Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-)
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Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-)
Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-)
Top of the Tahoe line of runabouts is the new for 2011 Q8 SSi, a slick 21'8'' (6.6 m) bowrider that comes with a long list of standard equipment, including a trailer. Standard power is a 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI ECT, with optional engines up to 320-hp max available. Lots of dealers worldwide and no-haggle pricing make buying a Tahoe stress-free, too.

Key Features

  • Full-width aft swim platform with fold-down boarding ladder & insulated storage
  • Stainless steel ski tow pylon
  • Fore & aft lounge seating with storage
  • Oversized aft sundeck with storage
  • 500 gph (1,892.71 LPH) bilge pump
  • In-floor ski/wakeboard storage
  • Port & starboard consoles with walk-thru windshield, glovebox, ice chest, easy-to-read gauges, compass, sport steering wheel, Lowrance depth finder & AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 jack, four directional speakers & the ability to accept our optional Sirius Satellite Radio package
  • Passenger grab handles
  • Custom-matched trailer with Galvashield corrosion protection, EZ lube hubs & swing-away tongue


Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Specifications
Length Overall 21' 8''
6.6 m
Dry Weight 3,500 lbs.
1,587 kg
Beam 102''
2.59 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 24''
0.61 m
Fuel Cap 54 gal.
204.4 L
Deadrise/Transom 20 deg. Water Cap N/A
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 190-hp MerCruiser 4.3L
Tested Power Currently no test numbers
Opt. Power 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI ECT

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Captain's Report

Tahoe Q8 SSi

Tahoe's flagship runabout, the Q8 SSi, steps out even with standard power, but drop in 300 horses and you'll see speeds in the mid-50-mph range, says her builder. Base price with CARB-compliant power is $33,995.

Spoiled For Choice

Choosing a bowrider in the 20-foot range is either easy or almost impossible, depending on your viewpoint. It's easy because there are so many on the market, and most of them are near clones of each other. It's difficult for the same reason: How do you pick the best one, the best balance of price, quality, styling and features? Let's start with price, an area where the Tahoe Q8 SSi is hard to beat.

Base price of the Q8 SSi is $33,995 with a 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI ECT Alpha sterndrive; this is a catalyzed engine that meets the new CARB emissions requirements. Some dealers may still have Q8s with non-catalyzed engines for a few thousand bucks less, but the supply is limited. Engine options up to a 300-hp 350 MAG ECT Bravo 3 ($42,795 with SeaCore) are listed, but Tahoe says other engines "may be available." Maximum hp is 320.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

The Q8 SSi's curved, tempered-glass windshield is cool, and provides clean sightlines thanks to no corner mullions. The frame is heavy-duty aluminum. Note the midships cleat, very handy but often lacking in boats this size and price.

The standard boat is very complete, and includes a dual-axle trailer. Most buyers will add canvas and upgrade the standard radio to an ear-blasting stereo ($315); wakeboarders will want the folding tower ($3,375 with racks, $2,625 without). Tahoe has options packages that include both an upgraded stereo and the tower with speakers.

How Is She Built?

Like many boatbuilders today, Tahoe uses composites throughout, with no wood in the structure. The hull is hand-laid, wth foam-filled fiberglass stringers supporting the bottom; the stringers not only add strength and durability, but also reduce noise, according to Tahoe. The hull-to-deck joint is protected by a heavy-duty rubrail with stainless insert. The cockpit is all fiberglass, too, with molded non-skid. Buyers can choose among Citron Yellow, Black Cherry, Victory Red, Onyx and Blueberry for their hull color.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

The helm console is cleanly arranged, with all gauges easy to read. The compass is in-dash, not spherical, and sits just below the large tach and speedo. This compass installation is aircraft-style which seems cool at first, but remember on boats compasses are used for knowing more than what direction you are going. A round-faced Lowrance depth finder, mounted all the way to the right, is standard.

The Q8 SSi rides on Tahoe's PowerGlide hull, with 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom to produce a smooth ride and in Tahoe's words, "all around stellar performance." Ahem...we haven't test the boat so can't say whether or not the folks at Tahoe are just being modest. The company claims speeds in the 48 – 50 mph (77.2 - 80.5 kph) range with the 220-hp Merc. Bump up the juice to 300-hp and expect up to 54 mph (86.9 kph), according to the builder. These are not BoatTEST.com figures. The standard engine is a 4.3L Merc.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

The passenger console holds the tunes, in the form of an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 jack. Sirius satellite radio is optional. We like the nonskid pad near the stereo – maybe our sunglasses won't slide onto the deck – and the stainless steel grab handle.

What's the Competition

At its "No Hassle" price of $33,995 with the 4.3L engine, compared to other sport boats this size, the Tahoe is definitely grouped with a few other brands in the low-price point category. Standard and optional equipment need to be carefully compared to discover the lowest priced boat. Have fun.


To be fair to yourself and to Tahoe, you should put the Q8 SSi on your short list if you are looking for a low priced sportboat. Get on the boats and see which one best fits your body and your family. It is then you'll best begin to see the differences. You'll know what to do.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

Almost every bowrider has stowage under the forward lounges, but aboard the Tahoe Q8 SSi the lockers are insulated and drained, so they can serve as coolers, too. Note the stereo speakers with stainless grilles.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

The swim platform has stowage lockers on both sides, a folding ladder with two grab handles and a nonskid surface. Boards and skis can stow in an in-deck locker adjacent to the helm.

Tahoe Q8 SSi

Standard and Optional Equipment

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
CD Stereo Standard
Trailer Standard
Exterior Features
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Tower: Watersports Optional
Bimini Top Optional
Cockpit Cover Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Warranty

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Price

Tahoe Q8 SSi (2011-) Price
Pricing Range $29,995.00
Price as Tested $33,995.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

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