Captain's ReportPerformance + Pontoon boat? That's an equation that just didn't add up...until now. Meet Manitou's 24 Legacy Triple Tube, a pontoon boat with a performance edge. How do you get a performance ride and feel in a pontoon boat? You combine extra lift with extra horsepower while keeping weight down and features up.Our test boat had a single 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG sterndrive with an Alpha One drive bolted through a solid aluminum plate in the stern of the middle tube. Not only that, but the boat also had twin external exhaust tubes mounted above the drive, much like you see on a high-performance boat. These exhausts not only provide a throaty sound, but they get you a little extra horsepower and RPM at the top end when you open up the 24 Legacy.Before we go too far down performance lane, let's take a look around. Starting at the bow, we were impressed to find a pair of custom-made pods on the foredeck that combine both running- and powerful docking lights into a single unit. These dock lights will keep your flashlight in the storage locker in case you run home at night, and that's doubly important since there's about 12 feet of boat ahead of you as you sit at the helm, so using a spotlight from that position would light up the whole front half and ruin your night vision.Like most pontoon boats, the 24 has dual-access points--a gate at the bow, and another half-way down the port side. The forward gate lets you beach the boat and step right aboard.Up here there are two facing lounges--the one to port runs from the bow to the side gate, while the one to starboard is shorter to make room for a hidden privacy unit. In this case, you open what looks like a storage door and out pops a neat aluminum-rail system with privacy curtain (6 feet tall) to hide the portapotti within. Great for changing out of wet bathing suits, or for keeping your guests happy when nature calls.Moving aft, the starboard side helm is a wrap-around affair so its easy to reach all critical switches and read engine gauges. The single-lever Quicksilver engine control (with in-handle trim switch for the Alpha One drive) is within easy reach, and while the plexi windshied does little to protect you from the oncoming rush of wind, it will deflect rain if you bend down and hide behind it as you run home.Across to port and aft you'll find more deeply-padded bench seating, and all seats have roplyene boxes below to provide as much storage as you'd find on a small commercial aircraft.In terms of engine access, this is a two-step process where you unlatch the large sunpad on either side and lift it with one hand (thanks to gas-assist struts) to get to the powerplant. The 350 MAG itself is mounted to brackets that are welded directly to the center tube for good strength, but the engine is not so deep that its hard to work on. In contrast, it's an easy reach to the dipstick and gear-lube reservoir thanks to MerCruiser's design, and that's about all you have to check each day before going out.Beneath all of this you have three aluminum tubes--with welded lifting strakes--that get the 24 up on plane in a hurry and provide an ultra-smooth ride in the chop. You should avoid running the boat at around 2500 RPM, since that's where she's just getting on plane and there is some water-slapping going on between the hulls. Above that RPM, however,the 24 carves neatly through turns with no noticable outboard lean. She is also a very forgiving performance machine but may porpoise if you trim out the drive too far and have all your guests in the stern. But that should change, according to the company, since they are working on modifications to the hull so she floats higher in the stern than our test boat did.All in all, the Legacy 24 Triple Tube performs as advertised, and you'll have a lot of fun watching jaws drop each time you put the pedal to the metal on this performance-oriented pontoon boat.--Capt. Chris Kelly, Publisher
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Manitou Legacy 24 Triple Tube is 43.1 mph (69.4 kph), burning 21.10 gallons per hour (gph) or 79.86 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Manitou Legacy 24 Triple Tube is 13.1 mph (21.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.88 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.22 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 181 miles (291.29 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
|Ice Chest||Standard Igloo|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)