PDB Shootout: Manitou

27 Legacy SLW

Published in the January 2020 Issue December 2021 Boat Test Monday, Feature

Quick Glance

With a 300hp engine on the back you couldn’t really refer to this Legacy as a sleeper, plus the legendary performance hull is well-known in this industry anyway. However, the conservative colors and simplified helm tend to overshadow the fact that this Manitou is a serious performing machine.


Those who prefer touchscreens over analog gauges are in luck because Manitou has gone all-digital in 2020 with all of its models, not just the Legacy line. The result is a much-cleaner and simplistic – yet elegant-looking – dash. A built-in Garmin 7-inch touchscreen provides all the information you need on the right side and on the other side of the steering wheel are controls to the JL Audio stereo. The helm is protected by a newly designed billet windshield, and for a symmetrical look there is a nearly identical setup directly across for the first mate, right down to the matching helm chair and a stereo remote. Both consoles include enclosed charging stations with USB and 12-volt ports that are hidden nicely inside.   

In the bow are two chaise lounges with arm rests that ratchet up to help you really get comfortable with plenty of room to stretch out. Well hidden, a pop-up changing room is built into the seat and back of the port lounge and is easily accessible by removing a cushion. It stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall when fully open, but if we had to be picky we’d like to see the changing room a little taller. However, we still love the ultimate space-saving location for it so we know we’re asking a lot. 

Behind the dual helm chairs is the focal point of the layout, which is part of the SL group. The cushioned area can be configured in a variety of ways including a full rear-facing lounger when pivoting the backrest or forward-facing loungers by ratcheting up one of the seat cushions and lowering the backrest all the way down. Other key features include an 8-foot-long in-floor ski locker, telescoping boarding ladder and an average-size ski/tow bar.

Closer Look

The Sport Handling Package (SHP) revolutionized the industry when it first debuted over 10 years ago. Twin 25-inch diameter pontoons on the outside and an oversized 27-inch center tube that is 5 1/4 inches lower than the outer tubes is the secret to a pontoon that mimics a vee hull, but we’ll get to that in a minute.


For the record, Manitou will rig its boats with any outboard brand, but of course prefers Evinrude for more than the obvious reason that the manufacturer was acquired by BRP nearly two years ago. Manitou’s hull combined with Evinrude power has always been a winning combination so that’s why this pairing makes a lot of sense.

With the SHP hull this Legacy dives into some very tight turns for a thrill ride like nothing else. With the Evinrude G2 E-TEC 300 on the back we reached a top speed in the mid 40s with a blistering zero-to-20 mph time in less than five seconds!

Final Thoughts

While it lacks those brighter accent colors we’ve come to appreciate from Manitou over the years, the DNA remains the same. This is an extremely well-performing pontoon with a versatile layout that we feel a lot of consumers are going to want.

Lansing, Mich.

Number of Occupants: 16                 
Price As Tested With Power: $109.4K
Maximum Speed: 45.6 mph               
Wild Ponies: 300 hp   
No. of Gates: 2
0-20 MPH: 4.86 seconds       
Ladder Measurement: 3’ 6” deep

Why we love this boat…Not really in disguise, but the conservative colors tend to hide the fact this is a thrill ride like no other and a well performing pontoon.  

Just being picky…Love the hidden pop-up changing room that you might miss if you’re not looking for it, but just wish it was a little taller so it can get more use.


Digital Vessel Control (DVC) System w/Integrated Garmin 7-Inch Display, Stainless Steel Corner Castings, Hat Shaped Extruded Aluminum Cross Members, Stainless Fasteners, SHP 575 Hull, Positive Angle Lifting Strakes, Billet Aluminum Transom, NMMA Certified Using ABYC Standards, Barracuda Nose Cones, Anti-Spray Integrated Splash Fins, Full-Length Powder Coated Rub Rail w/Stainless Steel Dock Guard, Windscreen, Anchor Light, LED Docking Lights, LED Accent Lighting, LED Lighted Cupholders, Exterior Blue LED Lights, LED Navigation Lights and JL Bluetooth Stereo.


DVC Remote Key Fob, Center In-Tube Storage, Power Bimini and Matte Black Powder Coat.

LOA: 28’ 8”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Patented SHP 575 Hull
Dry Weight: 4,200 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 43 gallons

Engine: Evinrude G2 300
Cylinder Type: V6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 210ci/300hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 1.85:1

RPM     vs.      SPEED    
500                  1.2                 
1000                3.4                 
1500                6.1                 
2000                8.9                 
2500                13.4               
3000                16.7               
3500                20.2                 
4000                23.4                 
4500                29.4                 
5000                34.4               
5500                39.4                 
6000                45.6                  

Price As Tested (Boat and Motor): $109,400
Base Price (Boat Only): $73,500

This article originally appeared in our 2020 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.  

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