Issue: January/February 2006
Bill Barry-Cotter just bought one…what about you?
The Tiara Coronet 29 Harbour Edition is the epitome of what a great day boat should be. She’s solidly built, has stylish lines, a generous open cockpit with wide walkways, plenty of grunt and ample facilities below deck.
I like a builder who is willing to produce a day boat true to its breed. They’re the builders who resist the temptation to get carried away with complicated sleeping arrangements. Tiara did this with the Coronet and as a consequence, the vessel caught the eye of well-known Aussie boat builder Bill Barry-Cotter. The Modern Boating team was lucky enough to review this special order for Bill before she heads to Queensland and her new owner.
BILL BARRY WHO ?
But if you’re not in to the who’s-who of the marine industry, let me fill you in. Bill Barry-Cotter currently builds big, luxurious Maritimo cruisers. Before this he owned and established Riviera and Mariner cruisers.
So why did this American boat, built by a team of Seven Day Adventists in Michigan, catch Bill’s eye ? Was it the striking lines of the vessel ? Was it the companies’ reputation for quality workmanship ? Or was it simply that a boat of this size with her hefty engines offered him simple, stylish, boating pleasure ?
Mike Gaffikin from Mike Gaffikin Marine believes there are few new boats covering this segment of the market. Boats from 26-29ft are the perfect size for an easy cruising day boat. Apparently the Coronet is replacing Mr Bill Barry Cotter’s Bertram 26. At one stage the similar Bertram 25 was one of the most popular family cruisers in Australia.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The vessel’s performance could be the key to its appeal. Bill opted for the bigger engine, so she powers out of the hole like a bull out of a gate. She rockets onto the plane and responds instantly to throttle changes from the high teens right up to the mid 30-knots. She sounds powerful and definitely has plenty of grunt.
The Coronet also puts out a solid wake, which should keep the kids and their wakeboards happy.
This beamy hull’s modest-vee is a snap to trim and has enough weight to carve through the rough stuff without bouncing all over the ocean.
The driving position is good and aided by a well-positioned footrest.
The electronic throttle and gear levers add to the pleasure of driving the Coronet Harbour Edition and lets the hull respond smoothly to commands for more power.
The royal blue helm lifts to give access to the back of the electronics and there’s a polished wooden steering wheel that adds to the style of this vessel. The boat has basic engine instruments and a compass, but there is plenty of room for extras, should one desire them. There are also switches for the windlass, lights and a Navman VHF Radio.
The Coronet Harbour Edition is the third Tiara we’ve reviewed this year and although it’s the lowest price vessel of the three, it has just as much appeal.
The fact the Coronet is a Tiara entry-level boat is a tribute to the quality of the boat builder. Yes, they have cut back in some areas to maintain value, but the boat’s integrity isn’t lost.
Below deck there’s a cloth upholstered forward vee- berth and a small galley serviced by a microwave and fridge.
The Coronet’s galley is finished in simple laminates with teak trim and the use of teak flooring and wooden steps maintain a simple, yet sophisticated, nautical theme throughout. Below there’s no TV, hot water, stove, or settee.
The head follows the same minimalist theme. There’s no shower, no natural light and no hot water, although the toilet is electric flush. Forward of the head there’s a sizeable clothes locker with shelf stowage.
The reality of recreational boating is most powerboat owners spend the bulk of their time on a vessel during the day and in fair weather, so the cockpit is the boat’s centre point. The Tiara’s Coronet Harbour Edition certainly hasn’t skimped here The Coronet has a double bench seat at the helm and a handy standing area in the navigation area. Behind the standing room is a portside lounge.
Further aft there’s more seating and a settee that converts to a sunlounge.
The settee table is large and solid, so it’s a bit of a chore to convert the settee into a sunlounge. But 95 percent of the time it will be used as a settee. Also, there’s a large table/prep area concealing a wet bar behind the helm seat.
Below the wet bar there appears to be space for a fridge if required, but I’m not sure if there is room for a fridge door to open, so it might only suit storage.
You have to climb under the settee to access the shore power and engine room hatch controls, but once there, hydraulic rams lift the floor to reveal the twin Crusader engines.
The Coronet’s step-up and walkways forward are generous and the bowrail offers plenty of grab holds. At the bow, the well-built theme continues with solid stainless steel cleats, a windlass, deep chain locker and a stainless steel-lined pulpit for the anchor.
All Tiara hulls have Vinylester laminates coated with epoxy, which carries a fiveyear limited warranty. Other standout features include oversize fittings, wide combings, padded inner combings, removable seating, a solid transom door and a good size swim platform.
If the Tiara 290 Coronet’s good enough for Maritimo’s Bill Barry-Cotter, she’ll do us just fine. Plus, we’re suckers for royal blue hulls.
I’d be proud to rock up anywhere in this classy number, because she has all the good bits in the right places and the power to get you there fast.
If versatility, wide-open cockpit space and plenty of options are what you’re looking for, the 2900 Coronet may be the boat for you.
Whether you’re monitoring the gauges, checking the oil, or grabbing a cold drink, the 2900 Coronet is designed for easy access to all the integral areas — helm, engine and wet bar.
While designed to be a multi-purpose day boat, the 2900 Coronet, with it’s 6′ 4″ forward vee-berth, mini galley and private head also provides enough room and comfort for overnight stays for two people.
The Tiara Coronet was powered by twin shaftdrive, freshwater-cooled, 8.1lt 385HP Crusaders petrol engines.
The twin Crusaders produced the following performance figures in moderate conditions with two adults onboard.
KNOTS – RPM
7 – 1300
15 – 2400
21 – 2800
25 – 3200
29 – 3800
31 – 4000
36 – 4600
LOA: 31′ 7″
BEAM: 11′ 4″
DRAFT: 2′ 8″
DEADRISE: 19 degrees
+ Spacious main cockpit; Excellent overall finish
– No lounge in the saloon