What’s Happening This Month: A New Brochure from Manitou

That’s right, folks. Keep your eyes open for a new Manitou Pontoon Boats brochure that will be emerging very soon.

So, what’s so great about it?

“This year we concentrated on providing the customers with all the information they need on the boats while at the same time maintaining an artistically creative, visually appealing brochure that makes you want to head out on the water in a Manitou during a warm summer day,”  Greg VanWagenen, Manitou’s director of marketing and communications, said.

“High quality pictures, premium paper stock and expertly executed printing processes portray our boats as the high end premium brand that Manitou has become known for.”

In addition, he said they decided to go green with this brochure – it was printed with 100 percent wind power.

Here’s a preview of some of the great photos:

Continue reading “What’s Happening This Month: A New Brochure from Manitou”

A Little Something For Our Pontoon Loving Friends With Blogs/Websites Of Their Own

Love that pontoon of yours?

We know many of you out there maintain a blog or website of your own and often times you like to share stories about your fishing or water sports adventures on your Manitou Pontoon. So if you fall into this category, we figured we’d give you a couple of cool badges you can share on your blog or website, or even on Facebook or Pinterest if you’re so inclined. Like what you see? Just copy and paste the code into your html editor to add it to your own site!

Copy this code to add this to your own site:

 

Copy this code to add this to your own site:

 

Copy this code to add this to your own site:

 

Copy this code to add this to your own site:

Manitou X-PLODE – Cobalt 276 comparison

What makes for the best performance boat? Is it speed? Handling? How about luxury? Or is it the obvious combination of all of these features? Every boat model offers its own unique features, which can make choosing the right boat a difficult task, especially when considering different types of boats.

The bowrider and pontoon are two entirely different boats, but they are increasingly similar in their performance. This comparison looks at Manitou’s X-PLODE model pontoon—one of the fastest, most comfortable pontoons on the market—and the Cobalt 276—the Bentley of sportboats.

 

MANITOU X-PLODE

Photo courtesy of Manitou Pontoon Boats

The Manitou X-PLODE sits at the cross-section of speed, luxury and ultimate comfort. Its innovative design is unlike any other pontoon, with sportboat handling specifications, an impressive platform for watersports enthusiasts, a variety of floor plan options, plenty of features for entertaining and more.

Sport handling package

Let’s look at the X-PLODE’s sport handling package. The X-PLODE is a performance boat unlike any other, because it offers a pontoon feel and V-hull characteristics. Manitou’s trademarked triple tube design is what allows for maximum handling and comfort. The design consists of a lowered center tube with a larger diameter and lifting strakes on each side of the three tubes, that when put into a turn, perform much like a fiberglass V-hull. Your guests will experience more comfort and relaxation as they are not pushed to either side of the boat with each turn.

Standard features

Manitou’s X-PLODE offers standard features that most sport boats don’t include standard or even offer as optional features. Manitou includes features of the likes of portable cup holders, a mooring cover, a stern toy box, privacy curtain kit and a color-matched steering wheel. Here is a complete list of standard features:

  • 12 volt outlet and iPod/Mp3 holder and input jack
  • AM and FM Sony CD player w/ set of 6 speakers
  • Anodized rub rail w/ stainless steel dock guard
  • Anodized walls
  • Bimini anchor light
  • Carpet – shaw (taupe)
  • Cooler – 24 can, hard side
  • Corner castings – stainless steel
  • Crossmembers – extruded aluminum
  • Cupholders – portable
  • Cupholders – stainless steel
  • Deck – limited lifetime warranty
  • Depth gauge
  • Dinette table
  • Docking lights – LED
  • Fasteners – stainless steel
  • Fuel gauge
  • Furniture – Comfort Touch marine vinyl
  • Furniture – extended starboard chaise
  • Gas tank – built-in, 51 gallon
  • Helm chair – reclines mid-back w/ self-leveling arms
  • Helm chair – automotive-style slider
  • Helm – fiberglass w/ Soft Touch automotive-style top
  • Horn
  • Hourmeter
  • Ladder – stainless steel, stern entry
  • Lift gates
  • Light – courtesy
  • Master on/off battery switch
  • Mooring cleats – 4 regular, stainless steel
  • Mooring cover
  • Mooring eyes
  • Motor mount – aluminum w/ splash shields
  • Navigation lights – LED
    NMMA certified using ABYC standards
  • Nose cones – anti-spray integrated splash fins
  • Pontoon tube riser – full-length
  • Privacy station curtain kit
  • Seat hinges – hands-free loading
  • Ski tow bar
  • Speedometer
  • Steering wheel – color-matched
  • Swim platforms – built-in
  • Tachometer
  • Trim gauge – w/ pre-rig
  • Voltmeter
  • Waste basket
  • Windscreen

Optional features

Still swooning over the X-PLODE’s awesome dose of standard features? That’s nothing. The available options for this model exceed all expectations. Manitou offers optional features like a portable table capable of rolling within the boat; a galley with sink for entertaining and storing tableware and party favors; and a portable barbeque grill. Other options include a bow filler bench, stainless steel bimini frame and a power bimini for those who aren’t a fan of elbow grease. Here is a complete list of optional features:

  • BBQ grill
  • Battery charging system
  • Acrylic tubes
  • Bimini top – power arm
  • Bow gate filler seat bench
  • Center in-tube storage
  • Cooler – 24 can, hard side
  • Cupholders – portable
  • Dock bumper
  • Double bimini top – stainless steel
  • Dual battery smart switch
  • Enclosure – full
  • Enclosure – stern
  • Galley w/ sink
  • Helm chair – reclining high back w/ self-leveling arms and bolster
  • Hydraulic pedestal for helm chair
  • Ladder – versa-trac, 4 step
  • Lighting – blue LED for cupholders
  • Lighting – blue LED for exterior
  • Lighting – track, blue LED for interior
  • Porta potti
  • Portable table
  • Rear fiberglass decking w/ custom floor mats
  • Ski mirror
  • Sirius satellite radio
  • Ski tow storage rack
  • Vinyl floor – full deck

Deck plans

Manitou also offers a variety of floor plans for their X-PLODE model. The standard deck plan offers classic L-shaped lounge seating along the portside, making adventures at the end of the towline easy and exciting to watch. This design provides three entry gates—at the bow, stern and portside. The standard design is wheelchair accessible through the portside gate and boats plenty of room for comfort. Other features of the standard deck plan include two lounges at the bow, an optional dining table, sunpad at the stern and vast wet storage.

The PT floor plan allows for more intimate gatherings in the bow, with two comfortable bucket seats to port. It also maintains the starboard lounge and L-shaped seating, as well as a sunpad with storage.

Color packages

The 2012 X-PLODE comes with a variety of color and graphic options to allow boat designs to match everyone’s style and taste. Each model is available in a unique design and with neutral or colored walls, matching graphics and color-coordinated interior vinyl.

The standard colors are red, black, burgundy and blue. Learn more about the color packages here.

Pricing

The Manitou X-PLODE starts at $68,988 with standard features, but its final price depends on the preferred packages and features of the buyer.

Media

Check out this video of the X-PLODE in action.

COLBALT 276

Photo courtesy of boattest.com

The Cobalt 276 offers an advantage in sportboat design and performance with a distinct bow layout and desired specifications. This model comes with a host of standard features and optional items for a luxurious bowrider experience. Its lightweight material construction allows for improved efficiency without sacrificing strength.

Standard features

The 276 has a range of standard features not often seen on boats in class. It has a fiberglass liner, swim platform fully integrated into the hull, molded-in graphics and an electric riser for the motor box. More standard features include:

  • AM/FM CD w/ 6 speakers and amplifier
  • Aluminum windshield w/ stainless steel cap
  • Bow scuff plate – stainless steel
  • Carpet in the cockpit
  • Depth and water/air temp gauge pkg.
  • Engine vents – stainless steel
  • Gel coat liner in engine room
  • Head – portable
  • Mini wet bar – in cockpit
  • Outlet – 12-volt Acc
  • Porta-potti
  • Removable ski pylon
  • Swim ladder – starboard boarding
  • Swim platform
  • Wood/dash trim pkg.

Optional features

Cobalt’s 276 excludes a lot of typical standard features and instead offers them as optional features. This is because not everyone would utilize these items for a boat of this size and price range. The 276’s optional features include:

  • Bimini top
  • Cockpit cover
  • Dinette table for cockpit
  • GPS/Chart
  • Head – fixed
  • Porcelain toilet
  • Teak table – port side
  • Transom shower
  • Trim tabs
  • Windlass

Layout

This model is a big bowrider, with a standard, trailerable beam, high freeboard, massive helm seat, advanced cockpit utility and standing-access to the anchor.

Cockpit

The Cobalt’s cockpit contains wraparound seating, a wide companion seat to port that doubles as a lounger and a seatback that bends forward as the stern sunpad’s backrest. The cockpit also includes double-stitched upholstery, snap-in carpet and mini wet bar.

Helm

The helm seat of this model is huge, comfortable and well-built, able to slide fore and aft. It also has a high back and padded flip-up bolster. Its only disadvantage is its inability to be raised and lowered.

Head

Forward of the companion seat, the head includes a wide door to the compartment and comfortable sitting clearance. There is also a small sink to port, as well as a porta-potti.

Bow

The Cobalt’s bow contains an inclined backrest and U-shaped seating without the forward most part, as to create a bow with more utility. This allows passengers to sit facing forward and for easy access to the anchor while standing.

Warranty

Cobalt offers an exceptional warranty for the 276. There is a 10-year limited warranty on the hull and deck, five-year warranty on the engine, five years on the accessories and three years on the gel coat.

Pricing

The base price of the Cobalt 276, powered by a single MerCruiser 8.2L gas engine and Bravo III dual-prop drive is $120,606.

Media

Take a look at the Cobalt 276 on the water.

How To Get A Sneak Peak At Our 2012 Pontoon Models

In case you’ve been out of the country (or just haven’t been on the Manitou website in a while) we thought we’d let you know that the countdown to the new website launch and a look at our incredible new 2012 pontoon boats has moved down to a mere month. If you head on over to the home page you’ll see the countdown in our main banner with a sign up form to receive a notification of the new launch. While that should be reason enough to sign up, we thought we’d sweeten the deal a bit more. If you sign up for the notifications, you’ll receive an exclusive look at some photos and information on the new 2012 models…Excited yet?

blurry pontoon photo
Sign up on the home page for the non-blurry version.

8/24/2011 – Brochure Shoot

(The following is commentary from Partner Lanette VanWagenen)

9:00 a.m. Wed Brochure Shoot.

Manitou Morning Pontoon Boat Shot

Today the shoot is buzzing with excitement.  Our biggest Fan has arrived, with his lovely wife, Denise.  Bryan Hermann is from Clinton, Iowa, and has been a loyal Manitou boater for years.  He has arrived to check out the new models, and to be part of our photo shoot.

It was a pleasure to meet them both.  Down to earth, with a deep love of boating, Bryan has been a supporter, advisor and general all-around Manitou Man on our Facebook page since the beginning!  They arrived to a beautiful day on the lake, and we were so grateful the predicted storms did not arrive.  Watching him take off on a 2012 Legacy SHP 27 with a 300 ETEC motor was awesome.  But I think the smile on his face told it all.

The jokes were flying as Team Manitou swapped his shirt out, adjusted his makeup and hair, and asked “Did he know how to drive one of these?”.  But as expected, he sure did and looked great at it.

I think the part I liked best was when he mentioned that it was Denise who now wanted a new boat.  The look on her face was priceless.

The day rolled along, with lots accomplished, and even a factory tour for Denise and Bryan.

The shoot is nearly finished, maybe a couple boats tomorrow.  It has been a great experience, and completed with speed and efficiency.  Always a good thing.  Thanks to Bryan and Denise, for making this year so special!

8/24/11 Boat Shoot – 2012 Model Year

(More on this year’s photo shoot from Greg VanWagenen)

Day 3 started off with a grim weather report. The afternoon called for thunderstorms and hail. The rush was on in the morning to see how many boats we could finish before the day was rained out.

Bryan Hermann and his wife Denise came all the way from Iowa to see the new boats and take part in our video and brochure. They are two of our most loyal Manitou owners who just love their boat. They were able to drive 3 new boats and take a tour of the Manitou factory. We are very appreciative of their time and dedication to boating and Manitou.

As the day progressed the weather report got a little better each hour. Before we knew it 7 boats were completed and we had only two left to shoot before the photograph portion of our on water fun. Looking back on the weather forecast and worrying about our timeline makes me wonder how all the weather services could have been so wrong. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for the sunny productive day but I could have done without the stress and worry the night before.

pontoon boat photo behind the scenes

The sun is rising on our last morning for photographs and I am happy to report that this year turned out to be one of our best shoots for pictures and for timing.

8/23/11 Boat Shoot – 2012 Model Year

(More from the 2012 shoot from Greg VanWagenen)

Day started off with intense sparkle on the water. As expected the day has started more quickly. We all know our jobs and are off running.  A bit of a stiff breeze today, that will add to our challenge.  Shooting boats on the water has it’s own unique challenges.

x-plode pontoon on the water

1) Is it a still shot? If so, it can be easy, as long as the wind is not too fierce, which can blow either the shoot boat or the subject around. Holding still and looking natural can be arduous, but our photographer knows how to keep it relatively painless.
2) A moving shot has it’s own peculiarities.   All things have to be lined up………sun, ( no clouds, please) subjects, models  all poised. Hair not too blowing around. With our VToon performance boats, keeping everything in place can be tough! And we have had to upgrade our Shoot boat over the years, boosting it’s HP to make it able to keep pace with the model boat.  Camera equipment for these shots is paramount. SPEED SPEED SPEED.
3) Action shots with skiers, tubes or wakeboarders makes #2 just more intense!

8/22/11 Duck Lake Boat Shoot 2012 Model Year

(This is a stream of thought update from Greg VanWagenen, Director of Marketing and Sales Communication, from the recent 2012 model shoots)

Mist over the corn fields as we approached the lake.  Always surprising to have this beautiful lake appear, suddenly amongst the verdant farmland.  Beautiful morning, bodes well for a great day of shooting.

Sky over the lake is baby blue with trailing cloudy wisps, not unlike the wake behind   a boat.  A group of swans grace the water, their images reflecting in the clam, mirror-like surface.  Maybe the lake should be renamed Swan Lake?

fisheye shot of boat on lake

It’s always a slow start on the first day of the shoot.  We are all rusty; a few hours later and Team Manitou is a fine tuned machine.  The questions come easily, and better yet, the answers flow with creativity.

  • Which boat next?
  • What is our motivation? Atmosphere?
  • Who are the best models for this shot?
  • What shall they wear?
  • Props?  Too many, over kill.  Just the right amount set the scene.
  • Load ‘em up…jump on the shoot boat…fire up the walkie talkies and get another shot in the can.

Of course we shoot a lot of young people for the brochure.  Lots of obvious reasons, but you can add free time, youthfulness, and lots of choices in swimwear to that list.  Interesting to watch them as they patiently wait for the model time.   One with a book, several with magazines, but ALL with cell phones.  Cell phones that, even in this fairly remote spot, on a glorious day at the lake, are GLUED to their hands, ears and eyes.  Checking texts. Playing games.  My how things have changed.  I tried to imagine what they would be doing if there were no cell phones.  What did kids do at the beach before the advent of this hand vice?   Probably there were more conversations and interactions. Possibly more physical activity, tossing a football or Frisbee.

Dealer Meeting Wrap-up

manitou pontoon boat interior 2012

The 2012 Manitou Dealer Meeting has just wrapped up. Attendance increased substantially this year, with current dealer and perspective dealer attendance highest in Manitou history. So far, we have successfully signed eight new dealerships. Manitou’s reputation of producing quality and performance boats is becoming the talk of the pontoon industry. Dealers around the country are beginning to grow weary of larger builders run by investment groups who seem to focus only on numbers and quarterly reports. The friendly, intimate size and hands-on approach of Manitou is a rarity in today’s market.

Our new changes were accepted with huge praise by dealers. The new raised helm and LX walls were the talk of the meeting. The look and style of the Manitou product has evolved continually over the last three years, and the hard work is paying off. The 26-year lineage of quality performance pontoons has successfully blended with some of the latest and most attractive pontoons on the market.

manitou sneak peak exterior of pontoon boat

Dealers who attended the meeting were able to test drive four units in the water and look at 15 other boats in the factory. The biggest surprise for some of the dealers was the superior handling of our 20 Oasis VP with a 115 outboard. Customers cannot find a better value on the water for mid-level performance and style.

Receiving patent protection and marketing V-Toon Technology for seven years means huge dividends, apparent in our dealer meeting orders. For the month of September alone, Manitou will build 87 percent V-Toon hulls and 13 percent twin tube models, eclipsing our 2011 hull average of only 56 percent V-Toon builds. Although we do not expect to build 87 percent V-Toon hulls beyond September, we are happy to see such a strong demand for our performance pontoons.