Tiara 41: Life is good...

When you're used to hitting home runs, people get excited when you step up to the plate. It's the same way with Tiara's express boats. The new 4100 Open nestles in familiar water between the 4300 Open and the 3700 Open. It has the trademark step sheer and a smooth muscular build.

The 4100 is available as a cruiser or as a fishboat, like the one we tested in Miami Beach. The only features that separate the two models are the optional ($4,900) bait-prep center that takes the place of the aft-facing lounge seat in the cockpit, port and starboard rod lockers ($1,560), and the $35,000 PipeWelder tower and double spreader outriggers. A steel plate sandwiched in the sole anchors a fighting chair.

Glancing around the helm deck, details flow together like water down a stream. The two-place power-assisted seat adjusts so you can easily read the compass or monitor electronics without stretching your neck or straining your eyes. Firm padding helps keep back vertebrae symmetrical when crunching over four-footers. Standing visibility was good too, although the 4100 likes to ride bow high, and you need to work the tabs to keep the long, broad foredeck under your nose and not aiming for GPS satellites.

The wraparound lounge with its molded footrest to port is high enough off the sole so guests can see where they're going yet are protected by the welded aluminum windshield.

Stowage is textbook right down to a locker that is sized to hold charts. Grabrails are strategically placed. The molded nonslip is top shelf. And if the fog socks in and you get warm under the collar sorting out targets on the radar screen, the a/c register at the helm will keep you cool.

We've come to expect these refinements of Tiara, but it's clear the engineering staff doesn't knock off at 5 p.m. The companionway door, for example, consists of two tinted acrylic sections that slide into a space-saving cove. Sections mean lighter weight so it's easier for women and children to open and close. A stop prevents pinched fingers if the door gets away from you while opening it in rolling seas.

Tiara 4100 Review PerformanceThe helm console is held in place with internal interference fit rubber knobs instead of the usual screw tightening latches. A determined yank releases the grip to access wiring, control cables and electronics. I also liked the quick release pins that lock the fishwell in place beneath the cockpit sole. In the past, Tiara screwed these wells and dunnage boxes in place, which made me nervous. If you ever had to get to the lazarette in a hurry, you'd need tools first.

Another improvement is a single big locking hatch in the cockpit for the fuel supply and return fittings. The hatch replaces those scattered pry out inspection plates for a neater and more finished look.

CROWN JEWEL SUITE

In the cabin, there's an island berth forward with a bi-fold privacy door. The dinette converts to a double berth. Our test boat had the optional ($3,700) teak and holly sole in place of the standard carpet, a nice complement to the teak and bird's eye maple table.

The galley is well-equipped with cruising and entertaining amenities. Like the topsides, details pour out no matter where you look. Stowage is abundant, not just in the drawers and behind cabinets, but in a hanging locker next to the upright refrigerator and a slide-out pantry for canned goods. Lift a hatch in the galley to reach the freshwater pump and there's room to stow cases of all the major food groups.

READ MY LIPS

Our test boat had the optional 535-hp 6V-92TA Detroit Diesels. The upcharge is $68K and buys 226 additional horses. At WOT (36.4 mph) you can hear every one. The explanation points to a new style air-intake vent. On the 4300 Open, (June 1991) the same engines produced the identical WOT speed with helm sound levels at a modest 90 dB-A Aboard the 4100, the meter was stuck on 96 dB-A Makes yelling difficult.

Tiara explains that the larger vents are necessary to accommodate the increased air intake requirements of the optional 605-hp 6V-92TIA DDEC IIIs. But they need to do something to squelch the noise emanating from the vents. 

Engine racket also escapes from the hatch on the helm level. On the plus side, the deck hatch permits quick access for daily checks.

Mechanically, the 4100 Open uses quality equipment: Racor 1000 fuel filters, 9kw Onan genset, proprietary toggle-bolt engine mounts and Groco raw water strainers. Internal strainers for the engines are becoming rare these days, even on high-end boats so I'm glad that Tiara still offers this extra level of water pump protection. The bronze strainers are mounted on stainless-steel tubing abaft each engine which not only makes it easy to clean them but the brackets also provide a handle to grasp when moving aft or outboard. However, the Norscot oil reservoir that cools the stuffing boxes is attached to the same bracket. Judging by the times I hit the plastic bottle with my knee reaching for the fuel filter to hook up the DZL gear, this is a vulnerable location.

On the port forward bulkhead a Balmar A.R.S. II alternator regulator juts out patiently waiting to draw blood. This should be covered or moved because it's a hazard, especially to anyone wearing shorts. There also should be a platform over the Rule 2000 bilge pump between the holding tank and the engine room deck. Coming down through the overhead hatch, it would be easy to step on the plastic housing. I'd also like to see the A/C pump hoses double clamped.

With a base price of $414,900 with test engines, the 4100 will get stiff competition from the Hatteras 39SX and the Blackfin 38 Combi. The Hatteras is 1'3" narrower and shorter than the 4100 and uses DDC 6-71TIs for power. Base price is $398,000. The Blackfin with 6V-92TAs is $469,990, 3" narrower and 3" shorter. 

The 4100 Open has all the attributes of an MVP in express boats. If the 4300 is more than you need and the 3700 is not quite enough, your name could be on the 4100.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL TIARA YACHTS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

This review/article originally appeared in Boating Magazine, January 1997 and was written by Peter Frederiksen. For more great yacht reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: http://subscriptions.boatingmag.com/

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  • 31' TIARA 31 OPEN LIMITED EDITION (2003) "LAS OLAS"
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    *2 YEARS FACTORY WARRANTY LEFT* While maintaining the heritage of the original Tiara...

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