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Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP (2015-)

1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2

Brief Summary

The Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP is engineered to foster an environment appropriate for both high-quality entertaining and a variety of watersports. To that end, the builder offers the versatility of five different floor plans to satisfy any owners’ requirements and tastes. She’s a premium quality boat with a host of standard features.

Key Features

  • Aluminum Bimini top and boot
  • Hard side 24 can cooler
  • Dinette Table
  • Rear entry wide 4-step ladder
  • Extended Starboard Chaise
  • Comfort Touch marine vinyl on furniture
  • Ski tow bar
  • AM/FM Polk Bluetooth radio with 6 Jensen speakers
  • Courtesy LED light
  • Powder coated rub rail

Test Results

500 2.7 2.3 0.2 13.25 11.52 525 456 59
1000 5.4 4.7 0.65 8.31 7.22 329 286 69
1500 7.8 6.8 1.4 5.57 4.84 221 192 76
2000 10.6 9.2 2.5 4.22 3.67 167 145 81
2500 15.4 13.4 3.95 3.9 3.39 154 134 84
3000 20.7 18 6.25 3.31 2.88 131 114 80
3500 24.6 21.3 8.25 2.98 2.59 118 102 82
4000 29.3 25.4 10.75 2.72 2.37 108 94 84
4500 35.4 30.7 13.55 2.61 2.27 103 90 89
5000 41 35.6 16.9 2.42 2.11 96 83 94
5500 48.7 42.3 21.5 2.26 1.97 90 78 94


Length Overall 26' 4'' / 8.03 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 3,420 lbs.
1,551 kg
Tested Weight 4,025 lbs.
1,826 kg
Draft 14''
0.36 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 44 gal.
167 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 4,025 lbs.
1,826 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.3 sec
0 to 30 7.5 sec
Ratio N/A
Props Rebel 19
Load 2 persons, 79/100 fuel, no water, 25 lbs. of gear
Climate 72 deg., 76 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Std. Power 1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Opt. Power Not Available

Captain's Report

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP

The Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP has a length overall of 26'4" (8.03 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m).

Mission Statement

The Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP is engineered to foster an environment appropriate for both high-quality entertaining and a variety of watersports. To that end, the builder offers the versatility of five different floor plans to satisfy any owners’ requirements and tastes. She’s a premium quality boat with a host of standard features.

Distinguishing Features

  • Powder Coated Rails and Walls. A distinguishing feature that others in class have not, or will not bother with. It adds a formidable layer of protection to the metal rails and fences that will resist corrosion and degradation.
  • Five Different Floor Plans. Choose from a floor plan that focuses on lounging, entertaining, creating a waterfront bar, a galley or just maximizing seating.
  • SHP Hull. SHP stands for Sport Handling Package and it combines three tubes, lifting strakes to both sides of all, reinforced nose cones and splash fins. While virtually all pontoon boat builders offer tri-toons, the secret of Manitou's design is that the center toon is larger and deeper, thus making the boat lean into turns rather than staying flat or leaning out.
  • Manitou Smart Screen. This touchscreen display allows easy monitoring of different aspects of the boat’s systems. Choose from controlling the electrical components, viewing the operational parameters, or even enhanced control of the onboard stereo.
  • Interior Blue Accent Lighting. Adds a bit of class after the sun goes down.
  • Large Working Bow Deck. For some reason many pontoon boats do not have a foredeck, making it virtually impossible to tie lines off to cleats and easily anchor. Manitou does not make that mistake with the 25 SES Flip SHP. An added benefit is that this deck becomes a delightful diving platform for swimmers.
  • Varying Floor Plans. Let’s start our report by looking at the various floor plans available for this same boat, the 25 SES. Five floor plans are available, each with its own features and amenities -- from full setup bars and galleys to lounging in luxury. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Bench Floor Plan

Here is a plan for maximizing seating by having couches in all four areas of the boat. The bow is represented with a pair of opposing couches and the stern takes the port lounge and accompanies it with an L-shaped seat to starboard. At the stern is the aft-facing bench.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP bench floor plan

Maximizing the seating is the theme of the bench floor plan.

2. Flip Seat Floor Plan

This is the plan that was on our test boat and it starts with the same two sizable couches at the bow. This opposing seating offers a good combination of comfort and an intimate conversational atmosphere.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP flip seat floor plan

Our test boat was equipped with the Flip Seat Floor Plan. Stern bench seats facing each other that convert into a chaise lounge for two.

To the stern, there are twin bench seats that easily convert to dual aft-facing chaise lounges by simply flipping the aft seatback forward to fill in the space between the two benches. For dining, go back to the twin benches and then add a filler table that has dedicated storage under the aft seat.

3. Bar Floor Plan

Here’s a floor plan for those that like to entertain on the water. Adding a bar to the boat makes her into a floating cocktail lounge, one that we’re quick to point out needs a designated driver if those good times are away from the dock.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP bar floor plan

Add a stern lounge and a bar and just like that, a floating cocktail lounge.

The same access points for boarding are present, as are the forward couches. To the stern, Manitou went with a lounger to port and a bar to starboard, complete with stools and prep areas. An aft-facing couch adds another location to relax with a drink, even while the 25 SES is underway.

4. The Galley Floor Plan

Care to do a little cooking on the water? Who doesn’t? With the galley plan, it’s as easy as loading on the food and casting off the lines.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP galley floor plan

The galley floor plan adds the ability to have a cookout right onboard.

The bow still remains consistent with the opposing couches, and the stern replaces the portside lounger with a galley. To starboard is the L-shaped seating with an aft facing bench just behind.

5. The Entertainer Floor Plan

With this plan, we have the whole enchilada! The Entertainer floor plan has dedicated spots to relax both fore and aft, but we also have the advantage of the bar and the galley layouts at the stern. Now it’s like having a floating restaurant at one's disposal, only the clientele are all close friends.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP entertainer floor plan

With the Entertainer, a bar and a galley will make the most out of the day.


With the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboard turning a 19 Rebel propeller, at wide-open throttle, we reached a top speed of 48.7 mph at 5500 rpm. At that speed, we were burning 21.5 gallons per hour giving us a range of 90 statute miles.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP color matched engines

The new Evinrude E-TEC G2 Series engines can be color-matched to the boat’s own color scheme.

Hole Shot.

We had a time to plane of 3.3 seconds, reached 20 mph in 5.3 seconds, 30 mph in 7.5 seconds and continued accelerating through 40 mph in 12.2 seconds. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 24.6 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 8.25 gallons per hour, giving us a range of 118 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP running shot

The 25 SES Flip SHP rides just a bit bow high which enhances her dry ride.


Much has been said about the handling of Manitou pontoons and with good reason. With its proprietary hulls, Manitou has created some of the best handling pontoon boats available.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP sport handling package

This configuration is called SHP for Sport Handling Package, and it consists of three tubes, with the center being oversized.

The Design Secret.

The outer tubes measure 23” (.58 m) in diameter each, while the center tube is 27” (.69 m). The center tube is also 5” (.13 m) lower than the outer tubes and this creates a pivot point for the boat on which to lean into the turns. Positive angle lifting strakes run down the full length of both sides of all the tubes. This pushes water up and away from the tubes to enhance the turning ability and gets the boat up on plane quickly.

At the nose cone, we find an integrated splash fin which is much stronger than a welded fin. This will keep the topside and passengers dry while underway. The nose cones are also thicker than the rest of the tubes. Strength is further added to the nose cones by utilizing crimps put right into the metal.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP hull crimps

The deep crimps help reinforce the hull from the pressure of the water as the boat moves along.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP running shot

Once at cruise speed, the 25 SES Flip SHP needs just a small amount of trim, and that causes no change in the cruise attitude, but allows the prop to operate at a more efficient angle.

Thanks to the triple tubes of the SHP performance package, the 25 SES Flip SHP leans up to 10-degrees into the turns, which keeps everyone on board comfortable. And she comes fully around in nearly 1 ½ boat lengths.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP running shot

For a pontoon boat, this is "turning-on-a-dime" handling, which is impressive and somewhat unusual. When taking power off she settles back into the water at the same attitude.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP running shot

The 25 SES is a solid performer with grace and poise. And with her SHP hull, she proved to have nimble handling characteristics, too!

Features Inspection

Bow Seating

Stepping aboard the 25 SES Flip SHP is from either a center gate at the bow, a gate to the port side or via two additional access points from the stern. At the bow there is plenty of additional room for actually using the foredeck beyond boarding, as the rails are placed well aft. In this manner, the builder has provided not only a large platform from which to aid line handling and anchoring, but the bow also becomes a welcome launching point for swimmers, a place to relax while at anchor, or just a spot to sit and enjoy the sunset with feet dangling in the water.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP cleats

At the foredeck, there’s plenty of room to get to the outboard cleats to tie off at the dock. We'd like to see a pop-up cleat on the centerline for an anchor rode. Ground tackle can be stowed under the seat at left.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP powder coated fencing

Manitou has added the powder-coated aluminum fencing panel frames, rub rails and deck trim. This adds an upscale appearance to the boat and they will stay looking like new long after normal aluminum rails have oxidized and turned color.

At the bow are twin couches, the port side considerably longer than the starboard so as to accommodate the starboard mounted helm. Both couches are comfortable and we like to use the term “overstuffed” as one doesn’t just sit "on" them, but more "in" them. The plush cushioning effect literally wraps the couch around the body and once there we found it difficult to get the mind to move the body to get up.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP portside seating

The portside seating group is the largest on the boat. The chaise lounge has a lift-up armrest and plenty of legroom.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP changing station

At the back of the left side, seating group is a fold-away changing station. Just lift this cabinet door and it expands into a full height, zippered curtain changing area.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP chaise lounge

On the right side is another combination seating group that includes a chaise lounge with retractable armrest. Under each of the seat pads is additional storage space.

The quality of the seats is impressive. Multi-toned soft-touch all-weather Diamonte marine-grade vinyl is used throughout with a bead of contrasting welting that draws the eye to the highlighted colors.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP designer fabric

Note the designer fabric between the seat pad and the backrest cushions. This is a sign of quality construction.

Storage is underneath the seats and there’s additional storage under the seatbacks, which is somewhat unusual. All compartments are accessed from articulating hinges that allow the cushions to remain open without having to be continually held.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP storage boxes

The storage boxes are self-draining and will keep the contents dry and in place. This will also alleviate any moisture getting to the plywood decking underneath.

Courtesy Lights

Manitou went all out to bring nighttime boating to the forefront of entertaining with the placement of the blue LED lighting throughout the boat. It completely changes the look and mood of the 25 SES Flip SHP, when the sun goes down.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP courtesy lights

Courtesy lights are found throughout the boat. Here are the lights hidden at the seatbacks for some cool night accent lighting.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP accent lighting

Manitou added the thoughtful touch of adding accent lighting in the cup holders for an added level of convenience.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP deck courtesy lights

Courtesy lights also illuminate the critical deck areas.

Aft Seating

At the stern, on our test boat, Manitou created a flip bench seating group that converts from opposing seating to a chaise lounge area for two, measuring 66” x 54” (168 cm x 137 cm). The backrest of the forward-facing aft bench flips forward and down to fill in the space between the two benches and create the center pad to support the legs. A pedestal table can be inserted between the two benches to create a dining area or cocktail rendezvous.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP aft bench seat

SES stands for Stern Entertainment System and includes this aft-facing bench seat. It’s thickly padded and upholstered in soft-touch marine-grade vinyl.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP pedestal table

With the pedestal mounted table in place, there is plenty of room for drinks and snacks for up to four people.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP double wide aft seats

In the chaise position, we have double-wide aft-facing seats. The finish work and attention to detail are excellent, and there are lift up armrests in the center.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP table storage

Under the aft seat is dedicated storage for the pedestal table.

Even with the aft seats being convertible, there’s still the available space under the forward seat backs and Manitou takes advantage of this by adding storage drawers and pull out bins. All components are stainless steel and the drawers are on ball-bearing slides.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP storage

Lots of storage is here in this creative use of space. On the upper left side is a flip-out drawer. Underneath there’s a tilt-out trash can. In the center, there’s a recessed storage area. At the upper right is another flip-out drawer. Below that is a storage drawer and to the lower right is a base cabinet. This stainless steel door and drawer treatment is unusual in pontoon boats to this magnitude.

Swim Platform

The glass and stainless steel ski tow bar at the stern and billet aluminum ski mirror at the helm reminds us that this luxury cruiser is prepared for some water sports, too! While it’s easy enough to jump into the water, getting aboard is via the four-step re-boarding ladder with its high, curved rails as handholds.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP ladder

Re-boarding the 25 SES Flip SHP from the water is easy with the standard 4 step telescoping ladder and swimming-pool-like hand holds.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP stern gate

The stern gate measures a full 24” (61 cm) in height and opens inward for increased safety. The smoked glass and stainless steel add a nice touch of class and there is enough space between the sun lounger and tow bar to walk around the stern.


The 25 SES has what Manitou calls its "LX" helm -- and it stands for "luxury." That luxury clearly starts with the helm seat, which is frankly as plush as ones we see on much larger boats. It’s wonderfully soft, includes flip-down armrests, and of course, it swivels and slides.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP helm seat

The captain gets one of the best seats in the house, both from a comfort perspective as well as a visibility standpoint.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP helm console

The entire helm console is on a raised platform, aiding in the visibility over the heads of the occupants in the forward couch. Our test boat had the optional Sea Grass Mat carpet.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP helm storage

There’s storage under the helm console, and here Manitou made it available from two different locations, either the side or from the forward seat back. Inside is a 24-can cooler.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP seat back cushion

The seatback cushion lifts up and stays in place thanks to the articulating hinge system for easy access to the inside of the console storage.

At midships, Manitou has installed a flush-mount deck hatch that opens to a huge storage area, utilizing the 27” (68.6 cm) diameter center tube.

Manitou 25 SES Flip SHP storage area

The storage area measures 90” long x 18” deep with a 12” opening at the hatch.


Which Floor Plan?

Of course with five different floor plans available they all have different prices. We can’t really expect to have a full bar and galley for the same price as simple bench seats now. So let’s see what the floor plans will generate for starting prices. Bench $41,675 Flip $42,350 Bar $43,850 Galley $44,963 Entertainer $47,163 Now we have a starting point. Again, using the model we tested as the base, we will select the flip version. For those who want to go with a different model, now there’s a scale to adjust the prices accordingly. For now, we’re at the SHP with the Flip layout at $42,350.

The Engines

The engines range from 25-hp on up to 300-hp. Larger engines require the SHP tubes, smaller can get away with twin tubes. Engines are available from the five manufacturers and prices run from $5,363 to $24,063. Our test engine, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 costs $23,313 on the 25 SES Flip SHP.

Optional Extras

Now we start adding options that we think will be the most popular and see where it takes us. We’ll start with the Platinum Package that adds the LX raised helm, an upgraded steering wheel, in-dash fishfinder, a color GPS, a stainless Bimini top frame, stainless dock guard corner castings, a stainless gas cap, 6 Kicker speakers, tone on tone furniture and the high-back helm chair with bolster… all for $5,275.

Shade is a valuable commodity on the water so we’ll add the double Bimini for $1,600. We will then add the barbecue grill ($350), the bow gate filler bench ($525), the center in-tube storage ($1,500), the Sea Grass decking material ($2,175), the hydraulic pedestal for the helm seat ($150), the LED lighting for the cup holders ($113) as well as the exterior ($675), the Porta-Potti ($106), the portable table ($613), the refrigerator that replaces the trash can behind the helm ($1,375) and finally the ski mirror ($313). Now have a tricked out boat with a top-end engine for $83,633. Of course, in a more basic version, with a smaller engine, the price would be much less.


The standard 25 SES Flip SHP is loaded with comfort features and offers a choice of everything from layout to amenities design for many applications and pocketbooks. Nevertheless, this is a premium-level boat with high-quality materials and workmanship and that luxury comes at a price. But it also admits her owner to a select club of those that can have their cake and eat it too. A luxurious boat with virtually everything done right is a hard thing to put a price tag on. But our experience indicates the most knowledgeable boaters understand the value of paying the price.