It has been more than 70 years since Tiara company founder, Leon Slikkers, began hand-building wooden boats. Tiara Yachts makes a diverse collection including Tiara series, flybridge models, convertibles, coupes, and Q models which range from 30 to 58 feet. With a home-base in Holland, Michigan, this American-made boat brand has chosen to control quality by continuing to keep manufacturing in-house.
Way Back, the Early History Behind the Tiara Brand
Originally born into a farm family in the 1920s, Leon Slikkers took a job building boats by hand with Chris Craft in 1946. This boat-building legacy continued when he started his own company building dual-cockpit, mahogany, and plywood quality craft. Slikkers named the 14-foot runabouts, which he built in his home garage, Slickcraft boats.
The company grew and although it was an era of wooden boat popularity, Slikkers eventually began to experiment with fiberglass. Soon he created both plywood-molded and fiberglass hulls that were in the price range for many recreational boaters.
It wasn’t long before the SlickCraft brand had 12 models of boats with mahogany decks, chrome hardware, and upholstered seats. In 1969, Slikker sold his company to AMF, and for the next four years, he continued as president of the SlickCraft division.
Ready to work on his own terms and goals, he left AMF. Next, he built sailboats instead of powerboats, under the name S2 Yachts due to a non-compete clause with AMF. These 23- and 26-foot sailboats were both cruisers and racers and were said to have won several racing titles. And by 1955, he had built a small factory for S2 Yachts in Holland, Michigan.
After the expiration of the non-compete clause in 1976, Slikker moved back into the powerboat market with the addition of the Tiara Yachts division at S2 Yachts. Grand Slam performance sailboats were also added to the S2 line-up and Tiara Yachts manufactures some Pursuit Fishing Boat models. Tiara Yachts previously made Sport, Open, Coronet, Express, and Sovran models. Although no longer made, the 52 Express and the 58 Sovran were the longest in length and in model.
For a time, Tiara Yachts were manufactured in South Carolina, but the U.S. economic recession eventually required all manufacturing return to Holland, Michigan.
The third generation of the Slikkers family is at the helm in the manufacture of Tiara Yacht and Tiara Sport. Leon Slikkers is chairman of S2 Yachts; his wife Delores worked in bookkeeping before her death in 2014, and his brothers Dennis and Paul worked with S2 Yachts in the early years. His sons, Tom, David, and Robert, have served a variety of top-management titles over the years, and daughter Susan has worked in customer relations, sales, and marketing.
A Few Innovative Features from Tiara
Awards and Recognition for Tiara and Company Founder
Leon Slikkers has repeatedly been named to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Hall of Fame. The honor is given to manufacturers who maintain high customer-satisfaction programs and best-industry practices. Tiara has had a 90 percent or higher standard in customer satisfaction.
Leon Slikkers has been inducted into the Michigan Boating Hall of Fame, he has received Ernst & Young’s Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year, and he has received the MCI/Inc. Magazine’s Manufacturing Division National Award for Positive Customer Service.
Details for Top Tiara Models
Tiara Open Series
The Tiara Open Series is designed for both fishing and cruising with plenty of space and state-of-the-art Garmin electronics.
This 39-foot 3-inch Tiara Open comes with twin Cummins QSC8.3 diesels with 600hp or twin Cummins QSB6.7 diesels with 480hp. With a 15-foot (4.57 meter) beam and a 3-foot 6-inch (1.06 meter) draft, the open has the capacity to carry 535 gallons of fuel.
The 43-foot 3-inch (13.18 meter) Tiara Open has twin Cummins QSM11 diesels at 715hp; a beam of 15-feet 4-inches (4.67 meter) and a draft of 4-feet 2-inches (1.3 meter) and a fuel capacity of 600 gallons.
Tiara Flybridge Series
The Tiara F44 and F53 Flybridge models are designed for comfort with easy access flybridge and accommodations with counterbalanced salon sliding doors.
Tiara’s F44 Flybridge debuted at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in 2016 and integrates the hull strength of the Tiara 44 Coupe. A queen berth is in the forward master stateroom with solid wood floors and heavy-duty hardware to host up to 8 guests.
Overall length is 45-feet 6-inches (13.87 meter) with the standard swim platform and a beam of 14-feet 11-inch (4.54 meter) beam. The F44 comes with twin Volvo IPS650 diesels for 480 hp and a fuel capacity of 350 gallons of fuel.
With the standard swim platform, the Tiara 53 is 54-feet 6-inches (16.6 meter) in length with a 15-foot 11-inch (4.85 meter) beam. Equipped with a Volvo D11 Ipsii 950 at 725hp or a Caterpillar C12.9 W/Zf510-1a1 at 1000hp, the boat is capable of carrying 650 gallons of fuel.
Tiara Coupe Series
The Tiara Yachts Coupe included integrated hardtops with built-in sunroofs and counterbalanced sliding doors. Skylights adorn staterooms, heads and living spaces and the Volvo Penta IPS drive is standard.
The Tiara 39 Coupe is 40-feet 10 inches (12.45 meter) with the standard swim platform and a 13-foot 3-inch (4.04 meter) beam. Standard with twin Volvo IPS 500 engines and 300 gallons fuel capacity.
At 45-feet 6-inches (13.87 meter) with the standard swim platform, and a beam of 14-feet 11-inches (4.54 meter), the Tiara 44 Coupe has twin Volvo IPS650 diesels with 480hp and a fuel capacity of 350 gallons.
The Tiara 49 Couple is 50-feet 3-inches (15.31 meter) with a standard swim platform and a beam of 15-feet 4-inches (4.67 meter). Equipped with Volvo D8 IPS800 diesels and fuel capacity of 500 gallons.
The Tiara 53 coupe has twin Volvo IPS ii 950s with joystick control or Caterpillar c12.9 and is 54-feet 6-inches (16.6 meter) in length with standard swim platform.
Tiara Sport Series
Tiara Sport uses outboard power with Garmin Marine Navigation Systems available in Crossover (LX), Sport (LS), and Express (LE) packages.