Manitou seeks to make pontoon buying easier with its new Aurora LE line by adding more standard features and grouping the most popular options in a single Limited Package. Choose a tube configuration, a color and an outboard with your desired horsepower, and you’ll be done. Our test boat featured the patented triple-tube Manitou V-Toon VP chassis, with 23-inch-diameter outboard tubes and a 27-inch center tube. The bottom of the center tube, which is also fitted with lifting strakes, is 5.25 inches lower than the outboard tubes. The premise is that the boat can heel over on the inner tube in a turn and handle like a V-bottom monohull. On the water, the V-Toon effect is subtle but effective. Our test boat carved neatly on smooth water, with a slight inside lean that’s more comfortable for passengers. The VP chassis comes with SeaStar hydraulic steering.
The Aurora LE is offered only with the RF interior—we told you this was easy—with fore and aft L-shaped lounges. The aft lounges have angled backrests. All of the furniture features higher-quality vinyl and upgraded foam padding for 2021, with more color contrast. Manitou has also added drink holders throughout the boat. There’s stowage below each seat and within the molded fiberglass helm console. The aft deck is 34 inches deep, and a stainless-steel boarding ladder with grab-handle side rails is standard, as is a ski pylon.
The Limited Package ($2,925) includes Luna Silver woven vinyl flooring, a dinette table, LED courtesy lights, LED docking and navigation lighting, a two-tone side graphic, midback helm and co-captain chairs with armrests, and a deluxe steering wheel. There are three color and four accent-color choices. Manitou powder-coats the rails matte black.
We were delighted to find a 7-inch Garmin multifunction display had replaced standard instruments on the dash of a pontoon in this price range. Our boat was powered by a Mercury 115 Pro XS outboard, a quiet and fuel-efficient partner on the water, with enough power to move this boat smartly to a top speed of 30 mph with a light load. Boating should always be this easy.
- Manitou V-Toon delivers a smooth ride and sharp handling, carving neatly with a slight inside lean that keeps everyone on board comfortable.
- Aurora LE is proof that buying a new pontoon does not have to be a mind-boggling exercise. What you need comes standard. What you might want can be ordered by checking one box.
- Limiting options keeps manufacturing costs down, so Manitou can build in more value, with features like a standard Garmin MFD on the dash.
Dry Weight: 2,485 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: 11/1,695 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 43 gal.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 115 Pro XS
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Enertia 15.3″ x 14″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.07:1
Fuel Load: 30 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Manitou Inc. – Lansing, Michigan; manitoupontoonboats.com