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Lakeland Boating Tests New Tiara C53
Posted on November 30, 2016
Unexpected performance, expected beauty.
by Chuck Warren
The Tiara name has been synonymous with luxury, quality and attention to detail since its very first hull hit the water.
Weight: 42,770 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 650 gals.
Water Capacity: 150 gals.
As a family-owned company based in Holland, Michigan, Tiara consistently delivers owner satisfaction, value and performance in luxury boats built for the Great Lakes; the all-new 2017 C53 Coupe is no exception.
At the dock
As I approach the C53 from the dock, my first reaction is: This can’t be the right boat. For a 53-foot, 43,000-pound cruiser with room to comfortably accommodate six people, the boat is neither imposing nor ungainly. The beautifully designed hull and wheelhouse, and sleek, subtle lines create the impression of a boat that could easily be single-handed, which turned out to be true.
Stepping aboard presents an entirely different view. The wide aft lounge, forward seating, height-adjustable table and optional television make the 15-foot-wide cockpit feel like an extension of the salon. The cockpit seems to be designed as more of an outdoor living space, rather than just an area for wet swimmers and sunbathers.
Transom storage, retractable power cables and a hand-held shower are to be expected in a boat of this quality, as is the cushy, recessed sunpad on the bow. An optional hydraulic swim platform makes in-water activities more fun when it’s dropped 18 inches below the surface. No yoga experience is necessary for engine room access; fluid checks and other maintenance items are easy to reach, including the systems just forward of the quiet, efficient Onan 13.5kw genset.
Natural light floods the salon, thanks to full-width windows and sliding glass entryway doors. The galley has room for two people to comfortably prepare dinner on quartz countertops. With the under-mounted sink and recessed cooktop covered, there is plenty of room to display an ample selection of hors d’oeuvres, entrees and drinks for guests.
Cooking and preparation options are along the port side of the galley with cold storage provided by the dual Isotherm drawer units to starboard. There are plenty of overhead and lower cabinets, options for a garbage disposal, and either an icemaker or cold beverage storage.
In the salon, U-shaped seating and a separate loveseat are surrounded by plenty of glass. There is even a retractable sunroof to usher in more light. The large side windows give every seat a view of the water, which only changes when the 40-inch TV is raised from behind the loveseat — or when the shades are pulled down and the windshield privacy curtain completes the transition from cruiser to cottage at day’s end.
On the water
At the helm, dual screens of Volvo’s Glass Cockpit dashboard system are more reminiscent of a private jet than a pleasure boat. The Garmin touch-screens provide customizable gauge packages for both of the 725-hp IPS950 drive systems. Simply hold a fingertip to the surface and the captain can swap voltage for manifold pressure, or engine temperature for prop speed; any desired instrument combination is just a touch away. The glass panels can also provide up to four navigation screens and controls for the Fusion entertainment package. The captain has complete control over what’s on-screen and can resize charts by pinching two fingers.
Joystick controls are becoming the standard on many boats, but the futuristic design and handling characteristics continue to impress me. To truly appreciate features such as Volvo’s Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) you must experience them. The touch of a button will lock the boat in place while in the slip or on open water. With the DPS active, you can untie all of the dock lines, put away cords and bumpers, and make your way back to the helm when you’re ready to go; the boat will stay in place.
The performance of the C53 is exceptional for its size and class. The boat was designed with a focus on fun — and it shows. The boat handles like a 25-foot sport boat instead of a 53-foot luxury cruiser, responding to the throttles as if she was born to run. During the sea trial, the C53 accelerated to an optimum cruising speed of 28.1 mph in just 11.5 seconds at 2100 rpm. Kick it up a notch and cruise at 32.1 mph at 2250 rpm.
The Drive Mode feature, which is coupled with the autopilot, will keep the boat on your chosen course by simply steering. Turn the boat, let go of the controls, and she will track straight and true until you tell her otherwise.
One person can easily handle the C53. The boat’s 360-degree visibility and joystick controls allow the captain to face aft while backing into the slip. Even without the optional bow thruster, Volvo’s IPS system can walk the boat perfectly sideways. Engaging the DPS will hold the C53 steady while dock lines and cables are reattached, giving the owner the option to enjoy a quiet day on the water, or a fun-filled family escape.
Back in the slip
Below, a wide atrium allows access to the staterooms and heads. The forward VIP stateroom with its “scissor” berth has bunks on either side that can be combined into a queen-sized bed. The space also has ample storage beneath the bunks and a cedar-lined hanging closet. A private access door to the head can be closed and locked for privacy while still allowing head access for other guests.
A portside utility closet holds a stackable washer and dryer with room for hanging clothes. The space can be optionally configured as a third stateroom with top and bottom bunks, combining the washer/dryer into one unit in the master stateroom cabinet.
Just inside the master entry is a private head. The C53 has skylights with privacy screens that bring natural light into traditionally dark spaces, such as the heads and aft stateroom. Both the master and VIP heads are brightly lit, with room to close the door and comfortably prepare for dinner in port. Both heads feature separate fiberglass shower stalls with glass doors, teak seats, lighted medicine cabinets with mirrors and vanity storage. The master includes an overhead waterfall shower, and both have Vacu-Flush toilet systems for onboard freshwater preservation.
Further aft is one of the brightest master suites I’ve ever seen. Natural light pouring in through the hullside windows combined with clean colors creates the feel of a much larger space. The queen-sized berth leaves plenty of room to move around either side, and exceptional headroom throughout the boat adds to the comfort of the stateroom. A separate stereo system is hidden in the aft nightstand and a 32-inch flat panel TV and BlueRay player allow for a comfortable, private place to spend rainy afternoons or lazy evenings while guests enjoy the main salon.
Tiara Yachts has always set the standard in luxury, quality and performance. The company’s commitment to customer experience is evident in everything from materials and craftsmanship to customer service. What sets the C53 apart is the bright, airy design and impressive performance. Whether cruising between ports or lounging in the slip, the C53 meets every expectation with unparalleled class and style. Tiara cuts no corners, but turn the wheel out on the open water and the C53 does with ease.