The Types of Pontoons

At Manitou Pontoon Boats, we specialize in making great aluminum pontoons, but we realize that there are many other types of pontoons on the market, and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. We’d like to summarize those out for you so you can arm yourself with information before shopping for your next pontoon boat. Continue reading “The Types of Pontoons”

The Pontoon Song

Whether or not you’re a big time country fan, it’s hard to think of a song other than Pontoon by Little Big Town that more accurately describes a perfect summer – spending a lazy day out on the water on a pontoon boat without a care in the world. If you’re also a fan of Pontoon by Little Big Town, we’ve put together a few resources for anyone interested in learning how to play the song, sing it, or just listen to it. Continue reading “The Pontoon Song”

ALL ABOUT PONTOON BOATS: FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU BUY

This blog post is courtesy of SavvyBoater, which carries a wide selection of top-quality pontoon boat covers, bimini tops,  boat seats and fenders.

A pontoon boat is great for fishing, family outings and parties. No longer looking as if they were built for your grandpa and his fishing buddies, today’s pontoon boats offer smooth rides and sleek finishes. The purchase of such a boat can be a significant recreational investment, but make sure you know all about pontoon boats before you buy. Use the following to help you make an informed decision:
Continue reading “ALL ABOUT PONTOON BOATS: FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU BUY”

Pontoon Boat Cleaning Tips

The following post actually comes from our friend Bryan Hermann from www.ezfender.com, who shared this tale of tube polishing and protecting on the Pontoon Forums website, and it was so detailed we figured we’d share. Thanks Bryan!

For those who are interested in polishing and protecting the tubes on your pontoon boat, here is a list of materials and step by step process to make your tubes shine like a mirror.

Start out getting the right tools and supplies.

I bought 2 quarts of Sharkhide Protectant http://www.sharkhide.com/index.html, 2 quarts of Cleaner and 1 can of polish. This ended up being more than enough to do 2 boats, actually.

I used my 8″ 3000 to 8000 RPM Sander/ Polisher and 5 buffing pads

-1 gallon of Lacquer thinner

-About 2 dozen old cotton rags and 1 roll of paper towels

-600 and 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to sand out scratches

-1 brass chisel and a small dead blow hammer to knock of welding slag.

-Masking tape, I used 2″ wide

-Plastic to cover the trailer

pontoon cleaning picture one

1. Start out by removing any prior protectant by washing the pontoons off with lacquer thinner poured into a rag. If any protectant is on, you’ll see it dissolve. Get it all off, or the Cleaner won’t attack the aluminum, which is what you want it to do.

2. Next, when drying the pontoon off you can feel any slag which was splattered on the pontoon during the welding process. Remove this with a soft tap on a chisel with a hammer I could even just use my hand in most cases. Wet sand the rest off and any scratches you want to remove. In my case, it was the bad scratches down the center of my pontoons from the previous owners docking technique. I don’t think he had one!

3. Dry again. Then tape of all areas you are not going to treat and cover the trailer with plastic sheeting to protect them from the acid and polishing compound.

4. Get ready to clean…Dilute the Sharkhide Cleaner to strength needed. I diluted mine 3 parts water to 1 part cleaner in a garden sprayer or spray bottle. Spray on the cleaner, evenly, let it foam up. After about 3 minutes of working time, I rinsed it off with water. This left behind a nice white finish that will let the polishing compound do its job more easily.

5. Polish time! Working in about a 3 foot section, I started at the top of the pontoon and worked my way down in an S shape to the masking tape line at the trailer bunk. Clean excess compound from the pad when it builds up and starts to bite hard. Add more compound to the pontoon when it seems like it does not bite any more. You want it to bite into the aluminum to work properly. Clean the pontoon as you finish up each section with lacquer thinner. Go to the next section and repeat all the steps until you are done with that pontoon.

6. After the polishing is complete, wash the pontoon off with lacquer thinner to remove all residue left from the compound. Make sure you remove it all. Use white rags or paper towels and clean until you get no black residue on the rags. If the tube is not completely free of residue the Sharkhide will not stick to the aluminum.

7. After you are done, it is time to apply the Protectant. It does not take much! Use a clean rag and fold it to the size of your palm. Pour a little Protectant to the front of the rag and wipe it on the tube in 6 foot sections. I found that working in a right to left motion from top to bottom worked the best for me. I did miss a few small spots, but after the first coat cures, in about 24 to 36 hours, you apply the 2nd coat; you can catch all the spots, missed. Don’t try to apply to missed spots when it is still wet, it will dissolve the first application and look splotchy. After the second coat is on, you can either stop there or apply a third.

pool cleaning photo 2

 If anyone has any questions or comments, contact me at sales@ezfender.com

 

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.