Mission of the Tiara 50 Coupe
Tiara's new express coupe is designed to take on all comers in the 50' hardtop express cruiser class -- whether they are from the U.S. or Europe. Tiara's design approach is fresh and she is intended to appeal to consumers looking at the premium boats in class.
She is designed to be a comfortable cruising boat and at the same time a day boat for informal entertaining.
The Last Shall Be First.
An advantage of being one of the latest designs on the market in class is the ability to survey all the other boats already there, discover their weak and strong points, then do better whatever it takes.
66,000 BTUs of A/C.
The 50 Coupe has as standard equipment 40,000 BTUs of A/C in the main deck, 16,000 in the master stateroom and 10,000 in the VIP forward stateroom. This is robust, something that is necessary in the tropics where the water temperature is high (unlike the Mediterranean), and more capacity is required.
Lavish use of Natural Woods Inside.
Genuine teak and Wenge woods with a grain-filled finish are used in the interior. Teak is used on decks in the salon, lower atrium/utility room and VIP cabin.
Forward Queen Converts to Twins.
This is an option we are seeing a bit more and we like it because it increases the utility of any boat.
Volvo Glass Cockpit with Electronics Galore.
The 50 Coupe comes with two 15" screens hooked up to all of the Volvo Penta diagnostic readouts, plus GPS chartplotter, Garmin 604 HD 6 kW open array radar, and depth sounder. There is a VHF radio, and of course, joystick. It all comes standard.
Remote control on the Stidd Seat Arm Rest.
There is a remote on the arm of the standard Stidd helm chair controlling the electronics on the instrument panel. We rarely see this combination as standard equipment.
Basic Items Furnished.
The Tiara 50 Coupe comes equipped with many basic items most builders leave up to the new owner to buy, things such as 4 fenders, 8 life vests, 4 fire extinguishers, and a USCG Safety & medical kit. Also included is a Lewmar CPX3 rope and chain windlass, a 12" anchor cleat, a 44-lb. (20 kgs.) stainless steel anchor with 40' of chain and 200' of rode.
IPSII-950 (725-hp) Plus Joystick.
Pod drives are not yet particularly plentiful in this size range, but their acceptance in this class of boat is growing. This system is the standard engine package.
We have not inspected the boat so must reserve comment on this for later. However, based on Tiara's track record, its list of materials, and what we see in the pictures of her, it looks quite good.
5 years on hull and deck and 2 years on accessories. The drive system has its own warranty.
13.5 kW Generator.
This Onan generator has a sound shield and helm indicator.
70" (176 cm) Swim Platform.
The integrated platform has a recessed hand rail, ladder and 4 pad eyes.
12V LED Lighting Throughout.
LED lighting is important as it means that Halogen lights are banished from the interior where they are a fire hazard under certain circumstances. Even navigation lights are reliable and durable LED.
40" TV on Hi-Lo Electric Lift.
Tiara has left nothing to the imagination with this huge TV screen on an electrically-actuated hi-lo lift just as found on megayachts. It is located in a cabinet opposite the salon/dining table.
Quartz Counter Tops in Galley.
We don't ever recall seeing quartz countertops in the galley of a production boat this size, and it should add some glamour to what otherwise might be more of the same.
Stidd Captain’s Chair.
Stidd is the premium brand of captain’s chair, and well it should be for the prices this supplier charges. It is generally regarded as the best brand in the marine business.
Kahlenberg Trumpet Horn.
Having the right horn with the proper gravitas for a yacht of this quality is important, and there is nothing better than a compressed-air Kahlenberg horn.
Trunk space in the transom.
It features three access points, one in the cockpit sole, one through a hinged aft lid at the transom and the entire door opens electrically on actuators. There is a significant amount of storage space, dedicated line, fender and hook (boat cleaning handles etc.)hangers, and access to the pod units for visual inspections.
Tiara's Test Report on its 50 Coupe--
We have not tested the Tiara 50 Coupe so can offer no first-hand, third-party comments on its performance, handling, ride characteristics or helm ergonomics. However, we will pass along Tiara’s own data.
The folks at Tiara have tested the 50 Coupe powered by the twin 725-hp Volvo Penta IPSII-950 pod drive system. According to information on the builder's website, the testing conditions were almost ideal and all of the boat's tanks were 100% full. That is an important detail when comparing this boat's performance with others in class, which are often far lighter on fuel and water when tested.
Speeds and Fuel Consumption.
Dry weight of the boat is 45,500 lbs. (20.681 kgs.). We estimate her tested weight to have been about 53,000 lbs. (24,090 kgs.). According to the Tiara techs, the 50 Coupe had a WOT speed of 39.1 mph, and a best cruise of 28.7 mph at 2108 rpms, burning 47.3 gph. This gave her an optimal planing range of 357 statute miles, or 310 nautical miles.
For those interested in really long range passage-making at reasonable speeds and fuel consumption: at 10.1 mph (1003 rpms) the boat got 8.5 gph, giving her a range of 704 statute miles, or 612 nautical miles.
Comparison to Other Boats in Class
When we compared Tiara's published performance figures with other hardtop express cruisers in class we see that its WOT speed is one of the faster boats and its best cruise speed was about in the middle of what boats in this range achieve.
Those numbers were significant because the Tiara 50 Coupe was in the middle of the displacement range in class and at 15'11" (4.85 m) was the one of the beamiest vessels.
Virtually all boats in this class have the same basic configuration of an aft deck for entertaining and two staterooms below with two heads. The divergence occurs in the placement of the galley, and the layouts of the main deck and accommodations.
Major Design Considerations
Given the competitiveness of the market in this size range (over a dozen models are on the market), Tiara certainly thought long and hard about the basic elements of this design. Consumers contemplating purchase of a boat in this category should take note of these major design decisions--
Light Displacement or Heavy?
This is one of the most basic and important decisions and it is made in concert with a lot of other build parameters, such as the beam, interior volume, materials used, construction method, the level of performance wanted, quality of ride in a seaway, standard equipment installed and the size of the fuel tanks, and more. Tiara has gone in the middle of the range with a dry displacement of 45,500 lbs. (20,681 kgs.)
Narrow or Wide Beam?
After the waterline length of the boat and displacement, this is probably the single most important dimension. Tiara has chosen to go relatively wide, and, in fact, we could find only three other hardtop express cruisers on the market which were wider.
External Styling: Euro, Retro or Something Else?
There are as many approaches to external styling as there are designers. However, builders usually want their boats to fall into a generally popular look, be that Euro, Downeast, Retro, Ultra-Modern, Workboat-like, trawler, or whatever. Tiara has always had its own slightly distinctive style that was a combination of several others but nevertheless, distinctively its own.
Her design has moved in a slightly more angular direction and has large, modern hull side windows, but at the same time has round, retro portlights forward. The 50 Coupe continues Tiara's signature rounded forward trunk, reverse transom and rounded stern quarters. It appears that the builder is simply evolving its styling to a new "Tiara look".Most important, there is nothing radical or over-the-top in this styling and in our opinion it should withstand any natural evolution in nautical design and still be considered attractive in years to come.
Internal Styling: Bauhaus or Our House?
There is no debate that the European builders have been setting the trends in cruising boat interiors for the last decade or more. Tiara has always had clean, modern interiors that avoided clutter or complications.In the 50 Coupe we see a lavish use of multiple woods, as much as virtually any model in class except for the Downeast or trawler-inspired vessels. These warm, dark wood tones give the boat a certain elegance that lighter-stained wood – to say nothing of less wood -- usually does not exude. The clean, unadorned cabinetry is accented with modern pulls and handles and angular, squared-off lines, rather than rounded corners, bullnoses, and more conventional millwork.
Galley Up or Down?
If up, is it placed forward or aft? The 50 has it up and aft. This has been the trend in many cruisers the last 5 years and it makes a lot of sense. Situated aft, it is just a few steps to either the aft deck table or the one in the salon. But probably the most important aspect of the 50 Coupe’s galley is its open deck space, something that can’t be done if it is down or forward.
2 Staterooms or 3?
As standard, Tiara has gone for two ensuite staterooms with a utility room, a linen closet, and stacked washer and dryer, also standard. There is a third stateroom option, with bunks, eliminating the utility room. So, in this respect, Tiara has hedged its bets.
Conventional Inboards or Pod Drives?
Tiara has gone with IPS pods instead of conventional drives for several reasons. First, they permit more accommodation space under the salon. They even provide slightly more forward living area than a V-drive would allow. Another attribute of pods is joystick control without the need for a bow thruster.Perhaps most importantly, pod drives also have the advantage of positive control in difficult sea conditions, when the small rudders of conventional drives may exert less than the desired turning moment.
Master Amidships or in the Bow?
Tiara has chosen to build a large midships, full-beam master, with the VIP cabin going in the bow. The usual problem in boats this size is being able to deliver adequate headroom in a mid cabin and it is for this reason that some boats in class have the master forward. Tiara has managed to solve this problem by having a step up to the salon and yet another one up to the port side settee and table.
Boat Inspection by Function
Since this boat is designed for both cruising and entertaining, let’s take the cruising function first--
makes the living spaces larger and more comfortable, while still providing respectable width on the side decks for easy line handling and quick access to the bow. It also makes the boat more comfortable in a seaway and more stable at anchor. The virtue of beam on the
is obvious in her true full-beam master -- with portlights on both sides of the living space and the head forward. The utility room with linen closets and stacked washer and dryer will delight any cruising owner.
As noted above the boat comes with all the gear needed to take off immediately from the dealer's dock to the Bahamas, something we wouldn't hesitate to do so long as we had fuel, food and water. That says a lot about this boat right there.
Not often mentioned as an advantage of pod drives is their directional power in a following sea or other trying conditions, including running inlets. In these conditions most boats cannot go fast, and as a result their small rudders exert minimal turning force. Pod drives, on the other hand, have no rudders and the thrust of the twin counter-rotating props on the IPS units can propel the boat with authority in trying conditions.
One of the things that sets the 50 Coupe apart from some boats in class is the fact that the captain can stand at the helm and pilot the boat without bending down to see out -- or without having to poke his head through the sun roof! The fully adjustable Stidd helm seat is welcome because it is comfortable on long watches and it is solid and durable in sloppy conditions.
A Companion Seat.
Couples usually make boat buying decisions together, and when they go cruising our experience is that both like to partake in the piloting chores together. Tiara has made the upholstered seat at the end of the portside table with a two-way back rest so that a companion can sit there and look forward, thus being able to join the captain in navigational duties. The folks at Tiara tell us that the companion seat arrangement was based on customer feedback.
Accommodations for Cruising.
Most unusual in the Tiara 50 Coupe is the
that has a much-needed closet for beach towels, linens, and the like. Many boats in class don’t have a dedicated place for these necessary items, much less room for a stacked washer and dryer (and they are standard, which tells us this boat was designed for real cruising). A separate washer and dryer is preferred over a combo unit because the latter usually has a small capacity and are weak on drying.This space can be optioned into a third guest cabin ($4,260).
The master is full beam
and with the large hull side windows should be bright and pleasant. "B" above marks the place for a settee but it can be replaced with an optional chest of drawers/dresser ($780), which would be our choice for serious cruising.
The master bed
is described as an "oversized queen" and has a pillow-top innerspring mattress and upholstered headboard. The space below the bed can be used as storage and has a gas-assist spring to help opening it manually. This is a great place to store bulky items that are not often used, but which must be taken aboard, such as the suit cases of guests (who don't know to bring duffle bags).
The VIP stateroom
is entered through bi-fold doors that open up this space. The deck is stained mahogany and the risers around the queen bed are carpeted. It has a private entrance to a full head with separate shower which is outfitted just like the master head.
The aft deck and stern of the boat look well suited for entertaining. The 70" swim platform makes a terrific place to greet friends who motor over in their tenders. There are only a couple of steps up to the aft deck so it will be an easy climb for granny and kids.
Aft Deck Al Fresco.
We like the built-in, large bench seat at the transom. A fiberglass table comes standard but we would spring for the optional teak table with ottomans ($8,280). The aft deck also has two upholstered seats flush against the house bulkhead which face aft. These seats also feature abundance storage below. These will come in handy during a cocktail party or during any relaxed setting, making a total of six people comfortable on the aft deck – eight with the optional ottomans.
Galley and Salon.
The galley is just through the stainless steel sliding doors, making it handy to the aft deck for serving, as well as near the more formal salon table which seats five. We suspect that if dinner is required in the salon for six, a high director's chair might work inboard, as the table is slightly raised.The salon table is a hi-lo type and can be lowered to cocktail height for casual conversation and entertaining.
The individuals at Tiara are masters of fiberglass hull and deck construction (family patriarch Leon Slikkers has been building fiberglass boats since before most current boat builders were born). Leon has been building boats for nearly 60 Years! And he was a pioneer in fiberglass boat building. They use resin-infused vacuum bags to laminate some of their hulls -- but not the 50 Coupe. Here, instead, Tiara employees hand lay-up the fiberglass and resin in the traditional manner. The hull sides have balsa core and there is a solid glass laminate below the waterline. The decks are made with a combination of balsa core and closed cell foam coring in the hand-laid process. The fact that the 50 Coupe is loaded with standard equipment and is one of the widest boats in class yet falls in the middle on displacement, seems to attest to the attention given to this lamination.
Options to Consider
As well-equipped as the boat is, there are a few things that many boaters might want to install as options. Here are some things to consider--
Anchor Locker Washdown.
$780 for each freshwater and saltwater.
Hydraulic Swim Platform.
For those contemplating serious cruising a ship's tender will be in order. A drawback of all express cruisers is the absence of a boat deck for such a tender.
Some builders have tried installing garages for the tender in the stern, but most arrangements we have seen have drawbacks, usually along the lines of forcing the tender to be too small, or difficulty in launching and retrieving. Another solution is to use a Weaver-type tender device on the swim platform. This is low-cost, practical and solves the problem of the outboard motor. However, some people consider a tender on its side on the stern of their $1.5 million boat to be somewhat of an eye sore. Other solutions we have seen are the mounting of a light-weight inflatable on the hardtop, with the outboard mounted on the yacht's transom. Some boaters, again using a lightweight inflatable, roll them up and store them below when not in use.
A Hydraulic Alternative.
Tiara offers an optional hydraulic platform made by Nautical Structures to hold the tender and double as a "teak beach" ($58,100). Tiara will also integrate its 70" swim platform with the 41" Nautical Structures' lift for $69,600.
Electric Grill on the Transom.
We like this option for a number of reasons. Not only does it become a preferred place to grill some hamburgers on an afternoon outing, but it also keeps smoke and grease out of the boat ($2,280).
There are few things that make a boat look more classy or yachty than the addition of teak on the aft deck ($15,330).
Aft Deck Sun Shade
. The SureShade electric sun shade is quickly increasing in popularity and we are seeing it on more and more boats of all different types and sizes ($13,320).
Cockpit Remote Joystick.
A Dirt Devil has a 7' hose that expands to 30' ($975).
This option goes in the galley so it is handy to all ($2,380).
Polyurethane Painted Hull Sides.
Tiara offers this in two styles, "Solid" and "Effect" for $26,700 and $34,100, respectively.
The MSRP of the Tiara 50 Coupe powered with the 725-hp Volvo Penta IPSII-950, with Joystick Plus Control, is $1,444,510.
Having studied the major boats in class on the market we can say that the Tiara has designed and built a quality boat that should be of interest to the most discriminating boating consumers. Boaters doing comparison shopping should pay careful attention to standard equipment as the 50 Coupe has lots of it and more than most boats that we review. All of this, of course, goes into the price one way or another.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!