Issue: April/May 2006
Tiara gets top marks for this solidly-built style queen.
WORDS – ANDREW RICHARDSON
We've tested a few smaller Tiara's during the year and they've all made the grade, achieving top marks for build, features and seaworthiness. So it was no surprise the 36 Hard Top Tiara achieved the same outstanding results.
Quiet underwater exhaust, twin common-rail injected Cummins 5.9lt diesels engines and an innovative layout put this boat at the top of its class.
Mike Gaffi can Marine's idyllic Akuna Bay (Kuringai National Park) makes a trip off shore a fair trek, but we made a point of taking the time to nudge the Tiara's bow towards the big blue, to confirm how solid these vessels are. Pity there was no swell!
Tiara gets top marks for this solidly-built style queen The Tiara's high topsides and low centre of gravity create a vessel that drives through the sea. With a bit of chop developing from a slight onshore breeze, we got a fair idea of how sure-footed the boat was. In these conditions it was like a walk in the park, with the 10.5 tonne boat pulling swiftly out of the hole. This is a boat built for long range cruising.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The helm has a great driving position and a wide footrest. The split throttle and gear arrangement has that 'big boat' feel and the hydraulic steering lets you throw the Tiara into turns like a ski boat. Bonus features like cruise control and engine synchronisation make managing the Tiara 36 as simple as set and go.
The GPS showed a 100lt per hour cruise speed around 19 knots and 24 knots at full noise. Mike reckons the cruise speed would be closer to 23 knots with a clean hull (she was being slipped the next week) and then a max around 27 knots. According to the team at Tiara, she has a fast cruise range of 260 nautical miles at 2800rpm and can travel close to 900 nautical miles at 7 knots. Slow down even more and that range doubles again.
The hardtop offers good protection from the elements and features good natural and mechanical ventilation, while the oversize wipers and freshwater screen wash keep visibility clear.
Mike Gaffi can believes these boats are built about 25 per cent heavier than your average production boat of this size, so he had no hesitation in taking a Tiara 36 from NSW to Queensland for the Sanctuary Cove boat show last year.
This 36 footer might not be as swift some, but look at it this way she's built to survive the treachery of the sea. In short, nothing rattles and every hatch goes 'clunk' when closed. The deck fittings are oversized, the Gelcoat is thick, the engine's hoses are all double clamped and the transom door latch could contain a raging bull.
Up top the crisp white layout offers plenty of creature comforts. The bow features the obligatory sun pad, a hefty windlass and deep anchor locker. There's an icemaker and wet bar in the main cockpit and the secure stern locker, accessed from the swim platform, is large enough to store the mother-in-law. One standout feature is the remote light switch for the cockpit and engine room. At night, simply press the button on the key ring and the boat lights up before you step onboard.
The Tiaras 36's sophistication shows at the helm. It has a complete array of electronic engine instruments and a carefully coordinated trio of Navman navigation electronics, comprising a chartplotter, fish finder and autopilot. Most of the standards are there including controls for the VHF radio, music system and the essential hydraulic-steering tool, the rudder angle gauge. There was no bow thruster on the test vessel.
Down below the teak trim saloon offers all the mod cons with a DVD, two flatscreen TVs and, with 6ft 8in headroom, even tall guys will understand the meaning of overbuilt! Air-conditioning is standard as is the electric head and the Halogen down lights.
The saloon partitioning is a standout feature. Not only is the saloon bright, open and airy, it can be split into discreet sleeping areas by using the lifting panel in the bulkhead between the forward berth and settee and the curtains stowed in the robe. To top this off, the portside lounge turns into a double bunk.
The $580,000 Tiara 36 is a seriously well built boat and in an understated way, she offers top-of-the class creature comforts that will have all onboard wanting to stay.
THE TIARA STORY
Tiara's founder, Leon Slikker, originally worked in the joinery department of the classic boat builder Chris Craft. He went out on his own to produced Slik Craft. By 1963 all of his boats were built out of fibreglass. He sold out in the 60s, but by the mid 70s, got back into boat building with his family, starting with S2 Yachts.
Today, the company is based in Michigan where it builds most of the Tiara range of boats, while also producing S2 Yachts and Pursuits out of its facilities in Florida.
Twin shaft drive common-rail injected Cummins 5.9lt diesels engines powered the Tiara 36.
With two adults onboard in calm conditions the Tiara 36 returned the following performance figures.
KNOTS – RPM
6.5 – 970
7.5 – 1100
15 – 2250
19 – 2570
23 – 2900
LENGTH: 36' 4"
LOA: 41' 8"
DRAFT: 3' 8"
DEADRISE: 19 Degrees
+ Excellent ride; Underwater exhaust
– Nothing to report