Captain's ReportFishing in ComfortTested By Captain Keith BurtonAnglers tired of the pounding you get from small boats and the lack of room onboard can appreciate a pontoon boat. Any pontoon, with their large deck area and shallow draft can perform well as a fishing platform. But when a manufacturer listens to their customers, you get a pontoon boat like the one featured here, the 2005 Tahoe Blue Ridge 24 DC.This large 24-foot pontoon takes catching fish to a whole new comfort level with some fishing-specific features and plush seating that would make any day on the water a pleasure.Starting with excellent and tough construction, Tahoe has clearly been listening to their customer’s desires for a pontoon that is a few steps up from just being a fishing platform.Bow FeaturesTake the forward fishing seats for example. In the Tahoe Blue Ridge 24 DC, the seats are large, comfortable and well-padded and completely different than the pedestal seats found on most fishing-oriented boats. These are seats that you could spend the whole day sitting in. In fact, they are of the same design as the upscale captain’s seat at the helm.But that is not the only benefit of this pontoon boat. Nearby the seats at the bow corners are storage compartments along with handy rod and cup holders. And, for some passengers or friends, there are two large bench seats just behind the fishing seats.As you would expect in a pontoon boat, storage is plentiful for all your gear. Notable is that Tahoe uses aluminum for their seat framing, no wood or plastic is used. Beneath the port bench seat is a large livewell.Part of the comfort of the seats in the Tahoe Blue Ridge is due to a special soft and durable vinyl supported by multi-density foam. Tahoe says this combination of materials resists wrinkling and sagging with age and exposure to the elements.There is also a small table for entertaining that mounts easily between the two bench seats. And as you would expect, cupholders are placed within range of all the seating positions, which means your passengers will enjoy the trip while you are fishing. In addition to the bow access door, large port and starboard access doors make getting aboard easy. HelmThe helm features attractive black on white gauges with chrome bezels set in a burl wood-like dash that rises elegantly from the console. The look is upscale. Lighted rocker switches control auxiliary electrics and a CD player radio is close by. There is also a tilting steering wheel and the comfortable captain’s chair spoken of earlier. A foldout cupholder is just to the left of the helm. There is space beneath the helm station for a cooler.For passengers not into fishing, the rear seating area features an elegant wraparound bench seat large enough for sunbathing. The bench seat also has storage below in both the side and rear sections. The backrest has additional storage. At the stern is a large sun pad big enough for two people to lie upon. The sun pad can be raised to reveal a canvas-enclosed changing room that could double as a head if properly equipped. Raising the sun pad is made simple by hydraulic struts and the changing room only takes seconds to set up. There is also stern boarding ladder with plenty of room to get onboard.PerformanceOver the water, the Tahoe Blue Ridge 24 DC has a smooth and stable ride, especially over choppy conditions you would see over lakes and bays. Maneuverability is predictable. As a comfortable and stable fishing platform and for just plain enjoyment on the water, the performance is excellent for a boat of this size and type.Equipped with an economical and quiet Mercury 60 horsepower EFI four-stroke outboard, we saw a top speed of nearly 20 mph. At the boat’s cruise speed of 10.6 mph, the Mercury delivered just over 6 miles per gallon. Okay, this isn’t a fast boat, but it has plenty of speed for cruising and enjoying a day on the water.ConstructionTahoe is no slouch regarding the engineering and fit and finish. The pontoons impress with the extra strength of the leading spray shields, which are part of the actual pontoon and not just welded on wings, as in some other pontoon designs. Also, the use of durable stainless steel fittings and tough four-inch aluminum rub rail that surrounds the deck means docking damages will be kept at bay.We also were impressed with the details on this pontoon boat such as the recessed docking lamps and upscale materials and bright colors. Sure there are more dedicated fishing boats, and pontoons that offer similar features. But the durable construction, comfort and care that went into this pontoon’s design make this pontoon one to consider.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe Pontoons Blue Ridge 24 DC is 19.2 mph (30.9 kph), burning 5.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 20.06 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe Pontoons Blue Ridge 24 DC is 10.6 mph (17.1 kph), and the boat gets 6.22 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.64 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 201 miles (323.48 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 60-hp Mercury four-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!