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2021 Manitou 21 Aurora LE VP

The Aurora LE line makes pontoon buying easier.

February 17, 2021
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Manitou 21 Aurora LE VP running at sunset
Our test boat carved neatly on smooth water, with a slight inside lean. Courtesy Manitou Inc.

Overview

Boat shopping? Forget about the lengthy, mind-boggling options list that accompanies many boat purchases. Manitou seeks to make pontoon buying easier with its new Aurora LE line, which offers a long list of standard features and groups the most popular options into a single Limited package. Choose a tube configuration, a color and your desired horsepower outboard, and you’ll be done.

Engine

On the water, with a 115-hp Mercury Pro XS outboard pushing, the V-toon effect was subtle but effective as our test boat carved neatly on smooth water, with a slight inside lean that’s more comfortable for passengers. A Mercury 115 Pro XS outboard makes for 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 21 Aurora LE VP helm
The helm is outfitted with a 7-inch ­Garmin multifunction display. Courtesy Manitou Inc.

Interior and Accessories

The Aurora LE is offered only with the RF interior with fore and aft L-lounges. All of the furniture features higher-quality, cool-touch vinyl upholstery and upgraded foam padding for 2021, with more color contrast. 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 sturdily mounted ski pylon.

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The Limited package available with the 21 -Aurora LE VP ($1,869) includes Luna Silver woven vinyl flooring, a dinette table, LED courtesy lights, LED docking and navigation lighting, two-tone side graphics, midback helm and co-captain’s chairs with folding armrests, and a deluxe steering wheel. We were delighted to find a 7-inch Garmin multifunction display replacing standard instruments on the dash of a pontoon boat in this price range.

Manitou 21 Aurora LE VP cockpit seating
All of the furniture features higher-quality vinyl and upgraded foam padding. Courtesy Manitou Inc.

Design and Construction

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

How We Tested

  • Engine: Mercury 115 Pro XS
  • Drive/Prop: Mercury Enertia 15.3″ x 14″ 3-blade stainless steel
  • Gear Ratio: 2.07:1 Fuel Load: 30 gal. Crew Weight: 400 lb.

High Points

  • Manitou’s V-toon delivers a smooth ride and sharp handling with a slight inside lean.
  • What you need is standard. What you might want can be ordered by checking one box.
  • Manitou builds in more value with features, like a standard Garmin display on the dash.

Low Points

  • Open bottom in the aft underseat stowage can allow in water from the deck, which could get gear wet.
  • Limited to a single interior layout.
  • Center-tube stowage is not offered in this boat length.

Toughest Competitor

The 22-foot-11-inch Bennington 22SV (about $35,000 with triple tubes and 115 hp outboard) also has a limited options list and more standard equipment, including reclining high-back seats and cool-touch Simtex vinyl upholstery, but there’s no display option at the helm.

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Pricing and Specs

Price: $43,668 (as tested)
LOA: 22′4″
Beam: 8′6″
Draft: NA
Displacement: 2,485 lb.
Transom Deadrise: NA
Fuel Capacity: 43 gal.
Max Horsepower: 150
Standard Power: Single 115 hp outboard (Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda)

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Manitou 21 Aurora LE VP performance data chart
Manitou 21 Aurora LE VP Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Manitou Inc. – Lansing, Michigan; manitoupontoonboats.com

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