The Tiara 48 LS is a sport boat and a yacht all in one.
The Tiara 48 LS is a hybrid, but not in the way you may think. The clue is in the name—LS—which stands for “Luxury Sport” and sets expectations from the start. This flagship of Tiara’s outboard series is a dialed-in combination of a fast express boat that drives like a demon and a plush yacht that can go weekending like boats 10 feet longer. It’s also a blend of a bowrider and a center console so it’s a complex boat deserving of a serious walkthrough.
The 48 LS is the largest in Tiara’s four-model LS series, and it was designed around the intended propulsion package which includes triple 600-hp Mercury Verado outboards. These enormous V12 engines have the groundbreaking feature of pivoting lower units. They also integrated electro-hydraulic steering that leaves the “well” clear so there are no tripping hazards at the transom, just a clear teak deck.
The three engines deliver a top speed of 50 knots. You’ll get halfway there in only nine seconds. At 4,500 rpm and a 37-knot cruise, you can expect to enjoy a 362-mile range. That’s impressive given that the 48 LS with full fuel and water tanks comes in around 30,000 pounds, and the best part of the propulsion package is that it’s whisper-quiet.
Just looking at the 48 LS from the dock, there’s so much to unpack. First, there are the sleek lines, the low hardtop, the open bow, the considerable cockpit, the integrated summer galley, and the circular track on the cockpit sole that promises an extra surprise.
Step aboard via the starboard hull door (also the perfect dive door) and you’ll land right at the heart of the boat—the generous lounge. A crescent-shaped settee faces aft while a straight double seat faces forward; they are separated by a high-gloss-finish folding table.
The first reveal is that the backrests of the aft seats swing forward creating an expansive sunbed aft. Next, at the touch of a button, the entire sunbed/seating assembly begins to rotate until it swings 90 degrees facing the port side. Now it gets really interesting. The aft quarter of the hull side hinges down to create a drop terrace that not only offers enticing access to the water, it also significantly expands the available deck space. With the terrace open, the lounge rotated, and a cocktail being made in the galley, the ambience is very yachty.
Speaking of the galley, the chef is right in the middle of the social action but also protected by the wide hardtop above. A sink, refrigeration drawers, and a Kenyon grill provide all the tools needed to cater an impressive dinner party. There’s even a fold-out jump seat here for those who like to hang out in the “kitchen,” chatting with the cook.
A Center Console, of Sorts
The LS 48 could be called a center console in that the helm is on the centerline and you can get to the bow around both sides. The truth is that you’ll want to take the side deck to starboard which is clear, has high gunwales, and includes a nice handhold all the way forward. The port side has an elevated deck so technically, you can also walk forward via this side, but you’ll be hanging onto the hardtop as you go. The decks were made symmetrical in order to create more room in the cabin below. (More on this later.)
If the aft lounge is busy, come up to the bow where eight people can socialize comfortably. A triple lounge seat with armrests and an electric footrest faces forward, and it’s sure to be the much fought-over spot. More seating is provided via the wraparound bow lounge. The whole area is tied together with a table that levitates from the sole.
If the cockpit is the heart of the yacht, then the helm station is the brain. Triple seats are tucked under the hardtop with a tempered glass windshield and three opening hatches above to let in fresh air at anchor or under way. If you want to keep the elements out completely, just slide the doors on both sides closed and lower the rolling Isinglass curtain aft.
The wheel is centered on the dash with the Mercury throttle controls to starboard. Triple Garmin MFDs (two 16-inch and one impressive 22-inch in the center) deliver not only navigation information but data on just about everything on the boat including the optional Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer. When it comes to docking, it’s easy to step out to starboard, grab a line, hop through the dive door and onto the dock. With this setup, managing a 48-foot yacht becomes child’s play.
No yacht is complete without accommodations. The 48 LS has a luxurious interior with a centerline island berth, a full head with a separate shower, a flat-screen TV, and a second cabin with double berths aft. Couples with kids or occasional guests will lack for nothing whether going diving for the day or cruising on a three-day fall foliage outing.
It’s hard to pin the Tiara 48 LS down as one thing or another, and that’s good. She’s a sport boat and a yacht, a bowrider and center console, a day boat and a weekender, and an entertainer and a performer. She’s a lot, but she’s not having an identity crisis. She just delivers on every level, so if you have high expectations and varied needs, put the Tiara 48 LS on your short list.
-by Zuzana Prochazka