The Open Layout
It’s not hard to imagine the possibilities of an open layout boat with 95-square feet of playroom. Not everyone buying this boat will be hard-core anglers, but for the ones that are Tiara has added plenty of fishy features.
The Tiara 3900 has the requisite mezzanine seating that we see everywhere now. This gives a raised seat to watch the spread while remaining close to the action. Obviously, the Slikkers family, which owns Tiara, fishes with live bait as the 3900 Open boasts a 55-gallon (208.2 L) livewell in the transom with a variable flow. Caught a big one? No worries, the deck boxes will hold more than your limit, while still allowing deck space for lazarette access. If you haul in a really big one, then the transom door will be just the ticket.
Up above, the hardtop comes in two versions; a fishing top with rod storage, or a cruising top with no storage. Of course you can go with no top, if you crave sunburn and skin cancer, or want to add a tower.
The Helm Deck
Visibility is outstanding on the 3900 Open. Mullions are narrow enough to not block your view ahead or to the sides, and aft… well it is an “open”, so visibility is a non-worry when facing the fight. We also love the skylight in the hard top that adds even more light.
The helm is laid out nicely with the dash panel angled just right to reduce glare while maintaining visibility to the nav electronics. The helm is mounted to starboard with centerline access to the cabin. Off to port is pretty nifty seating for a crowd of observers. It’s L-shaped, with the small section facing inboard, but able to swivel forward as well. This is somewhat unusual on this size express and we very much appreciate the forward-facing feature. For engine access, there are deck hatches for the daily checks, and for more aggressive access, the entire helm deck lifts up via electrically actuated hydraulic lift struts. You’re still crawling in, but at least you can get everywhere you need to.
Since we’re hanging out in the engine room for the moment, now would be a good time to discuss the twin 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 Diesels. Sure, the 550-hp engines are offered as standard, but you’re not going to get those so we’ll leave them back at the Cummins factory.
One thing we like about Tiara’s installation is that they include dual pickup lines for the cooling water. One thru-hull, and one in the bilge complete with strainers, and they’re connected to a pair of Y-valves. In the event of a catastrophic hull breech (albeit a rare concern) throwing a couple of valves will turn the engines into oversized bilge pumps that should save the day in all but the worst of scenarios. We are strong advocates of this emergency dewatering arrangement and we think all boats doing serious offshore work should have them.
Joysticks for Inboard Boats!
Which brings us to the ZF Marine JMS drive system. This system enables an inboard boat to be able to utilize joystick maneuvering for docking and for holding position. There are several components needed in order for the system to work—For starters, you’ll want the
Even if you are not a fisherman and never plan to troll, these valves are good things to have for several reasons-- First, there are times when you want to go slow because of a no wake zone or other reason and they keep you from having to constantly put your drive in and out of gear. Second, when you go to sell your boat it will be worth more with the trolling valve because now the boat is more likely to appeal to anglers as well as cruising folk. This is a fishing boat after all, and you’ll need to slow things down to match the trolling speed to the specie of fish you are after and the sea conditions.A
(PTO) from one of your engines will power your
hydraulic bow thruster.
With a hydraulic drive you can run your bow thruster for hours at a time if need be, rather than just a minute or so if you have an electric bow thruster. Why would you want to run your bow thruster for more than just a minute? Several reasons: First, there will be times when strong current or wind will be pushing you sideways but you want to go forward or back and you are threading your way through narrow passages in a marina, canal, or channel. There might be cases when there are only inches of clearance on either side of your boat, and threading that needle with side current or strong wind might be impossible without sustained bow thrusting. Second, if you have an hydraulic thruster you can have the JMS inboard joystick option and be able to maneuver easily at the dock, or hold your position automatically (due to a GPS interface) with the ZF
Smart Command System.
By adding ZF’s Smart Command System, controlling everything is made easy. The last item to add, as long as you’ve got all the rest anyway, is JMS, or
Joystick Maneuvering System.
The JMS links your inboard shaft drives and bow thruster to the rest of the ZF components mentioned above – namely the trolling valve, bow thruster and the Smart Command System. Now you have joystick controllability, and maneuverability, from an inboard boat. Let’s be clear about this. Your inboard boat can now do the same maneuvers as the IPS or a Zeus pod system for a fraction of the cost. It’s a huge leap forward, and it works great. So not only will you look like a pro at the dock, you’ll also have confidence as an operator if the 3900 is a big step up for you.
Stepping down below in the 3900 Open is to enter a cozy yachting cocoon. To port is a beautifully outfitted galley fit for cooking a romantic dinner with the wife, or a bunch of greasy burgers for the guys. The galley is semi-closed off by a partition that houses a flat-screen TV facing the dinette to starboard.
The dinette does the mandatory conversion to a double berth by simply lowering the table and adding a filler cushion. However, it also has a feature that we like every time we see it: The seat back flips up and secures to the overhead to become a Pullman berth. This is a great use of space.
Fully forward is the master, with an island queen that lifts on hinges to reveal plenty of cavernous storage underneath. Natural light is admitted via a skylight running the length of the salon to the master. The 3900 Open does not have opening portlights - or for that matter, any portlights at all. This eliminates the chance for any annoying leaks and makes the hull look cleaner on the outside. Most of the large convertibles are going with the “clean hull look” these days, so Tiara has followed suit.The hatch over the master has a privacy screen and a ventilation screen. When used in conjunction with the companionway screen, the cabin remains well ventilated if it is buggy outside. Pocket doors to the master keep the salon open and airy while still allowing for privacy beyond a sliding curtain.
Tiaras have never been cheap boats by any standard. They’d be a BMW or Mercedes is they were cars. That means that there’s more to the build and standards of excellence that Tiara will not stray from, and several generations of yachtsmen and anglers have deemed that worth paying for. With the twin 550-hp Cummins, MSRP comes in at around $672,800. With the twin 600-hp Cummins you’d be looking at around $709,400. With all the ZF accessories mentioned above to have a complete JMS system, you can expect to add another $44-45K. But...it’s important to note, that the “S” in MSRP stands for “suggested”. The reality is that street prices (or dock-prices as it were) are making those MSRP’s look pretty creative, so don’t be afraid to wheel and deal. If you don’t have a trade in you will probably be in for a pleasant surprise. Tiara will sell you the boat of your dreams and you’ll get bragging rights for having one of the best built and best equipped boats available. And, you’ll also make docking look like child’s play, because the fact is, with JMS... it is.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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