Known for quality, thorough engineering, customer service and upscale products that perform as designed, Tiara has really hit the mark with its new 4800 Convertible. I get to run in a lot of different boat circles and see the latest and greatest products, but this boat caught my attention.
Tiara has built a solid reputation building cruising boats with great features and accommodations, express boats with functional fishing features and thoughtful engineering, and stylish convertibles, and the new 4800 is a logical extension of that line. With its roomy center-console flybridge, fully finished engine room, space-conscious layout and an impressive ride, the 4800 is capable of going head-to-head with any other production boat in its class.
Our test boat came powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesels putting out 1,015 hp each, and they pushed the boat onto plane effortlessly and quickly reached what I felt was her sweet spot of 28 knots at 1,900 rpm, burning 66 gallons per hour and yielding an estimated range of about 377 nm. We didn't have much of a sea, but a light chop on her quarter produced no spray and no chine pound. The 4800 was also quiet, especially when trolling, but even when running, it was easy to carry on a conversation on the bridge or in the cockpit.
I really liked the 4800's slow-speed handling and trolling. She has a very clean wake for a slow sailfish troll, and even after I bumped her up to a quicker pace, she stayed clean in the wake and bubble trail. The boat maneuvered quite well, as her running gear is spread, and she has rudders that bite, even in reverse; I could back the boat through a slalom course or get up-sea, spin and back down-sea easily, without any shudder or drag.
Her well-laid-out engine room provides good access to filters, raw-water pumps and belts. The engine room features a clean molded finish with little clutter. Wiring runs through chases, and main engine wires run to the center of the forward bulkhead, combed and terminated with a clear panel to show detail and offer clean access. The Onan generator sits aft of the starboard engine, while her oil-change system is easily accessed on the aft bulkhead behind the engine room entrance ladder.
The 4800 has a roomy flybridge with a walk-around center console with forward seating and a helm pod with single-lever controls and a dash ample enough to fit two 19-inch displays and then some. Boxes with lift-up lids on either side of the helm contain engine control components, accessory switches and the like, all within easy reach of the captain. Three helm chairs behind the console combine with wraparound seating on either side of the bridge, forward of the console, to offer plenty of seating. There are two insulated storage/drink boxes with top access lids at the aft end of each bridge seat. Our test boat had the fully molded hardtop option that fit the boat well and featured an overhead molded radio box.
The cockpit on the 4800 is roomy enough for several large guys to fish without running into each other. She features a mezzanine with storage underneath and refrigeration/freezer space too. Two large in-deck fish boxes sit to port and starboard, and there's a molded transom door, plus a transom livewell with proper plumbing and circulation, providing fully functional fishing capability. There are two options to get to the bridge on the 4800: You can order the boat with molded-in stairs or select a traditional bridge ladder, which allows for a tackle/rigging center behind the ladder. Our test boat had the molded-in stairs, and although I have been skeptical of them in the past, these were done far better than those in the previous boats I have seen with the same arrangement. The stairs made it easy to get to the bridge, and once there, I did not feel in danger of falling into the cockpit through the huge hole in the deck. Tiara has engineered the stairs so well you really lose very little bridge-deck space.
The salon features a teak floor and a port L-shape lounge with a bar, along the starboard side, that hosts the electric panel, pop-up flat-screen TV and storage. The huge galley features undercounter Sub-Zero pullout-drawer refrigeration and a large sink. Along the forward counter are an electric three-burner cooktop and upper storage cabinets with a microwave/convection oven. To port of the galley, a spacious dinette lounge seats five or six.
Moving below, the 4800 has a guest/crew stateroom to starboard with a hanging closet, and a full head with shower and vanity lies forward, accessed from the companionway and the forward guest stateroom. The spacious master is set to port amidships with a private head and shower. The island bunk sits fore and aft with storage beneath it, and there's plenty of closet and drawer space, as well as a flat-screen TV.
The 4800's interior is finished beautifully with fine woods and quality soft goods, but the thing that makes the 4800 shine is its engineering, with attention to detail and quality fit and finish built into the boat. Tiara has long been a customer-focused builder, and its 4800 Convertible proves the company also listens to fishermen.
Tiara 4800 Convertible
Displacement dry......45,012 lbs., approx.
Test Power......Twin 1,015 hp
Caterpillar C-18 Acert diesels
Tiara Yachts / 616-392-7163 / www.tiarayachts.com