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Patent on new hull technology to boost local pontoon boat company
Posted: June 08, 2011 - 12:00 AM
It was more than five years ago when Lansing’s Manitou Pontoon Boats rolled out the design for a revolutionary new pontoon hull design. While the new boats have already made a splash in the industry and for the company itself - now representing 60 percent of their production - a recently acquired patent on the design promises to shift their company into an even higher gear.
“The new hull has three tubes instead of two,” says Manitou’s Director of Marketing and Communications Greg VanWagenen, “and the thing that distinguishes it is that the third tube is deeper and allows you to run in the water really well, making it handle more like a regular boat.”
With the new V-TOON Technology Hull, Manitou has witnessed many customers who previously owned pontoon and speedboats consolidating to just one boat. Before acquiring their patent, however, they also witnessed many of their competitors copying the design.
After investing $500,000 of research and development, how the company will proceed now that they have acquired the patent is under discussion.
“This is a new process for us,” says VanWagenen. “The next step would either be stopping the production by other companies or having them pay royalties. It will give us a huge competitive advantage.”
Manitou Pontoon Boats is in its 25th year of operation in Lansing. The company employs 85 workers locally, including both sales and manufacturing.
“As things progress adding employees will be a natural course for us to meet production increases,” says VanWagenen.
Source: Greg VanWagenen, Manitou Pontoon Boats