Just before this year’s boat shows in Miami, I had the chance to run the Tiara Sport 38 LS, part of a new series of outboard-powered vessels from the Michigan boatbuilder. The weather was blustery with spattering rainstorms dimpling Biscayne Bay’s gray chop. It wasn’t great boating weather, but it was great conditions for boat testing.
My test vessel was special because it unveiled a new propulsion package representing a partnership between Volvo Penta and Seven Marine. The optional helm-to-prop system combined Volvo Penta’s Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) with Seven Marine’s beastly 527 hp 6.2-liter V-8 outboard motors. Seven Marine brings the horses while Volvo Penta offers DuoProp drives and an amalgam of its “Easy Boating” features, including a Glass Cockpit System, joystick control, dynamic positioning and Easy Connect remote connectivity. (Triple outboards from Yamaha and Mercury ranging from 300 to 400 hp apiece are also available.)
The combination of the DuoProp system with the muscular motors is designed to push the growing series of monster center-consoles coming to market with more efficiency at all speeds. The setup also reduces cavitation, further enhancing performance, according to the manufacturers.
The 38 LS handled the sloppy conditions in Florida well. A hardtop and single- pane windshield provided shelter from the elements, protecting the three bolster-style helm seats as well as the seating at the after end of the console.
I spent most of my wheel time running the 38 LS at her 30-knot cruise speed, where her range is 276 nautical miles. The boat sliced through the confused 2- and 3-footers while gripping tightly to the bay’s surface during S-turns and while turning hard over in about a boat length and change. When I pinned the throttles, the 38 LS shot up to a brisk 46-knot clip, just 2 knots shy of the 48 knots that Tiara Sport says it’s seen her do. It’s a speed that a center-console in today’s market needs to attain to stay competitive.
The 38 LS also has the requisite amenities expected on today’s large center-consoles. The U-shaped dining settee at the transom is a good place for alfresco meals, while lounge seating in the bow is an ideal spot to hang out with sundowners. A full head is inside the console, and there’s a full-size berth for overnights.
The Tiara Sport 38 LS could function equally well as a dayboat or as a mega-yacht tender. She has performance-boat speed, a sharp profile and good looks without being overly trendy. She is unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
Take the next step: tiarasport.com