Access More Boat Tests

Captain's reports and/or test numbers for this model are archived.

To Get full access to this content, please:

login   or   Register

Tahoe 215 Xi (2014-)

1 x 260-hp Mercury 5.0 MPI

Brief Summary

The Tahoe 215 Xi is an example of a deckboat which has the room to bring along plenty of friends because she has a capacity for 12 people. While her primary mission is to be used as a watersports platform for swimming and towing, she can also be used for fishing. She comes standard with a 220-hp 4.3 L Mercury sterndrive and has many features including an aerated livewell.

Key Features

  • Fishing features include 2 removable chairs, fore and aft pedestal base positions, starboard under-gunnel rod storage, aerated bow livewell and wiring for optional trolling motor
  • Aft swim platform with concealed boarding ladder, insulated cooler/storage and ski tow ring
  • Color-keyed Bimini top
  • Aft L-lounge and bow lounge seating with storage, removable cooler and trash receptacle
  • Port refreshment center with sink, sprayer and freshwater tank
  • In-floor ski/wakeboard/trolling motor storage
  • Adjustable swiveling driver bucket seat with flip-up bolster
  • Molded starboard console with tinted windscreen, storage, easy-to-read gauges, AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 jack, four 60 watt speakers and the ability to accept an optional Sirius Satellite Radio package
  • Bow platform with non-skid surface, anchor locker and boarding ladder

Test Results

660 1.8 1.5 0.8 2.19 1.9 71 62 69
1000 6.3 5.4 1.6 3.91 3.4 127 110 75
1500 7.8 6.8 2.8 2.79 2.42 90 78 80
2000 12 10.4 4.65 2.57 2.23 83 72 84
2500 24.1 20.9 5.5 4.37 3.8 142 123 86
3000 31.8 27.6 7.85 4.04 3.52 131 114 88
3500 37.4 32.5 9.95 3.76 3.27 122 106 92
4000 42.2 36.7 11.8 3.57 3.11 116 101 91
4500 47.4 41.2 16.4 2.89 2.51 94 81 94
5000 51.1 44.4 21.3 2.4 2.09 78 68 100
5200 51.2 44.5 21.8 2.35 2.04 76 66 105


Length Overall 21' 6'' / 6.5 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 3,510 lbs.
1,592 kg
Tested Weight 4,038 lbs.
1,832 kg
Draft Up 16''
0.41 m
Draft Down 32.5''
.83 m
Deadrise/Transom 20-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance 3' 10''
1.17 m (max)
Weight Capacity 1,800 lbs.
816 kg
Person Capacity 12
Fuel Capacity 36 gal.
136 L
Water Capacity none
Total Weight 4,038 lbs.
1,832 kg


See the price by becoming
a BoatTEST member.

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.2 sec.
0 to 30 8.7 sec.
Ratio Alpha 1.47:1
Props 14.5 x 19 Black Max
Load 2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 69 deg., 68 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 260-hp Mercury 5.0 MPI
Std. Power 1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT
Opt. Power Not Available


Hull Warranty Extended Limited Five-Year

Captain's Report

Tahoe 215 Xi

The Tahoe 215 Xi has a LOA of 21’6” (6.55 m), a beam of 102” (259 cm), and a draft of 16” (40.6 cm). She's a deckboat that is designed for multi-purpose use.

Mission Statement

The Tahoe 215 Xi was created to be a crossover platform capable of being an "all-purpose" boat for entertaining up to 12 people, a fishing boat with standard items such as livewell and pedestal seats, and a runabout for towing sports. We think she does all of these tasks reasonably well in a reasonably priced package.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Tahoe 215 Xi

Major Features

• Available in 5 standard colors

• Aft platform with 4-step reboarding ladder, insulated storage and fishing seat base

• Standard fishing features include 2 movable fishing seats with fore and aft base locations

• Full instrumentation

• PowerGlide hull design

• Refreshment center with sink, pullout sprayer, and an on-demand 15 gallon freshwater tank

Tahoe 215 Xi

The Tahoe 215 Xi has the low freeboard and the large bow seating area of a deck boat, but is far more than a one trick pony.


The Tahoe 215 Xi has a LOA of 21’6” (6.55 m), a beam of 102” (259 cm), and a draft of 16” (40.6 cm). With an empty weight of 3,510 lbs. (1,592 kg), half fuel and two people onboard we had a test weight of approximately 4,038 lbs. (1,832 kg).

WOT Speed.

With the 260-hp Mercury 5.0 MPI engine turning an Alpha drive with a 14.5 x 19 Black Max propeller, we reached a top speed of 51.2 mph at 5200 rpm. At that speed we were burning 21.8 gph giving us a range of 76 miles.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The Tahoe 215 Xi was powered by a 260-hp Mercury 5.0 MPI engine with an Alpha drive. She reached a top speed of 51.2 mph at 5200 rpm, while burning 21.8 gph while giving us a range of 76 miles.

Best cruise

came in at 2500 rpm and 24.1 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 5.5 gph meaning the 250 could keep that speed up for nearly 6 hours and 142 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

Hole-Shot Times.

With the PowerGlide hull’s 20-degree deadrise at the transom we reached planing speed in 3.2 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 5.8 seconds, 30 in 8.7 seconds, 40 came and went in 12.7 seconds and we continued accelerating through 50 mph in 20.3 seconds.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The helm consists of a faux burl wood panel nestled into glare-reducing colors all surrounded by a molded fiberglass console. Tahoe went with full instrumentation that includes a digital depth finder to the left of the panel and a compass directly in the center. The wheel is mounted to a tilt base. A comfortable armrest is formed by the wide caprail to starboard. Engine control is flush mounted to the bulkhead.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The stereo is mounted in an enclosed compartment just to the left of the steering wheel.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The helm seat swivels and slides, includes a flip up bolster and wraps around for added comfort. The lumbar area is open to provide ventilation on hot days. The three-colored upholstery treatment adds style and compliments the boat's overall color scheme.

Tahoe 215 Xi

A 220-hp 4.3 MPI MerCruiser engine is included as standard. Our test boat was fitted with the optional 260-hp 5.0 MPI. Whether to go with the 220-hp or the 260-hp engine will be the toughest decision consumers will have to make with this boat.


Trimming Tips.

On accelerating, the 215 presents a 12-degree bow rise before coming up on plane in only 3.2 seconds. Add trim to about the 1/2 mark on the trim gauge to get into her proper cruising attitude, additional trim will cause ventilation of the propeller before any bow oscillation takes effect. She leans approximately 7-degrees into the turns and when taking power off she settles back into the water stern first.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Reverse chines are carried well forward as can be seen in this image. The 215 carves through turns with no tendency towards falling off the turn or spinning out in the turn thanks to its sharp V-shaped bottom design forward and her flatter aft sections.


Fishing Features

It might seem to be easy to build a boat for fishing since it operates on the water and that's where the fish live. But it takes more than that. There are basic requirements for every fishing boat, and usually optional items as well. For the standard features, Tahoe includes starboard side rod storage with three rod tubes, two removable fishing seats with two bow positions and one aft position plus designated storage space, a bow livewell with a 500 GPH pump out system and adjustable spray head, and pre-rigging for an optional trolling motor.

For options

, Tahoe offers five different trolling motors between 54 and 82 lb. thrust and 50 to 60’’ shaft lengths. Three different battery chargers are also offered.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Dual pedestal seats fit into separate bases at the bow, with an in-deck anchor storage locker located right in between.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The livewell is located at the step to the bow, right in between the forward cockpit seats.

Tahoe 215 Xi

A single pedestal seat base is located on the port side of the aft deck.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Rod storage is located under the starboard gunwales.

Comfort Features

There is comfortable seating for 12 guests on the 215 Xi. There's a portside refreshment center with sink plumbed to a 15 gallon (56.8 L) tank for easy cleanups at snack time. A removable pedestal table is included as standard equipment. The standard Bimini top includes a drop-down changing curtain.
Several stereo options are offered and can even include wakeboard tower speakers and satellite radio capabilities.

Tahoe 215 Xi

There are dual bench seats at the bow. A step through to the bow platform is over a hatch to the aerated livewell. Dual speakers and drink holders are mounted into raised molded modules to either side. Note the hatch over the beach boarding ladder on the foredeck.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Wraparound bolsters allow for versatile seating positions. The usual accommodations for storage are underneath the seats.

Tahoe 215 XiTahoe 215 Xi

A starboard side entertainment center has a convenient trash receptacle to one side and a sink with pullout sprayer to the other. Two drink holders are included and a 15 gallon (56.8 L) water tank is underneath.

Tahoe 215 Xi

A hatch leads to storage under the helm console, and notice the dedicated spot for the fire extinguisher.

Tahoe 215 Xi

In deck storage is accessed through a ventilated hatch cover. The compartment drains into the bilge where there is a 500 gph bilge pump with auto switch under the engine.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The compartment includes a mount for the included paddle, table pedestal, and nav lights.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Courtesy lights are also included as standard and allow the 215 to be enjoyed well after sundown.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The aft seat lifts to expose a 35 quart (33.1 L) carry-on cooler. This dedicated space is recessed below a raised lip to hold the cooler in place.

Tahoe 215 Xi

Wraparound L-shaped seating at the stern also accommodates storage under the port side seat. This included an acrylic pedestal table that has raised edges to keep items from sliding off. It can easily be transferred to the bow seating area.

Tahoe 215 Xi

A second trash receptacle is located underneath the step at the swim platform walkthrough.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The Bimini top extends forward providing shade over the helm and some of the seating.

Watersports Features

The 215 Xi comes standard with a 220-hp 4.3 MPI engine. Our test boat was equipped with the optional 260-hp 5.0 MPI engine that brought us to a top speed of 51.2 mph. Obviously that translates to a boat with enough muscle to pull even the largest skier out of the water. The standard engine will likely suffice but it's reassuring to have the added muscle, particularly when the boat is loaded with guests. However, the higher horsepower engine is not needed quite so much when tubing or wakeboarding. The optional wakeboard tower is a desirable piece of equipment for boaters wanting to wakeboard, and for that it makes the 215 really shine.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The optional wakeboard tower will definitely be on the must-have list. It creates a higher tow point so that wakeboarders can catch lots of air as they jump across the wake. Options include tower speakers and wakeboard racks.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The bow features a four-step beach reboarding ladder under a concealed hatch.

Tahoe 215 Xi

The swim platform features a four-step re-boarding ladder, where virtually all other boats in class have only a three-step ladder. Note dual grab handles to either side of the hatch. A hatch over the steering pump and battery is just ahead.

Tahoe 215 Xi

An additional wet storage compartment is located to the port side of the swim platform. This would make a convenient spot to dump the masks and snorkels before climbing out of the water.


We think Tahoe has its act together when designing the 215 Xi. She’s got a multitude of amenities and equipment that when added up provide a remarkably complete package that’s reasonably priced. And, because of her versatility, she can keep a lot of people happy regardless of what the day’s itinerary calls for.