Tahoe engineers have been busily designing and upgrading this popular, high-volume runabout line for several years now. In the process, they've eliminated wood in their hulls, substituting molded fiberglass stringer systems and gelcoat-lined storage compartments, dramatically upgrading the fine points while pushing for more style.
Taking durability up a step, they've upgraded hardware to top-shelf products like stainless-steel cleats, rub rail, hinges and latches. Throughout the Tahoe line, they've also enhanced seating with more resilient vinyl and looks that complement the lines of the boat.
We've also noticed a growing list of standard equipment that makes the base models more tempting without pumping up the price. How can this be? For starters, Tahoe designers know it's more efficient and cost-effective to make would-be options standard. Bolt-on platforms are eliminated in favor of a big integrated platform that extends past the stern-drive. That platform design adds square feet to the space - and added clearance for safe swimming when at anchor.
On plane, we liked the Tahoe 225's ability to reach a fuel-saving cruise speed at under 3,000 rpm. But most boaters would be better served if they stepped up to a fuel-injected engine, boosting horsepower, top speed and fuel economy throughout the mid-speed power range - speeds more commonly enjoyed in everyday boating. A 5.7-liter 300 hp motor is an approximate $5,000 upgrade, but with it the 225 would go toe to toe with some luxury deck-boat brands.
Tahoe's 20-degree-deadrise hull handles choppy waters well, and MerCruiser's standard power steering makes the captain's job even easier. Tahoe boasts of their Hydrostep lifting strakes designed to reduce loss of horizon at hole shot and to give more pizzazz per horsepower. It worked that way in our tests. We think the hull style also adds stability both on plane and at anchor when boaters may be crowding around the stereo or the cooler.
While some premium builders try to imitate a bowrider's style by adding a heavy and space-slurping console, Tahoe's open airy plan opts for more seats, embracing the boater's needs and styling to meet his desires.
Tahoe spruces up the expansive deck space with neat storage features, too. First, there's a dual rod rack in the portside coaming in the walk-through transom. And Tahoe adds drawers under the bow seats that can open without even waking a reclining snoozer.
Although a color-matched trailer is optional, it's factory-built by Tahoe for a custom fit and secure road hauling. There's no reason a boat shouldn't look as great on the trailer as it does on the water.
* Full fiberglass deck is easy to clean at the end of the day.
* Pop-up changing room gives privacy for swapping shorts for suits.
* Optional fish package offers a livewell and trolling motor.
* A factory-installed wakeboard tower is an economical upgrade at just under $2,000.
* A Lowrance digital depth finder at the dash is standard.
At a Glance
The 225 is for a discriminating bargain hunter who knows the value of superior hardware and solid construction techniques, along with a low price.
Length Overall: 22'5"
Dry Weight: 3,805 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,850 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 48 gal.
Maximum HP: 300
MSRP (w/ MerCruiser 5.0L, Alpha): $30,985
NMMA Certified: Yes
Test Engine: MerCruiser 5.0L, Alpha
Test Prop: 19" aluminum
Test Load: People (230 lb.); Fuel (45 gal.)
Top Speed: 42.5 MPH @ 4,600 RPM
Time to Plane: 4.8 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 10.2 sec.
Minimum Planing Speed: 19.3 MPH @ 2,800 RPM