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Tahoe 500 TF (2015-)

1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI

Brief Summary

The Tahoe 500 TF has the functionality of a dedicated family runabout, with an oversized swim platform with a telescoping four-step ladder, walkthrough transom and ventilated wakeboard storage in the cockpit sole. And, she also comes fully-equipped for a day of angling action, with a Minn Kota trolling motor, deep-cycle battery and charger, livewell and swivel fishing seats for bow and stern.

Key Features

  • Longer, wider and deeper hull
  • Powerglide II hull
  • AM/FM Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3, USB ports and 4 speakers
  • Minn Kota PowerDrive 12V, 55-lb. thrust 54'' (1.37 m) trolling motor
  • 2 fold-down removable fishing seats with pedestal and storage bag
  • Adjustable driver and passenger bucket seats with slide and swivel
  • 2-tone high-density marine-grade vinyl upholstery with stain-resistant coating
  • Premium stainless steel hardware and fasteners
  • Factory-matched Galvashield trailer with color-matched powder-coat finish

Test Results

680 3.9 3.3 0.9 4.28 3.72 127 110 77
1000 5.6 4.8 1.3 4.27 3.71 127 110 79
1500 7.3 6.3 2.15 3.4 2.95 101 88 82
2000 10.7 9.3 4.25 2.52 2.19 775 65 82
2500 24.2 21 4.7 5.15 4.48 153 133 84
3000 31.3 27.2 6.55 4.78 4.16 142 123 87
3500 37.1 32.2 8.6 4.31 3.75 128 111 89
4000 42.9 37.3 12.1 3.55 3.08 105 92 92
4500 47.2 41 16.35 2.88 2.51 86 74 93
4600 49.7 43.2 17.45 2.85 2.48 85 74 96


Length Overall 19' 10'' / 6.05 m
Beam 94''
2.39 m
Dry Weight 2,963 lbs.
1,343 kg
Tested Weight 3,503 lbs.
1,589 kg
Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom 16-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 33 gal.
125 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 3,503 lbs.
1,589 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 2.3 sec.
0 to 30 8.3 sec.
Props N/A
Load 2 persons, 2/3 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 81 deg., 75 humid.; wind: 0 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI
Std. Power 1 x 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT
Opt. Power 1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI Alpha ECT

Captain's Report

Tahoe 500 TF running shot

The Tahoe 500 TF has a LOA of 19’10’’ (6.05 m), a beam of 94’’ (2.39 m) and a dry weight of 3,978 lbs. (1,804 kg).

Tahoe’s new 500 TF features a newly designed Powerglide II hull with reverse chines and Hydrostep strakes that offer a different bottom shape for better handling, and bigger wakes over the water. Her built-in storage compartments and slide out cooler show impressive storage space for her size, while keeping the main deck clear for easy access to the swim platform. The addition of the new 2-tone upholstery coupled with a Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3 and USB ports offer the buyer an exciting entertainment platform for endless watersport adventures. For those who like to fish and ski, Tahoe has included a Minn Kota PowerDrive trolling motor, multiple removable fishing seats, and an insulated livewell. To complete the package, the 500 TF includes a standard custom color-matched trailer with Galvashield protection that will carry the new 500 TF home in style.

Major Features

• Exclusive Powerglide II hull with deep V bottom

• Custom-matched trailer with swing-away tongue and Galvashield protection

• Standard stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio plus MP3 and USB ports

• Removable 36 quart self-draining cooler under aft bench seat

• Minn Kota PowerDrive trolling motor 12V, 55-lb. thrust

• Full width platform with two insulated and self-draining storage compartments

• Tahoe warranty: 5 years on structure, 1 year on components

Features Inspection

Tahoe 500 TF floor layoutTahoe 500 TF floor layout

One of the many positive qualities included in the 500 TF is the amount of storage space for one’s belongings and watersport/fishing equipment. Note that the configuration above has fishing components in place. Both pedestal seats at bow and stern are removable with replacement bow cushion and sun pad.


Anchor Locker.

The bow of the 500 TF features a removable bow cushion that sits firmly in place with the support of neighboring cushions and indented bulwark. When the bow cushion is removed we find a non-skid hatch for added safety during boarding, as well as the actual anchor locker. Tahoe engineers designed the hatch with an indent so the bitter end of the anchor rode can attach inside the locker, and then run to a nearby stainless steel bow cleat while the hatch remains closed.

Tahoe 500 TF anchor locker

By placing the anchor locker under the forward seat the bow is freed up for the trolling motor.

Minn Kota Trolling Motor.

The 500 TF comes standard with a Minn Kota PowerDrive 12V, 55-lb. thrust 54” (1.37 m) trolling motor with a remote key fob and removable mount. The trolling motor has a built-in power connection at the bow that connects to an Interstate Series 27 trolling battery found behind the portside lounge backrest. At the stern, the builder engineered a plug in charging system for the trolling battery, therein keeping the primary onboard electrical system separate.

Tahoe 500 TF minn kotaTahoe 500 TF battery

The Minn Kota charging system and battery are easily accessible behind the portside backrest. The battery itself is in a self-enclosed compartment for added safety. This also allows the boater to store additional items in the above compartment such as a day bag or towels.

Removable Pedestal Seats.

Tahoe engineered two removable/foldable pedestal seats so multiple guests can hold a pole at the same time. Both have dual mountable locations one at the bow and the other aft. When said chairs are in place the user has plenty of clearance from the gunwale ensuring that one’s lines don’t get snagged when casting or reeling in the big one. We particularly like that the seats are not only removable, but can be easily folded away for storage when not in use. This reduces clutter in the cockpit and adds to the functionality of the 500 TF.

Tahoe 500 TF pedestal seat

The removable pedestal seat is angled slightly aft, allowing the user more legroom and added flexibility when casting.


An impressive feature on the 500 TF is the amount of storage the builder manages to engineer into the cockpit. Aside from the anchor locker and walkthrough forward, the two chaise cushions both feature self-draining storage compartments underneath for housing life jackets and emergency gear. Said chaise cushions are conveniently removable revealing a non-skid surface throughout for easy clean up and safety while fishing. When finished, the cushions easily return to place with support from the contoured bulwark and neighboring bow cushion. Additional dry storage is found behind both hinged backrests allowing for easy access to a day bag and towels.

Tahoe 500 TF bow

The removable chaise style seats with a polymer frame underneath reveal a walk around non-skid platform featuring dual storage lockers with drainage holes therein eliminating the possibility of rot and mold. The creative placement of the recessed navigation lights also flow nicely with the already naturally curved bow.

Tahoe 500 TF lift up back rest

The lift up backrest provides a dry space for towels and bags. The builder also uses a rubber gasket and dual corner stops to eliminate rattling hatches while underway.


The main cockpit features dual captain’s chairs with optional built in bolsters ($225) for added height while docking. The boat is finished with a new 2-tone high-density marine-grade UV resistant vinyl and thread with added stain-resistant coating, says the builder. Each captain’s seat slides and swivels for added functionality and ergonomic support at the helm. The seat design appears sleek and retro in style with contrasting bold colors and diamond stitching.

Tahoe 500 TF captains chairs

Dual captain’s chairs mount directly to the deck through built in fiberglass bases. The ergonomic seat design wraps around the rider on both sides for added security while underway. Also note the bulwark storage showcasing a discrete rod holder for easy stowage when not in use.

Tahoe 500 TF helm cup holders

On either side of the dual captain’s chairs, Tahoe incorporates secure storage wells and cup holders ensuring your personal belongings stay in place while the boat is underway. A lockable ski locker in the floor is perfect for housing wakeboards and skis.

Stereo and Wakeboard Tower.

The 500 TF comes standard with a four-speaker AM/FM Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3 port and Jensen Head Unit. Two of the speakers are located in the bow while the other two are placed in the aft cockpit area. The Head Unit is mounted directly below a lockable glove compartment for additional dry storage. An optional Bimini top ($795) features a built in changing station allowing guests to change out of their swim wear before a dock a dine. If the buyer is looking for more watersports capability, Tahoe also offers an optional folding wakeboard tower ($2,595) that adds two speakers above as well as a foldaway Bimini top and built in LED lights for evening entertainment.

Tahoe 500 TF stereo

A sleek water resistant Jensen Head Unit is located directly below the glove compartment. Inside the glove compartment, a standard USB port is placed in the front left for easy accessibility and device connection.

Tahoe 500 TF changing station

An optional Bimini top ($795) has a sleek changing station that conveniently hangs from the Bimini itself. This type of enclosure offers just enough privacy to change out of swimwear into evening clothes. When the user is done changing, the curtain easily unzips from the Bimini, allowing a clear view from bow to stern.

Dashboard and Windshield.

Tahoe’s walkthrough tempered safety glass windshield with aluminum frame ties into a retro style dashboard featuring a sport steering wheel with optional tilt ($100). The dashboard shell houses a molded fiberglass shroud that holds a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, trim gauge, oil pressure gauge, and engine temperature gauge. Within the shroud a small center compartment exists for holding a cell phone or wallet, and a 12-volt accessory plug sits directly above. The retro style theme continues below with water resistant toggle switches and an additional 12-volt accessory plug. Tahoe offers an optional automatic bilge switch ($50), which we’d recommend for any boat owner. In the future we would like to see another stereo remote at the helm for added functionality and convenience.

Tahoe 500 TF foot rest

The raised footrest on both sides adds ergonomics and overall support for the helmsman while underway.

Tahoe 500 TF dash compartment

Notice how the center compartment is the perfect size for a cell phone or wallet. The small hatch above also offers protection from water and UV rays, shielding the 12-volt accessory plug as well as anything housed in the center compartment.


Aft Bench Seat and Multi-Function Platform.

The aft bench seat and platform are well-engineered designs because they maximize functionality in what would otherwise be a simple structure. Let’s start by looking at the bench itself. From a distance three standard cushions line the aft bench, but a closer look shows that the starboard side cushion slides back revealing a non-skid hatch housing a 10-gallon (37.85 L) livewell with a 500 gph pump, timer, spray head, and overflow drain.

The center cushion sits

on a hinge that lifts to reveal a 36-quart self-draining cooler with dual grab handles for easy removal. The port side cushion is also hinged and lifts up to reveal another self-draining storage locker.

The sun pad

itself has a fold away cushion on the starboard side that compliments the slide away starboard bench seating. Beneath the fold away cushion we find a non-skid finish that offers the rider convenient and safe access on and off the swim platform. Beneath the non-skid walkthrough the builder incorporates storage tackle boxes and additional gear.

Engine Room.

If the buyer is looking for added fishing space, the entire aft cushion folds away revealing a spacious nonskid platform with a stainless steel mount for the second standard pedestal seat. When servicing the MerCruiser 4.3, the entire sun pad lifts with dual hydraulic arms offering easy engine access and added storage on the port side.

Tahoe 500 TF sun pad

The aft bench and sun pad continue to incorporate the dual color theme of white and maroon as well as the diamond stitching that we find throughout the entire interior. The location of the second set of speakers (while unseen above) face inward toward the passengers at the stern.

Tahoe 500 TF livewell

The dual fold/slide away cushions reveal a non-skid walkway from the cockpit to the swim platform, therein eliminating climbing and possibly slipping on wet vinyl. The 10-gallon (37.85 L) aerated livewell contains a blue interior with soft curved sides, decreasing shadows and keeping the fish calm. Also note the added storage on the sundeck for tackle boxes and additional gear.

Tahoe 500 TF cooler

The 36-quart self-draining cooler is conveniently located beneath the hinged center seat. Notice how the bench frame has built in indents for the cooler handles, offering easy access and removal. An additional standard feature on the 500 TF is built in LED courtesy lights located directly behind the built in deck cup holders.

Tahoe 500 TF storage

Self-draining storage is also found on the port side of the aft bench. Notice how all the rear cushions have built in snaps to secure them while underway. Key features to note include ergonomic placement of the stainless steel grab rails (not pictured above), built-in cup holders, as well as dual scupper valves built into the sole for a self-draining deck.

Tahoe 500 TF non skid deck

The removable sun pad reveals a spacious nonskid deck with a stainless steel mount for the additional foldaway pedestal seat. Notice how all the hinges are flush to the deck therein decreasing the chance of someone tripping or catching a line.

Tahoe 500 TF engine compartment

The engine compartment (not pictured above) is supported with two hydraulic arms on either side. Added storage on the port side of the engine compartment leaves room for a toolbox and safety gear.

Swim Platform.

The extended swim platform on the 500 TF offers room for boarding and gear assembly. Built in self-draining compartments on either side allow for stowage of lines and gear. The platform itself is finished in non-skid, and the swim ladder is built into the platform therein making it flush and eliminating the rider from potential cuts or scrapes.

The ladder folds out

on an angle away from the sterndrive for added safety when boarding or picking up passengers. We’d like to see the stainless steel boarding handle mounted directly to the bulwark instead of the swim platform decreasing the likelihood of someone tripping.

Tahoe 500 TF tow eye

A stainless steel tow eye comes standard on the 500 TF for those who choose not to opt for the optional wakeboard tower. Also note the built-in cup holders on either side of the swim platform.

Tahoe 500 TF flush storage

Flush storage compartments are built into the swim platform for storage of lines and gear.

Tahoe 500 TF swim ladder

The built-in swim ladder sits flush with the deck, decreasing the chance of someone cutting themselves on the platform or ladder hardware.


The standard factory Galvashield trailer with color-matched powder coat finish completes the Tahoe watersport experience. The trailer offers numerous upgrades from axle configuration through built in brakes. All of these options are available on the Tahoe website. In addition to the boat warranty, the trailer is also backed for three years against structural failure due to corrosion.

Tahoe 500 TF trailer

The standard Galvashield trailer matches whatever hull color the buyer chooses. Also note the diamond plated back steps for easy boarding

Power and Price

The Tahoe 500 TF comes standard with a 4.5L MPI 200-hp MerCruiser ECT ($31,995). For those looking for extra speed, we’d recommend the optional 4.5L MerCruiser MPI 250-hp Alpha ECT ($34,595). Tahoe cites that additional engine options are possible for the boat at the request of the buyer, and availability of the factory. Anyone interested in this would have to call Tahoe directly.


Tahoe engineers were clearly keeping today’s multi-purpose families in mind when they designed the 500 TF with numerous storage compartments for watersports, a built-in cooler for entertaining, and numerous fishing features including a Minn Kota trolling motor, and more.

Tahoe 500 TF fishing

The 2015 Tahoe 500 TF pictured above with her new owners spending time together fishing as a family.

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