When Tiara Yachts decided to phase out its long-popular Sovran line in 2014, the brokers at Galati Yacht Sales simply would not accept the news. Technically speaking, there weren’t supposed to be any new-for-2015 hulls, but this particular Tiara 45 Sovran ended up being built after all, following what can only be described as begging.
“They built an extra three or four for Galati Yachts because we were selling so many Tiaras and had so much success with the Sovran line,” says Rickard Charleson, a broker with Galati Yacht Sales in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We said, ‘Please—give us just a few more.’ This 45 is the last new one left in the entire world.”
The Sovran line was a huge success for Tiara Yachts, with five models built throughout the 2000s. While quite a few boats built by Tiara are listed for brokerage as Sovran models, not all of them actually are, Charleson says. The smallest in the line was the 3500 Sovran, followed in size by the 3900, 4300, 4500 and flagship 5800.
Each had her selling points, but the 4300 Sovran was the build that made Tiara a dominant brand. It made its debut in 2006 as the first boat in the United States designed specifically for use with Volvo Penta IPS drives, and within a year, Tiara had orders for about 100 of the boats. Not long after, Tiara reported that more than 200 hulls of the 4300 Sovran had been built—in the shortest timeframe of any line in the builder’s history.
“The 4300, that was the huge success,” Charleson says. “There were twin Volvos, joysticks, very easy to operate, very efficient.”
The 4300 Sovran’s success led Tiara to build the 3900 Sovran and 5800 Sovran with Volvo IPS drives as well. By 2006, Tiara had made a fixed fiberglass hardtop standard on all Sovran models, eliminating some maintenance challenges that earlier designs had brought. Tempered-glass side windows replaced isinglass inserts from earlier Sovran models, and Tiara made sure that creature comforts remained among the best in class.
For instance, the 4300 Sovran had an open cockpit, but it could be cooled thanks to outdoor as well as indoor air conditioning—32,000 Btu altogether, enough to keep guests cool even in the Bahamas during July. Tiara marketed the air conditioning as one element in a “cockpit entertainment center,” a kind of outdoor saloon in addition to the enclosed, traditional seating area.
The cooled outdoor space was a unique concept in the mid-2000s, giving boaters the choice of being comfortable indoors or out in the elements. Since then, demand has shifted. Boaters now want layouts that combine the indoors and outdoors instead of separating them. That’s why Tiara launched the 44 Coupe in 2014 as the Sovran line’s first replacement. The 44 Coupe moves the galley to the main deck along with the indoor seating area, all adjacent to the outdoor space with a wide saloon door that can be opened to connect them.
“In the Sovran, you were either in the cockpit in the open, and you could close that only with canvas or isinglass, or you were inside, and if you wanted to be in the galley, it was below with small windows, like a cave,” Charleson says. “With the 44 Coupe, you can be inside with the galley and the seating, or open the sunroof and the saloon doors and you’re sitting outside again. It’s bringing the outside in and the inside out.”
That’s not to say that Charleson thinks the last new 4500 Sovran on planet Earth won’t find a buyer; in fact, he thinks she’ll sell fast, given that she’s ready to go home with a buyer today. The boat’s 435-horsepower Volvo IPS 600 engines are of course part of the package, and Galati Yacht Sales recently installed Garmin’s GPSMAP 8000 Glass Helm System with multi-touch displays and integrated information from autopilot, sonar, engine data and more.
“It’s extremely well-equipped,” Charleson says, first excited, and then with a sigh, knowing he won’t be able to complete the thought the same way ever again: “She’s a new 4500 Sovran that we have in inventory.”
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