Now more than ever before pontoon manufacturers are offering customer customization that truly lets boaters “invent” their own toon. And, why not? A pontoon boat is little more than a platform upon which “furniture” can be arranged to suit each owner’s individual requirements. A leader in this area is Manitou, a company long known for its quality construction and superior customer service. Recently they introduced a new “module” called the SES, for Stern Entertainment System, which is actually like a cozy living room right on the water. We love the concept.
Manitou calls it their “Stern Entertainment System” (SES) and it is the latest new thing to hit the pontoon industry. It is two facing love seats with a table in the middle. How cool is that!
The SES module is available on several lines in the Manitou family, including Encore, Legacy and X-Plode models. The only requirement is that the vessel have three toons. Typically the boats that can handle the SES living room start at about $38k.
The SES module is intended to be placed in the rear of Manitou tri-toons as seen above.
The rear-facing lounger is placed on the centerline of the toon so that there are walkways on three sides. Access to the on-board audio components is through a handy, hard-wired remote built into the arm rest of the rear lounger. A table can be placed between the two facing lounges, or it can be removed.
Here is how the SES module looks with the table up.
In this photo, the table is stowed and the seat back of the aft lounger is folded forward to provide a foot rest. Cabinets in back of the lounger can house a “changing room” curtain with porta-potti, trash compactor or a refer – take your pick!
Looking forward note the privacy a couple can have in their own “living room” as the toon motors on. Note the (optional) hatch on the center line which accesses a huge about of storage space in the center toon.
Today we’re going to look at the 26’ Legacy which is one of the premier lines offered by Manitou. Essentially there are three different versions of this platform – the Standard, the LR2, and the PT.
26’ Legacy Standard. There is a large sunpad aft, and loungers all around.
26’ Legacy LR2. This version removes the forward lounger modules and replaces them with two swivel seats for more comfortable riding.
26’ Legacy PT. This version replaces the port bench seat with facing seats and a side table for relaxed conversation and sight-seeing.
In the 26’ Legacy line the rear bunny pad would come out, as would the rear wrap-around bench seat, to make way for the SES module. Forward you can place the stock modular furniture and chairs anywhere you want.
The sunpad on the stock Legacy 26 is 42” wide and below is a large “toy box” to stow tubes, compressors, and all manner of things. The facing chairs are called “aqua loungers” and have kick-out foot rests. The folks at Manitou tell us that when their customers go tooling around the lake in one of these huge toons with lounge chairs that they “attract attention and turn more than a few boaters green with envy.”
Manitou offers an optional refer that can stow in the back of its love seat SES lounger.
Name That Toon
Manitou says that you can build nearly any personalized toon you want “within reason.” The customization options you will have include—
*two toons or tri-toon
*engine horsepower and brand
*galley module complete with 5 gallon water supply
*tables that double as coolers
*canvas and isinglass enclosures
*aqua loungers, as many as will fit
*”changing station” with porta-potti
*special sound system
*power bimini top
*vinyl deck covering
Full-toon cruising canvas with isinglass can turn your day pontoon boat into an overnight destination, or a cozy place to ride out a rain storm.
Toons for Kids
We’re told that 40% of the people that buy Manitou pontoon boats use them for water skiing or wakeboarding. If you add in tubing, the percentage climbs even higher. This is an important statistic because it means that pontoon boats are not just be used by your grandparents for sundown cruising. It means that these boats are being seen by a large part of the boating community on freshwater as viable alternatives to deck boats, sportboats and skiboats.
This is a drawing of Manitou’s VP hull. The blue areas are integrated splash guards and the orange area is the positive lifting strakes. Manitou claims to have the best welds in the business.
Frankly, we are waiting for the day when someone creates a flat-out pontoon boat fishing machine. Imagine all of the live wells, bait prep areas, fresh fish lunch prep counters, grills, and nearly everything else that could be included. Of course, some pontoon builders already have casting seats in the bow or stern, but that is only the beginning. And all of this for a price about the same as a 20’ bass boat that seats two people!
All toons should have the optional Bimini top in order to have safe sun and get out of a passing summer shower.
So what does all of this customizing cost? The folks at Manitou tell us that a 26’ twin-toon Legacy with a 115-hp 4-stroke engine will cost about $34,000 on the low end. Depending on how you load the boat up, a 26” Legacy tri-toon with an SHP hull and a 300-hp engine and virtually all the amenities that Manitou offers would run about $57,000 – a $23,000 spread.
A strong skiing tow bar is a must for any toon as 40% of Manitou’s owners ski.
Delivery time for a brand new customized Manitou toon, from the time a contract is signed and all of the design and customizing details are worked out by the buyer and dealer, to the time the boat is delivered will take about five weeks. All Manitou toons are built to order, either by the end user or by a stocking dealer. It is now early March, which means that precious little time is left to have one of these boats built YOUR WAY for the Memorial Day weekend.
Primer on Manitou Toons
Twin toons is the traditional pontoon configuration which is ideal for slow cruising with low-hp outboards.
Manitou’s VP hull is capable of spends in the mid 30s with a 150-hp outboard and can be used for towing skiers. Note the lifting strakes on the large, center toon.
The SHP is Manitou’s trademarked tri-toon which incorporates larger logs, lifting strakes on all three toons and the company’s signature “Barracuda” nosecones. This hull will go the fastest of all of their designs and provide the best ride.
Manitou Legacy 26 (2010-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Manitou Legacy 26 (2010-) Warranty
Manitou Legacy 26 (2010-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Limited Lifetime Warranty Deck
Manitou Legacy 26 (2010-) Price
Manitou Legacy 26 (2010-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
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