By Chuck Warren
Perched on the eastern shores of Little Traverse Bay, Harbor Springs and the surrounding Northern Michigan area is a terrific place to be a boater.
Photos Courtesy of Tiara Yachts
With lots of nearby Lake Michigan ports to trtaverse, there can’t be many better places in the world to explore by water.
Docked at Walstrom Marine, I got a chance to sea trial the luxurious 2022 Tiara Yachts 43 LE matched with Mercury Marine’s new Verado 600-hp V12 outboards — the perfect package for such an adventure in this boating paradise. It’s hard to believe the words “outboard” and “luxurious” can be found in the same sentence, but the innovation and advancements behind these outboard engines is truly incredible.
The Tiara Yachts 43 LE is the perfect example of how well the two words can coexist. With the 600-hp Verado V12 outboards mounted at the transom, the boat gains all of the space-saving, high-performance benefits while sacrificing nothing at all.
The 43 LE does not look like a luxury powerboat that someone stuck outboards on just to keep up with the competition. It has a balanced appearance that makes the outboards look right at home, just like other models in the company’s sporty LS and LX lines.
A cross between a capable dayboat and luxury overnighter, the 43 LE is outfitted with standard features that create the best of both worlds with lots of room above and below for entertaining friends or getting away from the crowd.
The boat is easy to board, whether you are stepping through the starboard-side boarding door or onto the roomy swim platform made more usable by the large deck covering any cabling from the engines.
The platform is also well-designed for playing in the water, with enough real estate to make getting in and out easy and no need to know any dance moves to get to the cockpit.
Rich with features
In the aft cockpit, Tiara’s innovative rotating All-Sport Lounge Module sits in the middle of the space. Release the lock and the module spins to face aft, or create a social zone by turning 180 degrees to face other seating and create the most usable deck space possible.
The rotating seats also work in tandem with one of the Tiara 43 LE’s best features — the portside terrace. With the hull side folded down to create extra deck space, the rotating seats can be turned to have an unbroken view of the sunset without blocking the flow of foot traffic.
The patio also includes a port for the removable swim ladder, creating another easy way to get in and out of the water.
At the helm and in the mid-cockpit, plenty of seating can accommodate lots of guests, while twin cold storage drawers hold plenty of refreshments. There is lots of storage hidden throughout the space. A retractable cockpit TV is hidden in the hardtop, as is an aft sunshade.
Below and forward, the main cabin features a queen bed and lots of headroom, with loads of light pouring through the hullside windows. To starboard, the roomy head and separate shower provide plenty of space for cleaning up, while access to the mid-cabin guest quarters can be found to port.
Both spaces are bright and airy, and even provide plenty of privacy and room for four people to spend a comfortable weekend on the water.
The list of standard features on the Tiara Yachts 43 LE is incredibly impressive, and very welcome. There is no real need to add anything in order to create a beautifully appointed powerboat — it just comes that way.
A retractable sunshade at the aft end of the hardtop provides some escape from the heat, while a 9kw diesel generator can keep the electric grill hot, the flat-screen TV playing, or the heat or AC blowing whenever desired.
Other standard features include the anchor windlass, retractable power cord, bow thruster and the gorgeous architectural teak and driftwood interior below. Twin 16-inch Garmin screens keep the captain informed and the boat pointed in the right direction.
The Tiara 43 LE is a beautiful boat in its own right, but it is made even more so by the addition of Mercury’s engines. The Mercury Verado 600 engines provide something truly amazing to the package. The twin V12’s push the boat to nearly 55 mph at wide open throttle, with a comfortable cruise of about 43 mph.
The 43 LE’s ride and performance are impressive. The boat jumps quickly on plane with little bow rise and handles like a smaller boat, but the most incredible treat is the level of noise while underway.
There is none. Well, almost none.
With 1,200 hp at the transom, you might expect to yell across the cockpit to carry on a conversation. However, the 43 LE and Mercury 600 Verados are so incredibly quiet it’s hard to believe.
The boat has very little hull or wind noise either, making it easy to make use of the boat’s social zones for conversation whether sitting at the dock or flying across the water. Retractable isinglass doors make it even more quiet and help with climate control in the helm and mid-cockpit space.
Quick, quiet and luxurious — with the 43 LE sporting Mercury’s new Verado 600s, Tiara Yachts has added another truly beautiful jewel to its already impressive crown.
Portside terrace provides so much extra space.
Lots of swim platform space.
Extremely generous standard features list.