The Tiara Sport 38 LS, for Luxury Sport, the first-ever outboard-powered Tiara boat, marks the launch of its Tiara Sport line, a new series of outboard-powered boats.
The name Luxury Sport perfectly describes this new Tiara. Although it possesses a centerline helm station located at about amidships, along with a wave-smushing hull and a self-bailing cockpit, this entry into the center console pond is no Spartan plastic fishing boat.
No, the moment you step aboard the 38 LS, you realize this is a mini yacht, from the syrupy-smooth teak trim to the stitched Ultraleather on various surfaces. The 38 LS carries all the upscale Tiara DNA, but in a different vehicle.
Picking out its coolest feature proves tough, but let’s start with that big U-shaped dinette aft with its folding teak table. The whole shebang spins around (with one finger!), turning the seats, table and teak sole to face aft. This makes it delightful whether you’re towing kids on water toys, wetting a few lines at trolling speed, or just enjoying a sundowner cocktail. Spin it back and it faces an outdoor kitchen console with sink, Vitrifrigo drawer fridge and optional grill, plus a pair of aft-facing seats on each side.
Next, step into the cabin, complete with its full standing headroom and a most civilized enclosed head. The head boasts a teak door, a molded pan for easy cleaning, a wide country-style sink, a raised VacuFlush head, plus a shower. Throw in Corian counters, a Euro-style shower nozzle, and more than ample stowage for toiletries, and you’ll want to show off this head to your friends.
Even better, tucked under the foredeck is a berth larger than a residential full size (54 by 79 inches), with a foam mattress. Scattered niceties include a microwave oven, impeccably organized electrical panel, hanging locker and ample stowage (three drawers under the berth plus cubbyholes).
Another cool feature? Check out the massive curved windshield. It sweeps from side to side with nary a mullion in your vision and, best of all, it was created with no visual flaws. It’s tough to bend a piece of tempered glass in several directions without ending up with squiggles — those distracting and irritating blurry spots. No squiggles here — just a wide span of glass and a huge pantograph wiper. Enjoy enclosed climate control under the hardtop with the optional side curtains.
And what about that hardtop? It’s a masterpiece of engineering, with two side supports forward on each side with tempered glass in them for wind/spray protection and husky supports aft. There is an opening hatch over the skipper, plus two skylights on each side and also an aircraft-style overhead panel for instruments that are monitored but not touched often, such as the Yamaha engine monitor.
The helm, ahhh, the helm. Triple bucket seats with armrests reside behind the teak-trimmed console, which includes a Yamaha Helm Master joystick. A 16-inch Garmin GPS/chart plotter comes standard, with space for the optional second 16-inch display found on our test boat.
Standard power (and the only power) is a trio of 350 hp Yamaha V-8 5.3L outboards. Tip: Practice yelling “yee-haw” in the shower because you’ll want to shout it as you shove a handful of throttle forward on the Tiara Sport 38 LS. Top speed was just over 55 mph, and you get there damn fast too, since the boat displaces less than 18,000 pounds. Remember, accent on the yee-haw.
But that’s only part of the story, because this beauty greases along at 35 mph sipping just 40.9 gph, or 0.85 mpg, at 4,000 rpm. Not too shabby when you’re carrying around all this luxury.
Tiara has designed the boat to handle a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer to virtually eliminate roll, but the Sport is rock-solid at high speeds and banks pleasantly into turns with no cavitation or howl. Our test boat had the standard Onan 5 kW genset, which can be increased for an added air conditioner or Seakeeper gyro, and a standard 3 hp bow thruster makes docking a cinch.
Shopping? Compare it with Boston Whaler‘s new 350 Realm ($467,164 with triple 300 Mercury Verado engines). Also check Intrepid’s 407 Panacea; though it is customized for each owner, the company asserts it costs about $550,00 with triple 350 hp outboards.
Tiara has always set high standards for construction, which includes hand-laminated hulls with balsa-cored topsides and an infused-fiberglass structural grid that holds everything in place, with beautifully finished bilges. The standard equipment list is impressive, from full electronics to a generator, Fusion stereo and LCD TV, everything you want is already in the package.
You can’t help but be impressed by the Tiara Sport 38 LS. And I think I’m getting the hang of saying Tiara and outboards smoothly.
* Gentle ride in rough seas, thanks to the 20-degree deadrise and engine weight aft.
* Separate social areas fore and aft, including the revolving dinette, all with extendable/removable awnings.
* Sexy upholstery details and upscale finish features are a decided departure from the more traditional Tiara norm.
* Could use additional sissy grab rails around the helm.
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Triple 350 hp Yamaha F350
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Saltwater Series XL 15.2″ x 19″ stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.73:1
Fuel Load: 200 gal.
Water on Board: 50 gal.
Crew Weight: 600 lb.
Tiara Yachts – Holland, Michigan; 616-392-7163; tiarayachts.com