Boat Test Monday: Tahoe Sierra 2585 RC Elite

July 2012 Boat Test Monday

It's Boat Test Monday! Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year.

Tahoe Sierra 2585 RC Elite


Our First Impression

Our eyes wouldn't let us get past the two helm chairs in the bow, complete with a table and a standard umbrella. Talk about inviting: this would be the only place we'd ever want to relax on this boat. Of course this Tahoe has a lot more to it than just this bow area, but as far as first takes go, we were impressed with the layout.  


Consumer Test

We tend to focus our attention on the interior of the boat, but we feel we'd be selling this `toon short if we didn't highlight the exterior as well. For starters, we like the Deco side rails that not only offer ventilation for the under-seat storage compartments inside, but the chromo raised logos really jump off the red panels. For durability, we can appreciate the heavy-duty rubrail as well as the stainless corner castings.

Moving inside the boat through the stainless bow gate, we like that 90 percent of the components are manufactured in-house, which helps give Tahoe complete design control. Between the two reclining and fully adjustable bow chairs is a smoked-glass table that doubles as a base for the umbrella. Also in the bow is a padded storage area in the corners with stainless rod holders, which means the plush chairs also double as two very comfy seats to wet a line.

The rest of the furniture, including the two chaise lounges, is equally as comfortable thanks to the 50-ounce Matrix vinyl that is as durable as it is kid-friendly. Below the bow chaise is a designated trash receptacle with lid and below the rear-facing one is Tahoe's unique wine rack and glass holder. It's little hidden features like this that we've come to expect and love from this builder.

At the fiberglass helm is a good-looking console with a built-in GPS, toggle switches and easy-to-read gauges. We also like the stereo system that has a place for your memory stick if you'd prefer to download your music instead of using the iPod port. The captain's chair is equally as comfortable as the two in the bow and in the stern below the double wide sundeck is a pop-up changing room that is average in size. We also like the battery storage compartment that is actually waist high and unlike other builders, the location is clearly not an afterthought. Outside the rear stainless gate is a synthetic teak floor as well as a fold down ladder and a large ski/tow bar.


Inspection Test

The triple Waveglide high performance pontoons are 25 inches in diameter and the weld quality on the chambered tubes with lifting strakes is excellent. The C-channel cross-members are bolted to the plywood deck and are on 16-inch centers.

Up top there is over 17 feet of useable space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench seat. One unique feature with the aluminum-framed seat bases is the vents on the inside that allow fresh air to circulate from the outside.


Performance Test

With the Evinrude 150 E-TEC we jumped up on plane quickly and reached speeds well over 30 miles per hour. She's very responsive and fun to drive and in the flat turns she handles very well, which should make water sport enthusiasts very excited. 


Who Should Buy It

You get a lot of versatility with this model, which should appeal to a lot of people. The tubers in your family will enjoy the thrill ride, but it really is a great patio-style pontoon with plenty of great places to sit and be comfortable.

Why We Love This Boat
With the majority of the components being built in-house, Tahoe can really go the extra mile with its layouts and amenities and it shows on this model.  


Just Being Picky
The majority of the `toon has very tall rails, but we did note for fishing reasons they're lower in the bow. However, this is only a mild concern if you have younger children.


Notable Standards
Stainless corner castings, air vents for seating compartment, built-in docking lights, mood lights, high-back reclining helm chair, Matrix 50 vinyl, aluminum seat frames and polished aluminum bimini frame.


Options On The Test Boat
Triple Waveglide high performance pontoons, premium sound system, in-tube ski locker and ski/tow bar.


Vital Stats & Specs
Number of Occupants - 13

Price As Tested With Power - $63.6K

Maximum Speed - 34.3 mph

Wild Ponies - 150hp

No. of Gates - 3

0-20 MPH - 5.7 seconds                

Ladder Steps4       

Ladder Measurement - 3' 10"

LOA - 25'

Beam - 8' 6"

Hull Design - Three Pontoons

Dry Weight - 3,000 lbs.

Fuel Capacity - 42 Gallons

Tallest Rail OnboardStern 39"

Lowest Rail Onboard - Bow 24"

Changing Room Height - 5' 5"


Test Drive

RPM      vs.      SPEED     vs.   D-A    

500                  2.3 mph            75       

1000                3.1 mph            75       

1500                4.2 mph            74

2000                7.2 mph            84                               

2500                10.0 mph          92       

3000                13.9 mph          91       

3500                17.1 mph          91                               

4000                22.6 mph          91       

4500                24.4 mph          96.5    

5000                27.1 mph          98

5500                29.7 mph          99

6000                33.8 mph          98.5


Price As Tested                        $63,653

(Boat and Motor)


Base Price

(Boat Only)                              $35,946

Alma, Mich.


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