A top speed of 60 mph is a benchmark for performance pontoon boats—go 60 and you are running with the big dogs. One way to get there is aboard a properly equipped version of the new Manitou LX series. Our test boat, a 25 LX RXF with twin Mercury Verado 300 outboards, ran 62 mph on glass-calm water. That’s clipping right along.
For 2021, the Manitou LX series replaces both the Legacy and X-Plode series in the Manitou fleet with a single platform that seeks to combine the luxury of the Legacy with the extreme performance of the X-Plode models. Available in 23-, 25- and 27-foot lengths, most LX models have a fiberglass rear section that replaces the traditional rails and side panels, and all ride on the Sport Handling Package (SHP) chassis. The SHP is the highest performance version of the patented triple-tube Manitou V-Toon system, with 25-inch-diameter outer tubes and a 27-inch center tube, all fitted with dual lifting strakes. To handle high-speed wave impacts, the SHP tubes have reinforced Barracuda nose cones, and this chassis comes with SeaStar power steering. The bottom of the center tube is 5.25 inches lower than the outboard tubes so that, in a turn, the boat can heel over on the inner tube like a V-bottom monohull.
New this year, Manitou has grouped popular options into packages. Our test boat had the all-inclusive Platinum Package ($21,719), which includes Silver Luna woven flooring, color-matched fiberglass, a sport tower with Bimini, center-tube ski locker, and LED interior and exterior lighting. Other notable options on this boat include premium JL Audio ($2,744) plus JL Audio can speakers on the tower ($2,550), a bow filler bench ($769), a Garmin Virb camera ($1,213) and Joystick Piloting ($16,250). It’s fun to see 60 on the Garmin multifunction display, but equally impressive is the fact that this boat will cruise at 40 mph; and at just 4,000 rpm, the big Mercs are whisper-quiet. That’s the real performance advantage of a fast pontoon like the Manitou LX—the ability to cover a long distance quickly while handling like a dream along the way.
- Go fast but do it well. The Manitou V-Toon system is stable at speed and carves like a Ginsu. The added lift boosts performance and economy at cruising speed.
- New packages group popular options and keep the menu short, so ordering is easier.
- Joystick Piloting is a worthy upgrade that makes docking so much easier on a pontoon, especially in a crosswind.
Dry Weight: 4,160 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: 13/1,775 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 90 gal.
How We Tested
Engines: Twin Mercury Verado 300
Drive/Props: Outboard/Mercury Revolution 4 145/8″ x 23″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 75 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Manitou Inc. – Lansing, Michigan; manitoupontoonboats.com