Tiara F53 Flybridge

A yacht that’s a pleasure to drive also manages to create more space aboard than should be possible.

Thanks to the original “Star Trek” show of the 1960s, we all know that space is the final frontier. And thanks to the numerous “Star Trek” TV and cinema spinoffs, the quote and its space-based message will be reiterated for eons to come (or as long as syndication is lucrative). But boat buyers don’t have to go to strange new worlds to enjoy more space. They can find it on the Tiara F53 Flybridge.

One area that vies for the “best use of space” award is the flybridge deck. There’s so much seating area that owners may be hard pressed to fill it all. Or perhaps they won’t want to.

Taking up the aft section of the fly is a large U-shaped settee with a high-gloss, high-low teak table. Useful for dining or resting, the settee has great visibility all around, and the cushions are well-padded for comfort. Dropping the table and tossing in the filler cushions creates a sunpad lounging area that is sufficiently sized for multiple people to kick their feet up or stretch out across the pad.

Need more lounging space? Forward on either side of the helm are long settees that are perfect for lounging on while facing fore or aft, or for sitting with one’s feet on the deck. Tiara got creative by adding a sunpad in front of the helm console, creating a lounging experience not usually found on a yacht this size. This area is perfect for keeping an eye on the little ones during a cruise or as a little hiding spot for someone with a book and a cocktail while at anchor.

Refreshments are not far away, thanks to the entertainment center behind the helm seat. With a wet bar, a refrigerator, an ice-maker, a sink and a cutting board, it has the features needed to allow folks to spend an entire day on the flybridge.

Not forgetting about the captain, Tiara created a unique seat and controls setup. First, the helm seat is doublewide and electric, to slide fore and aft. Next, Tiara added a center divider, like an armrest, that houses a joystick and a mouse controller for the chartplotters. The captain, in the left seat, or the passenger can operate the F53. And I say operate because the joystick can actually steer the yacht while it is at cruising speed. When Volvo Joystick Driving mode is activated, it works with the autopilot. The driver can use the joystick to change direction and the autopilot puts the boat back on course when he releases it. Of course, the stick can be used for tight maneuvering and docking as usual.

Suitable for the Volvo Glass Cockpit, the helm console can fit two 16-inch displays, autopilot, throttle controls, radios and more. Toggle switches are just under the console lip and offer clean lines and easy access. Typical dials and gauges are now found on the displays, uncluttering the helm.

Overhead, the full-sized integrated arch/hardtop offers solar protection; an optional full Bimini enclosure offers added protection. With the four-sided enclosure, boating season can be extended or, at the least, made more comfortable with climate-control options.

On the main deck, Tiara created an amidships salon akin to what I like to call “the penthouse.” Up two steps from the aft galley and designed like an oasis, the salon boasts a portside L-sofa, an accompanying forward club chair whose backrest flips aft so passengers can sit facing forward, and a starboard loveseat. Under-seat storage is available on the port side. Under the loveseat is the electrical panel. Yep, Tiara maximized usable space by taking the breaker box and getting it out of the way. It’s just switches, with no displays or meters that need viewing. While perhaps strange at first, it will grow on owners. There’s no need to dedicate a cabinet just for breakers, and having it amidships reduces some of the electrical runs.

Added amenities such as opening side windows, a 40-inch LCD popup TV, a Fusion multizone stereo and a high-low table (as a coffee table or for dining) fill the area. A 40,000-Btu Marine Air system will combat hotter days.

Building the F53 with large sliding glass doors essentially makes the main deck one big playground, so having an aft galley makes sense when it comes time to serve people inside and out. Adorned with quartz countertops, the portside galley has low-profile cabinets, a Sharp microwave oven, a recessed Kenyon three-burner flat cooktop and deep stainless Franke sinks. To starboard are dual (two drawers each) Isotherm refrigerator and freezer drawers. There’s also a space for an optional ice-maker or beverage/wine cooler. Provisions can be stored in many places to accommodate extended cruising or big parties.

Completing the main deck are the aft deck’s forward-facing lounge with a high-low teak foldout table and dual ottomans, a flat TV, a portside cabinet, a starboard aft-facing seat, a transom grill and a 70-inch hydraulic swim platform. Access to the flybridge is from the aft deck via a rugged aluminum channel that supports teak-capped floating steps with stainless railings. Nice touch.

How does a yacht builder move a 51,000-pound yacht? With a pair of Volvo D11 IPSII 950 diesel engines that crank out 725 hp each. With those powerful and efficient diesels coupled to IPS drives, this is one quick, responsive and maneuverable yacht. Crank it up to wide open and move along at just more than 31 knots while burning 75 gph, or cruise at a more sedate 17.8 knots while burning 38 gph. What’s good to know is that the power is there when needed.

Even with a 13.5 kw Cummins Onan diesel generator, a Seakeeper 9 gyro stabilizer system, a Glendinning power cable retractor and other ancillary systems, there’s room to access the Racor fuel filters and sea strainers in the engine room.

The standard lower deck configuration is a forward VIP and an amidships master stateroom. The VIP has a secret: twin V-berths that swing together to the centerline and create a queen-size island berth. It’s a handy arrangement for a cruise that might undergo a passenger switch that requires a different sleeping plan at some point. With solid teak flooring, carpeted risers, innerspring mattresses, cedar lockers, cabinets, hull-side ports and an overhead hatch, the VIP will make guests feel special — and cool too, thanks to the 10,000-Btu Marine Air system.

A central head comes with a separate shower stall, including a teak slotted floor and a teak bench seat, as well as teak counters, a vessel basin and a VacuFlush head.

Tiara identifies the lower area between the rooms as an atrium. Thanks to good elbow room and low-profile walls above that allow light from the salon to flood in, it’s more than just a walkway. To port is a utility room that can be used for a washer/dryer setup or optioned as a third stateroom with upper/lower bunks. In the sole of the atrium, under a hinged folding access door, is a huge storage compartment with dry storage for bags or provisions.

Amidships is the full-beam master, with hull-side windows with opening ports, a queen pedestal berth with a pillowtop innerspring mattress, divided storage under the berth, cedar lockers, a 32-inch Samsung flat TV and a port dresser. Ambient lighting is provided by the side windows and overhead skylights. A single basin sink and teak countertops add elegance to the master head, which features a fully enclosed shower stall with a glass door and a teak seat.

Tiara pays attention to the details; after all, it has been building watercraft for more than 60 years. From the oversized but watertight engine room light switch (because anything else just wouldn’t do) to the umpteen hundred screw-down wire loops (more than tiedown straps) to the overbuilt flybridge staircase, Tiara’s focus on quality craftmanship and utilization is evident throughout. Almost every seat has storage, the sink and cooktop covers have dedicated storage slots, and there’s an aft garage for fenders, covers and supplies.

Throughout the F53, Tiara uses hardwood teak flooring, wenge wood for cabinets and drawers (even in the galley), Chilewich wall coverings, and leather for the sofas and seats.

Even with the breakers located under the loveseat, it’s easy to energize the yacht, as Tiara has centralized the battery buttons and shore/gen buttons in a console. Come aboard, press the desired power system, and services that have breakers on come to life. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 54 ft., 6 in.
Beam 15 ft., 11 in.
Draft 4 ft., 8 in.
Weight 51,318 lbs.
Fuel 650 gal.
Water 150 gal.
Engines Twin Volvo D11 IPSII 950 725 hp diesel engines
Price (as base) $1,799,900
Standard Equipment
Twin Volvo D11 IPSII 950 or CAT 12.9 1,000 hp diesels, hand-laid fiberglass with balsa-cored hull sides, diamond nonskid decks, tempered windshield with wipers (3), dual transom doors, swim platform, Onan 13 kw gen, Volvo Dynamic Positioning, Joystick Plus, 20-gal. water heater and more.
Optional Equipment
Flybridge AC system, reverse osmosis water-maker, Seakeeper gyro, underwater lights, lower helm station, washer/dryer, central vacuum, hull colors and more.
Builder
Tiara Yachts, Holland, Mich.; (616) 392-7163; tiarayachts.com
West Coast Dealer
Silver Seas Yachts, San Diego, Newport Beach, Sausalito, Calif.; (877) 349-6582; silverseasyachts.com

Alexander Marine, Seattle; (206) 344-8566; alexandermarineusa.com

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