Tiara 4800 Convertible - Boat Review

Despite the company's lack of fishing-boat history in the line, it can proudly put its Tiara 4800 up against any other 48-foot production boat on the market.

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Heading out of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, inlet at 25 knots into a six-foot head sea, I expected a crash when we met the first big wave. Instead, the bow dropped with all the impact of a new father laying his firstborn down into the crib. The 4800's top speed with 1,015 hp Caterpillars may be only 36 knots, but when you consider that it cruised at an optimum 28 knots while burning a comparatively modest 66 gallons per hour, it doesn't seem to matter. (And for those who are really frugal, you can opt for the 885 hp Cat C18 diesels.)

The trolling alleys pop out just fine at 8 knots, and when hooked up, this Tiara backs down at more than 7 knots with total control. It spins on a fish perfectly - even without the bow thruster.

Tiara mounts all the raw-water filters and crash valves close at hand. A 13.5 kW Cummins generator runs quietly against the aft bulkhead, and the Centek Industries exhaust risers and VHT Silicon marine wet exhausts keep the ride pretty comfy too - along with providing more superb soundproofing. A Delta-T air-handling system rounds out this well-engineered space.

Tiaras have always attracted a family-oriented crowd thanks to the handsome and comfortable interiors. The 4800 continues that trend with interesting wood flooring that sports inset carpet tracks and wood trim. The fo'c'sle's unusual athwartship double has a single above it. The guest cabin to starboard features over/under singles, and the master stateroom opposite houses a fore-and-aft queen berth, a larger head with shower and Corian counters. All the berths offer lift-up storage beneath.

The galley comes with all the latest appliances, plus a particularly beautiful rounded locker on the end of the galley's island. Most companies curve doors and such by kerfing composite panels. Tiara uses a machine that actually bends solid wood, just as it did on the solid-teak door fitted to the storage cabinet.

The comma-shaped dinette to starboard realistically sits three, so other diners must use the L-shaped settee to port.

The centerline helm console lets guests pass forward along both sides. A comma-shaped settee greets them once up front, as do drink boxes to port and starboard and additional seating across the face of the console.

But I admit to being most impressed by the stairway up to the bridge. Many people just don't like climbing ladders and ergo, never visit the flybridge. Those folks can now expand their horizons considerably thanks to the true flight of normal stairs between the bridge and the cockpit.

This represents the first Tiara I have seen with mezzanine seating, and I bet you'll see it on other models soon. And it also provides more storage space than a standard set of cockpit modules.

Tiara included huge lift-out fish boxes in the cockpit sole and another in the transom also plumbed to double as a livewell, complete with divider. I purposely backed down hard enough to take water over the cap rail to assess how this boat would evacuate a big wave: I needn't have worried - the truly huge scuppers sucked the water off the deck in the blink of an eye.
The Tiara 48 Convertible hull consists of closed-molded fiberglass and Baltek balsa-cored hull and topsides, with all vinylester resins for superior osmosis protection.

So despite the company's lack of fishing-boat history in the Tiara line, it can proudly put its 4800 up against any other 48-foot production boat on the market.
- Dean Travis Clarke

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA......51'5"
**BEAM......
15'11"
DRAFT......4'
WEIGHT......45,012 pounds (dry)
DEADRISE......14.8 degrees**
FUEL ......1,000 gallons
WATER......150 gallons
POWER......T 1,015 hp Caterpillar C18 ACERTs
PRICE......$1,402,600 (base w/ 1,105 hp Cats)

Tiara Yachts / Holland, Michigan / 616-392-7163 / www.tiarayachts.com