Manitou 25 X-Plode

Boat Buyer's Guide 2014

Author: Alan Jones

BW_01-2014_22_Manitou-25_04For uninformed boaters who still cling to the notion that pontoons are for people who prefer a more sedate way of boating, half an hour behind the wheel of Manitou’s 25 X-Plode ought to fix that misconception. Especially when it’s sporting a Suzuki DF250SS outboard and the triple-tube Sport Handling Package (SHP) our test boat features, which has a larger center tube that is set lower to create a pivot point so pontoon owners can crank their boats in crazy-tight turns.

With lifting strakes on both sides of each pontoon, our test 25 X-Plode rode high in the water and got out of the hole quickly with a time to plane of 2.8 seconds. The Suzuki uses a big-block 4.0L V-6 to deliver effortless power, which helped it push the Manitou to 30 mph in 7.6 seconds during our sea trial. The six strakes also help produce a really flat wake at 30 mph, which slalom skiers will love. Top speed was a brisk 48.7 mph, and when people see the 25 X-Plode coming at them at full throttle, baring its razor-sharp Barracuda nosecone blades like a waterborne version of Wolverine, ’tis a fearsome sight.

But the 25 X-Plode is more than just a hair-on-fire speed and handling thrill ride; it’s also a great watersports platform and a comfortable entertainer rolled into one. Our boat features the Split Rear Seating (SRS) floor plan, which gives owners twin rear recliners, which are different than any others I’ve seen. BW_01-2014_22_Manitou-25_02On these, the center section can be flipped rearward to form a backrest to create face-to-face club chair seating. When they’re in the up position, a side-mounted table can be placed in between for snacking or game playing. Up front is a pair of chaise loungers, and amidships are twin captain’s chairs that are newly designed for 2014. At the raised helm station, the captain grips a classy Gussi Italian sport wheel and stares at a standard Lowrance Elite-4 color GPS/fishfinder. Our boat features the upgraded Infinity stereo system with a subwoofer that definitely rocks the Casbah. Also new for this model year is the lime-green color scheme of our test boat, which is equipped with the optional bleached-gray faux teak partially covered by a gray Sea Grass snap-on mat that might sound drab but looks great.

Owner Review


LOA: 26 ft., 4 in.
Beam: 8 ft., 6 in.
Fuel: 44 gals.
Engine: Suzuki DF250SS
Base Price: (As Tested) $69,800
Standard Equipment:

Bimini top, dinette table, ski tow bar

Optional Equipment:

Trailer, Infinity stereo upgrade, portable table

Builder: Manitou Pontoon Boats


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