When a boat builder rejuvenates its offerings with a steady progression of new models as Tiara has done through the past few years, you see a long line of introductions: the Tiara 50 Coupe represented a substantial change from past Tiara yachts, was followed by the Tiara 44 Coupe, and then the 50 Flybridge hit the water. That trend began four years ago, and today the line-up also includes the Q 44 Adventure Yacht, and the Tiara 39 Coupe. For the 2017 model year this steady march continues, and at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show we were introduced to the F44, a flybridge boat with lots of the 44 Coupe’s DNA. Check it out.
While boat builders often strive to develop multiple offerings from the same basic platform, which makes for lower tooling costs and enhanced build efficiencies, the result is all too often a Franken-boat. A generation or three away from the original, a model can mutate into a strange-looking monstrosity, throw weight distribution out of kilter and ruin performance and/or handling, and take a boat’s original design out of its own context. Clearly, however, the F44 is no Franken-boat. As to the looks, we think you can make your own decision. When it comes to performance, the twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drives maintain mirror-like cruising and top-end speeds in both versions of the 44, with less than two MPH separating the coupe and flybridge versions. Cruise at 3200 RPM is 29.3 MPH for the coupe and 28.2 for the flybridge; top-end is 35.5 and 33.7, respectively. And without question, even with the loss of the Coupe’s large opening sunroof—remember, there’s a flybridge covering that spot—inside its cabin the F44 maintains Tiara’s goal of creating an open, airy, outdoorsy feeling.
So, what does the F44 have to offer that its Coupe-style sistership can’t? The flybridge adds an entire new social area to the boat. Along with the upper helm station and the L-shaped lounge across from it, there’s also a settee/dinette aft of the helm. In all, there’s seating for another eight or nine people. On top of that, eliminating the lower helm station in the saloon expands the main cabin and allows for an additional settee. Plus, many of us find it easier to operate a boat of this size from atop a flybridge, where visibility is greatly enhanced. On the flip-side, the flybridge also adds one thing that’s not exactly advantageous: about $50,000 to the boat’s MSRP, bringing it up to the million-dollar mark.
The lower cabin of the F44 houses two staterooms, a master with a queen berth forward and a twin-berth guest stateroom aft. There are also two full stand-up heads with separate shower stalls, a private one for the master and one that does double-duty as the day-head, for the guest. We can’t fail to note that the woodwork belowdecks is drop-dead gorgeous, with oodles of glossy teak and wenge. This is the real deal—solid hardwoods, not some cheap veneers glued on to look pretty. Other highlights of the interior include Corian countertops, ultra-modern fixtures in the galley and the heads, flush overhead LED lighting, a three-zone Fusion sound system, and multi-zoned air conditioning.
All of these features you can, of course, see for yourself while inspecting the boat. What isn’t so obvious to the eye is the way Tiara puts the F44 together. The hull is hand-laid glass with balsa coring in the hullsides and deck. Stringers are wood- and foam-cored, fully-encapsulated, and are laminated into the hull. And one of the finer features of a Tiara is the finish work they do in the most unexpected places. Whether you open up a stowage compartment or poke around in the engine room, where many builders leave raw fiberglass, on the F44 you’ll find smooth gel coat.
What if you prefer the classic Tiara look to the styling of their new line of yachts? Don’t worry, it’s still available in the Tiara series (expresses) and the Convertible series (flybridges). If, however, the sleek new design of Tiara’s coupes catches your eye—and the functionality and expanded space of a flybridge is what you need in a boat— it may be time to take a closer look at the F44.
Other Choices: The Prestige 450 is another modern flybridge boat that shoppers looking at the F44 might find appealing. Slightly larger but still plying similar waters is the Fairline Squadron 48. And a slightly smaller option would be the Bavaria R40.
For more information, visit Tiara Yachts.
See Tiara F44 Flybridge listings.
|Fuel capacity||350 gal.|
|Water capacity||118 gal.|