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Fast and Fresh

Tiara’s first outboard boat series combines stylish outdoor living with triple engines and thrilling performance.

Tiara Sport 38 LS

Family-run Tiara Yachts has been building boats for more than 60 years, but the company isn’t resting on its laurels. Responding to trends in the recreational market, Tiara, which until now has built only inboard-powered offshore yachts, recently launched its first line of outboard boats—the all-new Tiara Sport series—with the triple-outboard Tiara Sport 38 LS.

“We are trying to separate Tiara Sport on its own. It appeals to a younger customer who likes a faster day-yacht style of boating,” says David Glenn, marketing director at S2 Yachts Inc., parent company of Tiara and Pursuit. “It has a little more pizzazz and flash. It’s a more athletic product and runs in the mid-50-mph range at top end. We are drawing from our experience in construction and finish to build it, but the outboards give it a whole new level of performance.”

Glenn added that the 38 LS will soon be followed by two 34-foot Tiara Sport models—one a center console/cabin like the 38 LS, the other an express yacht.

While Pursuit boats also are outboard-powered and range up to 38 feet, he explained, “the big difference between a Pursuit and Tiara Sport is that this boat is built around day yachting, while a Pursuit is set up for fishing.”

The new Tiara Sport 38 LS is the result of a long process that included presenting the boat’s concept drawings to Tiara’s Dealer Design Group early in the design phase. Once the plans were refined and approved, the next step was to build full-scale mock-ups to give the dealer group a real-world sense of the spaces on board. “The dealers grade areas on a scale of one to five, and that goes back to engineering. We try to get a sign-off from everyone,” Glenn said.

S2’s investment in developing the new Tiara Sport line already is starting to pay off. The 38 LS won a 2018 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award in the cuddy cabin and bowrider category, and sales coming off of the show have been relatively strong.

Shortly after the boat show, I met the 38 LS at the Miami Tiara dealer, Apex Marine, for a sea trial on Biscayne Bay. It was a beautiful, sunny day; perfect for zipping along Miami’s striking skyline. Our test yacht was powered by triple Yamaha F350s, which were whisper-quiet on start-up. Acceleration was smooth and powerful, and the boat tracked beautifully, carving confident turns when I cranked the wheel over hard. We cruised at a sprightly 34 knots and at wide-open throttle, saw speeds up to 49 knots on the GPS. Not too shabby for a big “day yacht” that also has overnight accommodations in its console.

The helm station is on the cutting edge of comfortable. There are three seats with adjustable armrests and flip-up bolsters. The curved windshield, built from a single piece of tempered safety glass, combined with the hardtop’s raked side supports ensure excellent, near-360-degree visibility from the helm. Overhead, the hardtop, which Tiara makes in-house, provides sun protection for the entire helm area as well as a substantial portion of the aft cockpit (and what it doesn’t cover can be sheltered by the optional, retractable Makefast Marine powered sunshade). The hardtop has three skylights, one of which is a hatch that opens to let in the breeze.

The engineering expertise of Tiara shows in the dramatic lines of the hardtop with three skylights, which the builder makes in-house.

The engineering expertise of Tiara shows in the dramatic lines of the hardtop with three skylights, which the builder makes in-house.

The dashboard features Tiara’s Sport Glass Cockpit integrated electronics package, which on our test boat included a 16-inch Garmin GPSMap display and Yamaha CL7 Touchscreen Command Link Plus display. These large, easy-to-read screens, shaded by the upholstered upper lip of the dash, make navigation and engine monitoring simple. Our test boat also had the optional Yamaha Helm Master Control System, which lets you control the outboards with a single joystick—another driving experience enhancement, especially in the marina. Less necessary during our sea trial, which took place in calm to slightly choppy seas, was the optional Seakeeper 3. Still, it’s nice to know that if you have a family member who is prone to seasickness, this boat is purpose-built for installing the Seakeeper internal gyro-stabilizing system, a $35,700 upgrade.

One of the boat’s more unusual features, which undoubtedly helped it to win the Innovation Award, is its asymmetrical walkaround. While the starboard side deck is flush, the port side deck is raised by two steps. Not only does this make boarding the boat from a high dock easier, but it also gave Tiara’s engineering team the space to expand the cuddy cabin beyond the confines of the center console.

This comfortable interior has a generous private head/shower compartment with full standing headroom. There is also an off-center double berth with three storage drawers underneath, microwave, cedar hanging locker, bow storage and 29-inch TV with Blu-Ray player. A cabinet hides the controls for the standard Marine Air 6,000-Btu cabin air conditioner, which is powered by a standard Onan 5-kilowatt diesel genset. For a purpose-designed day yacht, the Tiara 38 LS is very nicely equipped for overnight stays.

A trio of Yamaha F350s push the 38 LS to 49 knots at wide-open throttle.

A trio of Yamaha F350s push the 38 LS to 49 knots at wide-open throttle.

This boat’s true heart lies in its aft cockpit, however. In keeping with a current industry trend, that space is designed to provide a close connection between the 38 LS and the waters around it. There is an access gate to the swim platform on either side of the transom, for example, and the platform extends beyond the outboard engines to create a more spacious watersports-prep area.

The aft cockpit also follows a residential design trend by featuring an outdoor galley, which is integrated into the back of the helm seat. Its long Corian counter holds a grill, sink, cutting board and access to a trash can. Underneath are Kenyon refrigerator and freezer drawers. The galley serves a large seating area with two single seats facing a U-shaped settee with hi/lo table. While the boat also has a big forward cockpit, the aft cockpit undoubtedly will be the focal point for dining and entertaining on board.

But what about the “pizzazz and flash” that Glenn referred to? The styling throughout the Tiara 38 LS is fresh and contemporary, with bright colored accents (in “Solarized” orange on our test boat) integrated into the upholstery. Both the hardtop and aft cockpit also feature multicolor LED lights operated by remote control.

While these sporty touches, along with triple-outboard performance, are sure to appeal to the younger generation of boaters, the new Tiara Sport series’ main selling point is still the engineering prowess the builder has refined over the past six decades. You can see it in the details, such as well-placed grabrails and ample storage throughout the boat, along with the excellent fit and finish of its infused composite hull construction. Trendy but tough where it counts, the Tiara Sport 38 LS ably demonstrates there is no substitute for experience. ρ

The Test

Test Conditions: Temperature: 80°F; wind 10-12 knots.
Load: 100 gal. fuel, 2 people.

Tiara Sport 38 LS — Final Boat Test Numbers:

























































65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.

Tiara Sport 38 LS Specifications:

LOA: 38'1"
Beam: 12'6"
Draft (hull): 2'4"
Displ.: 18,600 lb.
Fuel: 331 gal.
Water: 50 gal.
Power: 3/350-hp Yamaha F350
Base Price: $499,900

Video: Tiara Sport 38 LS

Our first look at the Tiara Sport 38 LS at the 2017 Ft Lauderdale Boat Show:

Video produced by John V. Turner

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This article originally appeared in the July 2018 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.