Tahoe’s new 500 TF features a newly designed Powerglide II hull with reverse chines and Hydrostep strakes that offer a different bottom shape for better handling, and bigger wakes over the water. Her built-in storage compartments and slide out cooler show impressive storage space for her size, while keeping the main deck clear for easy access to the swim platform. The addition of the new 2-tone upholstery coupled with a Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3 and USB ports offer the buyer an exciting entertainment platform for endless watersport adventures. For those who like to fish and ski, Tahoe has included a Minn Kota PowerDrive trolling motor, multiple removable fishing seats, and an insulated livewell. To complete the package, the 500 TF includes a standard custom color-matched trailer with Galvashield protection that will carry the new 500 TF home in style.
The bow of the 500 TF features a removable bow cushion that sits firmly in place with the support of neighboring cushions and indented bulwark. When the bow cushion is removed we find a non-skid hatch for added safety during boarding, as well as the actual anchor locker. Tahoe engineers designed the hatch with an indent so the bitter end of the anchor rode can attach inside the locker, and then run to a nearby stainless steel bow cleat while the hatch remains closed.
Minn Kota Trolling Motor.
The 500 TF comes standard with a Minn Kota PowerDrive 12V, 55-lb. thrust 54” (1.37 m) trolling motor with a remote key fob and removable mount. The trolling motor has a built-in power connection at the bow that connects to an Interstate Series 27 trolling battery found behind the portside lounge backrest. At the stern, the builder engineered a plug in charging system for the trolling battery, therein keeping the primary onboard electrical system separate.
Removable Pedestal Seats.
Tahoe engineered two removable/foldable pedestal seats so multiple guests can hold a pole at the same time. Both have dual mountable locations one at the bow and the other aft. When said chairs are in place the user has plenty of clearance from the gunwale ensuring that one’s lines don’t get snagged when casting or reeling in the big one. We particularly like that the seats are not only removable, but can be easily folded away for storage when not in use. This reduces clutter in the cockpit and adds to the functionality of the 500 TF.
An impressive feature on the 500 TF is the amount of storage the builder manages to engineer into the cockpit. Aside from the anchor locker and walkthrough forward, the two chaise cushions both feature self-draining storage compartments underneath for housing life jackets and emergency gear. Said chaise cushions are conveniently removable revealing a non-skid surface throughout for easy clean up and safety while fishing. When finished, the cushions easily return to place with support from the contoured bulwark and neighboring bow cushion. Additional dry storage is found behind both hinged backrests allowing for easy access to a day bag and towels.
The main cockpit features dual captain’s chairs with optional built in bolsters ($225) for added height while docking. The boat is finished with a new 2-tone high-density marine-grade UV resistant vinyl and thread with added stain-resistant coating, says the builder. Each captain’s seat slides and swivels for added functionality and ergonomic support at the helm. The seat design appears sleek and retro in style with contrasting bold colors and diamond stitching.
Stereo and Wakeboard Tower.
The 500 TF comes standard with a four-speaker AM/FM Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3 port and Jensen Head Unit. Two of the speakers are located in the bow while the other two are placed in the aft cockpit area. The Head Unit is mounted directly below a lockable glove compartment for additional dry storage. An optional Bimini top ($795) features a built in changing station allowing guests to change out of their swim wear before a dock a dine. If the buyer is looking for more watersports capability, Tahoe also offers an optional folding wakeboard tower ($2,595) that adds two speakers above as well as a foldaway Bimini top and built in LED lights for evening entertainment.
Dashboard and Windshield.
Tahoe’s walkthrough tempered safety glass windshield with aluminum frame ties into a retro style dashboard featuring a sport steering wheel with optional tilt ($100). The dashboard shell houses a molded fiberglass shroud that holds a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, trim gauge, oil pressure gauge, and engine temperature gauge. Within the shroud a small center compartment exists for holding a cell phone or wallet, and a 12-volt accessory plug sits directly above. The retro style theme continues below with water resistant toggle switches and an additional 12-volt accessory plug. Tahoe offers an optional automatic bilge switch ($50), which we’d recommend for any boat owner. In the future we would like to see another stereo remote at the helm for added functionality and convenience.
Aft Bench Seat and Multi-Function Platform.
The aft bench seat and platform are well-engineered designs because they maximize functionality in what would otherwise be a simple structure. Let’s start by looking at the bench itself. From a distance three standard cushions line the aft bench, but a closer look shows that the starboard side cushion slides back revealing a non-skid hatch housing a 10-gallon (37.85 L) livewell with a 500 gph pump, timer, spray head, and overflow drain.
The center cushion sits
on a hinge that lifts to reveal a 36-quart self-draining cooler with dual grab handles for easy removal. The port side cushion is also hinged and lifts up to reveal another self-draining storage locker.
The sun pad
itself has a fold away cushion on the starboard side that compliments the slide away starboard bench seating. Beneath the fold away cushion we find a non-skid finish that offers the rider convenient and safe access on and off the swim platform. Beneath the non-skid walkthrough the builder incorporates storage tackle boxes and additional gear.
If the buyer is looking for added fishing space, the entire aft cushion folds away revealing a spacious nonskid platform with a stainless steel mount for the second standard pedestal seat. When servicing the MerCruiser 4.3, the entire sun pad lifts with dual hydraulic arms offering easy engine access and added storage on the port side.
The extended swim platform on the 500 TF offers room for boarding and gear assembly. Built in self-draining compartments on either side allow for stowage of lines and gear. The platform itself is finished in non-skid, and the swim ladder is built into the platform therein making it flush and eliminating the rider from potential cuts or scrapes.
The ladder folds out
on an angle away from the sterndrive for added safety when boarding or picking up passengers. We’d like to see the stainless steel boarding handle mounted directly to the bulwark instead of the swim platform decreasing the likelihood of someone tripping.
The standard factory Galvashield trailer with color-matched powder coat finish completes the Tahoe watersport experience. The trailer offers numerous upgrades from axle configuration through built in brakes. All of these options are available on the Tahoe website. In addition to the boat warranty, the trailer is also backed for three years against structural failure due to corrosion.
Power and Price
The Tahoe 500 TF comes standard with a 4.3 190-hp MerCruiser V6 ($28,595). For those looking for extra speed, we’d recommend the optional 4.3 MerCruiser MPI 220-hp V6 ($30,095). Tahoe cites that additional engine options are possible for the boat at the request of the buyer, and availability of the factory. Anyone interested in this would have to call Tahoe directly.
Tahoe engineers were clearly keeping today’s multi-purpose families in mind when they designed the 500 TF with numerous storage compartments for watersports, a built-in cooler for entertaining, and numerous fishing features including a Minn Kota trolling motor, and more.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe 500 TF (2015-) is 49.7 mph (80 kph), burning 17.45 gallons per hour (gph) or 66.05 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe 500 TF (2015-) is 24.2 mph (38.9 kph), and the boat gets 5.15 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 153 miles (246.23 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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