Tahoe 215 Xi

August 2015 Boat Test Monday

This article originally appeared in our 2015 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing this in print along with 25 other boat reviews, click HERE to purchase the back issue.

What You Need To Know

Go big with the 215 Xi, Tahoe’s largest deck boat that can accommodate a crew of up to 12. We love the sporty exterior look with a splash of black cherry color that flows with the vinyl interior. This is another one of those great all-around boats that the Tracker brand is best known for. 

The Highlights

While your first impression has you thinking this is a sporty deck boat, it actually comes standard with some hidden fishing amenities—creating a kind of angler boat in disguise. There are three pedestal seat bases, two in the bow and one in the stern, and when you’re not fishing, the two movable folding chairs store nicely below a seat compartment. There is also an aerated livewell, plus built-in rod storage behind the helm chair, proving you can have a sporty deck boat that satisfies your itch to drop a line on occasion.

The roomy, recessed interior feels like home, with luxurious wraparound lounges, a refreshment center with a freshwater sprayer and a removable table. The molded-in storage compartments are clean and well finished and there is even a drip edge around the perimeter to help keep water from getting in.

At the helm is a very sporty-looking console that is symmetrical with large, easy-to read gauges along with a Ritchie compass directly in the center. The custom-molded dash with simulated burlwood accents ties in well with the black cherry-colored vinyl accents on the otherwise all-white interior. There is also a Lowrance digital depth finder, Blaupunkt Bluetooth-capable stereo, MP3 and USB ports, fill and pump-out livewell control and water-resistant toggle switches. To use the faucet/wash down, the control switch is located at the helm console so if we had to be picky we’d like to see this switch closer to the sink. 

Everywhere we looked we seemed to find more great storage options including under the helm as well as the in-floor storage locker that is over seven feet long and 16 inches deep. There is zero wasted space on this Tahoe and that’s what we love to see. 

Inspection Notes

Tahoe refers to its 100 percent fiberglass hull as the POWERGLIDE, which offers a smooth ride. The deep V-hull is hand-laid for strength and durability and the reversed chine uses fiberglass stringers. We found the gel coat work to be consistent with no dull spots and everything is well finished.

From a safety standpoint, the stainless steel grab rails used throughout are a nice added touch. The locking door in the stern and the deep cockpit (31 inches tall) also help give this boat a high family-friendly rating. 

Performance Evaluation

Powered with the new MerCruiser 4.5L, we could hardly wait to try it out. This is the first sterndrive engine designed and purpose-built specifically for marine use, which means Mercury didn’t have to rely on an engine block from GM when they built it in-house. At full throttle we nearly reached the 50-mile-per-hour mark and with the POWERGLIDE hull we were able to dive into some very tight turns. The fun factor rating is extremely high as we enjoyed cruising around in this sporty deck boat. 

Our Take

Tahoe knows what people need, use and truly want in a great all-around deck boat and it shows on this 215 Xi. With great performance features, cruising comforts, and hidden fishing amenities, this is a solid deck boat for the diversified family who needs a multi-function boat to keep everyone happy. 

2015 Boat Specifications

Number of Occupants            12                   

Maximum Speed                     48.9 mph                    

Wild Ponies                             250 hp

No. of Gates                           1

0-20 MPH                               5.67 seconds  

Ladder Measurement             3’ 9” deep 

Why we love this boat…Sporty and versatile, there’s a lot to love about this Tahoe that is not only loaded with great features, but is a lot of fun to drive too.   

Just being picky…The sink with a sprayer is a great feature, but we’d like to see the on/off switch relocated from the helm console to the entertainment center. 

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Color-keyed acrylic bimini top w/ boot, drop-down changing curtain and anodized aluminum frame w/ quick-release hardware, 4 stainless steel mooring cleats, 11 stainless steel drink holders, stainless steel passenger grab rails, ski tow ring, bow pop-up anchoring cleat, removable table w/ base, conveniently located fire extinguisher port, fire extinguisher, horn, paddle, Lowrance digital depth finder, sport steering wheel w/ power steering, AM/FM Bluetooth-capable stereo w/ cover, 4 speakers, MP3 and USB ports, fill and pump-out livewell control, water-resistant toggle switches, custom-molded dash w/ simulated burlwood accents, in-console storage compartment, tinted Plexiglas windscreen, compass, gel-coated foam-filled full-length fiberglass stringer system, aft swim platform w/ covered 4-step boarding ladder, insulated storage and fishing seat base, bow fishing platform w/ molded non-skid surface, 2 fishing seat bases, anchor locker, interior courtesy lights, removable bow and stern nav. lights, 2 removable fishing seats, ventilated in-floor ski locker, port refreshment center w/ sink, pull-out sprayer and on-demand freshwater w/ 15-gal. tank and MerCruiser 4.3L MPI 220HP ECT. 

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

MerCruiser 4.5L MPI 250HP Alpha ECT 

VITAL STATS

LOA                  21’ 6”              

Beam                 8’ 6”

Hull Design       Deep V

Dry Weight      3510 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    36 gallons 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                             Mercury 4.5L

Cylinder Type                                                 V6

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           275ci/250hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   1.81:1

Propeller                                                          15 1/4 X 18 Aluminum

 

RPM     vs.    SPEED     vs.   DB-A

750                  2.9                     87

1000                4.1                     90

1500                6.3                     92

2000                8.1                     94

2500                9.6                     93

3000                14.8                   97

3500                25.6                   97

4000                31.4                   102

4500                37.8                   103

5000                41.0                   108

5400                48.9                   110

 

SpringfieldMo.

855-825-3515

www.tahoeboats.com

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