“Not your father’s pontoon boat” is essentially the best way to describe the Michigan-built Manitou 23 Encore SHP. In fact, the entire line of Manitou’s boats bring the company’s 30 year evolution of engineering what was once considered a “floating patio with an engine” into the modern world of speed, performance, handling, comfort, and sport features, making these boats a logical choice for fresh water enjoyment and entertaining.
Powered by a single Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 horsepower engine, the triple pontoon Encore 23 reached a top speed of nearly 37 mph in our test, more than sufficient to pull a skier. With both stern and bow access gates, along with a standard portside gate, she offers plenty of convenient access into the water.
- • Three pontoons for greater speed
- • Sport Handling Package
- • Comfort Touch Marine Vinyl
- • Max seating
The 23 Encore SHP comes with many standard features. She has plush, soft touch vinyl, LED docking lights, a fully loaded helm, mid-back reclining chairs, and a plentiful storage compartment for stowing skis, wake boards, vests and lines. The Barracuda nosecone design and positive angle lifting strakes allow the 23 Encore SHP to go at higher speeds and handle rougher water.
Construction.Manitou began building three-tube pontoon boats in 2001, and their patented V-Toon technology hull design and Sport Handling Package (SHP) allows the boat to handle more like a fiberglass sportboat while still providing the amenities and room pontoons for which they are known. The result is a comfortable ride, even in rough water, with razor sharp handling in an all-purpose boat.
The three tube design, with the center tube being oversized and running deeper than the outboard tubes, allows the boat to lean into turns, helping to create the smooth ride. Positive angle lifting strakes run down the tubes creating lift and the full angle of the sides of the tubes pushes water away from the boat, which improves turning ability.
Family Features and Amenities.The 23 Encore is all about seating and comfort. Her deep cushions and high backs, upholstered in high quality marine grade vinyl, provide plush L-shaped seating in all four corners of the boat. Accented colors compliment the aesthetics of her lines, and the decking is matching marine grade carpet. Portable arm rests and cup holders can be moved and positioned throughout the seating areas, partitioning the seats for side by side seating if desired.
The forward port and starboard seats are reclined facing forward, creating a chaise lounge for each, while the aft seats, while smaller in size, offer the same feature. Blue courtesy lighting and rope lighting is found throughout the deck, making movement thought the boat at night convenient. Even the cup holders have blue lights within, making them easy to locate at night.
To port and just aft of the side entry gate is the companion seat, which reclines and has self-leveling arm rests on each side, reclines and is laterally adjustable.
The pedestal-mounted captain’s seat, like the companion seat, is equally adjustable and provides ease of reach to the controls. The flip-up bolster adds increased visibility, and the seat reclines as well.
When the Bimini frame is lowered forward, there is still visibility forward, especially with the bolster up. The tilt steering wheel, throttles, and stainless steel DC switches to the right are conveniently within reach.
Instrument Panel.The tachometer and speedometer are analog with Manitou’s smart screen display, providing all diagnostics in the center. The standard Polk audio system with blue tooth control is to the left of the wheel.
Throttle and Shift.She has incremental throttle control, so that by simply touching the button up or down, the RPM can be finely tuned to achieve the precise level of power when pulling a skier. In addition, Evinrude’s integrated steering in its E-TEC G2 series eliminates the need for external ram steering in the well.
Forward of the companion seat, stored behind the starboard forward seat, is a full height changing station, which, when folded out, allows for privacy for changing. The 23 Encore is offered with an optional Porta-Potty.
The deck comes with a lifetime guarantee, and there is storage in the center tube accessed through a deck hatch. Since this space is so voluminous, it would be nice to see Manitou add a second access hatch.
Access into the water from the swim platform is provided with a retracting four-step swim ladder, and with the side entry along with the foredeck, the 23 Encore is not lacking in ingress/egress points.
Our test of the 23 Encore SHP was conducted on a fresh water lake, which was flat and the winds were calm. Our total boat weight with two onboard was approximately 4,300 lbs.
With the Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 horsepower engine, we reached a top speed of 36.8 miles per hour at a full throttle 5500 RPM. At this speed, we were burning 11.9 gallons per hour with an economy of 3.09 miles per gallon.
Best Cruise.Dialing back to 3,500 RPM, we achieved our best economy at 18.1 miles per hour, burning only 4.7 gallons per hour. This gave us a fuel economy of 3.84 miles per gallon and, keeping ten percent of 44 gallons of fuel in reserve, gave us a range of 152 statute miles.
The time to plane for the 23 Encore was 3.2 seconds, and we reached 20 miles per hour in 4 seconds. Continuing to cruising speed of 30 miles per hour took an additional 2.9 seconds for a total of 6.9 seconds from the point of acceleration.
We put the 23 Encore through a series of tight turns at full power, similar to were we pulling a skier, and her control was responsive and level. When turning at speed, she leaned into the turn. She was responsive at the dock, and with the Evirude E-TEC G2 150 digital shift, she maneuvered into her slip easily.
With 30 years of innovation in pontoon boat design and construction, Manitou has proven that their experience in the industry brings to market an enjoyable boat in the 23 Encore.
Fast and nimble.With her Evinrude E-TEC G2 150, we found that 23 Encore to be adequately powered for towing and cruising with a few people aboard. However, when fully loaded to her 12-person capacity and towing wakeboarders, we would recommend going to the boat’s max-rated horsepower of 250.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Manitou 23 Encore SHP (2016-) is 36.8 mph (59.2 kph), burning 11.90 gallons per hour (gph) or 45.04 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Manitou 23 Encore SHP (2016-) is 18.1 mph (29.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.84 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.63 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 152 miles (244.62 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150 H.O. Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 25" Shaft.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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