September 20th 2013. By Jeanne Craig.

Tiara Sovran 3600: Cruiser, Entertainer, Classic

The Tiara Sovran 3600 is an all-American creation that embodies the best elements of many different types of cruiser-style boats, along with good looks and hearty construction.

Here’s a boat brand that’s garnered a worldwide following of loyal owners in large part for its all-American pedigree. Tiara has built its reputation on models that combine conservative lines with expert engineering, robust construction, luxury features and a ride designed for blue water. Back in the fall of 2003, the Michigan-based builder launched one of its first coupes just as the demand among boat owners for that type of cruiser was picking up steam. The 3600 Sovran was on the cutting edge of that trend as it represented a sophisticated spin on the coupe style, with a mission to cruise and entertain. At the time, the 3600 was the smallest of four boats in the Sovran line and was produced through 2006.

tiara sovran 3600 at sunset

At the time of her launch, some critics said the 3600 Sovran lacked the euro-style sex appeal of other high-end sportyachts – but few denied that the Tiara was a strikingly handsome design.

The feature that drew the most praise for the 3600 was the fixed fiberglass hardtop offered as standard equipment. Its integrated fiberglass windshield frame eliminated the maintenance headaches associated with earlier designs that incorporated aluminum components. Tempered-glass side windows were an improvement over the isinglass inserts on earlier models. The structure was lauded as a gutsy, windshield-hardtop fusion that was brawny, seamless and eye-catching all at once. Many 3600s on the market today have two hatches in the hardtop, an electrically actuated windshield vent and bridge air conditioning. Add isinglass to the three-sided enclosure to create a true all-weather bridgedeck.

The bridge is set up to keep the captain and passengers comfortable. The driver faces a destroyer-style wheel and sits in an adjustable seat at a helm sized for today’s large-screen electronic displays. There’s companion seating, too, and it converts to a settee that’s close to a wet bar.

From the helm, the driver controls the twin-engine propulsion. Gasoline and diesel V-drive engines were offered on the 3600. With a pair of 385-hp gas engines, cruise speed averaged 22 to 23 knots. With 450-hp diesels, cruise was 24 to 25 knots and top end reached into the low 30-knot range. Tiara reported that it chose to go with V-drives because the propulsion allowed the builder to position machinery farther aft, and as a result, less volume was required forward, which enabled a finer and more seakindly entry. The benefit of that decision was apparent in the ride: Sea trial reports on the 3600 make note of the solid feel while underway, one that experienced Tiara owners would find both familiar and comforting.

sovran 3600 running

The 3600 Sovran featured cruising speeds in the mid to low 20’s, and a top-end of about 30 knots.

Many owners of the 3600 say the cabin is a bit larger than you might expect on a boat this size. It’s sized to accommodate a family on extended trips. There’s a forward stateroom with a queen island berth that’s separated from the main cabin with a door. In the salon, a dinette converts to a double berth and on some models a settee converts to upper and lower berths. There’s a full-size galley, too, and a head with shower. The décor is classically elegant with a teak and Corian finish on many models. A tongue-and-groove teak sole was standard, but many owners chose to go with the optional teak and holly sole. A leather upgrade for furnishings was offered, and is a nice choice for those who want to entertain in high style.

Like any Tiara, this one was engineered with top-flight features designed to make cruising easy and safe. On the 3600, that included an oversized and integrated swim platform with both port and starboard access, dive ladder ,and deep transom stowage locker. At 13’ by 4’, the platform can hold an inflatable tender. The platform, as well as all walking surfaces, is covered with Tiara’s signature diamond-pattern nonskid that’s engineered to put the breaks on a pair of Sperry topsiders when they hit a slick of something slippery. There are fiberglass fuel tanks on this model as well. The 3600 debuted shortly after the builder went to fiberglass tanks on all of its models, a decision that was made because they help reduce the likelihood of corrosion.

At the time it was launched, the 3600 was the smallest of four boats in the Sovran series. It’s no longer built today, but it’s still representative of the high quality associated with this line of elegant cruising boats.

LOA: 41’8” * Beam: 13’0” * Draft: 3’8” * Deadrise: 19 degrees * Weight: 18,000 lbs. * Fuel: 326 gal. * Water: 105 gal.

View Tiara Sovran listings on YachtWorld

Jeanne Craig

Jeanne Craig has been covering powerboats since 1988. She spent ten years as a senior editor at Boating magazine and ten more as executive editor at Motor Boating. She’s now an independent writer based in Rowayton, Connecticut, where she’s close to the cruising grounds she most enjoys.