The Tahoe 215 CC OB is designed for a family whose boating spans the gamut of activities, and whose adventures unfold on fairly sheltered waters. With an overall length of 21'2" (6.51 m) and a towing weight of about 2,810 lbs (1,277 kgs.), the 215 CC OB is a floating multi-tool vessel, combining the qualities and equipment of a bass boat – pedestal seats, rod holders, livewell and tackle trays -- with those of a typical deckboat – ski stowage, removable tow pylon, lots of seating, boarding ladders fore and aft. Tahoe is one of five boatbuilders in the Tracker Marine Group, so buying the 215 CC OB is easy, with "No-Haggle" pricing – MSRP with a 150-hp Mercury OptiMax is $29,995 -- and a wide international dealer network, including 50 Tracker Boat Centers located in Bass Pro Shops in the U.S. and Canada.
Fishing features include 2 stowable chairs with fore & aft pedestal base locations, under-gunnel rod storage, tackle tray storage & aerated bow livewell
Underway, the Tahoe 215 CC OB's PowerGlide hull produces plenty of speed from reasonable horsepower: The company claims 44 mph from a 150-hp Mercury OB, up to 55 mph with a 200. Both 2-stroke OptiMax and 4-stroke Verados are available.
Most deckboats are designed for general chasing about on the water. They have lots of seating, boarding ladders fore and aft for easy swimming and beach-ing, comfort amenities like coolers and drinkholders and maybe ski stowage under the deck. The Tahoe 215 CC OB has all these features, and more.
Along with the Bimini top, twin helm chairs and bow lounge, Tahoe includes two removable fishing seats, with sockets for mounting both forward or one aft; a tackle tray for lures and hooks; an aerated well for live bait, with pump-out; rod stowage under both port and starboard gunwales and pre-wiring for a trolling motor.
A center console provides lots of room at the helm, which Tahoe fills with a full set of gauges, including water pressure. A Lowrance digital depth finder is also included. Rack-and-pinion steering with a tilt wheel is standard, hydraulic optional.
All of the above is standard; a trolling motor (even semi-serious freshwater fishermen need one) will add between $780 and $900 to the price, depending on which one of the five on offer you choose. Other options you'll likely want are a custom tandem-axle trailer (single-axle brakes, $2,895; dual-axle, $3,095); hydraulic steering, with tilt wheel, to replace the standard rack-and-pinion, $675 ($1,400 for the 200-hp Verado, and required with that motor); maybe an upgraded stereo ($100 to $545).
Twin helm seats with color-coordinated marine vinyl cushions are standard. They slide and swivel; the companion can face aft for observing a skier or wakeboarder.
Wakeboarders will want the tower ($3,000 with racks, $2,300 without). Add a few more odds and ends, and you're still in for under $40,000 with the 150-hp XL OptiMax, which we think is power enough for this boat. (With the 200 XL Verado, the most expensive power option, MSRP is $36,095.)
The swim platform aft has a single base for a fishing seat, plus insulated stowage and rod and drink holders. There's a swim ladder, too. Max power is a 200-hp Mercury Verado.
Boat of Many Colors
Like most boatbuilders today, Tahoe uses composites throughout, with no wood in the structure. The 215 CC OB has fiberglass stringers supporting the bottom and a heavy-duty rubrail with stainless insert protecting the hull-to-deck joint. 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 and matching Bimini top.
Both pedestal chairs can mount on the foredeck, so Dad and one of the kids can fish together. The hatch conceals a boarding ladder. The pop-up cleat can be pushed down and out of the way for less chance of someone tripping on it. The anchor well will hold a Danforth-type hook upright, with the rode piled below.
Her upholstery is marine-grade, stain-resistant vinyl stitched with UV-resistant thread; nevertheless, we recommend investing in a cover, or storing the boat indoors. All hardware is stainless steel. The centerline bow cleat is a pop-up, so it's out of the way for fishing; the anchor well can hold a Danforth-style hook hanging upright by its stocks, where it's easy to grab.
Here's the foredeck ready for action, all hatches closed and the fishing chairs rigged. Tahoe includes two proper chairs, not bicycle seats like you'll find on some bassboats. They even look comfortable!
The fishing chairs stow neatly in the console when you're enjoying other sports. We think this is a terrific design.
For 2011 Tahoe will rig the 215 CC OB with either Mercury OptiMax 2-stroke or Verado 4-stroke outboards; either is available in 150- or 200-hp. The company says that other options may be available, so check with your dealer if you want another motor. Tahoe claims 44 to 46 mph top speeds with either of the 150s, but we cannot confirm that: We haven't tested this boat ourselves. The builder says the 200-hp outboards will bump top speed up to 52 to 55 mph. Folks planning on always carrying a boatload might want the bigger engine, but we think 150-hp is probably enough for family use.
The under-deck ski locker will hold wakeboards or the trolling motor. We like the way Tahoe finishes the insides of the lockers. The vent slits in the cover will let things inside dry out rather than grow mold.
Pros, Cons and Recommendation
The trouble with multi-tools is this: They both do many things, but nothing as well as a purpose-built tool. The same holds true for boats: If you want a top-notch ski or wakeboard boat, you're better off buying one designed just for that. Ditto fishing – you can't beat a bass boat for no-holds-barred angling. And if you just want to ride around with a bunch of friends, there are similar-sized deckboats with more seating. But the Tahoe 215 CC OB does all these things, so you give up a little of each to get the others. We can deal with that: We rarely know from one day to the next what we'll want to do, and bet you're that way, too. So this Tahoe is an acceptable compromise: It looks to us like it will do all of the above well enough.
A place for everything, and everything in its place: There are lockers galore aboard the Tahoe, including an under-deck ski/wakeboard compartment and a trash receptacle on the starboard quarter. There's a sink and faucet midships to port, tackle drawers to starboard under a cooler. Count the drink holders – see if you can find all 12.
We think the 215 CC OB is competitively priced against similar boats: The Hurricane SD 2000 OB deckboat we reported on recently costs about $10,000 more, base, with 150-hp and is 11" shorter; it doesn't come with much fishing gear as standard, but is nicely rigged otherwise. If you prefer a stern-drive boat, Sea Ray's 220 Sundeck starts at over $52,000. It's 10" longer than the Tahoe and much heavier; standard power is a 260-hp MerCruiser. If you really just want to fish, the 20'1" Nitro Z-8, another Tracker Marine product, sells for $31,995 with 200-hp OptiMax outboard and a trailer – it's an excellent fishing boat, but not much of a family boat, unless your whole family loves bass fishing.
Sometimes it isn't about going fast, but just messing about with a rod and lure. But why aren't the girls fishing?
In short, we think when you balance price, function and features, you should take a look at the Tahoe 215 CC OB; if there's a Bass Pro Shop nearby, they probably have the info you need, and maybe even a boat to look at. You can buy some fishing gear at the same time. And maybe a Leatherman multi-tool, too.
If you like the concept of a center console, outboard-powered fish and ski deckboat, you might as well by this one -- because there is nothing else like her.
Tahoe 215 CC OB (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Tahoe 215 CC OB (2011-) Warranty
Tahoe 215 CC OB (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 215 CC OB (2011-) Price
Tahoe 215 CC OB (2011-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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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