During a recent whirlwind trip to the Midwest, Senior Editor Kevin Koenig and I visited a whole bunch of marine manufacturers located in an assortment of heartland states including Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Of course, we had a few adventures and we learned a few things.
One of the first spots we hit was Tiara Yachts, a huge, modern and highly sophisticated facility in the suburbs of Holland, Michigan. And one of the things we discovered during our daylong stay there was that Tiara is designing and building a new 50-footer—the folks at Tiara are calling it the new 50 Coupe/Flybridge, at least for now, and it’s the first of what they are also calling their new “Speciality Series.”
Construction was just starting (check out David Glenn, Tiara’s main marketer, checking out the first hull, above) as we toured the plant. As luck would have it, you can follow the building process of this new yacht by clicking www.Tiara50.com or going to Tiara Yachts’ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TiaraYachts.
At any rate, the new 50 will be introduced at the fall boat shows most likely and will feature a Volvo Penta IPS II powerplant, a larger version of the pod system that made its marketplace debut on a Tiara way back when. The 50 will boast a couple of 800-mhp mills synched to its pods as standard with a set of 950-mhp engines as an optional package.
One impression that particularly resonated from our visit was the pure immensity of the family-owned Tiara plant as it appeared when we turned a nearby corner in our rental car.
“Wow,” said Koenig, who was hunkered over the helm of our Chevy Spark at the time, with the top of his head almost brushing the overhead—Koenig is among other things a former football player who was a tad LARGE for the diminutive Spark.
“Wow indeed,” I added, my mouth undoubtedly absently open in wonder.
To get a nifty handle on how Tiara honcho Leon Slikkers created such an impressive thing from humble beginnings in an old ramshackle garage nearly half a century ago, check out our video of the 85-year-old Slikkers talking about the old days (as well as the thousands of miles he still covers ever year on his Connecticut-built bicycle) below