsequent dockside examination of the 3600’s machinery spaces produced nary a negative impression. Engine access is excellent. The whole lower cockpit sole tilts up on electric actuators, affording standing headroom over the mains and stoop headroom over the V-drives. Four fluorescent lights on the molded underside of the hatch provide lots of light even under darkened or shady conditions, engine access is great from every angle, and redundancy and long-term cruising capability are watchwords. Our test boat’s electrical system, for example, featured six AGM batteries, two 50-amp Charles Marine battery chargers (one was optional), and two high-output, 100-amp Balmar alternators Tiara had swapped for the standard ones Crusader installs. Moreover, the Fireboy MA2-700 automatic fire-extinguishing system on the forward firewall was oversize, and the plenum boxes along the sides of the engine room were baffled and eductor-equipped to guarantee dry intake air.
I liked the interior of our 36 as much as I liked her handling and her machinery spaces. It features the perfect layout for a cruising couple, meaning an ample sleeping area forward (with pedestal berth and bulkhead) and plenty of living space abaft, with a full galley and a large head. Once again, redundancy and cruise capability were obvious. Both the master and the saloon/galley/dinette area are equipped with CO detectors and fire/smoke alarms, and the dinette seating area and the port-side lounge are both convertible for sleeping.
Everse and I finished up around midafternoon, turning the test boat over to a sales guy from Walstrom and a bunch of prospective customers. They were a cheery crowd, I must say. But then, shopping for new boat’ll gladden the hearts of most folks I guess, especially when the boat’s as solidly engineered, savvily designed, and flat-out beautiful as Tiara’s new Sovran 3600.
Tiara Yachts Phone: (616) 392-7163. www.tiarayachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the August 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.