The low-profile outboard uses a horizontal powerhead mated to a propeller drive. The top of the outboard is level with or lower than the boat gunwale, making it possible to design an extended aft deck over the outboard and significantly reducing noise, according to BRP. The point of this design is to eliminate the outboard as a cluttering device on the boat transom.
The Rotax outboard will first be offered on Manitou Cruise and Explore pontoon models from 20 to 26 feet long, which can be equipped with a MAX Deck platform that Manitou says adds 38 square feet of usable space. These new Manitou models, which are already in production, also feature sleek aluminum panels that replace traditional pontoon fencing. Cruise and Explore models will also be offered with Mercury outboard power.
Alumacraft will offer the Rotax outboard option for its redesigned Competitor and Trophy fishing models, with the option of adding its version of the MAX Deck, which adds 25 square feet of space aft. Other features include Alumacraft X-Pods extended transom storage, a new digital helm with space for two 12-inch MFD plus an integrated mount for a third 12-inch screen at the bow. These new models are expected to reach dealers in early 2023.
A 1.9-liter three-cylinder, two-stroke powerhead is shared by 115 hp and 150 hp versions of the Rotax outboard, with the 150 gaining RAVE variable exhaust ports. Both motors use the E-TEC direct fuel injection system and are equipped with power hydraulic steering. The motor cover is water-tight and secured with 15 bolts. Air enters the engine through a tube routed into the boat transom. Injector oil is carried in a 3.5-gallon reservoir within the boat. Rotax says the motor weighs just under 500 pounds. It mounts on a standard outboard transom and bolt holes, and has a 25-inch length. Rotax says the design is scalable to make more power.
We will get our first impression of the Manitou boats on the water in September.