Discussion in 'Tiara Yacht' started by jgivan, Jul 24, 2009.
Objective opinion on this boat and how it compares with peer group?
Quite familiar with the 35. Solid boat with solid feel and good handling. Hope that helps.
I test drove a 3900 Tiara. We went offshore in 3 foot seas and a 12-15 knot wind. Thank God the windshield is connected to the hardtop or we all would have drowned. It is the wettest boat I've ever ridden in. Oh yeah, don't forget to wear deck shoes. The non-skid is like a cheese grater. Otherwise, it's solid, well built, shamefully slow boat.
I ran a 39 Tiara flybridge, probably a 2007. It had a tendancy to lean pretty good to leeward, if the wind was off of the beam. It seemed to be well built and everything was accessible. It rode fairly good and cruised at only 25 or 26 knots. I only had it in 2-3ft seas and I didn't remember it to be wet.
I run several Tiaras and they are very solid boats. Yes they can be a wet ride and the non-skid is the best in the business - yes, it will take the skin off your knees if you're the one doing the knee work.
My main complaint with all the Tiaras is the difficulty in keeping them clean as all the cockpit components are modular and leave very awkward spaces to try to clean around. Whether it's the helm console with the 1.5" gap you can't get a brush or shammy mop in, or the gap around the hydraulic engine hatch, it takes a little extra attention to keep the hair and debris from collecting.
I look after a 36' Tiara that has a well on either side of the aftermost part of the cockpit that is 2" deep just below the scuppers. I hope you like growing pond scum, b/c these wells do not self drain and must be chamoised every time you wash/every time it rains.
I have spent considerable time with the Sovran 4300 and 3500. I have also visited the plant. Relative to the competition (SeaRay, Regal, Cruisers, etc.), the 4300 is incredibly solid and very well built.
It does have some minor idiosyncrasies and won't win any poker runs, but I think that it is my favorite boat in it's class and is my next purchase.
It might be worth the trip to Holland MI for a plant tour and get a perspective on how they're built.
Had the 43 out for a couple of hours today in a small (2') tight chop. She has the typical tight Tiara feel but felt a bit light compared to the 35. A bit of shudder going head on and a little push (but not roll) with a beam sea. Maneuvering in close quarters with the IPS was a cinch despite a 20 kt wind. I'd say she is a wet ride, but you're so buttoned up who cares. She cruised at 28+ kts. and topped out above 32kts which is about normal for Tiara, but considerably faster than the 35. All in all I'd say I prefer the 35, but the 43 has no apologies to make. One thing I did not like was the placement of the cockpit table which totally blocks access to the port side deck. Now, the Sovran should not be mistaken for a fish boat (that's for the Open). This is a cruiser with less glitz and more solid class than many. I'd say she's for the more discerning and well heeled owner; the kind that's likely to still own the boat 5 or more years from now.
As for the complaints I've heard about Tiara's non-skid, I think it's great. Granted I'm a bit biased as I'm currently dealing with a broken rib from slipping on a deck with prettier non-skid.
Ouch! Been there. My torso was mummified for weeks. Whatever you do... DON'T COUGH!
Feel better soon Ed!
Wish you mentioned that before I caught the cold last week.
Looking at these 06-07 43 Sovrans, what should I keep an eye out for? I know the early ones had the joystick added, any reason these aren't as good as the factory installed joysticks? What is the difference in maintenance cost to the ips vs traditional drives? Would love to hear thoughts on how these boats have aged, should I be concerned about buying an early model?
Retro fitted IPS joysticks are not as neat an installation as the factory fitted ones. The looms are a bit messy and the reprograming has to be correct. If you can, go for the factory option. Check it has the optional trolling/sportfish program already installed.
IPS servicing costs are minimal compared to DPH drives. They take a lot of oil but as they are probably out of warranty, a good non-Volvo transmission oil will be much cheaper. Active anodes on the transom must be checked also.
I'd like to hope you get more objective opinions, but then again I have to ask when others post about a 35' or a 39' Tiara express or bridge boat, WTH does it have to do with a 43' Sovran???
Kind of like saying your 911 is good/not so good because someone drove a Cayman or Boxster????
I know Volvo Penta was very involved with the application of the IPS product for Tiara, and the 43 Sovran would have benefited as it was a later product release. Wetness or spray carrying ondeck will certainly depend on your loading conditions and trim, as well as what kind of seas you typically boat in. I don't think the degree of seperation from a Zeus powered Sea Ray 43/44 is as much as stated.
I currently own an 08 3900 Sovran and have spent an awful lot of time getting to know my boat as well as researching 4300's for a rehabilitated sailor friend that bought one this summer. We put over 200 hours on our boat this summer visiting places all the way from Chicago to the North Channel and have been happy with the boat.
As far as things to look out for be sure that all of the updates have been done to the motors. There were a number of service bulletins from Volvo for these motors (belts, sea strainers, boost pressure sensors etc) that needed to be completed. When having the boat surveyed, be sure to have them test the air/heat units as on the 4300 the 4 units are stacked on the starboard side of the engine room and if any of them fail it is rather costly as if its the bottom one they have to remove the others to get at it (this happened to my friend when he purchased his used). Also I would suggest load testing the batteries as there are 8 of them total which can get costly as well.
Overall the 4300 does run out fairly well. They are typical Tiara quality and craftsmanship. Overall I have not found a lot on the boat which made me ask "what were they thinking". The drawback to me on both the 3900 and 4300 is the head sea keeping ability in the typically close together steeper waves that we have here on the great lakes. These boats are not as sea worthy as the open hulls that Tiara built their name on. In an effort to increase living capacity down below they have brought the beam a little too far forward which makes it a little bulbous and doesn't have the flare to cut into the waves and deflect water away from the boat. This does make it a wet ride which to me is a non issue due to the fully enclosed helm area.
As far as drive maintenance goes, this will vary whether you do the work yourself or have someone do it. The parts alone will run around $700 (VP 75W90 gear oil is $65/Gal and you'll take 7 gal + filters, anodes, plugs). Changing this is not a difficult job but the boat has to be hauled to do so. Maintaining the engines is the same as a normal diesel.
I hope this helps and if you have any further questions feel free to PM me and I can send you my contact details.
Well stated captain!
Great replies, thank you!
I am attracted to these boats for cruising, their efficiency, having a real 2nd stateroom / 2nd head, full hard helm enclosure. They also have enjoyed a long production run as they are still made as the 45. Also, the factory is always a delight to deal with, having owned an older Tiara.