The Q5 models come in two versions: the Q5 SF and the Q5i. Tahoe refers to the multi-purpose SF Q-model lineup as “ski & fish” boats, putting a spin on the traditional “fish & ski” designation. It’s a telling juxtaposition, for the angling amenities on the 19.5 foot Q5 model are token at best. But they may be enough for boaters who will angle only occasionally between bouts of cruising and enjoying towable-sports, for which the bowrider is well-suited.
Fishing features include 2 removable seats, fore & aft pedestal base locations & non-skid surfaces, a removable trolling motor & aerated 8-gal. (30.28 L) livewell
Full-width swim platform with fold-down boarding ladder & storage
Aft sundeck with removable cushion, storage below & walk-thru transom
The Q5 SF boasts a bow-mounted trolling motor with wireless controls as standard equipment .
With no anchor locker at the bow, we also do not have cleats, which have been repositioned farther aft. There is a removable center filler cushion which reveals a non-skid deck area makes a nice casting area. There is a large wireless foot control for the trolling motor ideal for this area when you have the removable pedestal fishing seat installed at the bow.
The boat’s forward seating area offers a pedestal mounted fishing seat for use with – or without – the bow-mounted trolling motor. The mounting plate covers the boat’s bow cleat.
The front fishing pedestal seat base is located just forward of the bow cockpit’s foot-well between two shallow underseat, compartments that are glassed in and self-draining.
The Q5’s helm offers decent legroom and the dash is well appointed with all gauges in view of the operator.
We feel that any fish & ski –- or ski & fish -- model should come with at least a basic fishfinder as standard equipment. The single model offered by Tahoe with the Q5 comes as a $180 option. There is in-wall fishing rod storage with bungee cords to help secure the rods, just make sure they are not bumped onto the deck by the driver or passenger.
The Tahoe’s stereo controls are located on the passenger console.
Our boat tester commented on the flat space offered on the simple King Star Board lid atop the port console, which he found to be a handy flat space for setting his laptop – at least until the boat got underway. With the right adapter, he could have powered-up using the 12-volt receptacle adjacent to the compartment.
The sole locker is plenty long for stowing water skis and fishing rods.
There are dedicated racks for securing a paddle and the navigation lights’ posts in the sole storage compartment. Use of the locker for stowing longer items such as fishing rods may be awkward due to the size of the access. The hatch is made of Star Board with ventilation holes and secured with a piano hinge.
An eight gallon livewell is found under the portside seat at the aft end of the cockpit.
A notable fishing feature on the ski & fish is the rig’s rather sophisticated livewell, fed by dual pumps to offer aeration circulation. We like the proximity of the courtesy light and control switch and the fact that the well’s rim over-hangs the basin to help contain sloshing water – and it’s finned contents.
The bench seat’s starboard base retracts to protect the upholstery and offer a skid-free step for passengers going to and from the sunpad/aft fishing deck or the swim platform.
A two-panel cushion snaps into place on top of the Q5’s motor well, and the pad is removed when the aft fishing pedestal seat is place in the mount, to reveal a large, skid-free deck.
The engine compartment offers enough room to perform routine maintenance, as well as a dedicated space for stowing the aft pedestal seat. The engine hatch is secured with two auto-locking latches to keep vibration at a minimum.
A dedicated compartment for the boat’s fire extinguisher is located atop the engine compartment.
The Q5’s integrated swim platform hides a self-draining compartment for wet storage, sports a recessed, three-rung boarding ladder with two handrails for easy boarding, and a tow ring.
The Tahoe’s 16-degree, variable-deadrise hull has proven to be a versatile design for boats in the 20 foot class.
The standard package Q5 SF comes with a MerCruiser 4.3L 190-hp V-6. While reviewing that rig, we reached a top speed of 53 mph and got on plane in an average time of 4.4 seconds on consecutive runs.
The Q5 has a traditional layout for a family fish and ski, with a smallish bow area, decent deck space, a broad bench seat aft and a sizeable after area for fishing, sunning and swimming.
I like the Tahoe as a family sportboat. I also feel that the angling amenities offered could be reworked to make the boat more fishing-friendly out of the box. Four key features of any boat intended for fishing use I feel should include: 1) a place to securely store rods when not in use, 2) holders for rods while fishing, 3) a depth finder – preferably with a fish-finding sonar function, and 4) a way to anchor the boat when a likely fishing spot is located.
Happily all four of these matters can be easily handled by the Tahoe dealer in the aftermarket. A cleat for anchoring can be added to the bow and a depth sounder is offered as a factory option. Rod racks and flush-mounted holders are simple aftermarket items to add.
On the other hand, a bow-mounted trolling motor is a luxury – as is a dedicated livewell – for most weekend anglers. The fish tank’s size may be better suited for keeping minnows than containing the larger fish they catch. But those gamefish that are not released and intended for the dinner table are better kept on ice in the Tahoe’s integrated cooler located under the bench seat right next to the livewell.
I think that the Q5 SF is an able family sportboat; comfortable, well-constructed, adequately powered and fairly priced at $24,995. If you want a versatile family sportboat and intend to target bass when you do use it for fishing, it’s a good choice. If you are more serious about exercising the boat’s fishing option, a few additions might be in order and a dealer can easily add them. If your primary interest is tubing, swimming and cruising, with only casual fishing, the Q5 SF is pretty well found just the way she is.
Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) is 52.7 mph (84.8 kph), burning 16.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 61.32 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) is 43.1 mph (69.4 kph), and the boat gets 4.02 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.71 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 69 miles (111.04 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 220-hp Mercury MPI ECT.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) Warranty
Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) 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 Q5 SF (2012-) Price
Tahoe Q5 SF (2012-) 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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