When he started Tiara Yachts, company chairman Leon Slikkers said he was building boats for the way he liked to go boating. With the new Q44 adventure yacht, Slikkers and his son, Tiara CEO Tom Slikkers, said they are building a boat for the way people go boating today. The Q44 is designed to be a versatile boat that offers passengers a variety of recreational activities during the day and returns to the docks in the evening.
For the optional hardtop toy rack, Tiara engineers took a look at the systems made by automobile accessories manufacturer Thule and spoke with the company before developing its own roof rack system for the Q44. It can be customized to carry kayaks, bicycles or stand up paddleboards. Tiara recommends that buyers consider the placement of radomes and other antennae when setting up the rack.
Power Sliding Doors.
Sometimes the boss just knows best. From the start, Leon Slikkers said the Q44 needed power sliding doors to enhance her versatility and he got what he wanted. There are buttons outboard of the helm and co-pilot’s seats and on the outside as well. A captain can open the starboard door, start backing into a slip and stop to grab the forward dockline off a piling before completing the process.
Reinforcing the idea that the Q44’s focus is for passengers to enjoy the outdoors, the island galley is aft in the cockpit. It has a Corian countertop with two removable cutting boards over the sink and grill, an Isotherm 2.3-cu. ft. refrigerator, a wastebasket and storage.While there is a safety switch on the grill, we'd still like to see a heat shield on the underside of the cover. For no charge, owners can opt for a similarly equipped island galley in place of the aft lounge that would open up the cockpit.
They’re optional, but after seeing them in action, we think the Mediterranean shades will be popular accessories on the Q44. They install quickly with stainless-steel stanchions and provide shade for the bow seating area and aft cockpit.The optional Mediterranean-style shade covers the bow and can be deployed quickly.
Below decks, the Q44 has the shower in a stall to port and the toilet and sink in their own compartment to starboard.
Tiara made the most of the space in the Q44’s bow with a two-person couch-style lounge front and center and upholstered cushions outboard on each side where a person can stretch out. The side and bow decks are covered in non-skid and are wide enough for passengers to sit.There are six cup holders and a track to secure the weather covers. Storage includes rounded trays beneath the deck that can accommodate 10” (.25 m) diameter fenders. A large hatch in the bow opens on twin stainless-steel gas struts to reveal the Lewmar CPX3 windlass with a remote control. It hauls in a 37-lb. (17 kg) anchor with a rode made up of 40’ (12.2 m) of chain and 200’ (61 m) of rope.
The Q44’s side decks are wide enough that our test captain could pass by our cameraman without hitting each other. At about 32” (.81 m) tall and capped with a stainless-steel rail, the side decks also feel secure. The fuel fills and waste outlets are outboard of the power sliding doors on each side.
Stairs on each side at the end of the side decks close with stainless-steel gates. When opened, they lead to the Q44’s stern, which comes with a 5’ (1.5 m) standard swim platform with a stainless-steel boarding ladder. It can be upgraded with an optional hydraulic platform from Nautical Structures that can be lowered beneath the water’s surface.To starboard, there’s a freshwater shower and forward is a cabinet with the freshwater inlet and raw-water washdown. To port, the cabin has the controls for the swim platform and for the trunk that houses the supports for the optional Mediterranean shades. Beneath the table, there’s a removable panel that provides access to the generator.
Abaft the island galley, there’s a lounge with a convertible backrest so passengers can sit facing forward or aft. The whole lounge structure is hinged at the front and opens the aforementioned transom trunk. For a quick snack, there’s a small flip-up table on the aft side of the galley.Forward of the galley, a hatch in the center of the cockpit sole opens to the engine compartment. Outboard on each side, locking hatches with thick rubber gaskets open on stainless-steel gas struts to access storage.
When we stepped up and forward from the cockpit to the helm deck, the Q44 retained her open airy feel. On each side of a center passageway, there are L-shaped lounges with storage in the base around optional teak tables on stainless-steel pedestals. The two individual tables can be replaced with a large one that folds out. By replacing the table legs with shorter ones and using filler cushions, this area can convert to an open-air berth.
Forward Seating Area.
At the Q44’s helm, Leon Slikkers had another requirement for Tiara’s designers. The boat had to have space for four passengers, including the captain to travel facing forward and have ease of passage to the cabin door. As a result, there are raised doublewide seats to port and starboard with multi-position footrests just ahead.Outboard of the seats, there are buttons that open and close the power doors and move the seats forward and aft.
A surprise in the sole forward of the co-pilot’s seat is a hatch that opens up a huge storage area. Instead of designing the boat with a small aft cabin, Tiara gave her this locker that is large enough for our 5’8” (1.72 m) test captain to duck down in and close the hatch. The access ladder for the coach roof stores in this area and there are dedicated spots for 5-gallon (19 m) buckets and baskets to hold tools and other accessories used for maintenance.
Tiara teamed with Volvo Penta on the Q44, using the engine manufacturer’s Glass Cockpit system that features navigation and engine instrumentation on two Garmin 8212 12” displays.There’s a traditional compass up top and below the screens are the accessory switches and a 12-volt power plug. With the Volvo Penta power, the Tiara Q44 also comes with Volvo IPS Joystick controls that lets the captain drive and dock the boat with the accessory and autopilot. There are electronic traditional shift/throttle controls and Lenco electric trim tabs as well.
The entryway to the Q44’s below decks area is opened with a large door that slides to port. There is a sliding screen that lets in fresh air as well as an overhead deck hatch and two side ports, all of which have screens. The boat also has a 10,000 BTU air conditioning system. In keeping with the boat’s versatile theme, she has a scissor-style berth that opens to create a V-shaped lounge in the bow and closes to sleep two in one berth.Aft to starboard, there’s a mini-galley with a microwave oven and another 2.3-cu. ft. refrigerator and to starboard is a hanging locker. The 29” flatscreen TV is forward and there is a Blu-ray player as well as a pair of speakers and a remote for the Fusion stereo. A large hatch in the sole provides access to the shower sump and other plumbing accessories.
Tiara builds the Q44 with a hand-laid solid fiberglass bottom and balsa coring in the hullsides and deck. The stringers are cored with wood and foam and encapsulated in fiberglass. The hardtop and windshield frame are composite for weight savings and strength. Deck hardware includes six 12” stainless steel cleats and a 1 ¼” diameter stainless steel bow rail.
The Q44 has 12-volt DC and 120- and 240-volt AC electrical systems. She’s equipped with an Onan 9 kW diesel generator plus nine batteries, five for engine cranking and four house batteries. There is a 65’ shorepower cord with a power retractor.
The engine compartment has an automatic fire extinguishing system, sea strainers and fuel-water separators for the engines and generator and a triple-port oil changing system. The engines are installed on vibration dampening mounts through-bolted to the stringers.
We tested the Tiara Q44 with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesel pod drives turning T3 propsets through 1.82:1 gear ratios. She hit a top speed of 37 mph at 3600 rpm, where we burned 44 gph, giving the boat a range of 265 miles at wide open.
Best cruising speed
was 28.7 mph at 3100 rpm, where she burned 31.55 gph for a range of 296 miles with a 10% reserve. In acceleration tests, the Q44 hit 20 mph in 7.5 seconds and was fully on plane in 7.9 seconds. She hit 30 mph in 15.5 seconds.
Our test captain drove the boat while standing with the steering wheel and controls and while seated with the joystick and the boat responded smoothly to steering input from each source. For long-distance cruising, just set the speed and trim, have a seat and work the joystick. Our test day on Lake Michigan brought 2’ to 3’ (.61 m to .91 m) seas and the deep-V hull with 18-degrees of deadrise at the transom carved through the waves with ease.
Transferrable limited lifetime warranties. Five years on hull and deck. Two years on accessories. Refer to warranty statement for details.
Options to Consider and Price
With her day-boat approach, the Tiara Q44 is a departure that could appeal to families who like to stay active during a day on the water. Tiara spent three years researching before deciding to pull the trigger on the new model and that it can go up or down in size from the 45’6” (13.8 m) length with the concept.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tiara Q44 (2015-) is 37.0 mph (59.5 kph), burning 44.00 gallons per hour (gph) or 166.54 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tiara Q44 (2015-) is 16.3 mph (26.2 kph), and the boat gets 0.90 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.38 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 282 miles (453.84 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
(It's quick and FREE!)