Contents of Report
- Mission Statement
- Major Features
- Dockside Handling
- Boat Inspection
- The Cockpit
- The Stern
- The Bow
- The Cabin
- Base Fabrics
- Options to Consider
Tiara Sport Boats teamed with Seven Marine and Volvo Penta to give the 38 LS the torque and response of a boat with inboards around the docks with the trim-ability and efficiency of outboards. Joystick control and Volvo Penta’s glass cockpit enhance the versatility.
• Twin Seven Marine 527-hp outboards
• Volvo Penta Duoprop lower units
• Volvo Penta joystick controls
• Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit helm
• Wraparound forward bow seating
• Manual rotating U-lounge in aft cockpit with teak table
To get an understanding of how the Seven Marine outboards compare to other motors in class, we looked at other twin engine boats in class we have tested with big block gas sterndrive engines, inboard diesels, and diesels with IPS drives. The comparisons are interesting.
The Tiara Sport 38 LS with the twin Seven Marine 527s had the most horsepower — from 77 to nearly 157 horsepower more than the other available engines. The 38 LS topped out at 54.6 mph (87.8 kph) which was from 17 to nearly 20 mph (32.1 kph) faster than the others. That’s 47 to 56% faster. Additionally, the 38 LS with the Seven Marine outboards had an average cruise speed that was just slightly less than the big-block gas sterndrive boats, but less than the IPS diesels.
The Numbers. It would be cruel of us to withhold the performance of the boat with the twin 527s until later in the report, so let’s get right to it. The 38 LS measures 38’1” (11.61 m) long with a 12’6” (3.81 m) beam and we were carrying two people, 324.38 gallons (1,228 L) of fuel, no freshwater, four people and test equipment. Empty weight is listed at 19,350 lbs. (8,777 kg) and we had an estimated test weight of 22,086 lbs. (10,018 kg).
By comparison, Yamaha tested the boat with three of its 350-hp outboards and had an as-tested weight of 22,376 lbs. (10,150 kg). The Seven Marine-powered boat had a power-to-weight ratio of 20.95 lbs. (9.50 kg) per horsepower compared to 21.31 lbs. (9.67 kg) per horsepower for the standard triple Yamahas.
The twin Seven Marine 527-hp outboards spun Volvo Penta G6 stainless-steel propsets. We tested in cool, choppy conditions with temperatures at 45-degrees Fahrenheit, low humidity, winds up to 20 mph (32.1 kph) and a foot of chop.
Top Speed. We wound up the motors to 6000 rpm and hit 54.6 mph (87.8 kph).
Best cruise was at 3500 rpm, where the boat ran 29.4 mph (47.3 kph) and burned 31.5 gph (119.24 lph). That gave us 0.9 mpg (0.38 kpl) and a range of 278 statute miles (447.3 km) with 10 percent of the boat’s 331-gallon (1,253 L) fuel capacity in reserve.
At 600 rpm, the boat ran 4.3 mph (6.9 kph) and at 1000 rpm, she ran 6.3 mph (10.1 kph).
In acceleration tests, the extra bite of having six additional propeller blades was evident. The boat planed in 5.0 seconds and ran through 20 mph (32.1 kph) in 7.2 seconds and through 30 mph (48.2 kph) in 11.6 seconds.
With the extra six prop blades providing the bite, the 38 LS handled with authority on test day, even in less-than-ideal conditions. The conventional V-bottom design leans into turns at the appropriate angle and carves a clean arc through the maneuver.
We’re going to spend a little more time than we usually do on the slow-speed handling since that characteristic was such a focal point of the collaboration. With the joystick giving the captain full control, the big counter-rotating props moved the boat off the dock easily. We never felt the need to touch the bow thruster controls. Next, we tried docking the boat at a difficult oblique angle and the Duoprops put the boat exactly where we aimed her with the joystick.
Finally, we brought in the 38 LS to the dock against a strong 15 to 20-knot wind. Because the boat has more windage forward, small single props at the stern don’t have the surface area bite to move the boat the way the driver wants quickly. Notice how the twin Duoprop lower units on our test boat reacted to the joystick and put the boat exactly where we wanted her to go.
The Helm. The collaboration among the three companies is critical to the operation of the 38 LS. Our test boat had Volvo Penta’s Glass Screen EVC diagnostic system integrated into the Seven Marine display. It included the Dynamic Positioning for station keeping that has four settings:
Position and Heading Locked, Bow Position Locked, Stern Position Locked, and Heading Locked. The captain can use the touchscreen to choose a setting or employ the buttons on the joystick. The screen always shows the operator which function is engaged.
On our test boat, the joystick was on the arm of the captain’s chair, which means the operator can sit back, relax and run the 38 LS from a comfortably seated position. In the typical layout, the 38 LS has the joystick on the port side of the steering wheel with the shift/throttle controls immediately to starboard. Outboard of those are the trim tab buttons with built-in indicators and the joystick for the bow thruster that we never felt the need to reach for.
Adjacent to the Glass Screen display, the boat had a second large Garmin screen. Atop the dash, the compass is in the center of the upholstered panel on top. There’s a good eyebrow over the MFDs and just below the screens are the accessory switches in a single row. A glovebox is in the starboard side of the panel.
The three helm seats have folding armrests and individual bolsters so passengers can choose to travel in a seated or standing position. Forward on the console are two-level footrests finished in wood trim. A full-height tempered glass windshield is cleanly integrated into the hardtop structure and overhead, there are opening sections in the top that let in fresh air.
Abaft the helm, there are aft facing seats outboard on each side. They flank an entertainment center that has a sink to port and an optional 120-volt grill in the middle. Below there’s a drawer-style refrigerator beneath a storage drawer. Aft is a horseshoe-shaped lounge for which the entire structure can be rotated for facing forward or stern-ward.
There’s space for passengers around a table that can be lowered to fill in the area, creating a sunlounge. Dual gates provide access to the integrated transom platforms that extend outboard abaft the motors. There is a boarding ladder that meets ABYC standards on the port platform.
For rinsing off, there’s a transom shower and utility connections are all in a dedicated cutout in the stern passageway. An optional Makefast Marine powered sunshade is available for the aft cockpit. In the center of the cockpit deck, a hatch provides access to the mechanical accessories, including the steering and trim pumps for the motors and the batteries.
It’s easy to move forward on the 38 LS’ teak-covered side decks. Two steps lead up to the bow, where there is a 1 ¼” (3.18 cm) welded, low-profile stainless-steel rail. Wraparound seating features move-able armrests, integrated beverage holders, USB charging ports, and storage in the bases.
In the foredeck, there’s a windlass beneath a hatch and it connects to a 22-lb. (9.98 kg) stainless-steel plow-style anchor with 10’ (3.05 m) of chain and 200’ (60.96 m) of ½” (1.27 cm) plait rode. Under-gunwale racks can handle up to 10” (25.4 cm) fenders. As in the cockpit, an optional bow shade is available.
The 38 LS has a full-sized berth with an innerspring mattress that has two storage drawers in the base. There’s another compartment forward in the cabin plus a cedar-lined hanging locker to port. There’s a microwave, plus Marine Air Systems 6,000-BTU air conditioning. An entertainment center contains a 28” (71.12 cm) LED TV with Blu-Ray and a DVD player and storage.
The private head is a full-fiberglass liner with a stall shower with curtain and a Corian countertop that has a sink and hot-cold faucet. A fold-down teak cover is over the VacuFlush toilet and the area is air-conditioned.
Tiara Sport builds the 38 LS with a solid-fiberglass hull and balsa coring in the hullsides and deck. The backbone of the boat is an infused structural grid system that has molded finish and an integrated bilge water management system. The transom is a 5-ply resin-infused composite part that is patented. All underwater thru-hull fittings are bronze and above-waterline fittings are stainless steel. All cleats are 10” (25.4 cm) stud-mounted, pull-up versions. Of course, the boat is NMMA/ABYC certified.
Accent Color Selections
Interior Fabrics and Selections
The Tiara Sport 38 LS with twin Seven Marine 527-hp outboards and Volvo Penta Duoprops and EVC is $623,725. She is priced at $496,000 with Yamaha’s triple counter 300-hp engines.
• Five years on the hull and deck
• Two years on accessories
• Three years or 500 engine hours for Seven Marine 527-hp engines, whichever occurs first.
Options to Consider (Not mentioned in Captain’s Report)
• Lenco Auto Glide trim tabs ($3,965)
• Freshwater washdown outlet with coiled blue hose for aft cockpit and/or anchor locker ($795)
• Seakeeper SK3 DC Gyro ($51,500)
• 6-gallon (23 L) water heater ($1,200)
• MarineAir air conditioning system for helm ($3,580)
• Three-piece cockpit enclosure with side curtains and drop curtain ($5,357)
• Forward bow table ($1,700)
• Mounting equipment for cockpit TV ($1,450)
Combining the torque of twin 5.7-liter supercharged outboard motors with counter-rotating stainless-steel propellers gives the Tiara Sport 38 LS the power of a V-8 inboard with the versatility and trim-ability of outboards. The boat is fuel efficient and fast and the good maneuverability around the docks is undeniable.
Going with twin outboards simplifies rigging and unclutters the boat’s transom. When Rick Davis first developed Seven Marine outboards, he did so with the hope of reducing the number of motors on a boat’s transom. If it had twins, his goal was for an owner to replace them with a single. If it had triples, he figured they would go with twins. This application proves his concept.
As for the boat, the 38 LS is exactly what we expected from one of the longest-standing family boatbuilders in the industry with high-end craftsmanship, luxurious appointments, and intelligent design like the rotating aft lounge. It’s exactly what consumers want in a large day boat. With the twin outboards, she would also be ideal as a tow-behind tender.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tiara Sport 38 LS (2019-) is 54.6 mph (87.9 kph), burning 98.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 370.93 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tiara Sport 38 LS (2019-) is 29.4 mph (47.3 kph), and the boat gets 0.9 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.38 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 278 miles (447.4 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 527-hp 7-Marine.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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