This article originally appeared in our 2014 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing this in print along with 25 other boat reviews, click HERE to purchase the back issue.
What You Need To Know
The Q Series is the top of the line when it comes to Bennington so you can expect the best in aesthetics and fine detail. With hundreds of options, this boat can be customized to each buyer specifically, but as tested we were impressed with the fully-loaded version we got our hands on.
It’s easy to see you’re on a high-end model and it all starts with the unique exterior that includes a curved bow and an extended (extra 8 inches) bow platform. As you come inside, the ivory-colored interior with Diamond pillow-top upholstery instantly catches your eye. The diamond pattern is standard and it can be found throughout the boat in the seats, helm chair as well as rear loungers.
There are two chaise lounges in the bow with moveable arm rests that include cup holders. But it’s the pair of rear-facing loungers in the stern that rightfully get a lot of attention. There is even a stereo remote in the stern area and these seats just beg to be used.
As you leave the mostly carpeted boat and step outside the stern gate, there is faux teak flooring that ties in the nautical look. Also in this area is a solid ski/tow pylon as well as a great stainless steel ladder with extra-wide handholds, plus the telescopic ladder stores perfectly under the deck when not in use.
At the elevated helm stand is a very attractive-looking console. The automotive-style dash has a very high-end feel to it and besides full instrumentation, the Sony stereo and Garmin Echo 100 Fish/Depth graph are included as standard features.
Across from the helm is a fully-loaded galley that includes two bar stools, sink and faucet, as well as a fridge. With plenty of storage available, this bar layout is truly ideal for entertaining. If we had to be picky, the walkway between the bar and helm stand is a little narrow and even though the bar stools are removable, they do block access to your mid-ship gate. But for all this entertainment center offers, it’s clearly worth having.
Also, there are great storage options on this model, including the in-floor locker that is nearly 8 feet long inside and at over 2 feet deep, it’s a great place to store your tubes.
Not only does the large elliptical-shaped center pontoon offer better performance, it also allows for a larger (50-gallon) fuel tank to be built inside. 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, while 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.
Based on how well this Bennington dived into the sharp turns, it was hard to give this one back after we were done testing it. Powered with a Mercury 300 Pro outboard, we nearly hit the 50 mile per hour mark. But this is more than just a go-fast thrill ride, this is an extremely fun boat to drive that handles well and put big smiles on our faces.
It’s safe to say there is nothing missing on this luxurious and sporty pontoon as tested. It’s a fully-loaded thrill ride that is worthy of its top-of-the-line reputation.
Number of Occupants 15
Price As Tested With Power $82.5K
Maximum Speed 46.8 mph
Wild Ponies 300hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.6 seconds
Ladder Measurement 3’ 1” deep
Why we love this boat…When it’s a top-of-the-line model it’s hard to be specific on what we love, but for all the cool features onboard we still love the way this pontoon handles.
Just being picky…The mid-ship entertainment center is fully-loaded for fun, but even though the bar stools are removable, they do block your side gate access.
Corner seat cooler, dimmer interior light, Diamond pillow-top upholstery, extended bow deck, stainless rubrail, .250” thick cross members on 16” centers, 25” diameter pontoons, streamline rail system, fiberglass radius bow, stainless LED docking lights, extended aft swim deck with ss ladder, Surlast mooring cover, Next Generation helm console with full instrumentation, Sony M6 stereo, Echo 100 Garmin Echo 100 Fish/Depth graph and tilt steering.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Mercury Smart Craft gauges, Elliptical Sport Package (ESP), dual battery switch, power distribution, in-floor storage, center fuel tank, faux teak aft deck, mocha matrix carpet, stern lounge stereo remote, elevated helm, Bluetooth Sony stereo, galley fridge, lighted bimini top Blue Ice LED exterior lights, ski pylon and Sharkhide tube protection.
LOA 27’ 6”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design ESP Triple Pontoon
Dry Weight 3,298lbs.
Fuel Capacity 50.1 gallons
Engine Mercury 300 Pro
Cylinder Type V6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 158.6ci/300hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 1.75:1
Propeller Enertia 17 X 16
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
550 2.6 74
1000 4.3 80
1500 5.9 80
2000 8.4 81.5
2500 12.3 89
3000 16.9 93.5
3500 22.5 97.5
4000 27.5 99
4500 32.6 101.5
5000 36.0 104.5
5500 41.6 104
6000 46.8 106.5