Manitou’s 25 Legacy LT Dual Engine SHP is the epitome of luxury and performance from this builder of pontoon boats. It’s also completely devoid of the category’s trademark aluminum from the deck up. Instead, molded fiberglass forms the perimeter enclosure, as well as the consoles and seat bases. The result is a thoroughly modern-looking take on the category.
Step through the billet bow gate and parallel lounges nearly 5 feet in length span the port and starboard sides. Stowage, which has lip gutters and drains, is accessed below via cushions on articulating hinges. The helm and its identical new-for-’19 companion to port are both elevated 4 inches above the deck and feature individual, frameless windshields of tempered safety glass. Aft, dual 5-foot rear-facing lounges invite passengers to stretch out. Lift the middle cushion, pivot it toward the stern on a beefy stainless-steel arm and add the side-mount table to create a mini dinette.
Manitou offers one of the most dramatic pontoon configurations on the market. Two 25-inch outer pontoons straddle a 27-inch center pontoon lowered a full 5¼ inches below the outer tubes. The effect is to give the Legacy the handling of a V-hull. Crank the wheel and the craft sweeps neatly into a turn with a familiar inside lean. Paired with twin Evinrude 300 outboards, the 25 Legacy also powered onto plane in under 4 seconds and passed the 30 mph benchmark in 6 seconds. Top speed on our test day peaked at 63.9 mph.
Performance and handling at speed are Manitou’s calling card, but the low-speed maneuverability made possible by Evinrude’s i-Dock joystick system steals the spotlight when docking. By allowing both engines to turn independently and linking those engines to an intuitive joystick via some well-written software, docking is reduced to a simple push, pull and twist of a single controller. We literally nudged the joystick in the direction we wanted the boat to move and brought the Legacy perfectly into the dock despite high winds attempting to grab the boat like a sail. Impressive.
- JL Audio sound system with six speakers, subwoofer, amplifier
- MDI Digital monitoring system with key-fob control
- Simrad NSS evo3 touchscreen display
How We Tested
Engine: Twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 hp outboards
Prop: Evinrude RX4 15″ x 22″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 48 gal.
Crew Weight: 330 lb.
Manitou Pontoon Boats – Lansing, Michigan; 517-322-3822; manitoupontoonboats.com