The Sovran 4000, a new hardtop cruising boat from Tiara Yachts, is one of the first U.S. boats to offer Volvo Penta’s new Inboard Performance System (see February Soundings, Page 7).
IPS is a complete twin-engine propulsion package designed to take the place of conventional straight-shaft inboards. It features a pair of steerable lower units, installed through the bottom of the boat, that resemble conventional sterndrives or outboard gear cases but with twin counter-rotating, forward-facing propellers. The drives are mounted slightly forward of the transom — coupled to inboard diesels and electronically controlled from the helm — and eliminate the numerous through-hull penetrations normally associated with a conventional inboard engine installation: shaft log, shaft strut mounting, rudder post, seawater intake and engine exhaust.
Tiara became involved with IPS when Volvo Penta bought one of its 3800 models as a test boat early last year, says Dave Walsh, Tiara director of marketing. “We’ve kind of gone hand-in-hand with Volvo in the development of their IPS,” says Walsh. “They approached us on this new system, and we certainly felt like this was going to be a good opportunity for us. The advantages were significant enough for us to be able to do some really unique things with this new package.”
Tiara worked with Volvo to install IPS in the 3800, participated in extensive testing over the summer, and took the boat to numerous rendezvous for feedback, according to Walsh. Tiara now knows the system intimately, says Walsh.
The boatbuilder is claiming impressive benefits with IPS compared to traditional inboards. In addition to quieter operation, Tiara says IPS provides increased thrust efficiency, a40 percent tighter turning radius, 25 percent better fuel economy, and 25 percent fewer emissions.
Walsh says the performance of the IPS-equipped Sovran 4000, with twin 370-hp diesels, is comparable to conventional 480-hp inboards. The boat is available only with the 370-hp Volvo IPS D6 diesel package and has a suggested retail price of $524,990. (Walsh says this price should be compared to that of a similar-size boat with 480-hp engines.)
Tiara used the benefits of IPS not just for performance, says Walsh, but also for interior volume. The builder was able to include a second stateroom with a guest head because of the positioning of the engines and the smaller amount of space IPS requires compared to a standard inboard installation.
The second stateroom and head are located at the aft end of the cabin, beneath the bridge deck and abaft the teak companionway steps and a bulkhead. The guest stateroom has standard twin berths, a cedar-lined hanging locker, and a 13-inch LCD television.
The galley, to port and forward of the guest head, has two stainless steel sinks, a two-burner stove, microwave/ convection oven, coffee maker, refrigerator/freezer, and Corian counter tops. To starboard, the saloon has a U-shaped dinette that converts to a berth (an L-shaped dinette paired with additional storage lockers are optional), a 20-inch LCD television, and a Bose stereo.
The forward master stateroom has a full-frame teak door, queen-size pedestal berth, cedar-lined hanging locker, 13-inch LCD television, and private access to the master head, to port. Air conditioning with reverse-cycle heat is standard below.
The bridge deck has a composite windshield integrated into the hardtop and uses a vent to draw cool air from the saloon. A bench helm seat, curved lounge with table, wet bar with refrigerator, and Clarion stereo system complete this area.
The cockpit contains aft-facing seats and a wraparound lounge with a table that converts to a sunpad.
The Sovran 4000 is built of hand-laid fiberglass at Tiara’s Holland, Mich., facility. The hull and deck (which is foam cored) carry a transferable 5-year warranty.
LOA: 45 feet, 3 inches (with bow pulpit and swim platform) BEAM: 14 feet, 9 inches HULL Draft: 3 feet, 7 inches Displacement: 26,800 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TRANSOM DEADRISE: 17 degrees TANKAGE: 375 gallons fuel, 110 gallons waterENGINE OPTION:Volvo IPS with twin 370-hp diesels SPEED: unavailable SUGGESTED PRICE: $524,990 CONTACT: Tiara Yachts, Holland, Mich. Phone: (616) 392-7163. www.tiarayachts.com