Better hole shots, quicker to plane, higher top end speeds, unrivaled handling and increased stability in rough water are all hallmarks of the Manitou performance-minded pontoon boat. Although typically paired with smaller engines, the twin hull design can still pull tubers and lighter skiers but with less acceleration and more limited turning ability.
The VP uses positive angle lifting strikes on the center tube to provide a much smoother, higher ride on rougher water. The SHP hull is a combination of a larger and deeper center tube, positive angle lifting strikes, and our signature Barracuda nosecones.
Too much or too little dead rise, can detrimentally affect ride quality, stability, acceleration, speed and handling. At Manitou, our engineers have spent years testing pontoon hull configurations resulting in our industry leading Valuing Technology.
Conversely, positive angle lifting strikes provide the needed planing surface, deliver a smooth ride and enhance the nimble reflexes of a Too. Inferring that strikes are detrimental to performance when placed on the outside of the lateral tubes may be true on our competitors boats, which are less agile and less predictable at higher speeds, but not ours.
Don't fall for the smoke and mirrors of false claims, demand Too Technology with Positive Angle Lifting Strikes. Theirs Simply adding a center tube will increase stability and buoyancy but will not necessarily improve handling.
Without dead rise, the lateral forces exerted on a hull, during a turn, overcomes the boats' ability to bank. Passengers that have ridden in flat bottom crafts or ones with very little dead rise have experienced the bone jarring ride and inadequate handling they produce.
Adding reverse chines or negative angled lifting strikes only makes matters worse. Precise dead rise and strike combination allow our hulls to heel into a turn like a race-car on a banked track providing passengers with a more comfortable and safer ride.
When heeling, centrifugal forces are directed downward through the hull, making it easier for passengers and gear to remain in place. Finding the ultimate dead rise angle, that provides excellent ride qualities as well as nimble handling, for triple tube pontoon hulls is something that only the engineers at Manitou have mastered.
Dynamic Lift All boats at rest and prior to planing speed are supported by simple buoyancy. As a boat accelerates, forces dynamically increase between the planing surface of the hull and the water.
So, why buy a boat that has an unnecessarily large center tube that only contributes unneeded buoyancy during displacement speeds or at rest? Hauling around the added weight of an unnecessarily large center tube only hampers a boats' ability to perform above displacement speeds.
Dead rise Dynamic Instability at Speed Performance hulls respond positively and instantly to throttle and steering input. Flat bottom style pontoon hulls, while stable, are difficult to turn and react inadequately to driver input during planing speeds.
Our Too Technology, by virtue of dead rise and dynamic lift, provides a confidence-inspiring platform when coupled with large engines. Maneuvering would be horrendous if not dangerous and the slam loads would make the ride bone jarring.
The SHP package is the most innovative concept to hit the pontoon market since the advent of the triple tube. Manitou has used its 20 years experience in pontoon design to provide a package that allows for performance previously not seen on high horsepower pontoon boats.
Lifting strikes are standard on the inside and outside all three tubes, allowing for quicker planning and better hole shot. The final component of the Manitou SHP is a Sea Star Hydraulic Steering System with power assist unit.
In years past, many pontoon owners with high horsepower motors have been disappointed with their boats performance. The Sea Star Hydraulic Steering with power assist allows you to turn this boat at wide open throttle without any hesitation.
By using extruded hat cross members, full length risers, thicker aluminum in the tubes, and the strongest deck in the industry, Manitou manufactures a boat that can withstand the demands placed on modern high horsepower performance pontoon boats. For long term durability, today's high horsepower motors need the adequate support that only Manitou offers.
This smooth shifting package will knock you back in your seat in this performance pontoon boat. The Manitou SHP features a Telefax Sea Star Hydraulic Steering System with Power Assist.
Similar to many automobiles, this hydraulic system uses an electric pump to allow steering with your fingertips. If you are tired of fighting with your big outboard, maybe it's time you test drove a Manitou SHP.
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Sometimes you wished you could have a smaller, more streamlined vessel, but that would mean making the move from pontoon boats to something else, wouldn’t it? They still include all the same features you’ve come to expect, such as pontoon tubes, metal railings, and even an awning roof.
Now that you’ve become acquainted with the wonderful mini ‘too, you’re probably eager to learn more about these boats. With some mini ‘tools, you also have side tables, upholders, and fishing amenities.
For instance, the Eagle Cruiser from Avalon has a slimmer shape than most pontoons on the market. This skinny boat has all the posh amenities you love from Pennington but with much less heft.
Well, the company also makes fishery, lake, and pond products, boats among them. If neither of those quite float your boat, so to speak, you can even get a DIY kit for assembling your own tiny pontoon.
Tahoe even took home a National Marine Manufacturers Association (Emma) Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) award for their work. This manufacturer likes to keep its ‘tools small, including the Pro Strike 126 Ex Mini.
The West pontoons in the Apex Marine family all have the long, lean mini ‘too sizing without the bulk. Okay, now that we’ve talked a bit about manufacturers of small, even narrow pontoon boats, it’s time to get into some real examples.
The Patriot Mini, which recently partook in a 25th anniversary blowout bash for the brand, arrives in 2020. The boat of course has pontoon tubes, both 14 inches and made of a welded aluminum.
You also get an aluminum kick rail that’s six inches, mounted dual seats in patriotic white and blue, a marine-grade carpet, and marine-grade plywood flooring. As you remember from the last section, Pond King does have a DIY pontoon, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
For $436 extra, you can get a Minn Iota tiller trolling motor added on that weighs 45 pounds. It includes a wired plug, a battery box, and its own circuit breaker.
You can also pay $189 for an aluminum welded rail that stands 16 inches tall. You can use the rear transom motor mounts for either electric or gas outboards, your pick.
This mini ‘too has amenities like aluminum deck corner protection, an expanded rear deck, double full risers, and pontoon tubes with a diameter of 23 inches each. Outside the boat, you’ll love sitting in a cadet fixed driver’s chair.
You also get plenty of navigation lights, an aluminum ladder at the rear, and transport position brackets. The Bimini top has mounts, a quick release feature, and an aluminum frame with anodizing.
There’s also flat graphic logos and single panel walls on the boat’s exterior. These include frame cladding in pewter or bronze, deck carpet or vinyl flooring, and aluminum seats with their own ventilation system.
These seats come with all the perks: lounge arms, Matrix 50 vinyl, and rotating, adjusting features. It includes an eight-foot deck, a motor trim gauge, an aluminum ski tow-bar, and U-Flex hydraulic steering.
You also get a tunnel hull aluminum under skin made to ride better on the water without as much drag. With Triton lifting strikes, you’ll have more control of your boat in all sorts of conditions.
Before you make a commitment, though, you’ll want to read through these pros and cons list. This way, you get a full, balanced picture of what it’s truly like to own a mini pontoon boat.
No need to stress about storage: Like RV owners, those with pontoon boats have to retire their vessel once the weather gets cold. Instead of shelling out lots of cash for a facility or storage space, you can just stash your mini ‘too in your garage.
Suddenly, you’ll find it easier to turn, park, stop, and do all sorts of other things. Narrower, mini ‘tools come with flat hulls like any other pontoon does.
Slimmer, narrower pontoons often do have speed advantages over their full-sized counterparts, that’s true. Just because you own a smaller pontoon boat than what you’re used to do’t mean you should ignore traditional safety rules.
You still want to make sure you either have life vests or flotation devices on your boat. Your passengers should wear their life vests when they’re onboard the boat and it’s moving.
You also want to have a first-aid kit, an oar in case your motor dies, a fully-charged battery, and flashlights. Well, while you can drive somewhat faster and maneuver better in a mini ‘too than a traditional pontoon, don’t abuse the privilege.
Don’t ride in choppy conditions like the ocean at high tide. Mini pontoons can generally handle shallower bodies of water pretty well, but don’t linger at low tide for too long.
Also, if you do go riding in shallow water, such as in a pond, make sure you don’t hit any debris like rocks or dirt piles. If you don’t, your mini ‘too should handle these waters just fine due to their hull shape.
With their sleeker, trimmer profiles, these boats can turn and maneuver with ease. They may ride on the water somewhat faster than regular pontoons, but this won’t be by leaps and bounds.
If you’re seriously shopping for your own small boat, we recommend you start by looking at the pontoons we covered in this article.