“I felt ensconced in luxury when the captain firewalled the throttles, unleashing triple 600 hp Mercury Verado outboards.”
Ithought it was impossible to be completely relaxed yet exuberantly excited at the same moment, until I reclined in the thickly padded, triple-wide bow chaise longue on the Tiara Yachts 48 LS. ¶ With flip-down armrests, contoured headrests and an electrically actuated adjustable footrest, I felt ensconced in luxury when the captain firewalled the throttles, unleashing triple 600 hp Mercury Verado outboards. In moments, the propellers were spinning at a combined 315 rotations per second, and we were traveling across the water at a hair-whipping top hop of 52 knots. That little voice inside my head wanted to whisper, “Aahhhhh,” and shout, “Woohoo!” at the same time. ¶ At 4,500 rpm, the 48 LS zips along at 33.3 knots while the triple Verados consume 61 gallons per hour, providing a 330-nautical-mile range. Those are noteworthy numbers for Tiara’s largest outboard-powered yacht ever, designed in concert with the mega-Verados to provide a power-packed performance experience. ¶ Sure, 1,800 hp is a lot of oomph, but there’s more to the package than raw power. The engine’s midsection cradles the power head to minimize noise and vibration, and its timing is tuned to reduce induction and injection sound levels. Tiara designed the helm station with sliding side doors, a front wraparound windshield, and an aft roller bulkhead that drops down from the hardtop. Net result? When I fully enclosed the helm and cruised across the water’s surface, the sound levels inside peaked at a spectacularly low 67 decibels. (Normal conversation creates 60 to 65 decibels, and on most open-helm outboard-powered boats, I hear that much volume when idling along at 1,500 rpm.) ¶ Reducing the noise and vibration boosts the luxury level aboard, as does the interior volume belowdecks. There’s a pair
of staterooms, one with twin berths amidships and one with a pedestal queen forward, along with a head and separate stall shower. Surrounded by an architectural teak and driftwood decor, this space has design touches such as solid teak for the steps and sole. There’s an owner’s choice in the duvet and pillow shams, as well as cheerfully bright LED lighting. ¶ Still, for 90 percent of the mariners out there, the highlight of this yacht is the outside. The after end of the 48 LS has multiple convertible features. The transom area is capped off with an articulating settee that spins 360 degrees for watching the sunset off the stern, or facing the forward settee and dinette to provide dining space for eight. Electrically actuated backrests also go all the way down to turn this settee into a lounger or sun pad. At the press of another button, the entire portside gunwale and hullside fold down to expand the cockpit, creating a deck-level terrace. And while the kids can have a blast jumping off the side of the boat, people more mobility-challenged will notice the swim ladder housed inside the terrace. That ladder extends 4 feet down from deck level, making reboarding the boat a cinch. ¶ Take a close look at the stainless steel used in that swim ladder. Also, grab the handhold near the sink, grill and fridge abaft the helm station and give it a yank. Then take a peek at the hinges on the flip-down seat in the back of the forward cockpit settee, as well as the dinette-table pedestals and the dive-door locking latch. All of these metal parts are oversize and polished stainless steel, and as a general rule, the hardware on this yacht looks battleship-worthy. ¶ After I spent an afternoon aboard the Tiara 48 LS, I had a hard time deciding whether it’s more of a sport yacht or more of a luxury machine. One thing I know for sure: It’s built for some uniquely athletic lounging.