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With its 50 Flybridge, Tiara gives us a highly versatile boat with an emphasis on design...and fun.
True story. As I sit down to write this, I’m fresh off a long weekend spent in Greenport, a one-time blue-collar fishing town at the tip of Long Island’s North Fork that is for better or for worse experiencing a bit of Hamptonization. As such, the harbor there these days is filled with sleek, gleaming, and expensive yachts of all shapes and sizes, from towering superyachts to charming old woodies. However as I walked the docks with my wife, Lindsay, on a sunny Sunday, I found myself remarking on one boat in particular. She was sleek, and she was versatile. She had rodholders but she wasn’t really a fishing boat. She had enough room in her cockpit for all the revelers onboard, and she just looked like fun. “That’s a nice boat,” I said to Linds. “You can do anything you want with a boat like that.” The boat was, if you hadn’t guessed by now, a Tiara.
Join Senior Editor Kevin Koenig on his test
of the Tiara 50 Flybridge.
Click here to see the video.
And the Tiara 50 Flybridge that I tested recently in Biscayne Bay is more of the same. She’s a truly do-it-all boat that simply begs to be used. This 50 is the exact same thing as her sistership, the 50 Coupe, from her headliner down, the difference being her namesake flying bridge. And like the 50 Coupe, the 50 Flybridge has those instantly recognizable Tiara lines, with a modern twist. She’s just a tad sleeker, a touch lower profile than you might be expecting. It’s a look accentuated by a floating hardtop. Not surprisingly, Tiara came up with this design to entice a younger crowd, and I have no doubt that it will.
The other thing that will definitely attract Tiara’s intended target audience is this boat’s performance. At the helm, she’s smoother than smooth. If this boat was a dude, it wouldn’t be wise to leave your girl around him. The 50 is fully operable using the Volvo Penta joystick—both at slow and fast speeds—though the wheel felt so good in my hands I’m not 100-percent sure why you’d ever want to use it, except maybe when docking. She’s also got Volvo Penta’s vaunted Glass Cockpit system, which fully integrates her engine components and Garmin electronics. At nearly WOT, the 50 turned hardover to port in 2½ boat lengths, and to starboard in three, and her heel was an afterthought. Sightlines, even while plowing through a complete corkscrew at the lower helm, were never a problem. S-turns were a joy. As was her acceleration, which had just enough pop to give you a thrill as you dropped the hammer. I’d personally love to see a few more knots than the 31.8 two-way average I recorded at the 50’s top end, but that’s really just a matter of taste. Thirty-one eight is plenty fast.
The nexus of that speed, acceleration, and maneuverability is, of course, down below in the boat’s engine room, in the form of twin Volvo Penta IPS950s with 725 horses apiece. The engine room on my test boat was clean, orderly, and well laid out. Accessible through a hatch in the saloon, the space featured a very capable 13.5-kilowatt Cummins Onan generator forward and two Racor fuel-water separators sandwiched between two 325-gallon fuel tanks. Headroom is a touch low at around 4 feet, but not to the point where it becomes a major issue.
One of the highlights on the 50 is an accommodations level that feels like it belongs on a 55, or even a 58-footer. The pièce de résistance down there is the full-beam, amidships master. Large windows to either side let literal boatloads of natural light billow in while also aiding in the boat’s sleek profile. Opening portholes allow for cross breezes to gently caress the owners as they lie on the athwartships island queen. Teak laminate with wenge accents is an elegant (and standard) touch that lends the boat a distinctly nautical feel. Meanwhile the en suite master head features a roomy shower that will leave no doubt as to where this boat was built. Read: America.
The forward VIP on my test boat featured a queen-size berth that scissored from a single queen-size to twin berths and an interesting turn of design that shows how much forethought Tiara put into keeping this boat open and airy throughout. With the cabin doors open, you can sit on the berth and actually see all the way to the cockpit. How’s that for airy?
Speaking of air, the 50’s namesake flying bridge offers tons of it, plus a whole lot more. For me, getting the bridge version over the Coupe is a no-brainer. If it’s the same boat, why not opt for a whole other deck plus an outdoor helm? The Tiara’s flying bridge is nearly covered in seating, including wraparound seating forward and a convertible couch/sunpad aft—the latter of which can be configured to face backward. It’s an arrangement that implores one to imagine how relaxing it would be to sit there staring out at the wake as the boat powered home after a long day exploring some exotic locale. The deck also has a very practical centrally located console that has a sink with an ice maker and fridge below.
The other main outdoor entertainment area is the cockpit, which features an electrically actuated dining settee and comfortable aft bench seat. A large in-sole stowage compartment here makes a good spot for fenders and line. Staircases to either side of the transom lead down to the swim platform, which Tiara had the foresight to turn into an entertainment area of its own. Namely, a good-sized barbecue means that you can grill close to the water. And what’s better than that? (Well, actually what’s better than that is being able to clean and cook fresh fish without having to bring them into the living area of the boat. So there’s that too—good thinking guys!)
But that’s the thing about the Tiara 50 Fybridge. She’s built functionally, with the main function being fun. She’s built sensibly without sacrificing aesthetics. And she’s built with advanced technology that actually makes her simpler to use. Tiara covered all its bases with this build, just as they have in the past. And that’s what lets these boats stand out, regardless of what boat is on the next dock.
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Noteworthy options: 38-gph reverse-osmosis watermaker, $26,105; 28,000-Btu cool-air system for flying bridge, $21,110; DuPont custom color boot stripe, $2,360; KVH TracVision TV5 Sat TV, $14,450; transom electric grill, $2,430
Warranty: 5 years on hull and deck; 2 on accessories
Conditions During Boat Test
Air temperature: 90°F; humidity: 65%; seas: 1'
Load During Boat Test
600 gal. fuel, 50 gal. water, 4 persons, 500 pounds of gear.
Test Boat Specifications
- Test Engine: 2/725-hp Volvo Penta IPS950s
- Transmission/Ratio: Volvo Penta, 1.7:1
- Props: Volvo Penta IPS II P4s
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.