The Tahoe Q7 is one of the quintessential family boats of the new millennium. The 21-foot-long bowrider handles like nobody's business, and it is as solid as they come. Add the optional wakeboard tower and you have a watersports platform that doesn't disappoint.
Tahoe boats are already exceptional in their own right, but the Q7 impressed us the most of any of the Tahoe boats we drove this year. When you add such excellent handling to an unquestionably handsome design, there's no doubt that this boat is a winner.
We tested the Q7 on Missouri's Table Rock Lake. With one adult and 3/4 of a tank of fuel on board, we set out across the mostly calm water.
Our test boat was powered by the 250 hp 5.7L MerCruiser stern drive, which is just one upgrade level above the standard 220 hp 5.0L MerCruiser. There are several more powerful engines available, including a 320 hp MerCruiser MX 6.2 MPI Bravo 1 and a 300 hp Mercury 350 MAG Alpha.
We found the 5.7L more than capable for our cruising needs on the lake that day. In fact, we were able to hit a noteworthy top speed of 52.9 mph; however, if you are going to be towing skiers or wakeboarders, we would definitely recommend one of the higher-powered engines, as we almost always do.
The Q7 took off like a shot and hit plane in just 3.5 seconds. We jumped from 8 mph at 1,500 rpm to 18.7 mph at 2,000. Cruising speed was approximately 36 mph at 3,100 rpm.
The boat's handling is its best quality. We experienced a little bounce in the chop and some walk in the cross chop, but overall, the Q7 was a very solid performer. It was solid, with absolutely no rattling.
Officially, the Q7 has a capacity of nine persons or 1,400 pounds, and while that is doable, we'd probably feel more comfortable with a cap of about seven passengers. The boat has a fuel capacity of 48 gallons, which felt like an ample amount.
Included, Included, Included
The biggest choice to be made with the Q7 is whether to add the optional wakeboard tower. Granted, that decision is going to be based on how much you partake in watersports, but we would almost recommend adding it for the look alone. Along with the standard graphics package, it greatly adds to the aesthetics of the boat.
A trailer with a color-matched powder-coated finish is included standard, so that choice is made for you; however, you will want to upgrade to a galvanized trailer (for an additional $269) if you will be boating in salt water.
There's no real point in having a sundeck on a boat unless it's big enough for people to actually lie out on. Fortunately, the Q7's sundeck goes all the way across the boat's aft side, so it is more than big enough for most people.
The nice, simple helm is equipped with plenty of instrumentation, including a speedometer, a tachometer, a voltmeter, and fuel, trim, oil pressure and temperature gauges. You'll also find a compass, faux burled-wood accents and an AM/FM stereo system with a CD player and four speakers. Tilt steering is standard, too.
The bucket seats at the helm and the port passenger console are adjustable. The captain's seat comes with a composite shell and a flip-up bolster, and the passenger seat swivels around, so you can make conversation or help the skipper keep an eye on skiers.
Storage is abundant, with under-seat storage, an in-floor ski/wakeboard locker and padded side storage. Electrical accoutrements include an automotive-style fuse panel, courtesy lighting, a cranking battery by Interstate, a 500 gph bilge pump and a 12v receptacle.
The Q7 has a bevy of standard features that would cost you extra on other boats. For instance, the snap-in carpeting for the deck is standard, as is a built-in ice chest, a ski tow ring, a digital depth finder and a Bimini top with a boot.
A through-hull exhaust system ($1,500) is available as an option. Other options include a bow filler cushion ($250), a bow tonneau cover ($175), a cockpit cover ($375) and a windshield connector ($125).
When you consider the Q7's potent cocktail of graceful lines, excellent handling and generous features, there's no denying its value — especially with a base price of just $22,995. Almost everything you could want is already included on the Tahoe Q7, so the only thing left to add is you.
Tahoe Q7 Specifications
|Weight (without engine)||3,200 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||48 gallons|
|Maximum power||320 hp|
|Model||5.7L MerCruiser 250 hp stern drive|
|Bore and stroke||4.0" x 3.48"|
|Maximum engine speed||4,400-4,800 rpm|
|Top speed||52.9 mph at 4,500 rpm|
|Cruising speed||36 mph at 3,100 rpm|
|Miles per gallon at 36-mph cruising speed||3.6|
|Gallons per hour at 36-mph cruising speed||8.2|
|Range at 36-mph cruising speed||172 miles|
Bimini top, compass, built-in cooler, faux burled-wood accents, 12v receptacle, courtesy light, 500 gph bilge pump, ski tow ring, AM/FM CD stereo system w/four speakers, speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, fuel gauge, compass, cranking battery by Interstate, trailer w/color-matched powder-coated finish.
Wakeboard tower ($1,795), bow filler cushion ($250), side and aft curtains ($125), through-hull exhaust system ($1,500), galvanized trailer ($269), windshield connector ($125), bow tonneau cover ($175), cockpit cover ($375).
For More Information
Tracker Marine Group
2500 E. Kearney
Springfield, MO 65803