Captain's ReportA Feature Rich Fishing PontoonBy Captain Keith Burton So, you are thinking about buying a new pontoon boat for your family, but you are also looking for an ideal fishing platform. The 2005 Aspen 22 RFC could just be what you are looking for.Tahoe’s designers and engineers clearly were listening to their customers when they set out to build this pontoon boat. Throughout are details that make the Tahoe Aspen 22 RFC a pontoon boat that can meet a wide variety of demands without compromising.Every pontoon boat offers a large stable platform for fishing or water-borne activities as well as the ability to get into shallow waters where some of the best fishing can be found. So what is left is how the boat works, and in this case, this boat satisfies.Impressive DesignThe Tahoe Aspen 22 RFC is a large fishing-oriented pontoon boat with comfortable seating and plenty of premium features. This boat’s rugged pontoons are notable for their integrated spray shields, which are part of the leading edge of the pontoons, as well as the re-enforced side rub strip which help protect the pontoons from docking damages.On deck, the bow seating area features two comfortable fishing seats mounted on sturdy aluminum boxes instead of the normal pedestal seats. This is a much more sturdy way to mount such seats and you get a handy storage compartment beneath. The bow fishing seats swivel and have storage netting attached to the backrests for fishing gear. There is also storage netting on the bow door. Underneath the port side fishing seat is a livewell. A storage compartment is under the starboard seat. Two large bench seats are behind those. We liked the removable cupholders that can be slid in between the lower and upper cushions on the bench seats, and the large storage areas underneath the seats. Like the boxes under the fishing seats, the beach seats are supported by durable aluminum construction, no wood or plastic is used. Also, Tahoe uses a special soft vinyl and multi-density foam in the seat materials, which return to their shape after compression. This method of construction means the seats will last longer and not wilt from years of use. There is also a small table is sturdy and very easy to install. Helm FeaturesGetting aboard amidships is a snap as the Tahoe features port and starboard boarding areas with wide doors. The command console includes a sink with a freshwater faucet, deck lighting and two storage compartments, a smaller one for such items as keys and a wallet, and a larger compartment big enough for a small cooler.The helm has black on crème colored gauges including a gps and fishfinder. We felt the gauge design was unexpectedly upscale for a fishing-oriented pontoon boat.Lighted rocker switches control the auxiliary electrics, which are backed-up with circuit breakers, so no fuses will ever need to be replaced. A marine-use cd player radio is located to the left of a premium-looking tilting steering wheel. A fire extinguisher is mounted just below the helm.Stern FeaturesThe rear section of the Aspen 22 RFC continues the roomy comfort of the bow area. Just behind the captain’s chair is a compartment with a padded top that is the home of a fold-out changing room for some onboard privacy. The rear port side bench also opens for more storage. Just behind that seat is another large compartment. The padded top opens to reveal a large standing-level livewell compartment. And behind the livewell, there is easy access to the engine’s fuel bulb.At the stern are two more fishing seats also mounted on aluminum boxes. There you will find corner storage compartments like at the bow. Instead of a livewell like at the bow, the starboard seat base has a built-in tackle box. PerformanceOver the water the Tahoe Aspen 22 RFC handles well and provides a smooth ride over most conditions. That ride certainly will be appreciated for those long treks to your favorite fishing spots. Turn-in at the helm is easy and the boat is a predictable handler.Equipped with a modestly powered 50 horsepower Mercury EFI Big Foot 4-stroke outboard, we recorded a top speed of 16.8 miles-per-hour at 4,200 rpm. While speed is not this boat and engine’s strength, efficiency certainly is. At its 5.9 miles-per-hour cruise speed, the Mercury turns 2,000 rpm, and delivers 7.3 miles-per-gallon and a cruise range of nearly 239 miles.Clearly, we saw a lot to be impressed with in our test of the Tahoe Aspen 22 RFC. It is a well engineered and designed pontoon boat, which offers excellent fishing-oriented features that would be appreciated by any angler. And, you get the added benefit of a changing room and the space to bring along some friends.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe Pontoons Aspen 22 RFC is 16.8 mph (27 kph), burning 3.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 13.25 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe Pontoons Aspen 22 RFC is 7.7 mph (12.4 kph), and the boat gets 7.29 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3.1 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 236 miles (379.81 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 50-hp Mercury four-stroke EFI.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!