By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Lou Martin

The Tahoe Q6 Sport is, as the model implies, a versatile watersports fun machine.

Well, the sun is finally out, winter is behind you, the weekend is here, and the kids are badgering you to get into wakeboarding. Actually, they only want you to buy and drive the boat. In reality they will be the ones spending most of the time on the rope!
Where does one begin? A boat operator’s licence would be a good start and they are relatively easy to obtain. Then you’ve got to wade through the confusing piles of reports, tests and catalogues that cover boats for this type of sport. High towers for even higher jumps, board racks, not to mention sound systems that make those in the kids’ bedrooms sound like crystal sets — and then there are planing boards and ballast tanks to push up enormous wake.
As you enter the learning curve of any new interest or pastime, you have to start somewhere. But that doesn’t mean you have to start off with shoddy equipment. As good as place as any to start your adventure into the world of wakeboarding is in a Tahoe Q6 Sport, which is streets ahead of a "base package boat", as you will read.

This rig is fully imported by Tracker Marine Australia, which has recently set up a showroom at the Coomera Marine Precinct in south-east Queensland.
Featuring the grunt of Mercruiser’s five-litre V8, the Tahoe comes in bowrider configuration and is made of fibreglass.
A comfortable, fully-upholstered bowrider section has small recesses underneath, handy for ropes and other accessories. Access to the bowpit is through the fold-back centre section of the windscreen. Low-profile sturdy grab handles are fixed to the sideliner of this area, and they come in handy crossing waves or in tight turns.
This particular boat popped out of the shipping container on Wednesday and when we were on the water first thing Monday morning, there was some slack in the rack-and pinion cable-operated power steering system. A quick tweak by the dealer would solve the problem, but apart from this the steering was a delight — a child could throw this boat about with ease.
The helm station had all the necessary instrumentation and the module in front of the passenger featured compartments for stowage of sunnies, sunblock, car keys and so on.
Plush swivelling bucket seats are installed for pilot and passenger, and a full-beam lounge in the stern can seat three more people. All up, this rig is legally capable of carrying nine people, which would be a full house but not a problem if travelling away from the ramp to set up station on a beach somewhere for the day.
Between the two swivel seats is a large ventilated removable hatch with a generous stowage area underneath for boards and skis. Fully carpeted deck right up the sides of the cockpit provides some comfort and soundproofing, although the engine was remarkably quiet thanks to effective insulation in the engine bay.

Topside of the transom bulkhead plush padding was fitted and expansive enough for someone to bake them selves and aft of that a large full beam swim out over shadowed the Bravo One engine leg. Standard tow hooks were fixed to the transom and the air vents for the engine blower exhausted here also. A recessed fold-up telescopic ladder made boarding and alighting in water or on land easy.
The trailer sitting under this boat was interesting. It came standard with a fold-back draw bar, and cables that retracted into the drawbar complete with hooks in place of safety chains. It featured an over-rider mechanical hydraulic brake, which was secreted within the drawbar and actuated on brake drums rather than discs on its single axle. Apparently galvanised before being powder-coated, it set off this rig nicely.
On the Coomera River, the Tahoe proved that you don’t need all those water bladders and planing boards to get the best wake out of a boat. With the Bravo One leg trimmed in most of the time, the wake was very high sauntering around at about 20kmh. Winding up the revs to 5,600 Tahoe nipped along at about 80kmh. Hanging in on tight, high speed turns was not a problem either with no side slip or ventilation at the prop. Hole shot was an expedient affair as well, quick and sharp and punching through chop and wake failed to generate any spray onto the screen.
Invariable those kids that are driving you to get into one of those flash machines are going to want all the hip accessories such as towers, racks and ear blowing sound systems. Well, the Tahoe is a good base to start with, producing just the type of wake that many others aspire to and can only get with expensive accessories. At a reasonable price and a good look to boot, you will keep the family happy with this rig.
Low engine noise levels
No spray on screen or face
Excellent manoeuvrability
Steering needs a tweak

Specifications: Tahoe Q6 Sport

Price as tested: $53,490(boat/motor/trailer)
Options fitted: Centre cushions in bowrider section, bolster cushions on helm seat, and bimini
Priced from: $51,190
Material: Fibreglass
Type: Shallow vee-bottom with prominent reverse chines.
Length (overall): 6.15m
Beam: 2.40m
Deadrise: 20°
Weight: 1241kg (boat and motor)
Rec/max hp: 320
Fuel: 205lt
Passengers: Nine
Max payload: 773kg
Make/model: Mercruiser MPI
Type: Direct-injection V8 petrol
Rated hp: 260
Displacement: 5lt
Weight: 451kg (engine and leg)
Gear ratio: 1.65
Propeller: 21in
Tracker Marine Australia Pty Ltd,
1 Waterways Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209.
Phone: (07) 5580 0288

Originally published in TrailerBoat #200, 2006


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