- Ski tow bar
- Powder coated aluminum Bimini top and boot
- Soft side cooler
- Dinette table
- Extended starboard chaise
|Length Overall||24' 8'' / 7.52 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||N/A|
|0 to 30||N/A|
|Load||2 persons, 3/8 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||84 deg., 81 humid; wind: 5-12 mph; seas: chop|
2 x 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Contents of Report
- Major Features
- The Engines
- Boat Inspection
- The Stern
- The Cockpit
- The Helm
- The Bow
- Optional Equipment
The Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine is designed to be a high-performance pontoon boat with handling and top end that are superior to competitive pontoon boats, and monohulls as well. She is also equipped with premium features such as reclining captain’s chairs and an available multifunction display instead of analog-style gauges to appeal to a luxury-minded buyer.
• Twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboards
• iDock joystick controls
• Heavy-duty stainless-steel ski tow
• Heavy-duty stainless-steel boarding ladder
• Movable bucket seat to fill in bow or stern
• 2 dinette tables
• Privacy station
• Bimini top
• Capacity: 13 people or 1,835 lbs. (832 kg).
The Numbers. The Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine measures 24’8” (7.52 m) long and has 25” (64 cm) diameter outboard pontoons with a 27” (69 cm) diameter center model. Empty weight is listed at 3,655 lbs. (1,658 kg). With two people, 35.5 gallons of fuel (134 L) and test equipment on board, we had an estimated test weight of 4,829 lbs. (2,190 kg).
Power. Our test boat was powered by twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboards.
Top Speed. We tested in warm conditions with light breezes and minimal chop. With the engines hitting a maximum of 5500 rpm, we hit a top speed of 53.0 mph.
Best cruise came at 3500 rpm where we recorded 30.7 mph and a fuel burn of 21.6 gph. That translated to 1.4 mpg and a range of 115 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 90-gallon (341 L) fuel capacity in reserve.
Idle Speed. Because pontoon boats typically spend 60% of their engine operating hours at idle, we should also look at her fuel consumption there. At 500 rpm, the 23 Encore SHP traveled 3.2 mph, getting 3.4 mpg. At 1000 rpm, she went 5.3 mph and got 2.4 mpg. Both of these fuel consumption figures are about half of what one could expect in a 4-stroke engine.
Acceleration. While it is always tough to determine precisely when a pontoon boat get on plane, our best guess is that it was at 3.2 seconds. In any case, she hit 20 mph on 5.5 seconds and 30 mph in 8.6 seconds. These are good times for such a heavy toon, and the torque of the 2-stroke engines obviously was instrumental here.
The SHP package includes lifting strakes on the pontoons to improve turning, and the Barracuda nosecone design which cuts through waves and chop. Our test boat carved through hard turns, holding its line and leaning into the maneuver like a sports boat. This is somewhat unusual for a pontoon boat, and is considered desirable as the Gs keep people in their seats at the high speeds that this boat is capable of.
To make life easier for the captain when docking, simply pull the control levers to neutral and engage the iDock joystick. This allows the captain to spin the boat or slide sideways into a tight spot. This is an option, but one we recommend for people unfamiliar with docking a big toon. The list price for Evinrude’s joystick upgrade is only $5,999, roughly half of what it might cost with other brands.
The Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine is built solidly with heavy-duty transverse supports beneath the decking that are as close as every 7” (17.7 cm). Its pontoon chambers have fully sealed bulkheads in the pontoons so that in the unlikely event of a pontoon being penetrated, water would only remain in that section. Further, this costly construction method adds rigidity to the toons that others might not have.
One of the reasons for the 23 Encore SHP’s excellent performance is her lifting strakes that few other pontoon boats have. (See the orange areas in the drawing below.) These give lift to the vessel – much like those on virtually every conventional fiberglass monohull – and help provide superior acceleration and fuel efficiency and higher top speed.
One reason why the E-TEC G2 200 is a good match to power a pontoon is that it’s a two-stroke engine. That means each stroke is a power stroke. Evinrude says the engine makes 30 percent more peak torque than a comparable 4-stroke. Fuel delivery is handled by direct injection which features an injector in each cylinder.
At lower rpm, the fuel is injected into a fine mist and fed into the smaller top section of the combustion chamber. At idle, only a small amount of fuel is used – the size of Champagne bubbles, according to the folks at Evinrude. The result is that below 1000 rpm, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp engine gets twice the fuel economy of all competitive engines.
60% of the engine hours put on all pontoon boats, on average, is spent at idle. For that reason alone, Evinrude is well suited for this application.
Each engine is installed on an aluminum bracket that bolts to the aft end of the outer pontoons. Removable inspection panels provide access to the lower mounting bolts.
Between the engines is one of the sturdiest ski tows we’ve seen, and the four-step boarding ladder extends 31” (78.74 cm) below the waterline, which exceeds ABYC standards by 9” ( 22.8 cm). Between the ladder and the 22” (55.88 cm) wide stern gate, the swim platform is 35” (88.90 cm) in length.
Passing through the aft gate we enter the cockpit area, where we find twin aft-facing lounges, and settees which have backrests set at a chaise-style incline. With the Bimini top up, we saw that our test boat had the optional LED lights integrated into the frame.
The 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine comes standard with movable cupholders and a removable table. There are also two cupholders in the seat bases on either side. The hinged backrests tilt forward to reveal additional storage.
Under the starboard aft lounge, we found Manitou’s smart battery switch; the two batteries being located underneath the aft cushion. To port, there’s another battery plus open storage.
Moving forward, twin captain’s chairs swivel and adjust fore and aft. The armrests and bolsters fold up and in an added touch of luxury, the seats have foldout footrests and can recline. Outboard to port, the side gate is 28.5” (72.39 cm) wide and our test boat had the optional foldout table that replaces the privacy curtain.
The helm console and seat are raised off the deck to give the captain a better view of their surroundings. Instead of conventional gauges, our test boat had the Simrad Go 7 Smart Screen - a 7” (17.78 cm) multifunction display that provides engine and course information.
To port of the helm is the JL Audio stereo with connectivity and power plugs located above. Accessory switches are separated on each side of the steering wheel. Digital controls are to starboard with the iDock joystick just seaward and aft of the driver’s seat.
In the port side of the console up top is a glovebox and below, a hatch opens to provide access to the helm rigging and open storage. Our test boat had the optional locker in the center pontoon. The deck was also finished in optional Luna vinyl covering.
Our test boat had the optional gate filler seat which can also be used in the stern. Forward of the seat, the gate is 23” (58.42 cm) wide and the full-beam foredeck measures 24” (60.96 cm) fore to aft.
The Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine is one of the few pontoon boats in this size range that has a proper bow. The full-forward beam measures 24” (60.95 cm) fore and aft. This allows the crew to easily man mooring lines without fear of falling overboard, as on all too many pontoon boats.
The bow has angled backrests like the chaise lounges in the stern. And note the different textures and colors in the upholstery which help give the boat an upscale feel. Below are JL Audio speakers and storage is in the seat bases on each side. The bow corner cushions are on hinges for ease of access.
• Rail-mounted grill
• Battery charging system
• PWR-ARM Bimini top
• Orion 45 super cooler or soft-sided cooler
• Double Bimini top
• Full enclosure
• Portable head
• Stern remote for stereo
• Saltwater package
The MSRP of the boat with iDock and iTrim, minus power, is $69,500.
• Limited lifetime on decking (transferable)
• Limited lifetime on structural components (pontoons, motor mounts, understructures, fence assemblies, Bimini top frame)
• 5 years on vinyl upholstery
• 5 years on Bimini fabric
• 5 years on carpet
• 5 years on mooring cover
While many people think all pontoon boats are the same, the Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine proves them wrong. From her billet aluminum engine mounts astern, to her numerous transverse hat section supports, to the bulkheads in her pontoons with lifting strakes, this is one of the very best built pontoon boats on the market.
Manitou has long had a reputation for building sporty pontoon boats that were strong, durable, and able to hold their own with the fasts monohull sportboats on the lake when necessary. But as a tow and entertaining platform, few conventional monohulls can match her.
By matching the Manitou 23 Encore SHP 575 Dual Engine with the twin 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s, it has the prodigious 2-stroke torque necessary to pull wake boarders at a time, and the fuel-efficiency at low rpm to be economical to operate.