Review: Tiara 44 Coupe – Quimby's Cruising Guide

Review: Tiara 44 Coupe

Leon Slikkers, founder of Tiara Yachts, began building fiberglass boats in 1955. That was before nearly anyone else in the industry. In fact, that was before most current boat manufacturers were established. It was even before many of his competitors were born.

The Tiara trademark, specifically, emerged in the late 1970s. Over the course of 45 years the name became synonymous with well-designed express cruisers, sport boats and convertibles built to an uncompromised standard.

A few years ago, Tiara was inspired to update its characteristic product profile. The task was tricky; project a modernized Tiara styling into the second and third decades of the 21st century without sacrificing traditional lines and proportions. The first of the new designs, the Tiara 50 Coupe, debuted in 2014 and enjoyed immediate acclaim.

But not everyone needs, or wants, a boat as large as 50 feet. Many consumers appreciate a somewhat more accessible price point. So, for 2015, Tiara has recast the essence of the 50 as the new Tiara 44 Coupe.

One Step Beyond
Like her larger sister, the 44 Coupe seems designed to be a category killer. Tiara carefully evaluated similar vessels and deliberately went at least “one-step beyond,” raising the bar for boats of similar size and concept.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the 44 Coupe than her attractive new lines. Tiara incorporated one of its proven, offshore fishing hulls, featuring impressive bow flare and graceful rounding of both the forward trunk as well as the stern section. Any boat is enjoyable in a 10-knot breeze. But with 18 degrees deadrise at the transom and a dry weight of over 33,000 pounds, the 44 Coupe maximizes comfort and safety when the weather rears up and conditions become unpleasant for lesser craft.

In an era when many builders are using low-skill-level employees and relying on exotic layup machinery, the 44 Coupe is built the old fashioned way. Each hull is hand laid by closely supervised, experienced professionals. The results are remarkable: solid FRP below the waterline, fully integrated stringers, bronze seacocks throughout — and even the bilge is finished with gelcoat.

Volvo’s IPS system is standard propulsion. Twin 435-hp diesels provide exciting performance while maximizing efficiency. Joystick controls facilitate easy, safe and accurate docking, making even a relative beginner look like an old salt. The drive system is fully synchronized with the autopilot and plotter to create a coordinated and intuitive system Tiara markets as the “Glass Helm.” The 44 Coupe should prove as easy to operate as it is enjoyable.

Social Animal
There’s abundant space for entertaining on deck, with a forward-facing transom seat and a removable cocktail table in the cockpit. One of the options certain to prove popular is the hydraulic swim platform. Under way, the platform is an ideal spot to carry a dinghy on chocks. Launch the dinghy by dunking the platform, and suddenly there’s an additional social area behind the transom. An shelf between the platform and the transom creates space for barbecue and beverages. Glass panels in the aft bulkhead slide to either side, permitting unimpeded access between the main cabin and the cockpit.

The main cabin epitomizes attractive design and functionality. Somehow, Tiara managed to combine the exterior impression of a low profile design with plenty of headroom in the salon. So much light floods through the almost 360-degree windows that it’s like being on deck. Want even more fresh air? Activate the standard power sunroof and bring the outdoors in. Skippers well over six feet tall will be able to stand at the helm, and there will be no need to stoop to “see under” the fiberglass top.

The galley is to starboard. A stainless-steel sink with quality faucet is mounted under a Corian countertop. Two drawers contain an Iso-therm refrigerator/freezer system. A two-burner electric cooktop, as well as a microwave/convection oven concealed behind a door in the joinery, provide enough capacity to feed a hungry crew or entertain visitors. Under way or at anchor, power, is provided by an 11-kW Onan generator.

Ultraleather upholstery is standard on the 44 Coupe. It is used to fine effect on the salon settee, running along the base of the port windows on the main deck. The settee is slightly elevated, ensuring that seated passengers will enjoy good visibility underway.

A 22,000-BTU air conditioning system is standard in the salon, as is a top-caliber entertainment system. There are two additional A/C systems on the lower deck, one for each stateroom.

Guests Welcome
Below decks, the master stateroom is in the most forward compartment. A pedestal berth, with innerspring pillow top mattress, is supported by pneumatic cylinders when access is desired to stowage below. Other amenities include a cedar-lined hanging locker, 19-inch flatscreen TV with DVD player and a Bose sound system.

There are two heads, with one naturally reserved for the master stateroom. Both feature stall showers, Vacuflush marine toilets, teak floors and countertops, lighted medicine cabinets and more.

Overnight guests will feel pampered in the VIP stateroom, aft of the master and situated athwart. Two single berths may be combined with a filler cushion. While the compartment is compact — there is less-than-standing headroom at the berths — an overhead skylight with privacy screen helps create the sensation of additional space.

Tiara’s 44 Coupe offers so much more than a typical express cruiser; it’s definitely an impress cruiser. Anyone exploring top-tier options in this luxurious category would do well to include this vessel among the comparisons. Tiara succeeded in restating the exceptional 50’ coupe in a smaller, more accessible package.

Author: Chuck Gould

Tiara 44 Coupe

Length Overall: 45’6”
Beam: 15’
Draft: 3’9”
Dry weight: 30,000 lbs.
Bridge clearance: 12’
Fuel capacity: 150 gals
Water capacity: 118 gals
Base Price: $903,704

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