Boat Tests

August 11, 2011

Renting a Boat: Hassle-free enjoyment

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A lot of people want the fun of boating without the responsibilities that go with owning a boat. Now, renting is a very real possibility, whether it’s for a day or for a whole season! It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the water, hassle-free. Jean and Nathalie, our guinea pigs, decided to try it out for a day. These two boating enthusiasts headed up to Lake Memphrémagog, a 42-kilometer body of water in Quebec.
The local marina, Le Merry Club, had several types of boats available – something for everyone (and their different budgets). Here is Jean and Nathalie’s account of their day aboard a Tahoe 254, a bowrider that can comfortably accommodate family and friends:

A family boat
Space is abundant on the Tahoe 254. At 25 feet long, it’s both comfortable and roomy. We were pleased that it could seat up to 14 people, as we were a party of nine. This meant that we were able to move about without stepping on each other’s toes. This is an ideal boat for families into sports, as it has a large swim platform at the back.

In terms of technical specs, our rental model was equipped with a single 5.7-litre Mercruiser V8. Producing 320 horsepower, this engine was more than enough for our needs. Plus, it proved to be relatively good on fuel.

Out on the water, the Tahoe 254 penetrated the waves with ease, while remaining stable, even with nine passengers. Things we really appreciated include a Bimini top, numerous storage compartments, the toilet (though small) and good sound system (AM/FM radio, CD, IPOD).

Another crowd pleaser was the seat layout. In front, there’s a U-shaped seat, while the captain’s seat has a nice cushion to prop yourself up on and the passenger’s seat is sheltered from the wind. Finally the L-shaped rear seat is both practical and comfortable. There’s a removable table that can be set wherever you so desire (at the front or in the back). The large rear platform is nicely versatile: you can choose to sit back and take in some rays or go the active route with water sports. Plus, there are two ladders to bring swimmers back aboard – one in front and another in back.

We darted along at high speeds for about two hours, followed by another two hours anchored so that we could relax and make the most of the day. What a great experience! The only shortcoming is that the Tahoe 254 can be a bit testy at low speeds. But overall, this is a great choice!