Tiara Yachts EX 54

Tiara Yachts EX 54

Peerless reputation and all you would expect from Tiara.

by Peter Frederiksen

Walking down the dock heading toward the newest Tiara in the company’s 50-year history, there was no mistaking the yacht’s lineage.

Photos: Tiara

From bow to stern, the luxurious style and gorgeous sheer gleamed under the afternoon sun on the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. The Axalta-painted Fog Grey hull and white gelcoated topside looked razor sharp. When I peered at the transom, which read EX 54, I recalled many new Tiaras I had tested over the years whose transoms were labeled Crown Jewel. More than a jewel, the new EX 54 is the whole store and everything in it.

Welcome aboard

The cockpit alone proposes endless opportunities for the cruising fraternity starting with a choice of three distinctive modules. Our test boat, hull No. 1, featured the Lounge module, which includes forward- and aft-facing lounges separated by a drop-leaf teak table, polished stainless steel grabrails for secure moving about, as well as gated port and starboard molded steps to the 60-inch swim platform with recessed dinghy or PWC chocks and pad eyes. Our swim platform was the optional hydraulic version with its cleverly integrated and disappearing stairway. Either platform version provides electrically actuated access to trunk stowage below the module, along with a hot and cold shower, and raw and freshwater wash-down systems. An electric grill is handy yet recessed into the solid surface countertop abaft the forward-facing lounge along with a dual-voltage refrigerator, an optional ice maker and ample stowage. If fishing is more your lifestyle, the Adventure module adds different seating and available space rod holders, tackle drawers, an insulated cooler tub and a live baitwell. The Glass Patio module features a laminated glass bulkhead in the stern and available racks for bicycles, kayaks and other gear in the spacious trunk.

Port and starboard hullside terraces with Herculan synthetic teak flooring add more room to move about in the cockpit, and each terrace includes an inward-opening boarding door — a smart answer for docking convenience, especially when bringing aboard groceries and sundry gear. Alfresco dining opportunities are encouraged with a fixed hi-gloss teak table with a pair of breakfast bar ottomans. A second intimate and inviting teak counter with a pair of bar stools is at the port bulkhead with a switch that operates a drop-down window to completely open the salon to the cockpit. To starboard, a cooler box can be equipped with an optional 3-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer to keep your outdoor guests refreshed without needing to enter the salon. A TV appears at the touch of a button from the fiberglass overhead. Sun and rain are easily addressed with the Makefast Marine powered sunshade. A large hatch in the Herculan sole provides access to the acoustically insulated machinery compartment with typical Tiara attention to detail, including an available Seakeeper 9 gyro stabilizer, a five-port oil changing system for the Volvo engines and the Onan 13.kW generator, and easy owner-operator maintenance points.

I especially liked the wide sidedecks with Tiara’s signature molded nonslip sole, and the waist-high stainless steel railing surrounding the deckhouse, which provides safe traveling fore and aft. A Lewmar windlass is standard and operates remotely with a handheld device, as well as from the helm. The fresh and raw-water faucets in the rode locker seal the deal to freshen the rode being retrieved, as well as offer a quick solution to washing the bow area. The forward-facing lounge and table were also attractive features, but what caught my eyes were the stainless steel grabrails for passengers using the lounge while the boat was underway, and the port and starboard gunwale stowage compartments not just for fenders, lines and other loose gear, but also for the carbon fiber poles for the optional sunshade. A place for everything and everything in its place is a rule in the Tiara tradition I admire and subscribe to.

Inside moves

Detailed with lush teak joiner work and tasteful Chilewich wall covering with Ultraleather panels, the salon and helm area is a similar crowd-pleasing gathering and social area much like the cockpit. Immediately inside the sliding glass salon door is a comfortable lounge with an end table to port — an ideal spot to relax with a book, converse with other guests outside and inside, or watch the 43-inch television that rises from the teak joinery in the starboard galley. Forward to port is a hi-gloss teak dinner table that can convert into a berth should you have a guest reluctant to leave after dinner. The full-featured galley is built around a quartz countertop with a stainless steel under-mount sink, a microwave convection oven, a Kenyon electric cooktop and dual drawer refrigeration. Stowage is abundant throughout. Large tempered glass panels at the windshield, side windows and the glass sliding entrance door and bulkhead invite acres of daylight inside. For privacy, power blinds for the side windows and manual Duette blinds are provided. Herculan synthetic teak flooring throughout the salon is easy on the feet, grippy when wet, and wipes clean with a damp mop. A Webasto BlueCool V-Series air conditioning system blows 30,000 BTU of chilled air throughout the salon and galley, plus another 6,000 BTUs at the helm. The vents are deftly placed for thorough, quiet cooling while avoiding annoying breezy cold spots. Maintaining a comfortable temperature can be challenging with all that glass on hot, bright sunny days, but it was obvious Tiara’s engineering and design group nailed it here. For natural ventilation, a Webasto electrically actuated sunroof and a sliding pilothouse door bring the fresh breeze aboard.

Overnight accommodations

The three-stateroom, two-head layout is generously proportioned to provide comfort and privacy and an abundance of natural lighting thanks to the hullside windows and ports. The full-beam mid-ship primary and the forward guest stateroom each offer queen berths with custom teak headboards and innerspring mattresses assuring a good night’s sleep. Each berth lifts to reveal lighted stowage compartments, while drawers and cedar-lined hanging lockers promise more than enough wardrobe room for a month’s worth of cruise wear. The primary has room for an optional washer and dryer — a good choice for long-distance travelers. Smart TVs are standard in both staterooms: A 55-inch in the primary and a 32-inch in the forward. A starboard stateroom is outfitted with upper and lower berths. The primary has a private head and the guest staterooms share the second head; both heads have a fiberglass shower stall, vessel sinks and Dometic Vacuflush MSDs. A thoughtful feature in each stateroom is a built-in inductive cellphone charger.

Making waves

Powered with twin Volvo IPS2 950 diesels rated at 725 hp apiece, the EX 54 hit a top speed of 33.7 knots on a smooth St. Lucie River with the Tiara test engineers aboard a couple of weeks before my sea trial. My test day saw five people aboard with similar loads of fuel, water and cruise gear, and topped out at 33.5 knots according to the Garmin GPS. A 2200 RPM throttle setting delivers 26.7 knots consuming 53.7 gph and a 290 nautical mile range. The Volvo Active Trim was used throughout our test, and although the water was calm, the visibility from the helm was excellent at every throttle setting standing at the helm or sitting in the Stidd helm seat. Equally impressive were sound levels that never exceeded 71 dBA even at full throttle, and five people carried on a conversation in the salon commenting about the lack of chatter from the engines. With the pilothouse door and the Webasto sunroof open, the water sliding past the hull was more vocal than the Volvos.

The helm station is noteworthy with its Volvo Glass Cockpit that integrates the full Garmin package of navigation electronics, the Volvo joystick, the Dynamic Positioning System and Assisted Docking, among other useful and safety-oriented features.

The team at Tiara has done a wonderful job with this new model. The Holland, Michigan manufacturer expects to build and deliver 12 to 18 EX 54 yachts in the coming year. It’s an exciting time to see what Tiara Yachts has to offer.

A turnkey luxury yacht

Unlimited hull colors to choose from

Three unique cockpit layouts

Tight squeeze to check generator oil


  • LOA: 54’3″
  • Beam: 15’11”
  • Draft: 3’8″
  • Dry Weight: 48,400 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 650 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 135 gals.
  • Power: 2 x Volvo IPS2 950 725 hp
  • MSRP (base/as tested): $2,640,400/$2,978,070
  • Website: tiarayachts.com 

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