Captain's ReportMake Mine GrandBy Captain Keith BurtonSpace maybe the last frontier but there is more to space than twinkling stars. How about the luxury of space and the room to move about in comfort, say on a pontoon boat? That’s part of the appeal of the 2005 Tahoe Grand Elite 27, where space, amenities and performance combine to make a trip to your nearby lake or bay a wonderful experience every time.With a length of 27 feet and a beam of 8 feet 6 inches, the Tahoe Grand Elite 27 has more deck space than a 15x15 foot room. But this pontoon boat is not just about the room onboard, it is about comfort and amenities that have been well designed and engineered to provide a premium pontoon boat experience.There is more to this pontoon boat than simply two aluminum logs attached under a platform. A close examination finds that the engineers spent the time to build a pontoon boat with strength and durability as a priority. A good example is the four-inch rub rail around the deck along with super strong cast aluminum bumpers at the corners.Then there is the way the forward tube splash shields are molded and welded as one unit to form the front of the tubes and not just attached as on most other pontoon boats. Owners will also appreciate that the engineers included a strong aluminum rub strip along the outside edges of the pontoons to keep docking damages to a minimum.Graceful DesignOn deck, the designers clearly were thinking outside the box. The bow area seating curves gracefully toward a bow door that is offset to starboard. The look is different and sets a neat design element to this pontoon boat.As you would expect in a pontoon boat, under seat storage is huge. But here is a difference, the seat framing is all aluminum, there is no wood or plastic used. Even the seat materials are different. Tahoe used a premium soft-touch vinyl with multi-density foam beneath. The results are very comfortable seats that return to their shape when compressed.Almost every space is used, such as corner storage compartments near the seatbacks that are covered with a clear panel that open upward. Attention to detail is evident here too. Tahoe’s engineers covered the aluminum hinges with the same vinyl just to make it look better. Scattered strategically around the interior are small diode-bulb deck lights for discrete night lighting. We also like the premium JBL speaker system for the stereo.AmidshipsThe control console features a freshwater sink entertainment area. There are also several storage compartments and large deck light.The helm is elegantly designed with crème colored gauges set in gold bezels within a burl-like wood dash that spans the top of the console. Included in our boat was a built-in Humminbird GPS fishfinder as well as a Clarion marine-use CD radio. A premium tilting steering wheel is also part of the package as well as a roomy and comfortable captain’s chair that swivels.More Seating LuxuryPassengers in the rear seating area are not shortchanged in any way. An expansive wraparound bench seat offers plenty of room for lounging in the sun. Those seats also have storage below in both the side and rear sections. Convenient cupholders are everywhere they should be. Nestled in a corner compartment is truly a luxury touch. There inside is a rack holding four wine glasses, and below that, holders for four wine bottles and even a glass Champaign bucket to keep the bubbly at the right temperature. At the stern is a huge sun pad large enough for two people. The leading section of the sun pad can be raised on hydraulic struts to reveal a canvas changing room for when privacy is needed onboard.The rear portion of the sun pad also opens to provide access to the engine area. A stern ladder is attached to the starboard side with plenty of room to get onboard.PerformanceOver the water the Tahoe Grand Elite 27 is a model of serenity over the typical wakes and waves on a lake. There is no pounding and punishing your passengers. Steering is a bit numb as this it not a sportboat, so cutting sharp corners is definitely not its long suit, but it handles easily enough. Equipped with a 90 horsepower Mercury 2-stroke outboard, we recorded a top speed of 22.2 mph, just fast enough to mess up your hair. But cruise speed, at 12.2, is the more enjoyable way to get around.We think that folks looking for a large, roomy pontoon boat will be well-pleased with the Tahoe Grand Elite 27. It has a truly unique look, excellent engineering as well as fit and finish. And best of all, the space to enjoy it.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe Pontoons Grand 27 Elite is 22.5 mph (36.2 kph), burning 10.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 38.23 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe Pontoons Grand 27 Elite is 12.0 mph (19.3 kph), and the boat gets 3.83 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.63 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 124 miles (199.56 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 90-hp Mercury four-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!