Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofThe Q5 models come in two versions: the Q5i SF and the Q5i. Tahoe refers to the multi-purpose SF Q-model lineup as “ski & fish” boats, putting a spin on the traditional “fish & ski” designation. It’s a telling juxtaposition, for the angling amenities on the 19.5 foot Q5i model are token at best. But they may be enough for boaters who will angle only occasionally between bouts of cruising and enjoying towable-sports, for which the bowrider is well-suited.
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
by Capt. Dan Armitage
With no anchor locker at the bow, we also do not have cleats, which have been repositioned farther aft. There is a removable center filler cushion which reveals a non-skid deck area makes a nice casting area. There is a large wireless foot control for the trolling motor ideal for this area when you have the removable pedestal fishing seat installed at the bow.
We feel that any fish & ski –- or ski & fish -- model should come with at least a basic fishfinder as standard equipment. The single model offered by Tahoe with the Q5i comes as a $180 option. There is in-wall fishing rod storage with bungee cords to help secure the rods, just make sure they are not bumped onto the deck by the driver or passenger.
Our boat tester commented on the flat space offered on the simple King Star Board lid atop the port console, which he found to be a handy flat space for setting his laptop – at least until the boat got underway. With the right adapter, he could have powered-up using the 12-volt receptacle adjacent to the compartment.
There are dedicated racks for securing a paddle and the navigation lights’ posts in the sole storage compartment. Use of the locker for stowing longer items such as fishing rods may be awkward due to the size of the access. The hatch is made of Star Board with ventilation holes and secured with a piano hinge.
A notable fishing feature on the ski & fish is the rig’s rather sophisticated livewell, fed by dual pumps to offer aeration circulation. We like the proximity of the courtesy light and control switch and the fact that the well’s rim over-hangs the basin to help contain sloshing water – and it’s finned contents.
The standard package Q5i SF comes with a MerCruiser 4.3L 190-hp V-6. While reviewing that rig, we reached a top speed of 53 mph and got on plane in an average time of 4.4 seconds on consecutive runs.
I like the Tahoe as a family sportboat. I also feel that the angling amenities offered could be reworked to make the boat more fishing-friendly out of the box. Four key features of any boat intended for fishing use I feel should include: 1) a place to securely store rods when not in use, 2) holders for rods while fishing, 3) a depth finder – preferably with a fish-finding sonar function, and 4) a way to anchor the boat when a likely fishing spot is located. Happily all four of these matters can be easily handled by the Tahoe dealer in the aftermarket. A cleat for anchoring can be added to the bow and a depth sounder is offered as a factory option. Rod racks and flush-mounted holders are simple aftermarket items to add. On the other hand, a bow-mounted trolling motor is a luxury – as is a dedicated livewell – for most weekend anglers. The fish tank’s size may be better suited for keeping minnows than containing the larger fish they catch. But those gamefish that are not released and intended for the dinner table are better kept on ice in the Tahoe’s integrated cooler located under the bench seat right next to the livewell.
I think that the Q5i SF is an able family sportboat; comfortable, well-constructed, adequately powered and fairly priced at $29,995. If you want a versatile family sportboat and intend to target bass when you do use it for fishing, it’s a good choice. If you are more serious about exercising the boat’s fishing option, a few additions might be in order and a dealer can easily add them. If your primary interest is tubing, swimming and cruising, with only casual fishing, the Q5i SF is pretty well found just the way she is.
Test Result Highlights
Pricing Range: $29,995.00Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.