Like to fish and cruise? Tiara’s 4300 Open is the latest from the masters of splitting the difference. It offers the big cockpit, rough-water ability and fishability of the blue-water set while delivering the fineries that ensure weekends at the cove lack for naught.
Tiara’s Open series launched in 1979 with the 3100. The fish-and-cruise paradigm hasn’t changed. But the look has: Tiara’s signature tumblehome transom has been replaced with squared quarters.
The upright transom adds two feet of cockpit, says tiara engineer Rick Eggerding. What’s two feet? Consider an angler, reeled to the swivel and needing to shuffle forward so another can sink the gaff. And without the reverse, grabbing the leader is a shorter reach. While cruising, the 95-squarefoot ’pit provides milling-about space plus room for eight deck chairs and a couple of cocktail tables. Built-in fixed and folding lounges are also available. The square transom looks “sport-fishy” and is crowned to please the eye and to ensure that dew runs off rather than pools. I love it when looks and utility combine in the same feature.
This cockpit boasts a raised mezzanine to port, allowing guests to cheer on anglers, or simply ponder the horizon, while remaining out from underfoot. Gaff and mop stowage is within. There’s a rigging station with sink and cutting board. This cabinet, like the one comprising the wet bar, is clean and modular, featuring radiused edges, full overlay doors, hidden hinges and recessed latches. While everybody likes eye candy, the seamlessness ensures easy washdown when blood and scales start flying.
Cockpit mezzanines are starting to show aboard other midsize boats, such as Cabo’s new 44 Hardtop ($989,000, with twin 800 hp Man Diesel inboards) with its integral helm enclosure, debuting this fall, and the new pod-propelled Viking 42 Open (price not available at press time) with its tournament-style centerline helm. Both boats have bigger cockpits, at 120 square feet, and come standard with fishing features like the tackle drawers ($1,530) and transom livewell ($3,980) options installed aboard my tester. The 4300 Open comes with an aluminum backing plate for a fight chair bonded into the cockpit sole, as I discovered while inspecting the lazarette. I also found Tiara’s hallmark rigging quality while touring the bilge. Not only were pumps, fills and through-hull fittings easy to access, but the rudder posts were capped by an extruded fiberglass beam that would serve as an engine bearer aboard many boats.