This New 48-Foot Cruiser Comes With a Lounge That Can Rotate 360 Degrees
The “power-actuated, rotating lounge module” lets owners live multiple lifestyles on this modestly sized vessel.
#SilenceIsGolden might make the perfect social-media hashtag for Tiara Yachts‘ sleek, new $3 million 48 LE hardtop cruiser. Unleash all 1,800 horses from its triple Mercury 600 V12 Verado outboards, watch the digital speedo sweep past 64 km ph, and listen to . . . well, not much at all.
Even pounding across a white-capped Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast, frothy with an unseasonably cold northerly blast, this 48-footer’s salon is recording not much more than 65 decibels on the noise metre.
About the same level as a normal conversation. Quiet enough to think you’re traveling at half the speed. And, unlike the loud engine churning you’d hear on most boats its size, it’s quiet enough to hear the inevitable creak and groan as hull number one pounds through a swell.
Launched at last fall’s Fort Lauderdale boat show, the 48 LE is the new flagship of Tiara’s Luxury Express series, and sistership to the 48 LS (for Luxury Sport) dayboat. The 48 LS is all about family fun. This new LE has more accommodations, along with a heightened level of sophistication for weekends with friends.
Inside that spacious salon, with its 360-degree IMAX views, there’s a small galley, elevated sofa seating for six, and a generous helm area with double seats on each side. Below decks are two staterooms—both full beam and each with a head and separate shower.
“With the LS and now the LE we’re catering for different lifestyles,” says David Slikkers, part of Tiara’s founding family. “Not everyone wants to be out in the elements, and the 48 LE gives owners and guests the flexibility of retreating inside.”
Despite the cocoon effect of the salon, the LE’s expansive cockpit is designed for outdoor entertaining. It features a proprietary Tiara design—what Slikkers calls “a power-actuated, rotating lounge module”— that’s been refined for this new 48.
Introduced on Tiara’s 38 LS, this oversized sofa with a built-in outdoor kitchen attached can power-spin a full 360 degrees. It can also stop in any position in that circle. Rotate it 90 degrees to port, power down the large portside terrace-swim platform, and it becomes a waterside seat to watch swimmers. Rotate another 90 and the views over the stern at anchor would be perfect for sunset gazing. This unique feature sets the Tiara apart.
Part of the testing for the lounge module and fold-down side terrace involved more than 10,000 cycles to ensure dependability and replicate five to six years of wear and tear.
The cockpit also maintains an indoor/outdoor feel that connects with the salon, thanks to twin sliding-glass doors and a glass panel that lowers into the aft bulkhead. In the salon itself, a seven-foot-wide sunroof opens over the helm, and the twin side windows behind the wraparound windshield allow for controlled air flow, even when the back is buttoned up and the boat is running at speed.
Triple 600 hp Mercury V12s are the only engines offered with this new 48 LE, and judging from our sea trial, they seemed like the right power for this 16-ton heavyweight. With the throttle down, the Tiara eases onto plane in around seven seconds, with hardly a murmur from the outboards behind. Flat out, the builder claims a top speed of 90 km/ph. Even with bumpy seas and seven people aboard, our boat read 88 km/ph on the speedo.
I turn the stylish wooden steering wheel hard left, and the 48 leans comfortably into a tight circle, hardly flinching as it slices its own wake. Running the optional Seakeeper 6 gyro-stabilizer would no doubt reduce the lean even more.
Back at the slip, the combo of Mercury’s joystick control and electric bow thruster, plus exceptional all-round visibility from the helm, makes docking a breeze.
This new 48 LE is an impressive contender in the fast-growing, outboard-powered, coupe-cruiser market. There is plenty of competition in this segment, but its build quality and innovative features like the revolving lounge give it an edge. Then there’s that beautiful sound of silence.
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