The Q6 SF strikes you right off the bat with a huge integrated swim platform rivaling optional extended platforms on larger boats. Then the comfortable bow seating area converts so quickly into a casting platform this boat has to be one of the most versatile ski and fish models we’ve seen in a while.
And so it should be, coming from the design team that created Tracker and Nitro bass boats. We weren’t surprised to see a large aerated livewell set under the aft sun pad, which converts easily to yet another casting deck. You might say this boat has three casting decks, if you count the swim platform. We were happy to see the quick-disconnect trolling motor at the bow for boat positioning, making the perfect cast the logical result of good design rather than the occasional stroke of luck.
Tahoe designers didn’t forget the tube and ski riding for thrill-seekers, either: A tow ring and a stainless-steel boarding ladder accommodate watersports nicely. When wet skiers drag lake water into the boat, it drains away to the bilge through scuppers in the molded fiberglass floor liner.
Great features aren’t all that terrific, though, if the boat doesn’t have the construction features to make it outlast the payment book. This one has an all-fiberglass hull with glass stringers and transom that won’t succumb to the insidious effects of constant exposure to weather and water.
Of course, style and versatility aren’t much good in a hull that doesn’t make the most of a wide range of stern-drive power. This one does that, too, and our testers were plenty pleased with the speed, hard-turning capability and wave-slicing prowess of this 20-footer. If boaters wanted to drop down in horsepower and save money, we’d recommend they go no lower than a 225-hp, six-cylinder multi-port injected engine — which should still give good cruising and tubing performance.
Few boats bring fish and ski together more artfully in a stern-drive package than the Tahoe Q6 SF, but, coming from one of the largest builders of hardcore fishing boats in the world, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
• Extended swim platform is integrated into hull and deck, not bolted on
• All-composite hull won’t rot
• Aerated livewell keeps catch lively for a fresh meal or weigh-in
• Bimini top is color-matched to the hull and standard equipment
• Custom color-matched trailer cradles boat on the road or in storage
• Vent louvers in the engine compartment add some flair
• Bolster seat improves the driver’s view
Test Engine: MerCruiser 5.0 MPI, Alpha
Test Prop: 15 x 21, aluminum
Test Load: People (400 lb.); Fuel (30 gal.)
Top Speed: 50.6 MPH @ 5,000 RPM
Time to Plane: 3.7 sec
Time to 30 MPH: 8.5 sec.
Min. Plane: 19 MPH @ 2,400 RPM, 82 db
Length Overall: 20’7″
Dry Weight: 3,000 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 9/1,700 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 45 gal.
Max HP: 260
MSRP (test boat): $23,285 w/trailer
Idle 3.9 69 db
1,000 5.3 72 db
1,500 7.3 75 db
2,000 9.8 76 db
2,500 23.4 84 db
3,000 29.3 85 db
3,500 35.6 88 db
4,000 41.5 88 db
4,500 46.7 94 db
5,000 50.6 98 db