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Tiara 3100 Coronet

The 3100 mixes big-boat attitude with the handling ease of a smaller craft.

June 16, 2011
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Tiara’s 3100 Coronet offers big-boat attitude and a small boat’s handiness. it will haul the gang around for daytime fun one weekend and spirit a cruising couple away for an intimate overnight the next. Twin inboard propulsion, generous beam and robust construction combine with its easy-riding, warped-plane hull to deliver a yachtlike feel. Its open and expansive single-level cockpit is outfitted for entertaining. Belowdecks, the teak-sole cabin boasts a pedestal berth, head and Tiara’s hallmark L-shape galley. The 3100 Coronet is a modern luxury boat exuding old-school cool.

From a skipper’s perspective, I can’t deny the sociability provided by the lack of a step up to the helm. Swiveling my head, it was easy to converse with those seated aft, no scrunching and ducking required. But I also discovered how manageable this makes the boat compared with cruisers with aft cabins beneath the helm, for which the headroom necessitates a step. While the twin 375 hp Crusaders warmed up, I gained the foredeck and loosed the bowlines, returned to the cockpit down the broad waterways, headed through the centerline transom door onto the platform and flung the crossed lines onto the bulkhead. With just one line now holding us, I strolled to the helm, reached outboard and released the windward spring from my spot at the wheel. No up-and-down steps. No having to swing around a massive hardtop structure. No lack of ability to see what was going on at the other end of the boat.

The 3100 Coronet may displace seven tons, but leaving the slip is runabout-easy. This is partly due to the boat’s aforementioned heft, which resists the wind’s ability to blow it around like a leaf on a puddle. But I’d have to give most of its close-quarters credit to the straight inboard Crusaders. With props positioned forward of the transom, and swinging through deep gears, the torque in your command when you fist the levers inspires confidence. In the swift current at our test site, I snaked the 3100 Coronet through a gauntlet of bow pulpits and through several cross-current turns with the self-assurance that comes only from knowing that the boat underfoot is going to do what you ask of it. There is a bow thruster available, but it’s a nicety rather than a necessity aboard the 3100 Coronet.

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The current also tested our mettle at the inlet, where the ebb tide stacked the waves in a series of breaking combers. But the 3100 Coronet was equal to the task, rising on the faces and crushing the crests, rather than cantilevering its bow over the lip and slamming down. Outside, in boisterous three-to-fives, the combination of big props, torque and engine weight placed low, and in the center of the boat, rendered a balanced feel of control. Even when I set our course such that the seas quartered from astern, a tough point of sea, the 3100 Coronet steamed along without balking.

Only inboards, like the 3100 Coronet or Hunt’s Harrier 36 (starting at $443,500 with twin 380 hp Yanmar diesels), deliver this type of ride, which goes a long way toward explaining the success Tiara has had with the Coronet series over the years. Another reason for its acclaim is the layout, which suits the way so many people go boating. To see what I mean, check the amenities aboard this biggest Coronet yet.

The expansive lounges ringing the self-bailing cockpit seat 12. Of course, there’s stowage below these elegantly upholstered seats. More guests can enjoy the companion lounge beside the helm. Raised on a platform, the view from here is excellent, and a lovely table makes this a great place to spend hours during a trip. In fact, because of the aft-raked arch, visibility from all exterior seating is excellent. Guests won’t complain that they can’t see where you’re taking them.

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The centerline transom door, swinging on massive chromed-stainless hinges, makes using the platform as extended milling-about space easier than would a door shoehorned in a corner. This door, and that of the wet bar, with its grill and refrigerator, is fiberglass, not poly of some sort. They both will weather and age with the rest of the boat, rather than becoming an eyesore and turning dingy over time. The teak taffrail ringing the cockpit provides a neat handhold; teak toe rails extend around to the bow. I didn’t have a crowd aboard for my test, but suffice it to say there’s room to bend elbows without having to rub them. By relinquishing the helm for a time and sitting aft, I discovered that the tall windshield provides excellent wind protection in the cockpit.

Descending the teak cabin steps and entering the head, I discovered that, while there’s no shower stall, you don’t have to bathe with a sink sprayer either. The draining, fiberglass-lined compartment has a shower head installed in the bulkhead, and the gasketed, solid teak door boasts a full-length mirror. In the cabin proper, I admired the fine fit and function of the cabinets. I also liked that four portlights and a deck hatch provided plenty of light, and that the companionway was fitted with a screen, making for excellent natural ventilation. Good sitting headroom is to be had above the berth. Underfoot, the cabin sole is solid teak.

The book-matched joinerwork, elegant headliner, sconce lighting and solid-surface counters all make this cozy space luxurious. It will impress guests aboard for the day and elicit sighs of satisfaction when overnighting. Performing well at both is what the 3100 Coronet does best.

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Comparable model: Hunt Harrier 36

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