Authors Posts by Erin B

Erin B


Tiara 34LX

running shot of the Tiara 34LX from Southern Boating

Tiara 34LX

Tiara’s 34LX is the newest addition to its Sport Series and widely appeals to both young and seasoned boaters.

These are exciting days in the under 40 market. Along with a nod towards the age group, that means in boats under 40 feet as well. Case in point is the Tiara 34LX, an exciting dayboat from a builder known for its superior craftsmanship, innovative style and dedication to customer loyalty.

“This is a new boat for us and during our research and development, we looked at where the market was going,” says Tiara patriarch Leon Slikkers. “Tiara has always been a premier builder, and this boat is going to make a lot of people happy.”

Here for the fun of it

From her keel up and from bow to stern, the Tiara 34LX is all about having fun. Tiara made sure she is not only well laid out and packed with all the necessities for time away from the dock, but also user-friendly with lots of family features to make everyone comfortable. “We were looking at ways to transform the day boating experience by not only providing the kind of build Tiara is known for, but also to make sure she possessed all the social amenities as well,” says Andrew Bartlett, Tiara’s advanced design lead.

While discussing the strategy of bringing the Tiara 34LX forward, Bartlett made mention of one important aspect of where it all started. “The feature that drove this design is the integration of the windshield with the hardtop,” he says. Indeed, losing the familiar Isinglass tightens things up a bit, but if more airflow is desired, simply open the sunroof and flip back the center windshield. There’s also the optional helm area air conditioning.

Access to the bow area is convenient with the aforementioned walk-through windshield and features almost chest-high bulkheads on either side. This design makes the transition secure for kids or older folks and those not familiar or comfortable with moving around while on board. Once forward, a large semi-circular seating area delivers great vistas while underway. Six drink holders and a JL Audio/Fusion sound system add to the entertainment value while cruising or at anchor.

Design Standards

Tiara engineers made sure the centerline walk-through is clean, logical and securely put in place. As I discovered, it’s easy to unlock the center window, fit it in place, bring down
the top glass, and close the door.

Amidships and to starboard, a doublewide helm seat offers a functional and well-designed helm. While at the wheel, seated or standing, all switches, Lewmar thruster and traditional controls, a Yamaha CL7 Touch Screen Command Link Plus Display, and Garmin MAP and GPS dual screens (the dual is optional) are within easy reach and vision, and the seaway view is unimpeded forward, to each side and fully aft.

To port is another double seat, and right in front is the easily accessible entrance to the full-size head compartment. The sturdy door swings wide open for a safe entry. Up above in the hardtop is a large sunroof that adds to the already large amount of ambient light that floods this area. Aft of the double seat and helm is a spacious entertainment area that features a sink counter with an Isotherm refrigerator underneath and flat-screen TV above to port, and seating opposite with a foldable table. In a rather innovative design feature, the transom seatback simply slides forward and transforms into a large sunpad.

The Tiara 34LX
A spacious entertainment area on the Tiara 34LX allows for freedom of movement.

Top it off

To top it off, or to provide cover, I should say, an aft sunshade deploys from the hardtop
when there’s a need for protection on hot, sunny days. Versatility is key aboard the Tiara 34LX. To that end, even with her dayboat configuration, there is more than ample
storage that frees up plenty of space to bring along just about everything needed, and then some. From under the forward bow seat to the centerline floor storage locker to the starboard seating area to the transom seat, handy, easily accessible spaces are provided for all your requirements.

Meant to Move

Check the ventilated starboard flexible storage area under the helm. It’s used for taking along any kind of gear including dock lines, fenders, dive equipment, fishing rods, or water toys, and easily accessed through the starboard removable jump seat in the bow. You’re hard pressed to find another boat in this size and profile with more available storage space.

Out on the water, she’s a spirited performer. According to Tiara specs on a test run equipped with the optional twin Yamaha F350-hp outboards, her optimum cruise speed comes in at 37.2 mph with a 4,500-rpm turn of speed with a 173-nm range. But that’s where the fun begins. Sliding the throttles forward to 5,500 rpm results in a hold-on-to-your-hat 47-mph speed turning the 34LX into a family ski or wakeboard boat.

A hallmark of Tiara build is the detailed and expert construction techniques. With the Tiaras 34LX, you can expect the same high regard for and attention to detail. “We’ve always been known for our solid builds and with all the market data we’ve collected, our desire to be relevant in this size boat, that being in the 30- to 40-foot outboard market, resulted in this series,” says Bartlett. “She’s a bluewater performer in an outboard package.”

Speed Demon

Faster cruising and wide-open-throttle speeds require different dynamics than requirements on slower cruising boats. “We made sure we capitalized on everything we learned over the years about speed underway. Then, we embedded it in the 34LX,” Bartlett adds. To that end, the full fiberglass grid is an integral part of the hull with strategic areas for foam filling in the substructure to minimize both noise and vibration. “With a line like this and a larger run at the factory level, we can provide individual molds for stringer systems as well as using resin transfer infusion for hatches and the grid itself,” says Bartlett.

With an extensive listing of standard equipment, including a through-stem anchoring system, fiberglass hardtop, coldwater transom shower, 12V bow thruster, and large swim platform, you can also choose from a wide range of premier options such as a Yamaha Helm Master Joystick Docking System with Setpoint, Seakeeper SK2 Gyro and a Garmin 48-inch Open Array Radar.

If you’re considering moving into the Tiara 34LX, there’s one more very important item that this quality builder brings to the forefront: It’s a Tiara.


LOA: w/integrated platform 34′ 9″
Beam: 11′ 0”
Draft: motors up/down: 2′ 2″/3′ 1″
Dry Weight: 13,800 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 200/30 gals.
Power: 2x 300-hp Yamaha outboard engines
Cruise/Top Speed: 37.2/52.1 mph
Range @ cruise: 173 nm
MSRP: Inquire


Tiara Yachts
725 E 40th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-7163

By Ken Kreisler, Southern Boating March 2019

Tips for Crossing the Gulf Stream

an image of a sailboat and Tips for Crossing the Gulf Stream

Tips for Crossing the Gulf Stream

A sailor recalls tips for crossing the gulf stream and its effects on his route.

Mother Nature is a tough teacher: She usually gives the test before the lesson. If she used a textbook, the page for boaters would include a line that says, “Never cross the Gulf Stream in anything but a south wind.” Here are my tips for crossing the Gulf Stream.

Riding the last of the ebb tide on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, my brother Dan and I passed Mayport and cleared the channel at sunset to begin the first offshore
portion of a voyage to Nassau, The Bahamas, where we would meet up with our family for the holidays. My brother was new to ocean sailing, so I hoped for a gentle first night,
but the wind blew in our faces and made for a slow and uncomfortable trip south along the coast.

We traveled in UKIYO, my Catalina 34, in and out of the Intracoastal Waterway and as we approached Vero Beach, the wind clocked around to the west, so we pressed on into the night. When we reached St. Lucie Inlet, the winds strengthened from the north, and we had a quick ride down to Hillsboro Inlet where we topped off the diesel for a final run on large northerly swells to Miami.

Ready to Go

an image of a sailboat and Tips for Crossing the Gulf Stream with UKIYO
The s/v UKIYO made it to Gun Cay, after a rough ride across the Gulf Stream.

Dan quickly adapted to life aboard and asked, “Why don’t we cross over to The Bahamas now?” I liked his adventurous spirit, but I demurred and repeated Mother Nature’s lesson.
We grabbed a slip in Miami and made it a point to call our wives and kids to check in,  hear about their fun adventures in Nassau and made sure to give them our float plan, an essential part of cruising. For an inspection check, went through the equipment, fluid levels, batteries, electrical connections, replaced the fuel filter, and checked the weather. We planned for a 0230 departure.

Winds were forecasted to clock around to the east after midnight and stay that way for three days—not the best news, but it was better than north, right? We donned our life preservers, rechecked the equipment, pulled anchor, and headed out Government Cut on an ebb tide with a light east wind. At the Cut’s entrance to the Atlantic, we met barn-sized breaking swells. This, of course, made travel slow and uncomfortable.

We started to second-guess our departure, especially when a dredger, which occupied half the channel and was struggling to hold station, spotted us and blew the danger signal (five short blasts of his horn) because we must have appeared to be an out-of-control vessel. We curtly exchanged greetings on the radio and carefully passed him to starboard.
I sensed Dan was a bit apprehensive, so I tried to put a good face on our situation.

No Improvements

“It’s always bad in inlets,” I shouted over the sound of the engine at full throttle. “Once we get out, it’ll be better.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but I set the autopilot to 132 degrees magnetic to account for the northward set of the Gulf Stream and assured my crewmate that we only had 44 miles to Gun Cay, our crossing destination, and the
warm waters of the Great Bahama Bank.

I cannot overstress the importance of reliable navigation equipment. The horizon was pitch black and without a magnetic compass and GPS, it was easy to feel disoriented and veer off course. The glow of an inbound ship appeared ahead, and I hailed it to confirm they could see us on the radar. They did, and I silently commended myself for recently installing a radar reflector, and the same for the fuel filter; as a wave pitched and rolled
us, my thoughts went to the gunk that was surely getting stirred up in the fuel tank.

Shortly after sunrise, the depth sounder went blank, and the water became the deepest blue I had ever seen. Flying fish skittered ahead as huge waves gently lifted us to foamy crests glistening in the morning light, then gently set us down again in the troughs.
Even on a lonely sea, there’s always a risk of collision. It’s important to do a 360-degree sweep of the horizon frequently. Out of nowhere, the giant Bimini SuperFast Ferry crossed
our path and came close enough for us to see the passengers’ amused faces on the poop deck.

Tips for Crossing the Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream current ranges from one to 12 miles off the South Florida coast and is approximately 45 miles wide. Its speed is generally between two and four knots. Wind
affects surface waters and when it is in the opposite direction of the current, can produce rough seas—wave heights increase and can break, which causes more stress on the hull (and slows you down). The advice to cross in a south wind rings true. As it was, an east wind crossing the current sideways didn’t help much either. Another hazard is due to
the Gulf Stream’s warm waters, which can create its own weather, particularly thunderstorms with lightning, heavy rain and strong winds. The current affects every boat, whether power or sail.

After noon, the wind backed just enough for us to raise the reefed mainsail and make for a much more stable ride and, finally, some hot coffee and grub. However, the updated
forecast for continued east winds did nothing to buck up our spirits. We posted hourly GPS positions to the chart and it was obvious that despite the offset to our heading, our track was farther north than expected. We crossed the Gulf Stream by sunset but were
several miles northwest of Gun Cay; time to correct to a southeast heading.

Happy Ending

A long night passed, but the lights of Bimini to the southeast kept us focused. It wasn’t until predawn when we could see the silhouette of Gun Cay lighthouse. Another valuable lesson: The navigation lights in The Bahamas don’t always work.

Gingerly, we transited the pass, hoisted the Q flag (signaling we had not checked in) and carried on. After 47 adventurous (and educational) hours from Jacksonville, we anchored on the Great Bahama Bank at 0145 for a meal and a few hours respite; happy in the knowledge that we successfully made the crossing and were within a day’s sail to Nassau and a family Christmas.

By Capt. Robert Beringer, Southern Boating May 2019

Abacos Slaw

abacos slaw

Abacos Slaw

Anyone who’s cruised for long periods of time in more remote areas is well aware of the three rules for cooking.

  1. Have lots of non-perishables at your disposal.
  2. Work with what you got.
  3. Improvise, improvise, improvise

This Abacos slaw follows all of those rules. But you should feel ready to break from this recipe at any point- if you can’t get your hands on something, sub with something else. Dried cranberries could be swapped for raisins, etc.

You should be able to stock up on almost anything at Maxwell’s in Marsh Harbour, but the trick is making it last. Items like carrots and other root vegetables have longer shelf lives than fresh herbs and items like lemon and lime can go a long way.

Abacos Slaw Ingredients

6 cups shredded cabbage (white, red or mixture)
1 cup carrots, grated
½ cup onion, diced
¼ cup raisins
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. each salt and pepper
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise


Combine cabbage, carrots, onion, and raisins in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise until blended. Toss dressing with slaw. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving.

-Erin B

Recipe by Lori Ross, Southern Boating May 2019

More Bahamas Inspired Recipes:

Bahama Mama Cocktail

Daquri Berries

Bahamian Style Mac and Cheese

Bimini Succotash

Nassau Grilled Fish

Download the full menu


The new Grand Banks 60 SL from Southern Boating GB60SL

Grand Banks Debuts the GB60SL

Grand Banks offers its new GB60SL with an enclosed flybridge for maximum cruising comfort.

Lighter and stronger. Faster and more fuel efficient. Today, nowhere are these key pillars of contemporary boatbuilding more evident than in the new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge. The GB60SL follows closely on the heels of the first of the new Grand Banks 60 series—an
open flybridge that debuted in 2017—and is based on the same proven hull. (An aft cabin model is on the boards and available as well.)

“The new Grand Banks 60 is taking Grand Banks in a whole new direction in terms of appearance, performance and construction techniques,” says Grand Banks Yachts CEO
Mark Richards, who came to the company with its acquisition of his well-regarded Palm Beach Yachts brand.

For Grand Banks and Palm Beach designs, it’s all about reduced weight plus additional strength, which results in outstanding running and fuel performance efficiencies. The
new Grand Banks 60 was the first collaborative effort between the design teams of both brands, and it resulted in an all-around better performing yacht with a fresh appearance.

It ain’t your daddy’s Grand Banks…

The new GB60SL differs dramatically from the large Grand Banks yachts of the 1990s, like the 58 Classic, a heavily built (100,000 lbs.), 11- to 12-knot boat meant to cruise at 8 knots to achieve a 1,400-nm cruising range. That was then. But when the advances of leading-edge materials and contemporary boatbuilding methods are fused with the traditional luxury and accommodations of a Grand Banks, the resulting yacht excels in both expected and unexpected ways.

The aft deck on the GB60SL from Southern BoatingWelcome to now. The deck and superstructure of the GB60SL are fully cored, with PVC foam core and Corecell in areas of specific application, sandwiched between skins of stitched, multiaxial carbon fiber, bonded with infused vinylester and epoxy resins, and supported by infused composite panels to create a robust grid system.

“The new GB60SL structure is fifty percent carbon fiber but from the rub rail up. We don’t use carbon fiber in the hulls, which is due to Mark’s desire to keep some weight lower,”
says Grand Banks Yachts Global Marketing Director George Sass. By keeping the majority of hull structure weight and major machinery and tankage low, the GB60SL designers
have optimized the center of gravity to better control handling underway across a wide band of conditions.

Power Up

Standard power is twin 900-hp Volvo Penta D13 diesels (or an optional pair of 1,000-hp Volvo Penta D13 diesels) turning shaft drives or a brace of optional 900-hp IPS 1200s.
Depending on the engines selected, the GB60SL is capable of 36-knot top speeds and cruising ranges of approximately 1,100 nm at 21 knots or 2,500 nm at 10 knots.

Optimal control was not overlooked. The fuel-efficient twin 900-hp Volvo Penta D13s are mated to Twin Disc MGX 5095A QuickShift marine transmissions. Twin Disc EC300 Power
Commander Electronic Controls and Twin Disc Express Joysticks control not only the main propulsion straight shaft drivetrains, but also the Twin Disc BP300 bow and (optional)  stern thrusters, and they combine to give the helmsman fingertip control at low speeds
for precise maneuvering capabilities around crowded docks or tightly packed slips as well
as instant throttle response in open waters.

A touch on the Express Positioning button engages the system to automatically hold the
GB60SL in the desired, GPS-located position and heading. This feature is a definite benefit
when waiting for a bridge in tricky winds and currents or when shorthanded and necessary for the helmsman to leave the helm momentarily to tend to lines and fenders.
The GB60SL is a large, comfortable yacht that can be owned and operated by a  knowledgeable cruising couple. The width and interior volume makes extended stays practical for owners and their family members or guests, and its design is capable of exploring waters not often frequented by other 65-footers with deeper drafts.

Fly or Sky?

There are some interesting comparisons to note between the flybridge and the skylounge models. Both have three large staterooms and two full-size heads, fitted and finished with Grand Banks’ hallmark craftsmanship and style. Guests overnight in the spacious forward VIP stateroom and enjoy accommodations usually reserved for owners. The master stateroom is located amidships to port with ensuite head. To starboard is the second
head and single cabin with another cabin aft amidships separated from the engine room by a full-beam utility room. It’s on the main deck level where changes get interesting.

“The lower helm station is eliminated on the Skylounge version of the GB60, bringing the galley forward with added storage and transforming the larger salon seating into two
sitting areas with facing settees to starboard, essentially creating separate relaxing and dining areas,” says Sass. Large windows bathe the main salon and the large, U-shaped galley with an abundance of natural light and clear views all around, perfect for family and friends to relax.

Interior Delights

The galley is shaped well for use underway, but its real appeal has a lot to do with the large-area Silestone counters. An electric induction cooktop is standard as is a single-drawer dishwasher, large single bowl Franke stainless steel sink with designer faucet, a microwave/convection oven, and two refrigerators plus a freezer from Isotherm. Hand-selected and finished Burmese teak hardwoods and veneers add golden warmth to every interior detail. A teak and stainless interior stairway to starboard opposite the galley
leads up to the enclosed skylounge, and its see-through design adds appeal to the contemporary open plan of the salon.

The master stateroom on the GB60SL from Southern BoatingFor those who wonder if a skylounge-style flybridge is right for them, consider that it’s a comfortable place from which to operate the boat in temperatures hot or cold, it’s well
protected from high winds and intense sunlight, and it offers twin Stidd helm seats with a magnificent view of the waters all around for safety.

Window Down

On temperate days, the two side windows as well as the window in the aft bulkhead open or close at the touch of a button and along with two overhead hatches, provide abundant natural ventilation. The designers included an enclosed dayhead to starboard for convenience as well as an L-shaped settee to port that can serve as a berth for the off watch on overnight runs. For those who want to take in a bit of sun, there is outdoor seating on the boat deck, on which Grand Banks furnishes a Steelhead ES1000 Davit plus an AB Alumina 12 ALX RIB with a 30-hp Yamaha outboard.

Grand Banks also offers a full suite of Garmin electronics as an option, including a pair of 8617 MFDs, an autopilot, the GMR Fantom 4 open-array radar, AIS 600, and much more. For those who want to run offshore in stable comfort, a Seakeeper SK9 or Sidepower Vector Fins is available.

To my eye, it is evident that Grand Banks is delivering a design that hearkens back to the days when balance and proportion were prerequisites for a desirable yacht that would be visually pleasing over decades. With a large and well-protected enclosed flybridge, an extended boat deck that helps shelter the aft deck from the elements, and wide side decks with high bulwarks and handholds, the GB60SL is obviously a well-thought-out ocean-going yacht.


LOA: 65′ 4″
Beam: 19′ 2″
Draft (shafts/IPS): 4′ 7″/3′ 11″
Displacement (dry): 61,730 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 1,530/300 gals.
Std. Power: 2x 900-hp Volvo Penta D13
Cruise/Top Speed: 27/36 knots (w/optional power)
Range: 1,100 nm@21 knots;
2,500 nm@10 knots
MSRP: $3,570,000 (flybridge
w/standard 2x 900-hp Volvo)


Grand Banks Yachts
450 SW Salerno Rd.
Stuart, FL 34997
(877) 291-4220

By John Wooldridge, Southern Boating March 2019

St. Pete City Updates

St. Pete City Updates

St. Pete City Updates include news on the new pier

The new St. Petersburg Pier finishes later this year. The signature view will be a rippling, waving net sculpture inviting all to come by land or by sea.

Called Bending Arc, the wind-blown artwork will be 80 feet high and 425 feet long. Artist Janet Echelman released color sketches of Bending Arc and says it will transmit a message of inclusion “embracing everyone to come to this place.”

Echelman’s works are installed in Australia, Holland, the United Arab Emirates, and other international locations. As a Tampa native, she says a major work in Tampa Bay is like a dream come true.

The St. Petersburg Pier will reach 1,350 feet out over Tampa Bay, and the city forecasts
1.7 million visitors to the new pier each year. To accommodate more boaters, the city
will be installing additional transient vessel space near the pier and as well as full-service
megayacht docks in the Port of St. Petersburg.

Rendering of St. Pete City UpdatesThe new pier district will be a big deal, but it’s only one piece of the Sunshine City’s master plan that includes redesigned waterfront parks. City marinas will add 25 new transient vessel slips, build full-service megayacht docks and install state-of-the-art breakwaters parallel to the pier, marinas, parks, and Port of St. Petersburg.

By Bill AuCoin, Southern Boating May 2019

More Gulf Coast Report:

New Hope Found



Tiara 34LX

Horizon PC65

Annual Haul Out Guide