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Manitou 25 LX RFX Dual Engine (2021-)

2 x 300 Mercury Verados



Brief Summary

The Manitou 25 LX RFX Dual Engine is a high-performance triple-pontoon powered by a pair of outboard engines up to a combined 600 hp. Molded fiberglass bases for the seats and helm console give the boat a more finished look. She is luxuriously appointed and priced accordingly.

Key Features

  • Triple pontoon design w/Barracuda nose cones
  • Twin 300-hp Mercury outboards
  • Folding watersports tower
  • Super rugged boating ladder and ski tow
  • Three boarding gates
  • Twin aft-facing lounges in the stern

Specifications

Length Overall 26'8"
8.1 m
Beam 8.5'
2.6 m
Dry Weight 4,161 lbs.
1,887 kg
Tested Weight 6,071 lbs.
2,753.76 kg
Draft 22"
55.88 cm
Person Capacity 13
Fuel Capacity 90 gallons
340.68 L
Total Weight 6,071 lbs.
2,753.76 kg

Price

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Acceleration Times & Conditions

0 to 30 6.6 seconds
Props Rev 4 23p
Load 2 persons; 50% fuel; 50 lbs. gear
Climate 65 deg.; 100 humid; wind: 10-15; seas: <1

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 300 Mercury Verados

Captain's Report

The 25 LX RFX Dual Engine has an overall length of 26’8” (8.13 m) and her passenger capacity is 13 people.

By Eric Colby

Mission Statement

Riding on Manitou’s patented SHP 575 triple pontoon design, the 25 LX RFX Dual Engine is designed to be a luxury high-performance pontoon. She features thickly padded comfortable seats and lounges with lots of space throughout, a folding watersports tower and amenities that consumers want in a premium boat.

The 25 LX RFX Dual Engine has four chaise-style lounges throughout, so there’s plenty of space for folks to stretch out.

Manitou 25 LX RFX Dual Engine Performance

The Specs. The 25 LX RFX Dual Engine has an LOA of 26’8” (8.13 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 22” (55.88 cm). With an empty weight of 4,161 lbs. (1,887 kg), half fuel, two people and test power, we had an estimated test weight of 6,071 lbs. (2,754 kg).

Our test boat was powered by twin 300-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards with the Advanced Mid Sections turning 14.6” x 23” (37.08 cm x 58.42 cm) Rev 4 four-blade stainless-steel propellers. At a maximum 6000 rpm, we hit a top speed of 62.0 mph. Best cruise came in at 2500 rpm and 22.0 mph, where the 9.0 gph fuel burn translated into 2.4 mpg and a range of 198 statute miles. This number is calculated while holding back a 10 percent reserve of the boat’s 90-gallon (340.70-L) fuel capacity.

At higher speeds, the boat carries the bow like a high-performance V-bottom.

Acceleration tests were downright fun with our test boat reaching 20 mph in 4.8 seconds before hitting 30 mph in 6.6, 40 in 9.1 and 50 in 11.7 seconds.

Handling. In the SHP 575 performance package, the outer pontoons are 25” (63.50 cm) in diameter and the center one has a diameter of 27” (68.58 cm). All the pontoons have strakes on both sides and the center pontoon is mounted 5 ¼” (13.33 cm) lower in the water. This configuration lets the boat act like a V-bottom in turns and she naturally leans into maneuvers at a comfortable angle. Around the docks, having the motors space so far apart and the Mercury Joystick Piloting System make maneuvering the boat feel like a video game.

Each pontoon has lifting strakes and the Barracuda Nose Cones feature spray rails and reinforced bows to protect them during the inevitable dock bumps.

The Engines. The twin outboards are installed on Manitou’s billet aluminum sealed transoms. Each pod has an inspection plate to access bilge pumps and the rigging looked clean.

The heavy-duty transom is sealed against water penetration with some squeaky-clean weld work.

Manitou 25 LX RFX Dual Engine Boat Inspection

The Aft Lounges. The RFX designation means that the boat has twin aft-facing chaise-style lounges built on fiberglass bases and they’re quite comfortable. They also taper in from 35” (88.90 cm) wide to 25” (63.50 cm) where the table installs to make it easier to sit. Beneath the bottom cushions were the batteries and steering pumps. The bottom cushions are held up by tension hinges. Between the aft ends of the lounges is a gate that opens to access the stern deck that is 3’ (91.44 cm) deep and are a centrally mounted stainless-steel ladder with super-duty grab rails on each side and a ski tow made from the same material that extends aft between the outboards.

The aft lounges and the seats throughout the boat have multiple colors and textures, and even the thread matches the orange fiberglass base.
The cockpit table is finished in glossy black and has stainless-steel beverage holders in the center.
The batteries and switches are easy to reach and clearly labeled.
The ski tow, boarding ladder and grabrails on our test boat were among some of the heaviest-duty we’ve seen.

Amidships. The 25 LX RFX Dual Engine has a total of three boarding gates, including one to port at amidships that is 29” (73.66 cm) wide. While the stern gate locks open, the side model doesn’t. We’d like to see this remedied. The port high-backed captain’s chair swivels, reclines and has flip-up armrests as well as a flip-out footrest. The captain’s chair at the helm has all the same features minus the extending footrest. Ahead of the port bucket seat, our test boat had a table that folded out of the aft end of the forward lounge in lieu of the standard changing curtain. Overhead, the tower has a towrope attachment point 7’ (2.13 m) off the deck. It can be equipped with an optional Garmin Virb camera that is displayed on the helm screen. The tower folds down but still allows the operator to drive the boat. It should not be folded down for towing on the trailer.

The port-side gate is wide enough to allow a person using a wheelchair to board the boat.
The port captain’s chair adds to the user’s comfort with a foldout footrest.
The tower’s forward-swept design lends to the boat’s sporty looks and the powder-coated finish should hold up well over time.
There’s a mount for a Garmin Virb camera on the underside of the tower.
Our test boat was equipped with the optional tower speakers.
Fold down the tower and the driver can still run the boat, which will make it easy to get under a low bridge.

The Helm. To starboard, the helm console is raised 2” (5.08 cm) off the deck. Atop is an actual glass windscreen in a custom frame and the only instrument in the dash panel is a Garmin 7” (17.78 cm) multifunction display. The only button at the helm is for the horn and alongside are USB and auxiliary plugs. To starboard are the digital shift and throttle controls with the keys aft and the joystick farther abaft.

The helm seat has the same attention to detail and color scheme as throughout the boat.
The multifunction display at the helm provides navigational and engine data. The deep eyebrow in the panel provides good shade to reduce glare.
The horn button is the only one at the helm and we like the red illumination to make it easy to find.
Our test boat had the optional upgrade to an 800-watt JL Audio stereo.
The digital throttle and shift controls are outboard to starboard.

The Bow. For storage, there’s a glovebox in the side of the helm console, plus a lower hatch that opens to access more space plus helm access. Right alongside in the deck is a ski locker that has an opening that’s 2’ (60.96 m) wide by 18” (45.72 cm) deep and 7’4” (2.24 m) long. Forward, the bow has two lounges and a filler seat that slips into position abaft the 23”-wide (58.42 cm) boarding gate. There’s storage under the bottom cushions and the foredeck is 2’5” (76.2 cm) deep.

A glovebox is almost always welcome for the added storage and just below the locker in the console could be a good place to stash a portable cooler or boat bag.
Here we see the bow lounges filled in with the removable seat in the center.
Bottom cushions open to reveal lockers in the bow and notice the plastic seat bases that have drainage channels built in and will never rot.
The foredeck has plenty of space for boarding. Outboard on each side are navigation and docking lights.

Retail Price

$193,186. As tested with twin 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards with the Advanced midsections, Platinum Package w/tower speakers, bow filler seat, Garmin Virb Camera, premium JL Audio system, folding entertainment table, and joystick steering.

Observations

Manitou was one of the first companies to build a high-performance, luxury pontoon boat and the 25 LX RFX Dual Engine lives up to the company’s premium heritage. The SHP 575 performance package on the pontoons is a proven design and the twin Mercury outboards deliver the punch to plant passengers back in their seats and push her past 60 mph. When it comes to attention to detail, the added effort put into the gunwale inserts and even the thread for the upholstery is next level. This pontoon boat is definitely not for idling around the lake at sunset, but if that’s what the family wants, it will make everyone comfortable doing it.


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