• Exclusive Powerglide II hull with a deep V bottom and Hydrolift strakes
• Custom-matched trailer with swing-away tongue and Galvashield protection
• Standard stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio plus MP3 ports
• Removable 36 quart (34 L) cooler under aft bench seat
• Full-width platform with self-draining storage compartment
• Tahoe warranty: 5 years on structure, 1 year on components
The bow of the 500 TS features a removable cushion that sits firmly in place with the support of neighboring cushions and indented bulwark. When the bow cushion is removed we found 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 extra lengths of rode can store inside the locker, and then run to a nearby stainless steel bow cleat while the hatch remains closed. We would like, however, to see Tahoe provide a way to attach the bitter end of the rode in the locker.
An impressive feature on the 500 TS is the amount of storage that the builder manages to engineer into the cockpit. Aside from the anchor locker and walkthrough forward, the two hinged chaise cushions both feature self-draining storage compartments underneath. Dry storage is also available behind the hinged backrests.
The main cockpit features dual bucket seats with optional built-in bolsters ($225) for added height. The boat is finished in a new two-tone high-density marine-grade vinyl upholstery with stain-resistant coating, according to Tahoe. Each captain’s seat slides and swivels for added functionality and ergonomic support.
Stereo and Wakeboard Tower.
The 500 TS comes standard with a four-speaker AM/FM Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3 port and Jensen head unit. Two speakers are in the bow while the other two are in the cockpit outboard of the bench seat. The stereo head unit is mounted below a lockable glove compartment. The optional folding wakeboard tower ($2,595) adds two speakers above as well as a foldaway Bimini top.
Dashboard and Windshield.
Tahoe’s walkthrough tempered safety glass windshield with aluminum frame ties into a dashboard that features a sport steering wheel with optional tilt ($100). The dashboard houses a molded fiberglass shroud that holds a speedometer, tachometer and gauges for fuel-level, trim position, oil pressure and engine temperature.
Within the shroud, a small center compartment is designed to hold 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.
Aft Bench Seat and Sun Pad.
The aft bench and sun pad are clearly thought out designs because of the overall functionality, in what would be a simple structure is quite generous. 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 platform for easy access to the swim platform, as well as an additional self-draining storage lockers for tow ropes and vests. The center cushion sits on a hinge that lifts to reveal a 36-quart 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 additional storage for extra lines and gear. When servicing the engine, the entire sun pad lifts up with dual hydraulic arms offering access with additional storage on the port side. There are removable partitions on either side of the engine that provide storage and make it easier to service the motor.
The extended swim platform on the 500 TS offers ample room for boarding and gear assembly. A built-in self-draining compartment to port allows for stowage of lines and gear. The platform is finished in non-skid, and the swim ladder is recessed into the platform, 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.
The standard factory Galvashield trailer with color-matched powder coat finish completes the Tahoe watersports 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.
Power and Performance
The Tahoe 500 TS has a LOA of 19’10’’ (6.05 m), a beam of 7’10” (2.34 m), and a draft of 19’’ (0.48 m). With an empty weight of 2,963 lbs. (1,344 kg), 67% fuel, two people on board and test power, we had a test weight of 3,503 lbs. (1,344 kg).
The 500 TS comes with a 4.5L 200-hp MerCruiser ($30,495) or a 4.5L 250-hp MerCruiser ($33,095). In our test with a 4.3L 220-hp MerCruiser V6, we hit a top speed of 49.7 mph at 4600 rpm and burned 16.35 gph, giving the boat a range of 85 miles at wide open. Best cruise came at 2500 rpm where we ran 24.2 mph and consumed 4.7 gph, giving the 500 TS a range of 153 miles and an endurance of over six hours.
Tahoe claims that the Powerglide II bottom and its Hydrolift strakes and reverse chine are designed to improve holeshot. The boat planed in 2.3 seconds before running to 20 mph in 5.6 seconds and accelerating to 30 mph in 8.3 seconds. That should be plenty of grunt for towing boarders, tubers and skiers.
In handling tests, the 500 TS felt responsive and a little better balanced than the outboard version of the boat. The boat carved cleanly through the water in slalom and circle turns and when we ran through wakes and lake chop, our test captain thought the 19’10” (6.05 m) hull liked the added weight of the sterndrive.
Tahoe says additional engine options are possible for the boat by request depending on availability at the factory. Anyone interested in this would have to call Tahoe directly. The boat with trailer included is listed at $30,495 or $33,095, depending on engine configuration.
The 500 TS is one of the newest boats in the Tahoe lineup, boasting the Powerglide II bottom and a 4.5L MerCruiser all for $30,495 with a matching trailer included. The hull certainly lives up to its billing with a time to plane of 2.3 seconds. She should be good at towing sports.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tahoe 500 TS (2015-) is 49.7 mph (80 kph), burning 17.45 gallons per hour (gph) or 66.05 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tahoe 500 TS (2015-) is 24.2 mph (38.9 kph), and the boat gets 5.15 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 153 miles (246.23 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)