With a blazing-hot red and black color scheme and an imposing pair of Mercury 450 Racing outboards at the transom, it was clear from the start that Manitou’s 27 XT SRW came to perform. And perform it did, consistently galloping to a top speed of over 77 mph.
While those numbers came as no surprise from this kind of horsepower, how confident the captain and passengers felt at those speeds did. Manitou’s patented V-Toon Technology provided an ultra-stable, ultra-responsive platform, proving comfortable and predictable at speed, and displaying nimble, agile handling when driven into a high-speed corner. Consisting of a pair of 25-inch outer pontoons, which are flanked by a larger 27-inch pontoon dropped a full 5 1/4 inches lower in the water, and a full complement of lifting strakes, it got the XT running atop the water in short order and allowed it to intuitively carve into corners with the familiar inside lean of a V-hull.
At speeds flirting with the 80 mph mark, the XT’s raised helm station and tempered-glass console windshield were welcome additions, both for their improved visibility and wind protection. That raised platform also stands out when docking, allowing the captain a clear view over forward-seated passengers while manipulating the optional Mercury joystick control. With video-game ease, it translates intuitive motion on the joystick into corresponding movement of the boat to take much of the stress out of close-quarters maneuvering.
While performance is a priority, Manitou didn’t forget passenger-friendly comfort. A pair of 7-foot couches forward pack in friends and family or allow individual passengers to stretch out in comfort. With the SRW package, which includes the windshield, the co-captain enjoys the view from a similarly raised platform to the helm. Aft, twin 5-foot couches with powered backrests are ready for passengers to soak up the rays or take in watersports action in the boat’s wake. Pivot the center cushions out and back, and add a removable table, and either couch instantly becomes a mini dinette.
- Painted fiberglass walls create seamless exterior.
- Digital dashboard includes twin Garmin 743 displays.
- Platinum Package adds power tower, in-sole storage, and JL sound-system upgrade with extra subwoofer.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin Mercury 450R
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Mercury Rev 4 14.63″ x 23″ 4-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.60:1 Fuel Load: 75 gal. Crew Weight: 330 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$331,314 (as tested)|
|Dry Weight:||4,505 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||15/2,055 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity:||90 gal.|
Manitou Pontoon Boats – Lansing, Michigan; manitoupontoonboats.com