Editor Tested. Kid Approved

It's said that if you want the truth, ask a kid. That's just what Dan Harding did during a Lake Michigan test of Tiara's new 43 LS.

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The old saying goes: If you want the truth, ask a kid. I had the opportunity to do just that after a day blasting around Lake Michigan aboard Tiara Sport’s new 43 LS. I was plenty impressed with the performance (46.8 knots at the top end thanks in part to triple 425-hp Yamaha XTOs) and appointments of the 43—the largest in a line that includes the 34 and 38—but I wasn’t the only one. Colin Caropepe, 9 and a half years old, was a vivacious kid with a lot of opinions on a lot of topics. His father, Chris, a project manager for new product development at Tiara, took Colin and his older son Jake along with us for a day of testing and exploring the lake.

A first timer to Michigan, the Tiara team suggested I take part in one of the more popular local traditions, climbing dauntingly tall sand dunes in the 1,000-acre Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Thanks to joystick docking and the svelte draft of the outboard-powered boat, we easily slid the stern of the 43 into waist deep water and hiked in. From the top of the dunes looking down, I realized what I liked best about the 43, and this Sport line in general: its versatility. It’s regal enough to look the part during a cocktail cruise from the yacht club, and unfussy enough for a boatload of sandy-toed kids. It was that latter demographic I wanted to hear more from.

After a full day on the water and with a nap on tap, Jake opted to let his younger brother step into the spotlight, a role Colin eagerly embraced. Together we planned to conduct a walk-through video review of the boat. Colin was far from camera shy.

The first thing he jumped up to show me was how to operate the fold-down TV that lowers from the hardtop at the push of a button. “I see that it has ports on the TV so you could even hook up a gaming system back there,” Colin explained. “Xbox or Playstation?” I asked. He is an Xbox kid.

Colin was thoroughly stealing my thunder by this point as he led me to the salon/cockpit, a space we both agreed was our favorite. “Back here is really open and the seat turns around so if you’re parked at the beach and want to watch the beach or a sunset you can just swivel it around.” The 360-degree rotating cockpit seating has been stealing the show since it debuted on the 38 LS at the 2017 Ft. Lauderdale show, and has been a staple of the line since.

VIDEO: Editor Tested. Kid Approved.

“If we go towards the front,” said Colin as he all but dragged me to the bow. (I couldn’t help but think he would make a fine yacht broker—or editor—in no time.) In the bow lounge he pointed out the nice mix of textures, cup holders and the table. It’s a great spot for four or five adults to sit and enjoy the view. The forward-facing seating in the bow even sports a raise-up leg rest. I admit, I struggled to lift the rest on my first try; thankfully there was a kid on hand to do it for me. “I got it,” he said as he adjusted the leg rest into place. I had never felt so old in my life. “I’m glad you’re here,” I said. “Yeah, I figured it out,” he replied, his swagger continuing to swell.

Before I could sign Colin up for an internship, it was time for our crew to depart for the day. Sometimes even the shortest amounts of time can leave you with the biggest impression.

This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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