LOA 45 ft. 11 in.
Beam 15 ft. 4 in.
Draft 4 ft., 2 in.
Displacement 30,000 lbs.
Fuel 550 gals.
Water 130 gals.
Engines Twin Cummins QSC with Zeus pods
Base Price as tested $1,150,000
The hull is cored with balsa wood above the waterline and throughout the deck. Wood and foam-core stringers are integrated into the hull for stiffness.
Standard Equipment
Twin Cummins QSM11 715 hp or twin CAT C12 ACERT 715 hp straight-shaft engines, Onan 9 kw genset, 80-amp alternator, 12,000 BTU reverse-cycle air conditioning and heat, induction electric stovetop, 4-drawer refrigeration, Corian countertops, 32-in. flat-screen LCD TV, VacuFlush head and more.
Optional Equipment
Twin Cummins QSC 600 hp w/Zeus pod drives and joystick control, cruising or tournament hardtop, custom hull colors, 30- or 42-in. swim platform w/ladder, saltwater washdown at windlass, bow thruster (w/traditional engines), Skyhook GPS dynamic positioning system (w/pod drives), teak deck in upper cockpit, cockpit wet bar w/refrigerator, fold-down transom seat, transom baitwell, Ultraleather upholstery, Garmin 7215 multifunction displays, central vacuum system, saltwater washdown fore and aft, ice-maker and more. 
Tiara Yachts, Holland, Mich.; (616) 392-7163; tiarayachts.com
West Coast Dealer
Tiara Yachts of Newport Beach; (949) 515-7700; tiarayachtsnewportbeach.com

Tiara Yachts of Seattle; (206) 344-8566; tiarayachtsofseattle.com

Tiara 4300 Open

Posted: July 1, 2012  |  Boat Type: Express Cruiser

Multipurpose cruiser does triple duty

By: Zuzana Prochazka

The new flagship of the Tiara Open Series, the 4300 Open, highlights the company’s strength of delivering multipurpose boats that can fish, cruise and entertain in style. The new model replaces the 4200 Open and offers a larger cockpit, a foot of extra length overall, 5 more inches on the beam and a new guest cabin — all of which adds up to a surprisingly bigger-feeling vessel with new lines and enhanced functionality.

The profile of the Tiara 4300 Open has changed. Gone is the tumblehome of the transom. It’s been replaced by squared-off corners that accentuate the sportfisher look. The straight sheer and swept-back, curved composite windshield give the Tiara 4300 a get-up-’n-go look. The sharp entry and generous bow flare make for a controlled and dry ride, and the 17.5-degree deadrise at the transom keeps it tracking. The sleek lines belie the premium sportfisher it is, and the posh interior ensures comfort on the hook in any cruising anchorage.

On Board

Like a sportfisher, the 4300 Open features upper and lower cockpits. Unlike a hard-core sportfisher, the Tiara also has a stylish sportboat-like helm area complete with a lounge and a wet bar on the bridge level.

The 98-square-foot upper cockpit has an aft-facing mezzanine seat that provides spectators a comfortable place from which to watch the fishing action while staying out of the way of the mayhem. Just ahead on port is a curved companion lounge with a forward or side-facing swiveling seat and an optional table. Directly across on starboard is the wet bar, which is immediately aft of the oversized Stidd helm seat. Here you’ll find a sink and drawer storage or an optional ice-maker. The helm layout is clean, and everything, from the dual multifunction displays to the shifters and joystick, is within easy reach. A nice added bonus is the opening ports built into the hardtop that cool the helmsman without the need for fans.

The lower cockpit now features 95 square feet of fighting area (compared to the 4200’s 87 feet), a 50-gallon livewell built into the transom and an aluminum backing plate beneath the sole for a chair installation. But since 75 percent of Tiara’s potential buyers are expected to be fair-weather fishermen, there are options to remove the livewell and install a seat or even build an L-shaped seating area on port with a dining table attached to the cockpit sole.

The newly squared-off corners and vertical transom create extra room as well as give the boat more of a sportfisher profile. A 30-inch (or optional 42-inch) swim platform and a through-transom door make for easy boarding. All hardware, such as hinges and latches, is either hidden or recessed, so fishing lines have nothing to catch on, and there’s a rigging station with a sink and cutting board on starboard.

Our test boat has pod drives, and access to them is under the cockpit sole. The engines, on the other hand, are far forward under the upper cockpit, which makes for an unusually long run but does allow for the optional installation of pod-drive technology, which makes maneuvering a boat easy and fun. Engine access for quick fluid checks is via a hatch, but for more involved engine work, the entire bridge lifts electrically, exposing an engine room with great access to both diesels as well as the Onan genset, which comes standard.

Two molded steps on either side of the lower cockpit lead up to the deck level where good handholds are provided by the hardtop, which has a skylight and side enclosures for cruising and includes rod holders and LED lighting for fishing. A thigh-high railing provides safe handholds as you move up to the bow where a flush, opening anchor locker gives access to the rode and a disconnecting washdown ­spigot. An optional sunpad can be added to the ample foredeck.

Creature Comforts

The 4300 Open is a two-cabin, one-head boat, which is perfect for couples with occasional guests or kids. If you really want to pack them in for a weekend, the boat will sleep six cozy adults and maybe one child on the salon settee backrest that swings up to create a small Pullman berth.

Four steps down from the upper cockpit, you enter a sumptuous teak interior with the same clean lines and an eye toward functionality, just like the boat’s exterior. On starboard is a U-shaped galley with acres of Corian countertop space, a two-burner electric cooktop and a microwave/convection oven. Our test boat also has dual Vitrifrigo refrigeration drawers with two freezer drawers, for a total of four drawers of cooling space that would keep many days’ worth of food for a cruising couple.

Across from the galley is a convertible U-shaped dinette that faces a 32-inch flat-screen TV built into a short cabinet near the stove. The master stateroom is forward and has an island queen berth and plenty of storage in solid teak cabinets and drawers below the bed. There’s even a nifty rod-storage compartment above the drawers but beneath the mattress; it lifts on gas shocks. From here, there is a private entrance into the head, which has a separate shower behind a clear enclosure, a tiled sole and a designer vanity.

Across from the head is the guest cabin with over/under bunks and lockers for additional storage. This cabin didn’t exist on the 4200 and opens up options to cruising with more people who can still enjoy their privacy. The foredeck “skylight” is really three hatches that provide good light and ventilation, and there are no hull portholes, although you can request that a few be added. The joinery throughout is excellent, and the overall effect is elegant.

Under Way

Our test boat is equipped with twin 600 hp Cummins QSC diesels with Zeus pod drives. The vectored thrust of pods is more efficient, and higher speeds may be reached with less horsepower and, therefore, less fuel. The engines run cleaner and emit less noise, so even though they’re housed under the helm area, the boat was noticeably quiet even at 30 knots.

The boat popped up on plane quickly despite its 30,000-pound displacement, and even height-challenged skippers like me won’t have their view from the helm obscured. In fact, visibility from the helm is excellent in all directions, and that includes the two aft corners, which is handy whether docking or backing down on a fish.

At a cruising speed of 25 knots at 2400 rpm, the Tiara burned 36.4 gph. If you can tolerate traveling at a sweet spot of 12 knots at 1600 rpm, the burn rate drops to 15.2 gph and the range increases to well over 400 miles, so distant fishing grounds suddenly become a reality, and you won’t need to visit the pump nearly as often. I noticed how much better our performance numbers were than models tested with the standard 715 hp diesels with straight shafts. That’s a real argument for the option of smaller engines and pods with the bonus of the dynamic positioning feature called Skyhook. Pod technology adds about $40,000 to the base price, but the control you gain is priceless.

At wide-open throttle, we reached nearly 35 knots, which is more than enough speed to feel your stomach push back toward your spine and leave you thinking about how much you’re confusing the sea life around you.

Our test Tiara 4300 is priced at $1.15 million, which includes the cruising hardtop, electronics, Ultraleather upholstery and the aft mezzanine lounge. The model is a well-built, premium cruiser that is perfect for extended fishing outings as well as comfortable family cruising. Today’s convergence of sportfishers and cruisers means that most of these boats try to do double duty. But the Tiara stands out in that it has a third trick up its sleeve. You will rarely find a cruising sportfisher that is also a head-turning cocktail boat perfect for afternoon sundowners. The truth is the Tiara 4300 is well laid out and perfectly sized for group entertaining and is so easy on the eyes that it’s not like you’re taking your battlewagon out for a spin. In effect, it’s like getting three boats in one.

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