Tiara 3500 Sovran Has Value for Money - 04/15/2009

To our way of thinking, one of the best values in the Tiara line of cruising boats is the 3500 Sovran. It has virtually everything the 3900 has, except that it is slightly smaller – four feet shorter and, one foot less beam and weighs 5400 lbs. less. It sleeps 4 people instead of 5 in the 3900. The 3500 doesn’t go quite as fast, but it is close. Both boats have Volvo Penta’s IPS propulsion with joystick control. The 3500 is powered by twin 300-hp diesel and the 3900 is powered by 370-hp diesels. Give up guessing which picture above is the 3500? It is the boat on the left and it sells for 28% less than the 3900.

Tiara Sovran Tiara Sovran
One of these Tiara Sovrans is the 3500 and one is the 3900. Can you tell the difference?


To see our test of the Sovran 3500… Request a test drive
To see our test of the Sovran 3900… Request a test drive


All boat owners know that the cost of boats does not go up in relation to the length, but rather more as the volume increases. For example, for every foot the 3500 increases in length in accommodations volume, theoretically, it increases slightly over 100 cubic feet. We have found that one way of comparing the “material value” of similar boats is simply by displacement divided into the cost.

There couldn’t be a better example of that than comparing the Tiara 3500 Sovran and the 3900 Sovran where both boats are built with virtually identical materials, both have IPS, and the engine as proportionately smaller is well. Further, the performance of the two boats is virtually the same.

So, as you can see by the table below, the Sovran 3500 has 23.5% less material in it by weight, yet has an MSRP of 28.2% less. This is a “material value” spread of 4.7 percentage points. In other words, all things being equal, the 3500 should have cost $431,904 MSRP, or about 6% more than it does.

Now, what cannot be so easily quantified is the “practical value” and “perceived value” of the two boats. There the value is in the eyes of the beholder, and in the fact that more room in the cockpit and in the accommodations is simply worth more to most people. If you want the room, range, tankage, heft and curb appeal of the 3900 Sovran most people are happy to pay the upcharge as being well worth it.

On the other hand, if you are a young couple starting out, or an older couple trading down, the Sovran 3500 is a terrific deal we think, in Tiara’s Sovran line.

Tiara Comparison

To find out more about Sovrans, visit Tiara’s website…


To sign up for a Sea Trial of the 3500…


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