- Powerglide fiberglass hull with Hydrostep lifting strakes
- Aft sun pad with flip-up cushions and storage below
- 3-across bench seat with molded-in storage & flip-down seatback
- Aft swim platforms with 4-step, telescoping ladder
- Custom-fit, single-axle trailer
|Length Overall||16' 5'' / 5 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||2.9 sec.|
|0 to 30||5.7 sec. (0to20)|
|Load||2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||65 deg., 35 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: light chop|
1 x 75-hp Mercury 4-stroke
1 x 60-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
1 x 75-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
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Contents of Report
- Distinguishing Features
- Boat Inspection
- Optional Equipment to Consider
Tahoe T16: Mission
The Tahoe T16 is an entry-level day boat aimed at family fun. It is easily towed without a massive truck and should fit in the average garage, and is priced to fit a budget without compromising features. This boat goes toe-to toe with several other 16-footers on the market, but in our opinion has a bottom shape that will provide a more comfortable ride.
Tahoe T16: Distinguishing Features
How can the Tahoe T16 be so low-priced without affecting the quality, ride, or safety of the boat? The answer is that Tahoe eliminates many man-hours in tooling, and the boat’s fabrication. Here’s how:
• First, the T16’s tooling is built with state-of-the art 3D printing technology - the world’s first production boat ever created from such tooling. We’re told recent advancements mean that tooling plugs can be made in one piece in the future in just two days.
• Second, Tahoe takes advantage of White River Marine’s economy of scale as the world’s largest boat builder and the retail footprint of Bass Pro Shops. That means that the infrastructure, engineering, and back office costs that all boat builders have, can be spread across many boats, not just a few as most boat builders have to do.
• Third, Tahoe has a price that all dealers adhere to, and they work on thin margins. All of this means that more of the dollars spent go into the materials and equipment of the boat and less into overhead and sales commissions.
Tahoe T16: Overview
The T16’s hull has a 15-degree deadrise at the transom. This is important when it comes to ride quality, and this design sets it apart from some other boats in class.
Tahoe T16: Construction
Once the unbelievable tooling process is complete, more traditional fiberglass boat-building techniques follow. Gelcoat is sprayed in the female tooling, then fiberglass is hand laid, a structural grid is attached, and the deck mold both chemically and mechanically is bonded.
Aluminum backing plates are used in high-load areas, such as seat attachments.
The T16 has a hand-laid hull and stringer system for strength and durability. Her hull and deck are chemically bonded and mechanically fastened.
Tahoe T16: Comparison
Other entry level brands don’t ride as well as the Tahoe T16, especially when planing on anything but glass-smooth water. With the T16, Captain Steve reported riding comfortably in the mid 35 mph (56.3 kph) range.
Tahoe T16: Boat Inspection
The Tahoe T16 measures 16’5” (5 m) long with a 7’6” (2.29 m) beam and the boat draws 12.5” (0.32 m) with the engine up or 26.5” (0.67 m) with the engine down. Empty weight is listed at 1,250 lbs. (567 kg). With two people, 9.75 gallons (37 L) of fuel and test equipment on board, we had an estimated test weight of 2,089 lbs. (948 kg).
Tahoe T16: Performance
Our Tahoe T16 test boat had the optional 75-hp Mercury 4-stroke outboard with a 17” (43.18 cm) pitch Mercury Spitfire prop.
Top Speed. At 5300 rpm, it hit a top speed of 39.8 mph (64.0 kph).
Best cruise came at 3000 rpm, where we saw 20.6 mph (33.2 kph) and a fuel burn of 2.4 gph (9.08 lph), giving us 8.6 mpg (3.65 kpl) and a range of 100 statute miles (162 km) while holding 10 percent of the boat’s 13-gallon (49 L) fuel capacity in reserve. That is remarkable fuel economy, particularly so because she has a 15-degree deadrise at the transom rather than a skiff-like bottom.
Tahoe T16: Acceleration
In acceleration tests, the T16 planed in just 2.9 seconds and ran through 20 mph in 5.7 seconds.
Tahoe T16: Handling
We’re starting with the T16’s handling because this boat was so much fun to drive. Trim the outboard motor all the way down and crank the wheel and the T16 will carve tight turns.
There is noticeable torque from the outboard when turning. For that reason, we would recommend the optional hydraulic steering.
Tahoe T16: Helm
On many inexpensive boats we’ve tested, the helm flexes and feels flimsy. The T16’s helm console is rotocast in three pieces and through-bolted in place at eight different locations for a solid feel.
Atop the console, the acrylic windscreen has a spoiler integrated into the top designed to deflect onrushing breeze over the captain’s head. It’s installed with a stainless-steel support.
The single centrally positioned gauge cluster gives speed, fuel level and trim position. On each side of the console are padded trays, and the accessory switches to starboard include the navigation lights, bilge pump and horn, plus the ignition.
Outboard to starboard, the 4” (10.16 cm) wide caprail creates a comfortable place to rest the helmsman’s arm.
On the T16, there’s three-across seating at the helm. The center seat folds down and has a pad on the underside so no one ever steps on the upholstery when boarding. The step pad on the center set is removable for washing.
The upholstery colors match the boat’s exterior graphics and feature multiple textures and welting, not something we’ve found on many other boats in this price range.
Here’s a look at some of the other graphics and colors available for the T16.
There’s storage beneath the outboard seats with the standard fire extinguisher to port. Notice the straps to hold down the bottom cushion. Inside, the compartments are angled forward and the bases are notched at the front to improve drainage.
There’s 22” (55.88 cm) of legroom between the portside seats, fore and aft, and Tahoe provides grab handles for forward or aft-facing travel. Facing aft, the seat is made for spotting.
Tahoe T16: Stern
Here we demonstrate how boarding from the stern can be done without stepping on the upholstery. In addition to the center cockpit seat folding down, the middle cushion for the aft sunlounge folds away to reveal a nonskid walkway underneath. It’s 22” (55.88 cm) fore and aft and 18” (45.72 cm) wide.
Abaft the sun pad, a hatch in the engine well provides access to the bilge pump and mechanical accessories.
Swim platforms extend on each side of the motor and there is a walkway in front of the engine that links them. The four-step boarding ladder complies with ABYC standards.
Tahoe T16: Bow
Between the helm and spotter seat, there’s 24” (60.96 cm) of space to facilitate moving forward. It narrows to 21” (53.34 cm) between the seats and 14” (35.56 cm) at the bow. The seats are 11” (27.94 cm) off the deck and it’s an 11” (27.94 cm) step up to the foredeck.
Both bottom cushions in the bow fold up on hinges, which means they won’t fly out. The seat bases are King Starboard and the cushions are made with dri-fast foam. The lockers are fully finished and have drains, which means they can be used for iced beverages.
There’s additional storage in an under-deck locker that has dedicated racks for the anchor light and paddle. The opening is 22” (55.88 cm) long by 14” (35.56 cm) wide and the locker is 42” (106.88 cm) long.
Tahoe T16: Trailer
Tahoe T16: Price
- $15,995 with Mercury 60 ELPT FourStroke and trailer.
- $17,595 with Mercury 75 ELPT FourStroke and trailer.
- (Price does not include freight or dealer prep.)
Tahoe T16: Warranty
Tahoe warrants the hull, interior stringers, and transom from material and workmanship defects for five years and covers components for one year. The Galvashield impact steel tubing of the trailer is warranted against structural failure due to corrosion for three years.
Tahoe T16: Optional Equipment to Consider
- TurboSwing ski bar ($930)
- Swing away trailer tongue and brake ($560)
- Bimini ($1,050)
- Aerated 6-gallon (23 L) livewell ($360)
- Hydraulic steering ($570)Automatic bilge pump ($30)
- Kicker KMC1 stereo with 2 speaker ($420)
- Depth sounder ($170)
- Soft-touch interior and swim platform flooring ($600)
- Cockpit cover ($360)
- Trailerable mooring cover ($630)
Tahoe T16: Observations
Calling the Tahoe T16 an entry-level boat is a misnomer. She is an ideal boat to buy for children or grandchildren in which to learn basic boating skills and self-confidence. And older kids and adults will like her, too, because she can be used as a ski boat and an entertaining platform. We think the T16 is a smart investment for a young family that wants outdoor recreation for all without breaking the bank.