Captain's ReportPerformance Pontooning Means FunTested By Captain Keith Burton When it comes to selecting a new pontoon boat most buyers are faced with a daunting number of choices, from what manufacturer to select to what do they want in a boat. The manufacturer of Tahoe Pontoon boats has made the choice easy in their well-equipped and well-made line of pontoon boats.An excellent example is the 2005 Tahoe Vista RE22. Here’s a pontoon boat that aims at the performance end of the spectrum.Now, you are probably saying to yourself, “What, a performance pontoon boat?” and picturing in your mind a pontoon with all the performance of a living room on the water. But performance is just what you get with the 22-foot Tahoe Vista RE22. This pontoon features three logs, a center log is tucked underneath the deck to provide more lift, speed and control that makes this pontoon a great choice for water-borne sports such as skiing and wake boarding, plus you get premium comfort features and the deck space that only a pontoon boat can deliver.ConstructionThe pontoons on the Tahoe Express Cruise Elite deserve some additional mention. They feature sturdy forward splash guards that form the leading edge of the pontoons. They are integral to the pontoons and not just welded on structures as on many other pontoon boats. You also get rugged strakes welded along the edges of the pontoons for more lift and control when cornering.What you will also note throughout the Tahoe is the excellent choice of materials and fine fit and finish. The welds are strong and clean, the seat materials are specially engineered for resilience and the cushions are made up of multi-density foam. Tahoe is justifiably proud of their boats, which reflects the company’s old-fashioned, customer-oriented way of doing business. They listen.Bow FeaturesStarting at the bow, we liked the recessed docking lights and stainless steel fittings. The Tahoe features a tough 4-inch aluminum rub rail with strong cast aluminum bumpers at the corners that will protect the boat from rough docking. On board, the roomy forward seating area has two overstuffed and soft-to-the-touch sun lounges framing a bow access door. As you would expect, convenient cup holders are nearby. The seats open to large storage compartments. In the Tahoe, the seats are framed in strong aluminum. There is no wood or plastic. The designers didn’t waste any space onboard either, as even the backrests offer storage space. AmidshipsOur boat was equipped with a terrific-looking optional wakeboard tower that spanned the boat amidships. Besides the obvious sporting nature of this accessory, there is more to tell.Attached were twin Infinity loudspeakers that broadcast toward the stern. Besides being hooked up to the boat’s excellent CD stereo system, it also includes a microphone to talk to the folks out back.An additional cool option attached to the tower was a spotlight that operated with a wireless remote control. With the touch of a keypad, the light could be rotated left and right, and tilted up and down.At the HelmThe helm the Tahoe Vista RE22 has attractive black on white gauges framed in chrome bezels. Lighted rocker switches control the auxiliary electrics. To the left of the steering wheel is a CD player radio is within easy reach. The premium-appearing steering wheel tilts and the comfortable captain’s chair is adjustable so that you can stand if front of it if you want. Underneath the helm is storage space for a cooler.Getting onboard is also made easy with port and starboard boarding doors.The rear seating area is another comfortable location for passengers. Again, cupholders and large underseat storage matches what is found at the bow. At the stern there is a large sun pad that opens to provide access to the outboard engine.PerformanceOut test boat was equipped with a 115 horsepower Mercury Optimax 2-stroke outboard. Performance was excellent with a top speed of 34.4 mph - plenty of speed for skiing. With the boat’s 24-gallon fuel tank, we calculated a cruise range of 111 miles using 90 percent of the fuel at a cruise speed of 14.4 mph. The ride and handling were both quite good, especially for a pontoon boat. The ride was smooth, even over choppy water.Overall, the Tahoe Vista RE22 represents an excellent value in a performance-oriented pontoon boat. It can be optioned up to a terrifically fun boat that would provide years of satisfaction to its owner.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe Pontoons Vista 22 is 34.4 mph (55.4 kph), burning 10.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 38.61 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe Pontoons Vista 22 is 14.5 mph (23.3 kph), and the boat gets 5.16 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 111 miles (178.64 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Mercury Optimax.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!