Tiara Yachts has embraced Volvo Penta’s IPS drive system technology by choosing to develop their new Sovran series totally around this power package. The 3900 Sovran is this Midwest builder’s second offering under this new design platform and touts an impressive amount of space and equally impressive performance.
Custom diamond pattern non-skid deck and cockpit surfaces
Balsa cored deck and hullsides
QL Marine trim tabs
Stainless steel hardware throughout
Centerline entry to salon
Upper cockpit wetbar
48'' swim platform with slide-out ladder
Teak hardwood floors
Denon media system with DVD/CD
Onana 9.5kw MDKBL diesel generator
Volvo IPS joystick control
Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) Specifications
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Unlike other builders who choose to retro-engineer Volvo Penta’s IPS drive system into existing tooling; Tiara Yachts has embraced the technology by choosing to develop their new Sovran series totally around this power package. The 3900 Sovran is this Midwest builder’s second offering under this new design platform and touts an impressive amount of space and equally impressive performance.
I tested the 3900 Sovran at Tiara’s Holland, Michigan Yachting Center in late-summer. The water levels in the Midwest have been down quite a bit so we actually had to step down onto her gunwale. Tiara always has done a nice job of placing grab rails where you need them and here it was no different. I also noticed that her full beam swim platform would be great for boarding in those situations where you have low floating docks. The platform itself is large enough for the water toys and has a concealed telescoping ladder for getting in and out of the water. The transom trunk is accessed above where the tubes to your inflatable would sit, so getting in there with the tender aboard is easily accomplished.
Ascend couple of steps to the aft cockpit and you will find a casual face to face seating arrangement. There is a removable table for dinner alfresco or drinks with your local dock buddies. Also here and engine room access is through a hatch in the floor. This entire area also lifts hydraulically to give you more light and air when you have to spend any time in the engine room. Mechanicals were well organized and neat, and all daily checks on the Volvo Penta D6 power plants are easily accessible.
The upper cockpit rests under a standard coupe-style hardtop and features an L-shaped lounge to port with built-in storage and molded foot rests. There is also a convenient wet bar with a refrigerator and sink (Icemaker optional in lieu of the refrigerator) that sits nicely behind the helm seat. The large single helm chair has full adjustment fore and aft and the single lever controls are set back which place them in a comfortable position while cruising. Tiara also offers a hefty 32,000 BTU bridge deck air conditioning system with reverse cycle heat for comfortable cruising in all weather conditions.
At the Helm
Tiara’s helms are always a work of art and the 3900 Sovran’s is no different. The large stainless steel and wood wheel sits proud from the helm and has an enormous amount of tilt range giving you many adjustment possibilities. Our 3900 was outfitted with two Raymarine multifunction color displays and the Volvo display is nestled neatly between the two. On our test boat there were also a couple of Raymarine T-60 multifunction navigation displays, a Raymarine ST8001 IPS autopilot, and Ray 240 Modular VHF system which are part of an electronics package that Tiara now offers as optional equipment.
You enter the cabin on the 3900 through a smoked acrylic door that has a handy build-in screen door. Four steps down and you are in the salon which features elegant teak and holly sole. Next to the steps and to the portside-aft is the head which is well appointed with separate stall shower, Vacuflush toilet, and a stylish vessel sink. Forward of the head is a bench settee and small table which is a bit small but works well for a bowl of cereal in the morning.
The galley is adjacent the lounge and features all the amenities you would need to prepare a meal. There is a fair amount of storage, side by side refrigerator and freezer, stainless steel sink and a recessed cooktop with Corian covers. I really appreciate the two opening portholes in the galley which most builders tend to overlook.
The master stateroom is forward and sits behind two beautifully crafted pocket doors. The wide opening doors help add to the spacious feel of the salon and provide the privacy you want when traveling with children or another couple. There is a queen sized berth with inner spring mattress, two cedar-lined hanging closets and plenty of additional cabinets along the hullside for other necessities. For even more storage the entire mattress rises and Tiara has also added a drawer below the bed.
The one feature Tiara was never able to do prior to IPS was to use the space below the bridge deck for additional living quarters. Stern drive builders and those that design sit down only helms have used the dog house design for years but IPS has enabled Tiara to join the ranks as well. This is a great space which Tiara describes as the “theatre room.” It features a flat panel television and a pair of plush lounges. The entertainment system is first class and even allows you to plug in video games or an iPod directly into the interface. I didn’t feel like I was crawling into a tight space, and it really did feel inviting –this area will surely be a fought after domain.
Performance & Handling
What can I say about the performance of the 3900 other than awesome. The boat jumps up to speed quickly with the typical express cruiser bow rise but once at speed is where the IPS design shines. Turns were sharp and effortless, unlike any traditional drive boat I’ve ever tested. The seas were calm but after turning a bunch of tight circles I managed to rough it up enough to know that this Tiara designed hull was a chip off the old block. We found a top end speed of just over 32 knots and a comfortable cruise speed of 25.4 knots which gives you a range of 302 statute miles.
Dockside performance was equally, if not more impressive due to the assistance of Volvo Penta’s new IPS joystick control. With practically no learning curve maneuvering the boat around tight quarters is effortless. I found myself trying to figure out how we were doing what we were without the use of thrusters. But what I do know is you can make the boat move wherever you want with a simple twist of the hand and that is what makes boating fun.
Overall Tiara Yachts continues to tune the engineering fork with respect to their Sovran series. The 3900 is a fine example of how Tiara has utilized new technology to not only deliver a great performing boat but one that performs equally well from a livability stand point. If you enjoy express boat style cruising then you definitely should take some time and check out the 3900 Sovran the next chance you get, I guarantee this one will make your short list.
Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) is 37.2 mph (59.9 kph), burning 40.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 152.54 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) is 29.2 mph (47 kph), and the boat gets 1.29 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.55 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 347 miles (558.44 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500- Diesel.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Air Systems
Washdown: Fresh Water
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Onan 9.5 kW
= Standard = Optional
Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) Warranty
Tiara 3900 Sovran (2007-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.