Walking down the dock, I noticed that the engine bracket aboard Manitou’s 25th Anniversary Edition was sealed shut, avoiding the nuisance of having the fuel line and primer bulb lying in the water, as they do aboard pontoons with open brackets. Manitou uses a CNC Plasma Cutter to accomplish this task, spending the cash and investing in training to produce a top-notch boat. It turned out to be just one of many robust features that made me smile while testing this 50-plus mph performance pontoon.
With a 250 hp Evinrude E-Tec outboard, the 25th Anniversary Edition planed in five seconds, rocketed to 30 mph in 8.5 seconds and topped out at 50.6 mph. Those numbers place this ’toon in the highest echelon of triple-tube performance.
Manitou’s iteration of the increasingly popular tri-toon configuration is called SHP: Sport Handling Package. It consists of a deep, 27-inchdiameter, V-sectioned center tube and a pair of 23-inch-diameter outboard tubes. All three are fitted with strakes to help create the lift that induces quick planing.
The center tube’s greater diameter ensures that the boat leans into turns, rather than away from them. This, coupled with standard power-assist steering, allowed me to carve smooth, high-speed S’s into the lake, the type that thrill those towed behind on a tube.
Along those lines, the aft sun pad opens to reveal a compartment large enough to stow wakeboards or water skis up to 69 inches in length, in addition to any other gear. And don’t think you give up a changing room to get the “Toy Box.” Manitou cleverly installs it just forward of the portside aft sofa. High-performing and uniquely featured best describe the 25th Anniversary Edition.
Sport Handling Package makes it one of the few pontoons with runabout handling.
A 57-gallon fuel tank means more time on the water with fewer stops for fuel.
The so-called Toy Box lets your crew stow skis, boards and tubes out of the way.
The walk-around transom makes docking, swimming and engine service a snap.
» Test Engine: Evinrude 250 HP E-Tec
» Test Prop: Viper 13¾" X 19" Three-Blade SS
» Test Load: People (570 LB.); Fuel (57 GAL.)
» Top Speed: 50.6 MPH @ 5,200 RPM
» Time to Plane:** 5 sec.
» Time to 30 MPH: 8.5 sec.
» Most Economical Cruise Speed: 24.6 MPH @ 3,500 RPM, 9.2 GPH, 2.5 MPG
» Length Overall: 24'4"
» Beam: 8'6"
» Dry Weight: 2,610 LB.
» Seating/Weight Capacity: 11/1,680 LB.
» Fuel Capacity: 57 GAL.
» Max HP: 250
» MSRP: $64,800 (w/ test power); $42,100 (no engine)
» NMMA Certified