When we pressed the throttle of the Cascade Elite, we didn’t expect snappy acceleration nor did we hope to achieve a rewarding top-end speed. After all, this was one of Tahoe’s largest pontoons, heavy with a center tube and pushed by a compact Mercury 150 hp outboard. But it got the job done and then some.
We noted power to spare for bringing giggles from tube-riding kids or giving water-skiers or wakeboarders a challenging ride. Part of that power comes from the motor and part from the triple-tube design with lifting strakes to raise the boat up on top as that power is applied.
It was after running performance numbers that we throttled down to neutral and looked about this pontoon that had surprised us with its pep. Taking stock, we noted luxury accommodations. For instance, the helm and bucket seats were ergonomically comfortable thanks to possessing a swiveling mechanism and also adjusting for legroom. The fiberglass-molded helm station was situated for a clear view over the bow, and the throttle was positioned naturally under the driver’s right hand. A combination of analog gauges, a GPS speedometer and a Garmin 5 DV fish finder were all we needed to safely pilot the ’toon on any waters.
If the captain is well-coddled on the Cascade Elite, the crew should be ecstatic with their luxuries. Lounges look fore and aft, with slanted backs for the ideal position for reading a book. Cup holders are mounted into the seat bases for a convenient and handsome effect. A pair of movable dual cup holders add more options for securing refreshments. Most striking in the eye-appeal department was the vinyl flooring that oozed with ambience due to looking like sun-worn teak planking. The surface is textured for grippy footing and padded for comfort.
The pontoons shone brightly, and the rails are all powder-coated in a jet-black gloss. Inside panels are padded and upholstered for a rich look and to end the drumming sound heard on less well-appointed boats. Forward panels have a rounded look that is sleek and sporty, which also serves to soften the corners of loungers’ favorite forward seats. A hassock with cup holders and cooler beneath add more comfort and convenient access to refreshments.
For docking convenience, there are entry points forward, amidships and astern, plus docking lights to illuminate the way.
* Ice-blue LED courtesy lights illuminate the cockpit for evening cruises.
* Powder-coated rails look great, and interior panels are upholstered to quiet the ride.
* Stylish looks are all around, from the weathered teak-look vinyl deck to the exterior panel colors.
Price: $56,078 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Pro XS 115
Prop: Black Max 15″ pitch 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.38:1
Fuel Load: 5 gal.
Crew Weight: 450 lb.
Tahoe Pontoon Boats – Alma, Michigan; 800-334-2913; tahoepontoons.com