Functional and fun layout results in a higher enjoyment quotient
Many factors could keep a man thoroughly immersed in the boat-building industry for 68 years. Not only a desire to build with his hands, to make and create, but something deeper. One thing comes to mind: passion. For Leon Slikkers, founder of S2 Yachts, a company that includes Tiara Yachts, passion has been his driving force. And that passion can be found within his creations. I found it on the Tiara 39 Coupe.
It’s apparent that a level of Slikkers’ passion has rubbed off on many Tiara employees, too, which I realized as soon as I began speaking with David Glenn, the marketing director at S2 Yachts and my captain for the sea trial. Despite being fresh off a long boat show schedule, Glenn’s attitude was spot on: passionate about the boat, passionate about the company. Oh, and still enjoying his job despite his level of exhaustion after a successful show period.
Don’t let his job title fool you. Glenn is fully knowledgeable about Tiara’s yachts, not just how to market them, and he’s proficient regarding all of the ins and outs of the 39 Coupe; plus, he deftly maneuvered the coupe in and out of its slip. His job was made easier by Volvo Penta joystick controls coupled to twin IPS 500 engines driving Volvo pods. Large twin forward windshields and good visibility all around, thanks to generous side windows and aft glass door panels, ensured that seeing fore and aft from the helm was no problem. My time on the wheel proved that, even when cutting tight turns at speed with a bit of a heel.
It’s in the Details
During a tour of the 39 Coupe, Glenn pointed out the details of pretty much every nook and cranny. The overarching theme centered around Tiara’s belief that it should be “all about enjoying the boat,” according to Glenn. And enjoyment abounds when you peruse the creature comforts laid out in a smart floor plan. Twin gates serve as the entrance from the swim platform to the aft deck. They flank the well-padded center bench settee with a high-gloss, high-low, dual-stanchion teak table. Beneath the seat is a huge storage area, accessible from the platform, with a fiberglass liner and port-side access to reach the Volvo pod drives.
Aft glass doors slide open to reveal a voluminous salon, finished with teak flooring and satin wenge wood. The galley is aft to starboard, which serves and solves. It can be used to serve meals, snacks, drinks and such to passengers inside and out, thereby becoming a central point for prep and socializing. It also solves the issue of including the chef in the mainstream instead of relegating him belowdecks if the galley was down.
Tiara didn’t skimp in the galley. It’s appointed with a Kenyon two-burner recessed cooktop, a deep stainless sink with a Moen extending faucet, an Isotherm 120v refrigerator/freezer, under-counter drawers and a Sharp convection microwave. Corian countertops and a backsplash add pizzazz. A 28-inch LCD flat-screen TV is fix-mounted from the ceiling in the corner.
At the Helm
Forward to starboard is the helm, styled like a pod with everything the captain needs within reach and not intrusive into the living space. There’s sufficient space in the console for two 12-inch displays that are part of the Volvo Glass Cockpit–integrated electronics package that’s coupled to the Garmin electronics. It’s a real space saver when engine controls and gauges can be displayed on the same screens as the chart/radar/fishfinder screens. A VHF radio, throttle controls, trim tabs, rockers and more are located on the console and dash. On the right is a molded-in armrest that holds the Volvo Joystick Plus Control and chartplotter controller.
Location is everything, and the helm is right across from the large L-shaped dinette settee and table. Serve a meal or kick back and lounge the day away from this comfy seat.
Below and forward is the master stateroom, which includes a queen-sized pedestal berth, a cedar locker, under-berth storage and side cabinets. The portholes open for ventilation, and so does the overhead screened hatch. Opt for the 19-inch LCD TV.
There’s one head on board, but hey, the boat’s just 39 feet. It does have a separate shower stall (always nice), a teak counter, a Kohler faucet and basin sink, a VacuFlush toilet and a porthole.
Need more slumber space? A full-beam aft stateroom includes a full-sized mattress, a hanging locker, an opening port and a portside settee (suitable for sleeping). It’s not full-height all around, as it’s located under the deck, but it does work for the occasional extra guests or as a kids’ hideaway.
May the Force…
As mentioned, the 39 Coupe is powered by twin Volvo IPS 500 370 hp engines with pods. There’s an option for twin Cummins QSB 6.7L 380 hp engines, but I don’t think there’s a need. The Volvos get the 23,000-plus-pound yacht up and going. We shot out of the marina and hit a few of the rpm breaks just like those on the Tiara-supplied running spec sheet. Full disclosure: I was not running reciprocal courses and getting all scientific with the numbers, but I did find we were either at or above the mid-range speed curves that Tiara published. What that tells me is that the figures Tiara posts should be consistent through the product line, and the builder is not overzealous about its predictions. Mind you, we were out in a light two-foot chop and 15-knot winds and had three people on board — a little sportier than Tiara’s test conditions. But the 39 Coupe responded as I expected and hoped.
I’ve tested and cruised on Tiara yachts before, and I hold them not only in high regard but also to a higher expectation. The 39 did not disappoint. Expect 11.5 mph at 2000 rpm, 30 mph at 3000 rpm and 40 mph at WOT, 3625 rpm. Additionally, it was a very quiet ride. Not bad at all.
Access to the Volvo powerplants is via a hatch in the cockpit sole. I’ll be honest, it’s cozy down there with crawl-around space, but you can access the filters, the Onan 7.5 kw diesel generator, the batteries and other regular maintenance gear.
Holding it Together
Underneath, the 39 Coupe’s hull is solid glass below the waterline and balsa-cored above, with glass-encapsulated wood and foam-cored stringers integrated into the hull, adding rigidity and strength. The hull and deck are finished in gelcoat, with a diamond-pattern nonskid surface on the deck and cockpit walking surfaces. The composite integrated hardtop includes a manual sunroof.
To make it easier to get to the sidedeck and move forward, Tiara built in side steps. House grabrails and side railing will ensure safe passage to the lounge on the sunpad, to handle lines or to check ground tackle. No toe-bustin’ windlass to cause injury — been there, done that.
When you look back at the career, nay, the lifestyle Leon Slikkers created, you may understand the passion the man conveys to his boats and employees. With the next generation of Slikkers siblings handling the operation now, it seems they are paying the ol’ man’s level of passion forward. It’s evident in the Tiara 39 Coupe.