Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year. Here is one of the best 2012 models. Enjoy!
Bennington 2575 RCW Limited
Our First Impression
We try not to overuse words like "luxurious" or "elegant," but there is just something about this Bennington that feels extremely high-end to us. Maybe it's the new champagne exterior color or possibly the ivory-colored interior that helps this boat make a statement. Either way, we couldn't wait to take a closer look.
Added touches are the best way to describe the features and the attention to the details on this pontoon. Even the three chaise lounges, which are all forward-facing, go the extra mile as far as design is concerned. Each back is extra wide, which allows for a drop-down arm rest for complete comfort. Below each chaise is a unique storage feature like the hidden trash receptacle in the bow starboard side lounge. But when it comes to really stretching out and getting comfortable, the two rear-facing lounges in the stern are going to attract a lot of attention. On this specific model the lounges are inside the gates, which help earn this boat a high safety rating. Worth noting is the very tall pop-up changing room that is hidden below the port side rear lounger that you wouldn't even know was there unless you were looking for it.
We love that one of the two stereo remotes is mounted on the rear lounge because you know someone will always be sitting here while the boat is underway.
The other stereo remote is at the helm, while the actual unit is mounted under the helm station where it is protected from the elements. Helping to add to the high-end feel is a beautiful automotive-style dash that includes an optional flush-mounted Garmin GPS.
Stainless steel hardware is used throughout and other key features worth mentioning include the removable ski/tow pylon, vinyl rear deck flooring and the large in-floor ski locker.
The two outside pontoons are 25 inches in diameter and the center elliptical pontoon is 32 inches wide, but still only 25 inches tall for easier trailing options. The outside logs are chambered and each has an inside performance foil to grab in a turn. The elliptical center tube has a pair of lifting strakes. With the elliptical tube you get better displacement so you get more performance using less horsepower.
The C-channel cross members are on 16-inch centers and are through bolted to the plywood deck using stainless fanged elevator bolts with nylocks laced nuts for added strength. There is a full splash skin, and the weld quality below the deck is excellent.
There is over 25 feet of usable deck space inside the gates on this 27-footer and the floorplan is a nice open design with easy access throughout. Overall we consider this to be a very safe and family-friendly vessel. As far as the construction and quality are concerned, this boat lives up to the high expectations that Bennington has set for itself.
We were more than impressed to see a boat of this size get up on plane so quickly. At full throttle we reached 45 miles per hour with the Yamaha 250 VMAX SHO outboard. With the hydraulic steering she banks nicely in the sharp turns, which put big smiles on our faces. This Yamaha is a great choice to add performance to this high-end `toon.
Who Should Buy It
With more unique amenities and features to mention, it's safe to say this Bennington is a loaded and luxurious pontoon with plenty of comfortable seating for everyone in your family and then some. With a rating of 16 people, no one has to be left at the dock.
Why We Love This Boat
We can't say enough about the extra mile effort that Bennington puts in its boats. The attention to details to create a high-end luxurious pontoon is amazing.
Just Being Picky
It's hard to be too picky with a $75K pontoon, but we feel a good family boat like this should include a faucet and sink to really complete the package.
Wide-berth chaise lounge, portable cup holders, soft-touch java upholstery vinyl, bimini top, Blue Ice LED mood lighting, 6 kicker speakers, high-performance carpet, privacy enclosure, reclining helm chair, docking lights with stainless housings, heavy-duty rubrail, custom tilt wheel and Sony M6 stereo with dash mounted remote, USB port, 13 volt outlet and MP3 access.
Options on Test Boat
Center fuel tank, power-assist steering, Rough Water package, ESP (Elliptical Sport Package), 20-inch I Series transom, blue ice LED cupholder lighting, stern lounge remote stereo control, blue ice LED bimini lighting, in floor storage and a stainless steel rubrail.
Vital Stats & Specs
Number of Occupants - 16
Price As Tested With Power - $75.4K
Maximum Speed - 45.0 mph
Wild Ponies - 250hp
No. of Gates - 3
0-20 MPH - 4.8 seconds
Ladder Steps - 4
Ladder Measurement - 3' 6"
LOA - 27' 1"
Beam - 8' 6"
Hull Design - ESP Performance
Dry Weight - 3,223 lbs.
Fuel Capacity - 56 Gallons
Tallest Rail Onboard - Sides 26"
Lowest Rail Onboard - Bow 24"
Changing Room Height - 6' 1"
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
600 3.0 mph 80.5
1000 4.5 mph 83
1500 6.9 mph 87.5
2000 7.7 mph 86.5
2500 9.7 mph 86.5
3000 12.6 mph 89
3500 18.3 mph 91.5
4000 23.2 mph 96
4500 29.2 mph 98.5
5000 35.2 mph 100
5500 39.6 mph 102.5
6000 45.0 mph 106.5
Price As Tested $75,416
(Boat and Motor)
Don't forget to check on the video of the test: