I usually chuckle when I hear the term, “overbuilt.” More often than not, what others think is overbuilt I think is good and rugged. Such was the case when I started poking around the nether regions of Tiara’s new 44 Coupe. For example, some would call the support system for the bulkhead opening that allows the 44 Coupe’s huge, extra wide sliding glass salon doors “overbuilt.” I call it the appropriate to last over the long haul. It features 4-inch by 6-inch vertical fiberglass beams running up the sides of the salon and across the top of the opening, as well as a large structure beneath the cockpit sole that spans the boat’s beam. This is just a door opening.
Outboard, in the 43 Coupe’s engine compartment, I admired large, reinforcing knees that ensure that the hullsides don’t flex too much. Forward on each side, aluminum structural pillars fabricated on a heavy-duty sill along the windshield landing support the 44 Coupe’s house structure and the large windows that give such a great view when you’re cruising. Throughout the boat, the hinges for all the locker hatches have a great, heavy-duty feel. You know when you close a hatch it’s not going to pop back open, which gives me a good feeling about how the boat is built overall. Tiara laid up the boat with a solid fiberglass bottom and balsa coring in the hullsides and deck.
Out on a lumpy Lake Michigan, my opinion of the Tiara 44 Coupe only improved. It’s based on the same bottom as the 48 Convertible and the bluewater design knocked down waves with condescension and exhibited runabout-like handling when I put it through a series of turns at about 25 mph. I drove it with the steering wheel and controls and then had even more fun, taking command with the joystick. It’s nothing new, but sitting back and taking control of a 45’6” vessel in the same way my 14-year-old plays a video game still makes me giggle.
From the time the manufacturer decided to come out with a complement to the 50 Coupe, Tiara remained dedicated to ensuring that the 44 Coupe exhibit the handling traits for which the manufacturer’s boats are known. That even included moving the engine halves of the Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drive systems farther forward and linking them to the pod drives with jack shafts. This is a practice employed by manufacturers of sportfishing boats to improve cockpit space and center the weight of the engines for enhanced stability and an easier motion, but for more of an express-cruiser style boat, this could have been risky. Moving the engines forward meant the manufacturer couldn’t expand the size of the mid-cabin, which designers usually can do when working with IPS.. I applaud them for wanting to ensure that the 44 Coupe rode and felt like previous Tiara yacht. My test boat topped off at a speedy 37.4 mph at 3600 rpm and cruised comfortably at 26.3 mph at 3000 rpm. This performance is similar to that you can expect from boats like Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius ( $955,350, powered like our test boat) the docks, the joystick made life easy and so did the windows that ensured I could see everything while docking.
At the helm, the twin Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit screens provided all requisite information on engine health and navigation. Controls are comfortably positioned and the dash is finished in a glare killing dark upholstery. To port, there’s ample space for a crowd on the L-shaped lounge.
When you head belowdecks on the 44 Coupe, you’ll find some clever ideas that make the boat feel spacious. First is the hatch to the master stateroom that folds over twice to further open the area. There’s a queen berth with abundant small-item stowage and plenty of natural light thanks to an overhead deck hatch and side ports. The master head has a separate shower stall, impressive for a boat in this size range.
Close off the master stateroom doors and you can answer Nature’s call in the day head, which is located at the bottom of the salon stairs. Work your way aft and the mid cabin has twin berths that stretch from starboard to port and fill in with a cushion to accommodate two adults. The hanging locker in this area is actually larger than in the master, so you might be fighting with the owner of the boat for space.
Back up in the salon, the galley is aft to starboard with Isotherm refrigerator and freezer drawers and plenty of dry stowage. The cockpit has space for a crowd to hang out in open air and I liked the steps built into the engine-compartment vents that facilitate side boarding, but my favorite feature on the 44 Coupe was the optional barbecue in the transom trunk ($2,280). I can’t think of a better location for a grill than on the transom. Any spills are easy to clean up and should the flames get out of control, there’s plenty of water. After all, you’re on a boat. And the hinges and hatch for the aft trunk are, of course, overbuilt.
Comparable Model: Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius