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Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-)
(w/ 1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC)

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23 X-Plode SHP (2014-)
Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Test Video

Manitou’s 23 X-Plode blurs the line between a sporty-handling pontoon boat with a luxury platform suitable for entertaining the most discriminating guests. She makes use of Manitou’s proprietary SHP performance package, and that’s where her agile handling comes from. Inside, high-end furniture with ultra-soft Diamonte Marine vinyl defines the boat still further.

Key Features

  • AM/FM Infinity Radio with Streaming Bluetooth and 4 speakers
  • Fishfinder with GPS
  • Furniture includes chaise head and arm rests
  • Ski tow bar
  • Stern toy box
  • Depth gauge with air and water temperature
  • 24 can hard side cooler
  • Gussi 930 steering wheel
  • Nose cones with anti-spray splash fins
  • Underskinning


Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Specifications
Length Overall 24' 4''
7.42 m
Dry Weight 3,125 lbs.
1,417 kg
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Tested Weight 3,677 lbs.
1,668 kg
Draft N/A Weight Capacity N/A
Draft Up N/A Person Capacity N/A
Draft Down N/A Fuel Capacity 44 gal.
167 L
Air Draft N/A Water Capacity N/A
Deadrise/Transom N/A Length on Trailer N/A
Max Headroom open Height on Trailer N/A
Bridge Clearance N/A Trailer Weight N/A
Total Package Weight (Trailer,Boat & Engine) N/A
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.

Engine Options

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Engine options
Std. Power Not Available
Tested Power 1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC
Opt. Power Not Available

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Captain's Report

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The Manitou 23 X-Plode has a LOA OF 24’4” (7.42 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m).

Mission Statement

The mission of the 23 X-Plode is to develop a pontoon boat that has the desirable handling characteristics more like that of a fiberglass V-hull boat, and the luxurious feel of a sedate, up-scale power cruiser, all in a pontoon boat package that can entertain up to 11 people.

Why She Explodes

Fine Tooning. Manitou has developed its own tube design that provides the sporty handling characteristics of the 23 X-Plode. It’s called SHP for Super High Performance, and it consists of three tubes, with the center being oversized. The outer tubes measure 23” (58.4 cm) in diameter each, while the center tube is 27” (68.6 cm). The center tube is also 5” (12.7 cm) lower than the outer tubes and this creates a pivot point for the boat on which to lean into the turns.

Quality Build. But design characteristics are only part of the equation. Build quality is also a major factor. The nose cones are thicker than the rest of the tubes so they can take the impact of waves that much better. Additionally, they are reinforced with pressed-in stiffeners that add strength much like a crease in a sheet of paper keeps the paper from bending in the middle. Splash guards are added to the tops of the nose cones, and full length chines, 9” (22.9 cm) wide run down the full length of both sides of all tubes. These give the boat life as well as knocking down spray.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The nose cones are reinforced with pressed in stiffeners. Spray rails are added to the tops.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The center tube is mounted lower than the outer tubes creating a pivot point for the boat to roll into the turns on.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Full length strakes are added to both sides of each tube. They add lift and knock down the spray.


This 23-X-Plode is engineered to handle an outboard rating of up to 250-hp, and that’s what we tested her with. With the Evinrude E-TEC 250 turning a 17 Rebel propeller, we reached a top speed of 47.3 mph at 5750 rpm. At that speed we were burning 25.8 gph giving us a range of 73 miles.

Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and was 19.1 mph. That produced a sedate ride with a 7.06 gph fuel burn which meant a range of 107 miles and an endurance of 5 hours and 36 minutes while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

Exploding Out of the Hole. We had a quick time to plane of only 3.2 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 3.5 seconds, and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 6.1 seconds.


As for handling, she sure is quick to respond to the helm. She’s clearly acclimated to watersports so break out the skis, tubes, or whatever is most desirable to drag behind. She stays dry crossing wakes thanks to the splash guards so she can handle chop well. And there’s no tendency to lean to the outside of the turn. She accelerates from a nearly level attitude and settles back into the water the same way.

Toon Luxury

The luxury isn’t so much as evident as the X-Plode is boarded, but certainly is when sitting in any of the seats. Soft and plush only begins to describe the feel. But aside from that, the quality of the seats is noteworthy. Multi-toned soft-touch all-weather marine-grade vinyl is used throughout with a bead of contrasting welting that draws the eye to the highlighted colors that we find is as pleasing to the eyes as it is comfortable.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The bow has the usual layout of dual couches to either side of the forward entry gate. Note the red welting that adds definition and color.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Ultra-soft padding, soft-touch two-tone materials and red welting highlight the seats. The flip-up armrests are another welcome addition to the equation.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The usual accommodations for storage are under the seats, but the high-quality hinges allow the seats to remain open without having to be held.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Storage under the seat backs is accessed by lifting the cushion straight up. This allows full use of the entire opening. This compartment is also accessible from the door to the side of the helm console. Inside is a carry-on cooler.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Blue rope lighting serves as attractive courtesy illumination after the sun goes down. Speakers are stainless steel. The faux teak decking has a low-maintenance gray washed-out look.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

That blue courtesy lighting also extends to the stainless drink holders.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The cool, blue illumination extends to the exterior as well with these rope lights under the deck, just above the pontoons. When cruising on a lake at night the 23 X-Plode with its exotic mood lighting should capture the imaginations of the landlubbers and other boaters.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Both the captain and the “admiral” get the same comfortable seat that swivels, slides, and reclines with self leveling armrests. Both also have flip-up bolsters.

New Layout

Normally we see a layout that has another set of couches, or a single couch and a sun pad in the stern, both equally limiting and without creativity.

Manitou went in a whole new direction, and it’s not only representative of its out-of-the-box thinking, but adds a whole new level of functionally to the boat.

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP

The new SRS floorplan on the Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP.

The Floor Plan. It’s called the SRS floorplan and consists of dual booth style seats to either side of the stern, and they allow for two people to sit opposite one another, or a single person to sit facing forward or aft, and even create an aft facing chaise lounge by flipping the aft seatback forward. Under the armrest is a storage compartment sized for cell phones and wallets.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

With dual booth-style seats across the stern, a creative level of functionality is added to the most important part of the boat.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Opposing seating makes for a convenient gathering area, as well as an intimate dining area with the addition of a side mount pedestal table.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

With the aft seatback flipped forward, an aft-facing chaise is created.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

Behind the seats, the geometry doesn’t lend itself to safety gates, so Manitou went with these safety bars instead. Notice how the low maintenance faux teak decking extends all the way to the stern.


The helm console and seat are on an elevated platform for better visibility over the occupants in the forward seats. Gauges are mounted to billet aluminum with a Lowrance Elite 4 GPS in the center. Below and to the left is a high end Infinity stereo with streaming Bluetooth capability.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The gauges are mounted to billet aluminum and flank a Lowrance GPS. This is one of the classiest instrument panels we have ever seen on a pontoon boat.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The stereo streams Bluetooth music from smart phones creating a more convenient remote control.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The switch panel is attractive. One of these is the horn switch, which we would like to see stand-out more.

Manitou 23 X-Plode

The helm is well designed for good looks and functionality. Note the high-tech-looking steering wheel.


High Style with Taste. In our mind what separates the Manitou 23 X-Plode from most other toons on the market is the builder's attention to detail in every aspect of the vessel. The deck is a carefully selected design, material and color that is attractive and functional. The upholstery has been styled by a specialist and executed with panache. Details such as the blue mood lighting, billet aluminum instrument panel and high-tech steering wheel all combine to produce a pontoon boat that is tasteful and distinctive.

Performance and Handling. The 23's performance and handling speak for themselves. With the powerful 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC 2-stroke engine, maximum outboard torque is employed to get the boat on plane fast. Water skiers and wakeboarders will love that performance because it makes getting up so much easier. Her turning characteristics make the boat simply fun to drive.

We think the company met its goal of blending luxury, style, practicality and performance together in a single boat that is very much more than the sum of its parts.

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) is 47.3 mph (76.1 kph), burning 25.80 gallons per hour (gph) or 97.65 liters per hour (lph).
  • Best cruise for the Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) is 23.3 mph (37.5 kph), and the boat gets 2.66 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.13 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 105 miles (168.98 kilometers).
  • Tested power is 1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.

Standard and Optional Equipment

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Fishfinder Standard
GPS/Chart Standard
Battery Charger/Converter Optional
CD Stereo Standard AM/FM Radio only
Head: Portable Optional
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Bimini Top Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Warranty

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) 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.
Deck Warranty
Years Limited lifetime
Transferable Yes
Accessories Warranty
Years 5 years

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Price

Manitou 23 X-Plode SHP (2014-) Price
Pricing Range $72,000.00
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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