Tiara made waves at the recent Fort Lauderdale boat show with its introduction of the 4500 Sovran, a replacement for the company's star performer, the 4300 Sovran. But the 4500 isn't just a stretched 4300 – it has a different hull, a different deck, a modified arrangement plan, a new hardtop design and lots of small improvements on the earlier model, many inspired by input from Tiara owners. "We didn't just add a couple of feet and call it a new boat," said company president David Slikkers. "It's a completely different boat." Since the 4300 Sovran became Tiara's strongest seller in a shorter time than any previous model, it took courage for the company to retire it in favor of the 4500. Did they do the right thing, or should Tiara have kept the 4300 Sovran around for a while longer
|Length Overall||44' 5'' / 13.59 m|
25, 050 lbs.
Currently no test numbers
2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
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Tiara Listens to Customers ...
When first working up the 4500, Slikkers and his team sifted through databases to find critiques of the 4300 Sovran, looked at warranty records to locate any recurring problems and consulted with owners to find out how they used their boats and to elicit suggestions on how to improve them. Many of these consultations took place at Owners' Rendezvous, attended by company management and employees as well as Tiara owners. "We try to make the next generation better than the earlier one," said Slikkers. "The 4300 Sovran was a gold performer for us; in the 4500, we wanted to go for platinum."
... And Dealers
Dealer feedback also played a part. Some dealers said they'd lost sales to other brands because buyers wanted a washer/dryer, optional on the 4300 Sovran but requiring a change in salon cabinetry that had to be done when the boat was built. Other dealers lost sales because their stock boats had the washer/dryer option, which robbed space from the dinette. By modifying the accommodations, and having more boat length to work with, Tiara's design team included a large locker in each 4500 Sovran, big enough for a washer/dryer. Dealers can add the units at the time of sale, and owners who discover it's nice to have clean clothes while cruising can do the same at any time.
Fun Under the Sunroof
One popular feature of Tiara's 5800 Sovran was a sunroof in the hardtop. It was a very expensive addition to the bigger boat, said Slikkers, but less so in the 4500 where it's now standard. A sunroof admits lots of natural light into the deckhouse, but even more now comes in through a larger windshield and side windows – 504 sq. in. more glass than in the 4300, said Slikkers, thanks to eliminating the center panel and reducing the size of the pillars; that also improves visibility for the helmsman.
Power, Performance and Systems
Like all Sovrans, the 4500 relies on Volvo Penta IPS drives, in this case 435-hp IPS600s. We haven't been able to corral a 4500 for testing yet, but Tiara provided us with their complete test data. With full fuel, water and waste tanks, and three engineers on board, the 4500 topped out at 31.2 knots, with a fuel burn of 44.0 gph (166.6 lph); crunching those numbers gives us .71 nmpg (.19 nmpl) and 222 nm (411 km) range. At 3200 rpm, best cruise, speed was 26.1 knots, fuel burn 33.6 gph (127.2 lph), range 243 nm (450 km) at .78 nmpg (.21 nmpl). Again, these aren't BoatTEST figures, so don't call us if your mileage varies.
Along with IPS drives, the 4500 Sovran takes advantage of Volvo Penta's IPS Joystick Plus, which makes close-quarters maneuvering intuitive rather than stressful; Volvo's electronic engine controls and steering; and their digital engine monitoring system, with vital signs fed to a 7" color display at the helm. (About the only thing at the helm not linked to a computer is the Ritchie SuperSport compass.)
An Onan 11.5-kW genset provides power when the shore cord is unplugged; we'd add an inverter for brewing coffee, watching TV and other low-amperage chores – with three separate battery banks, including five house batteries, there should be enough juice without starting the genset.
Pricing and Recommendation
It's hard to go far wrong by buying a Tiara, and from what we can see the 4500 Sovran should be no exception. But don't take our word for it: Listen to the market -- the 4300 from which the 4500 derived was a very strong seller, and the new boat looks even better. It's enough bigger than the earlier boat to allow for significant improvements in layout, both above and belowdecks; the redesigned hardtop, sunroof, windshield, helm, garage and platform are all attractive features. We think Tiara will find itself with another winner; at press time, only two weeks after the boat's introduction, three had already been sold.
Base price of the 4500 Sovran is $859,000, but that includes most of what you need. An electronics package will add $38,650 (Raymarine) or $42,980 (Garmin); both include two multifunction displays, autopilot, VHF and radar – the Garmin radar is 6-kW, vs. 4-kW in the Raymarine package. The transom seat costs $5,580, the grill, $1,960, A/C in the upper cockpit/helm, $8,480. Other options are relatively inexpensive. We estimate a fully equipped 4500 Sovran will run about $920,000 plus shipping and commissioning. For a boat this size and of Tiara quality, that is a competitive price.