Seat Bench May Detach Unexpectedly

RE: Seat Bench May Detach Unexpectedly

This notice is in accordance with the requirements of applicable laws and regulations. BRP and its Manitou brand (“BRP”) are conducting a safety recall on specific Manitou® boat models RFX / RFXW built during the date range starting June 2017 (model year 2018) through November 2019 (model year 2020).

What is the potential problem?
Seat bench brackets may fail during a cornering maneuver which could result in the detachment of seating from the hull of the boat. In some circumstances, this situation may cause serious injury or even death.

What should I do?
Call an authorized Manitou® dealer and make an appointment to have your seat benches serviced. The solution is the inspection of current seat bench brackets, and the addition of brackets and hardware to the seat benches. The service will be performed at no charge to you. For your safety, please refrain from high-speed cornering maneuvers above 30mph (48km/h) until an authorized Manitou® dealer has completed the necessary service.

If you have questions, need assistance, or to find the nearest authorized Manitou® dealer:

Your safety and continued satisfaction with our products are a priority for us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and remain committed to facilitate the process as much as we can.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

BRP Marine Group | After Sales Support

Banquette pouvant se détacher subitement

Objet : Manitou – Banquette pouvant se détacher subitement

Cet avis vous est envoyé conformément aux exigences des lois et règlements en vigueur. BRP et sa marque Manitou (« BRP ») mènent un rappel de sécurité de certains modèles RFX / RFXW de bateaux Manitou® spécifiques produits entre juin 2017 (année modèle 2018) et novembre 2019 (année modèle 2020).

D’après nos dossiers, vous possédez un bateau Manitou® équipé des supports de banquette visés par ce rappel. Les banquettes de votre bateau requièrent une procédure de réparation importante.

Quel est le problème potentiel?
Une défaillance des supports de banquette pourrait survenir lors d’un virage et ainsi entraîner les sièges à se détacher de la coque du bateau. Dans certaines circonstances, cette situation pourrait entraîner des blessures graves ou même la mort.

Que devriez-vous faire?
Appelez un concessionnaire Manitou® autorisé et prenez rendez-vous pour faire réparer les banquettes de votre bateau. La solution consiste à inspecter les supports de banquette actuels et à ajouter des supports ainsi que du matériel de fixation aux banquettes. Cette réparation sera effectuée gratuitement. Pour votre sécurité, veuillez éviter les virages à grande vitesse (audessus de 30 mi/h (48 km/h)) jusqu’à ce qu’un concessionnaire Manitou® autorisé ait complété la réparation nécessaire.

Si vous avez des questions ou avez besoin d’aide, ou pour trouver le concessionnaire Manitou® autorisé le plus près:

Votre sécurité ainsi que votre satisfaction continue envers nos produits sont pour nous une priorité. Nous regrettons tout inconvénient que cette situation pourrait vous causer et nous demeurons engagés à faciliter le processus autant que nous le pouvons.

Merci de prêter une attention immédiate à ce dossier.

Le service à la clientèle du Groupe marin de BRP

Tritoon vs. Pontoon – What’s the Difference?

Pontoon boats have evolved over time to become a serious choice for people in the market for a powerboat. The various styles, models, and constructions available today offer versatility to match the needs of any recreational boater.

Besides the size of the boat itself, one of the biggest differentiators for today’s pontoon boats is the number of tubes making up the boat’s hull. So, are you wanting a pontoon or a tritoon?

Manitou Aurora Pontoon and Manitou X-Plode Tritoon
Featured: Manitou Aurora pontoon and Manitou X-Plode tritoon

What is a tritoon?

A tritoon is a triple-hull pontoon boat. Instead of having two large aluminum tubes beneath the deck, a tritoon has a third tube in the center that distributes weight even more evenly over the water. This added stability and structure also means the boat can handle more horsepower than a typical double-hull pontoon boat. [Read about our patented V-Toon technology.]

What Are You Looking For in a Pontoon Boat?

If you’re trying to decide between purchasing a pontoon or a tritoon, how and where you plan to use the boat will help you decide which will be a better fit.

Desired Activity

Many consumers will want a multipurpose boat that can match a variety of lifestyles.

If all you want from a boat is a relaxing cruise on a calm lake, a twin-tube might be all you need. If you’re looking for a stylish and stable fishing boat, both pontoons and tritoons can be optimally outfitted for anglers of all ages and levels.

If you want to reach more thrilling max speeds, or your time on the water will include pulling skiers or tubers, the choice is pretty clear. A two-tube pontoon can handle some horsepower, but adding a third tube allows for more engine, higher speeds, and more exciting options for activity on the water.

Budget vs. Desired Experience

Anyone who has experienced the difference will tell you that cost of a pontoon boat is really the only reason to go with two tubes over three. Three-tube models will come with a greater price tag, but along with that comes more stability, a smoother ride, higher cruising speeds when you want them – all underscoring a more delightful experience for everyone on board.

If you are looking for a boat to use primarily on very small bodies of water, you may not see the benefit of owning a tritoon pontoon boat. However, in any situation where you might contend with wind, rough water, and wakes, consider the value of the tritoon’s enhanced ride.

Think of it this way: The third tube gives you better control on the water. Instead of the water being in charge with a twin-tube pontoon, the captain is in charge on a tritoon.

For the boater who does a little of everything, a performance tritoon is well worth the investment.

Tritoon Boats For Sale

If you are in the market for a new pontoon boat and are considering an upgrade to the comfort and performance of a tritoon, check out our extensive lineup.

Explore all of the pontoon and tritoon models to compare the differences for yourself, or see what you can create by building your own Manitou

Find a Manitou dealer nearest you for some of the best deals of the season.

Manitou Sport Arch can fall unexpectedly

November 19th, 2019

RE: Manitou Sport Arch can fall unexpectedly

Dear Manitou Customer,
This notice is sent to you in accordance with the requirements of applicable laws and regulations. BRP and its Manitou brand (“BRP”) are conducting a safety recall on specific Manitou boats built with an optional “Sport Arch” prior to June 30, 2018. Our records show that you own an affected boat.

What is the potential problem?
The actuators for the Sport Arch may break and allow the Sport Arch to fall unexpectedly. In some circumstances, this situation may cause serious injury or even death.

Which models are involved?
Model years 2016, 2017 and 2018 Manitou Legacy, X-plode, XT and LT boats equipped with a Sport Arch.

What will BRP do?
BRP will repair your boat free of charge. The corrective action is the replacement of both actuators and the eye bolts. This service should take less than two hours.

What should you do?
Contact your authorized Manitou dealer and schedule an appointment to have the safety recall performed on your boat.

You may continue to use you boat but you need to discontinue the use of the Sport Arch actuators and keep the 2 locking knobs in place.

What to do if you feel this notice is an error?
This notice was mailed to you according to the most current information we have available. If any information in this notice is incorrect, please contact BRP at your earliest convenience.

If you have questions, need assistance, or to find your nearest authorized Manitou dealer:
• 1-800-999-9788 Eastern time Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
• or go to

Your safety and continued satisfaction with our products are a priority for us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and remain committed to facilitate the process as much as we can.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.


BRP Marine Group After Sales Support

Arche pour sports nautiques Manitou pouvant tomber subitement

Le 19 novembre 2019

Objet : Arche pour sports nautiques Manitou pouvant tomber subitement

Cher client de Manitou,

Cet avis vous est envoyé conformément aux exigences des lois et règlements en vigueur. BRP et sa marque Manitou («BRP») mènent un rappel de sécurité de certains bateaux Manitou spécifiques produits avec une «Arche pour sports nautiques» optionnelle avant le 30 juin 2018.

D’après nos dossiers, vous possédez un bateau touché.

Quel est le problème potentiel?

Les actionneurs de l’Arche pour sports nautiques pourraient se briser et ainsi permettre à l’Arche pour sports nautiques de tomber subitement. Dans certaines circonstances, cette situation pourrait entraîner des blessures graves ou même la mort.

Quels sont les modèles concernés?

Les bateaux Manitou Legacy, X-plode, XT et LT des années modèles 2016, 2017 et 2018 équipés d’une Arche pour sports nautiques.

Que fera BRP?

BRP entend réparer votre bateaugratuitement. La mesure corrective consiste à remplacer les deux actionneurs et les boulons à œil. Cette réparation devrait prendre moins de deux heures.

Que devriez-vous faire?

Communiquez avec votre concessionnaire Manitou afin de prendre rendez-vous pour faire effectuer la procédure du rappel de sécurité sur votre bateau.

Vous pouvez continuer d’utiliser votre bateau, mais vous devez cesser d’utiliser les actionneurs de l’Arche pour sports nautiques et laisser les 2 boutons de verrouillage en place.  

Que faire si vous croyez que cet avis est une erreur?

Cet avis vous a été envoyé selon l’information la plus à jour dont nous disposons. Si certains renseignements contenus dans cet avis sont inexacts, veuillez communiquer avec BRP le plus tôt possible.

Si vous avez des questions ou avez besoin d’aide, ou pour trouver le concessionnaire autorisé Manitou le plus près :

Votre sécurité ainsi que votre satisfaction continue envers nos produits sont pour nous une priorité. Nous regrettons tout inconvénient que cette situation pourrait vous causer et nous demeurons engagés à faciliter le processus autant que nous le pouvons.

Merci de prêter une attention immédiate à ce dossier.


Le service à la clientèle du Groupe marin de BRP

Manitou Receives 18th Consecutive NMMA CSI Award for Customer Satisfaction

Lansing, Michigan – Manitou Pontoon Boats is delighted to announce that they are once again a recipient of a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for exceptional customer service. The 2018 Marine Industry CSI Award in the Pontoon Boats category marks the 18th consecutive CSI awarded to Manitou Pontoon Boats. This makes it every year since the awards inception.

The NMMA, the nation’s leading boating trade association, represents a wide range of businesses in the marine industry. They recognize manufacturers that actively monitor and measure customer satisfaction levels and then take actions to further improve customer satisfaction. The CSI Awards only recognize boating manufacturers that maintain an independently measured standard of excellence of 90 percent or higher in customer satisfaction.

“Receiving the 18th consecutive award is an honor. We have built pontoon boats for over 30 years now; we would not be able to say that without happy customers and the best employees in the industry. The CSI program allows us to monitor our product satisfaction in near real time which is Critical to improvement” said Cory Highfield, General Manager of Manitou Pontoon Boats.

Manitou understands that connecting with its customers to identify their personal needs on their pontoon boats is essential to providing them with the best customer service experience possible. We use this information to more accurately grade a customer’s opinion of their new pontoon boat, and to improve customer satisfaction moving forward.

How to Launch a Pontoon Boat the Right Way

Launching a boat is something every boater needs to do in order to enjoy a day on the water. As such, everyone owes it to everyone else to know how to do it right and do it quickly. Every second spent dawdling at the launching ramp not only cuts into your day, but into everyone else’s day as well.

Once you get to the launching ramp, it’s too late to cram for your real-life test. By preparing in advance and knowing what to do when, you’ll be able to efficiently launch your boat free of angry horns and shouts from other boaters.

Before you Reach the Launching Ramp

Prepare your boat before you approach the ramp. This ensures when it’s your turn, you’re ready to go without any delay.

  • Load your safety equipment, mooring lines, and other gear into the boat.
  • Unhook and stow the transom straps.
  • Disconnect any incandescent light-bulb plugs.
  • Gather your mooring line and fenders, making them ready to use.
  • Make sure your drain plug, if your boat has one, is in place.

While On the Launching Ramp

You’ve waited your turn, and ideally everyone in front of you followed all the same steps you’re following, continuing a friendly and efficient day of boat launching. Now, prepare yourself to get your boat into the water.

  • Get a spotter. Move all kids and onlookers from the ramp area and put a spotter out there. Launching is easier with one person driving and another directing.
  • Situate your vehicle and boat. Line up your vehicle and trailer as straight as possible, about the length of a trailer away from the water.
  • Back into the water. Slowly back your trailer down the ramp, only making small, fine-tuned steers. If you need to straighten the trailer, driving forward a bit can be a big help. When the stern begins floating in the water, stop.
  • Secure your vehicle. Set the parking brake. If you have an excessively large boat, chock the wheels on your vehicle.

Getting In the Water

At this point, you’re ready to get your boat off the trailer and into the water.

  • Unhook the boat. Disconnect the winch strap and safety chain from the trailer. Next, back the boat away from the trailer. When the water is just above the wheels of the trailer, you’re ready for the next step.
  • Launch the boat. Start your boat’s engine. Important: make sure the engine is in the water before you crank it. Shift into reverse and gently back up. All Manitou boats have to be powered with the engine into the water off the trailer—you can’t float it back by hand. If, after applying gentle power, your boat doesn’t move, you probably need to back up farther.

Securing the Boat

Now that you’re in the water, tie your mooring lines to the dock. Make sure all your passengers and supplies are nearby and ready to board. By getting everyone and everything on the boat quickly, you show courtesy to other boaters and help keep the launching ramp free of holdups.

While your other passengers are boarding, park your vehicle nearby and make your way back to the boat without delay. Join your family and friends on the boat, untie the mooring lines and off you go.

Interested in learning more about Manitou’s high performance pontoon boats? Request a 2019 brochure or connect with a dealer near you.


Fast Pontoon Boats: Manitou Performance Tests

The latest Evinrude performance reports are out, and we’re excited to share the capabilities of our Manitou pontoon boats. The performance reports test all kinds of watercraft in various conditions and determine the best fuel efficiency, acceleration, and top speed.

In our entire line, Manitou pontoon boats have maximum horsepower ranging from 60 HP (18 Aurora LE Twin Tube) to 800 HP (27 Legacy LT SHP 575 Dual Engine). Our boats average about 165 HP, providing optimum cruising speeds of 25-40 MPH based on the specific length and horsepower combination.

How Fast Will My Pontoon Boat Go?

If you have one of the five models we’re discussing here, we can tell you exactly how fast your pontoon boat will go in conditions similar to those from the test run. In general, there are several factors that affect the maximum velocity of high-speed pontoon boats.

Generally, the more horsepower you have, the faster you can go; however, the size of the boat and its load also affects speed. Larger, heavier boats are slower than smaller boats, although you can make up for the difference by adding more powerful engines.

For more details on what impacts the speed of your boat, take a look at How Fast is a Pontoon Boat?

Sports Handling Package for a Faster, Smoother Ride

Our Sport Handling Package (SHP) is designed to give you maximum maneuverability of your pontoon boat, even at high speeds and in rough waters. With a maximum horsepower of 175-800 HP, positive-angle lifting strakes, and a Barracuda nosecone design, SHP pontoons, in general, can go faster and move smoother than other pontoon boats.

25 X-Plode RFXW SHP Dual Engine

The Latest Evinrude Performance Reports

2018 Manitou 27 X-Plode RFXW

With twin Evinrude G2 300 HP engines

This 600 HP pontoon boat from our line of luxury pontoons was tested last fall in medium-chop water conditions and a wind speed of 10 MPH, registering a top speed of 65 MPH, accelerating at 3.5 seconds to plane. Its best fuel efficiency came in at 2.28 miles per gallon, which means, at 90% fuel capacity, the Manitou 27 X-Plode can travel 185 miles at 29 MPH.

Read the full bulletin here. 

2018 Manitou 25 X-Plode RFXW SHP Dual

With twin Evinrude G2 300 HP engines

Also tested in 10 MPH winds and medium-chop conditions, this 600 HP pontoon boat reached a top speed of 65 MPH, requiring 3.6 seconds to plane. The 25 X-Plode RFXW SHP Dual is another in our line of luxury pontoons and recorded its best fuel efficiency of 2.38 miles per gallon, meaning it can cruise at 31.5 MPH for 193 miles at 90% fuel capacity.

Read the full bulletin here.

2018 Manitou 23 Encore SHP

With twin Evinrude 150 H.O. engines

A 300 HP pontoon boat, the Manitou 23 Encore SHP was tested in medium chop and in 10 MPH winds. One of the most desirable mid-class luxury pontoons available, the Encore showed the ability to cruise for 230 miles at 30.5 MPH at 90% fuel capacity, and its best fuel efficiency came in at 2.84 miles per gallon. Accelerating at 3.5 seconds to plane, the Encore reached a top speed of 52 miles per hour.  

Read the full bulletin here. 

2018 Manitou 25 Legacy RFXW

With twin Evinrude E-TEC 200 H.O. engines

One of the quickest accelerations among Manitou models in the performance reports, the Manitou Legacy 25 RFXW, from our line of luxury pontoons, needed 3.3 seconds to plane. Its top speed was 57 miles per hour, and it recorded an optimal fuel efficiency of 2.57 miles per gallon. At 90% fuel capacity, the 25 Legacy can cruise at 30.5 miles per hour for 208 miles.

Read the full bulletin here. 

2019 Manitou 25 Legacy LT SHP Dual

With twin Evinrude E-TEC 300 HP engines

This 2019 luxury fiberglass pontoon model, tested in August in 10 MPH winds and medium chop, reached a top speed of 63.2 miles per hour and cruised at a fuel efficiency of 2.37 miles per gallon (capable of 192 miles at 30.8 MPH with 90% fuel capacity). The 25 Legacy LT accelerated in 3.8 seconds to plane.

Read the full bulletin here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Manitou’s high performance pontoon boats, request a 2019 brochure or connect with a dealer near you.


Can You Take a Pontoon Boat on the Great Lakes?

Based in Lansing, Michigan, we’re lucky to be located near the Great Lakes. Whether you share that good fortune or are considering taking a trip with your boat to the area, you probably want to know if pontoon boats are suited for large bodies of water. In short: Yes.

Manitou 25 Legacy LT Dual Engine Pontoon Boat

You can take your pontoon boat into any of the Great Lakes, but you’ll have to consider a few additional precautions as compared to when you spend your time on inland lakes.

Because of the immense size of the Great Lakes, they vary a lot from inland lakes. On an inland lake, for instance, you’re always close enough to shore in case you need to retreat from weather. Waves can get a lot bigger on any of the Great Lakes, and the water is almost always rougher than an inland lake, even in mild conditions.

Since the Great Lakes are all freshwater, you won’t need to worry about the extra harshness of saltwater that you need to consider if taking your pontoon boat into the ocean. Still, a lot of the same general safety guidelines apply:

  • Check the weather before venturing out. If conditions are going to be rough, or the waves are going to be too high, you’ll want to stay closer to the shore than normal—if you go out at all.
  • Stay close enough to the shore to be able to get back safely in case the weather changes. Generally, on calm days, you’ll be safe within a couple miles of shore. On less calm days, plan accordingly.
  • Make sure you have all the proper safety equipment on board, which you should be doing for all trips anyway.


What is a Safe Pontoon Boat Size for Great Lakes Boating?

Our tritoon boats are more stable than a conventional two-tube pontoon boats, and that advantage is amplified in the rougher conditions of larger bodies of water. You don’t need a tritoon boat on the Great Lakes, though. As long as you have large tubes (at least 25 inches in diameter), you should be okay to go into the Great Lakes.

Also consider the thickness of the sheet aluminum used to make tubes, as this can help with durability in rough conditions. Our tubes, at a minimum of .090 inches thick, are some of the most durable in the industry.

Finally, the more horsepower you have, the better. In case you need to cut through waves or return to shore quickly, having adequate power while on the Great Lakes is important. We recommend at least 150 HP when you’re out in open water.

Activities on the Great Lakes

Depending on the day, you can do pretty much anything on any of the Great Lakes that you can also do on an inland lake, but here are some of the best things to do on each of the five Great Lakes:

Lake Michigan at Sunrise
Lake Michigan at Sunrise

  • Lake Michigan, especially on the Michigan side, possesses some of the best beaches in the country. It’s perfect for beaching your pontoon and spending a day enjoying the water.
  • Lake Huron has a lot of boat traffic and also gives you easy access to many campgrounds along the east coast of Michigan. Just north of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Mackinac Island sits in Lake Huron.
  • Lake Ontario has perhaps the most recreational boat traffic of any of the Great Lakes and is also one of the best for fishing. You may see several of our angler boat models out there with you.
  • Lake Erie is the warmest, making it ideal for skiing, tubing, or swimming as you cruise in your pontoon boat.
  • Lake Superior is one of the best for sightseeing, but as the coldest and largest, is also the lake you need to be especially prepared for if you plan to pontoon on it.

Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior
Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior

A pontoon boat is one of the most versatile crafts on the water, and being able to take it onto the five lakes that make up the largest body of freshwater on earth is just one of the many perks. As long as you’re prepared and cautious, you might find yourself taking the pontoon boat out into the Great Lakes more and more often.

Things You Need on Board a Pontoon Boat

Before every trip out on the water, you should check (and double-check) to make sure you have the absolute necessities on board. These are the things you need on a pontoon boat that are not only required by law, but are also common sense and generally related to safety.

Additionally, there are plenty of nice-to-haves you will want on every trip.

When we say every trip, we mean every trip—especially when it comes to the needs. Whether you’re planning to spend 15 minutes or 10 hours on the lake, you absolutely must make sure you take all proper safety precautions.

For a quick guide on pontoon-boat safety, take a look at our Pontoon Boat Safety Checklist.

Pontoon Boat Necessities

Items you need to have on your pontoon boat are often things you hope never to need to use, but can keep you safe in case of an emergency. Some of these things, such as life jackets and flares, are required by law, and you definitely don’t want to (1) be caught without them when you need them or (2) face the fines and penalties if you’re caught without them by the Coast Guard.

The necessities:

  • Boat registration and proof of insurance.
  • Food and water. Pack more than enough non-perishable snacks and water for the trip.
  • Life jackets for every passenger. Age-appropriate personal flotation devices (PFDs) need to be in good condition and readily available.
  • Charged cell phone, in case you need to contact help.
  • Signal devices such as flares and distress flags.
  • Portable battery charger and flashlight.
  • First-aid kit in a waterproof case stocked with gauze, antiseptic cream, bandages, scissors, latex or vinyl gloves, cotton balls, pain relievers, and tweezers. Anti-nausea tablets are a good idea, too.


Things That Are Nice to Have on Board

There are plenty of items that are not necessarily essentials, but definitely nice to have on your boat, whether for safety or convenience or to be kind to the environment. These include:

  • Trash bag to prevent littering the water.
  • Extra rope.
  • Paddles, in case of engine failure.
  • Change of clothes in a waterproof bag.
  • Extra jackets or warm shirts.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Pocket knife or tool kit.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Marine radio.


What Else?

Primarily, check your local laws and make sure you have everything you need. This not only ensures you’re not at risk for fines or penalties, but because the laws only require things that are absolutely essential in an emergency, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing you have what you need.

After you make sure you’re compliant, add whatever you can to make your day on the water more enjoyable. Obviously, this includes fishing poles if you’re fishing, tubes if you’re tubing, food if you’re picnicking, etc.

Because pontoon boats are so versatile, you can do just about anything you want on the water. For the best experience, make sure you and your passengers have everything you need under any circumstances.

Do Pontoon Boats Hold Their Value?

With any big purchase, buyers want to know they’re making a good investment. A “good investment” can mean a lot of things, though. To some, a good investment is money well spent, which could be as simple as paying $10 to see a great movie. To others, a good investment requires an appreciation of assets. Buy low, sell high.

When it comes to vehicles, both on land and on water, it’s generally accepted that the monetary value will depreciate shortly after purchase, and thus, a good investment requires getting a quality, reliable vehicle you can enjoy for years.

That perfectly describes a pontoon boat investment. You probably won’t be able to sell one for more than you paid for it, but you will get your money’s worth.

Manitou Aurora Angler VP Pontoon Boat

How Much Do Pontoon Boats Cost?

New pontoon boats can cost as little as around $15,000, and as much as $200,000+, depending on your accessories, amenities, engine, and anything else you may want to add. For a more in-depth breakdown of what you can expect to pay, read our post: All About Pontoon Boats.

How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Depreciate in Value?

It’s pretty well known that cars depreciate rapidly. As soon as you drive them off the lot, they’ve lost some monetary value. The same is true of pontoon boats; the value of your boat will depreciate a fair amount in the first couple years of ownership. After that, the value will depreciate by much less, eventually holding stable after about 12 years.

More good news: You’re not buying a pontoon boat for the same reason you’re buying a car. You’re buying it for the activities, memories, and fun, which can’t be assigned a fixed dollar value—you determine how much those things are worth.

What Contributes to a Pontoon Boat’s Resale Value?

Again, a pontoon boat’s trade-in value is similar to that of a car. The brand, age, amount of use, condition, and any number of add-ons or other amenities can contribute to the resale value.

In general, most pontoon boats depreciate at a similar rate, though, so a boat that costs $40,000 new will sell for a higher price used than a boat that originally cost $20,000.

For specifics, you can explore the boat pricing resources on NADAguides and other similar websites. Feel free to contact your local Manitou pontoon boat dealer, who can also help determine your pontoon’s resale value.

Should I Buy a Used Pontoon Boat?

When in the market for a pontoon boat, it’s definitely worth contemplating buying used, but you’ll need to ensure you’re getting a quality vehicle. Take a look at our Buying a Used Pontoon Checklist for some of the crucial areas you’ll want to consider.

Return on Investment

If you’re in it strictly to make money, buying a pontoon boat doesn’t make sense. You won’t be able to sell it for more than you buy it, but that’s pretty well understood by anyone who buys a vehicle of any kind.

Instead, the return of investment comes in all the fun, hours of entertainment, and memories you’ll enjoy with your boat. While your boat won’t appreciate in value, you can unquestionably get your value out of it, thereby giving you what many would consider the best kind of return on investment.


How Shallow Can a Pontoon Boat Go?

No one operating a watercraft of any size wants to get stuck, whether the vessel is as small as a personal watercraft or as massive as a cruise ship. Getting stuck can not only be harmful to your boat, but depending on the circumstances, can be extremely dangerous as well.

Thus, it’s important never to drive your pontoon boat into water that’s too shallow. Still, there are reasons you might want to get into shallow water, so it’s best to do so safely.

In general, you can probably take your pontoon boat into water as shallow as two feet of real depth, but this, of course, depends on several factors.

What is Real Depth?

Real depth is exactly as it sounds: The actual depth from the surface of the water to the floor of the lake or pond. Because of the way light refracts at the surface of the water, you can’t judge real depth simply by looking down (the perceived depth is called “apparent depth,”), so you must ensure a true measurement of real depth.

If your boat is equipped with a depth gauge, the water depth is likely read from the rear of the boat, so take that into account as you start approaching shallower depths.

Also, you should take special care to make sure the depth is consistent throughout the path you want to travel. If debris, seaweed, sandbars, or anything else get in the way, you lose your depth and risk getting stuck.

If you are unfamiliar with the waters, discuss potential hazards with other boaters who are accustomed to the area. Then proceed with caution.

Manitou Oasis Angler pontoon in shallow water

Reasons to Take Your Pontoon Boat into Shallow Water

For some, maybe shallow water will never be a concern, as most of the activities you enjoy take place in deep water. Still, it’s likely you’ll be docking your boat in shallow water, or using a boat launch to get in and out. So, it’s important to know your depths wherever you go.

For those who enjoy fishing, you may find it advantageous to get into shallow water for your catch of the day. Likewise, if you want to spend some time on the beach during your voyage, it makes sense to anchor close to the beach, where the water is shallower, than to anchor way out and try to swim a ridiculous distance in (and then back out). 

Precautions to Take in Shallow Water

When we mentioned two feet of real depth earlier, we were speaking in generalities, as we noted. Three feet is better, and four is better still, but as you get to know your boat and your habits, you’ll be able to find your confidence level.

Consider How Much Weight You Have on Board.

If two people had an easy time gliding through two feet of water, that doesn’t mean a full boat of 10 or 11 people will have the same carefree ride. Always take into account the weight of the people and objects on your boat before entering shallow water.

Consider Your Hull’s Draft.

With a hull that sits deeper in the water, you will need more leeway with the real depth of the water. Note that the hulls of triple hull pontoons in particular often sit lower; for example, the center tube on our V-Toon models is 5.25” lower than the outer tubes.

When you move into shallow water, make sure to trim up the engine, but don’t go all the way up (if you get stuck with the engine tilted as far as possible, you’re stuck for good). Try trimming up far enough that the propeller gulps for air, and then lower it a minimum of two inches. Check that the outboard is still spitting water out of the valve to ensure the engine does not overheat.

Finally, make sure your path doesn’t have any obstructions. Seeing underwater is difficult even when crystal clear, so be especially careful in darker waters.

Read Your Pontoon Boat Owner’s Manual.

The manufacturers specifically design their boats for your pleasure, and they want you to enjoy them as much as possible. Heed their recommendations, and if you have any questions at all about the capabilities of your pontoon boat or your future boat, feel free to contact your local dealer as well.