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Tiara 3500 Open 1999

 

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            Tiara 3500 ready for a lumpy ride down Long Island Sound

        I received a call to pick up a trade-in 35 Tiara last fall, shortly after the Norwalk boat show and deliver it to the dealer. Armed with only the name on the vessel I headed off to Norwalk. What I found when I got there was not exactly what I had expected. The trade in boat was a one season old and it looked like a brand new/used boat.  I was impressed with the condition of this vessel, it could have passed as a new display model left over from the recently closed Norwalk Boat show. Creamy white gelcoat with light tan canvas, black boot stripes and bottom make for a hansom package. The pervious owner did a fabulous job of outfitting this cruising vessel, she was loaded.with first class electronics and amenities. A single stateroom forward with a queen sized berth. This boat is the ideal cruiser for a couple. A leather covered settee that acts as a dinette is very useful and social. Low maintenance teak and holly flooring is a nice quality touch. Of course she's air-conditioned, stereo'd, TV'd, VCR'd , microwave's, etc. All the creature comforts here.

     This boat is powered by Big Block GM fuel injected gas motors by Crusader. A Westerbeak Gen. set is against the aft bulk head between the engines. Fuel injection has transformed the gas boating engine industry. Smooth fast starting with out the pump and cough that was common on carburetor engines . The increase in efficiency is almost unbelievable. With precise fuel metering only the correct amount of fuel is supplied to the cylinders depending on demand. On older 454 CID vessels one could watch the fuel gauge drop almost as fast as the tach needle rose. No so anymore. Machinery access is through an small hatch on the command deck. I deep drop down that could use a step of some sort. Engine check access is fine but the Generator service checks are almost impossible. The side mounted oil dipstick is difficult to locate and almost impossible to replace. I think that the complication of this procedure will have many owners waiting for the low oil pressure  auto shut down to stop the engine before checking their oil. Not a good situation. The entire helm deck can be lifted with the touch of a button to gain service access. A clean well laid out and constructed engine room. Tiara's quality and engineering can be seen here.

    Running this boat on a calm day last fall was very impressive. The light weight for a 35 foot vessel  (about 14,000 lbs.) was not apparent by the feel at the helm. A quite ride thanks to the gas engines and a good job of insulation, helped make her feel like a much heavier boat. The helm station is done in a dark blue shinny gelcoat that helped reduce windshield glare and reflection. The power fore and aft adjustment on the helm seat is a nice touch as is the helm area air-conditioning duct that will blow out temperature controlled air at the helmsman. This boat 's electronics were fist class with a Furuno open array radar, Icom VHF, digital depthsounder and a NorthStar 951 DGPS. Engine sync was controlled by a Glendenning switch on the dash panel. A well laid out helm ,with a waterproof circuit panel is at your finger tips. The power windshield vent window is a nice feature. Lots of very sociable seating in the helm deck and cockpit area with ice maker to help make entertaining a snap

    Needless to say a boat this nice would not stay on the used market very long and it was sold with in days of reaching the dealer. My job was to assist the new owner on his maiden voyage to her new Connecticut home port. Our trip was scheduled for Sunday April 10,1999. Mother nature was not very cooperative so I phoned the new owner suggesting a re-schedule to a more pleasant weather day might be prudent idea, it was agreed. About an hour later he called back and asked if our trip would be dangerous if we shoved off today.  No, to dangerous, yes to uncomfortable. Uncomfortable he could do so the trip was back on. Cold 25kt winds out of the west were blowing in light rain as we left the dock. Our trip down river was cold and windy. As we approached the inlet the Coast Guard informed an inquisitive boater that gale wind warnings were being posted. Our trip was to be a 20 mile run into the teeth of now blowing 30 kt + and gusting higher winds. Long Island Sound was kicking to 5 foot seas with a short wave cycle. We ran these waters at 12-14kts keeping the bow into the wind. Lots of water splashing over the forward deck, but this boat ran in these conditions really well. Lots of buoyancy forward kept us from burying the the bow as we met the next wave head on. Excellent tracking and helm response made for a confident ride. Entry was soft and solid with no pounding. Rough water did bring the props out of the water causing some cavatation that was quickly cured by dropping the RPMs. A possible price to pay for the trend in the reduced weight of many newer boats and the increased use of prop-pockets. Mother nature decided to increases her influence on us by mixing up a batch of snow , a rare occurrence for the month of April in southern New England. The new owner was quite pleased with his first trip on his new boat and looking forward to cruising long Island Sound.

 

 

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Tiara 3500 Open tied up in her home port slip ready to cruise.