Bennington over Manitou?

Sandow

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Bennington owners, why should I get a Bennington over a Manitou? I am torn on my new pontoon purchase between an Bennington RCW and a Manitou Legacy SES.
 

Friar

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Bennington owners, why should I get a Bennington over a Manitou? I am torn on my new pontoon purchase between an Bennington RCW and a Manitou Legacy SES.
Interesting question to put to Bennington owners on a Bennington website :)

Of all the pontoon related forum I read, both are considered top of the line pontoons by most of the forum users who comment on build quality, overall looks, performance, and warranty. Generally, I have noticed that there seem to be considerably more Bennington owners than Manitou owners however, if that tells you anything.

Over the past year I can recall two owners who were upset with aspects of their Bennington's construction but in both cases, it seems the issues were minor, the complainers did not want to take the time to return the boats to their dealers for corrective service - so basically just "sour grapes"

I have had my Bennington for one year and have not had any issues with the boat or motor (Yamaha)

I have looked online at both the models you mention and both seem to be very nice choices - so I guess you have a pleasant dilemma :p

I think what it comes down to is what do you expect to do with your new boat and which model "feels" the best to you and your family personally. You need to go with what y'all like best!

Having said that (and not really given you any firm advice) I would suggest that regardless of your boat choice, go with the largest motor you can afford (and stretch your idea of what you can afford).

A constant comment on all forums is that most people wish they had gone with a larger motor.

I would also suggest that in the excitement on the day you take delivery of your boat, if you are also purchasing a trailer, take time to inspect it closely. Ensure that all the nuts and bolts are present and tight, lights/turn signals work, bunks are secure, etc.

Good luck in making your choice and have fun.
 

amr7333

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I say go see both boats in person. Pay attention to construction quality, detail, options, and how it will fit your needs. Then check out the warranty. Lastly and very important, visit with the salesman/dealer. When you purchase a boat, you form a relationship. Can you trust the other person in this relationship to do what he/she says they will do?

I am not going to say you have to buy a Bennington. Only you can make that decison. I will say however, I looked for over a year before I made my decision and the 2275 RCW met the criteria for me. And my dealer remembers me when I come through the door and does what he can to keep me boating.

good luck

andy
 

spinzone

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I love this question because these were the choices that I was torn between when we made our decision to buy our boat. We looked at the Manitou 24' Xplode and the Bennington 2275RCW. My personal opinion was that for the same price, the Manitou afforded you much larger HP but not the "class" factor that the Bennington did. Bennington has a great reputation for build quality and the RCW design sold my wife and me the moment we stepped on the deck. We ended up with half the HP of the Manitou, but we don't regret the decision in the slightest.

The final straw was current consumer demand for the Bennington line. Read some of the posts on this forum and you will quickly learn that the new models have a significant waiting list and used vessels are practically nonexistent. My brother-in-law sold his 4yr old Benny within a week of listing it and got $4k less than he paid to purchase it new.
 
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Gastonguy

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Sandow,

You are looking at two of the finest manufacturers of pontoon boats. It is similar to looking at a Mercedes and BMW. Both Manitou and Bennington owners seem to really like their boats and are fiercely loyal about their brand. I tried to find a nice used Bennington first and that was an exercise in futility. They get snapped up so fast. You absolutely need to go out for a test run on both and get a "feel" for them. Your opinion of the dealer of both brands should also be part of your decision. My impression was that Manitou appears to chasing the younger market with big graphics similar to what is happening in the wakeboard boat market(I just sold my 3rd wakeboard boat). The Bennington 2275 RCW feels and looks luxurious like a Mercedes S Class, especially when equipped with the pillowtop upgrade. We have guests come aboard our boat and they cannot believe how nice it is. I looked at both and chose the Bennington 2275 RCW and would do so again in a heartbeat. Best of luck with your decision and please let us know the final outcome.
 

ericscher

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Bennington owners, why should I get a Bennington over a Manitou? I am torn on my new pontoon purchase between an Bennington RCW and a Manitou Legacy SES.
Take a look at the logs. Weld quality, how they are attached to the boat's frame, the types of fasteners used, etc.

Look at the cross members, their thickness and number. At the wiring the is visible under-deck.

Look at the fencing, at the materials, at the tubing. Check out how the Bimini is raised and lowered. Look at the materials for the furniture. Lift up the cushions over the fuel tank. Look at the engine compartment, especially if it's an I/O.

Just basically go over it with a fine tooth comb, stem to stern.

And keep in mind this question: Which boat do I think has the best chance of lasting as long as the financing?
 

Wild and Free

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Having looked at many different brands excluding manitou which there are no close dealers. I am on my second Benny for the simple fact of how solidly built they are where it counts most, the chassis. After crawling around under most brands the Bennies seperate themselves from the pack in a huge way once you see how chincy most other brands are built.

The only other brand I would consider buying that is built rather solidly like Bennies is the Avalon/Tahoe line of pontoons, very nice as well.
 

Boomers dad

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Before purchasing my Benny I also looked at Manitou. Both very nice boats. One of the factors in my decision was warranty. I was told by the Manitou dealer that differant items on the boat are warranteed by there individual manufacturers. In other words if you had a Sony radio it would be warranteed by Sony not Manitou. So on some items it mght be as little as one or two years. The Bennington is waranteed by Bennington for 5 yrs stem to stern. Lifetime on some items. That differance made my decision easy.
 

Black Pearl

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We narrowed down to the Manitou Explode and the Benny 2550 RCL. We wanted a high performance pontoon with a great layout. I thought the SES layout used up the whole back of the boat for just 2 people. The layout of the R series Club is very interesting. Get the center filler seat for the front, and we now have two huge, and separate, conversation circles. We can comfortably get 6 people in lounging positions, which was also a key criteria.

The thing that sealed our deal was seeing both at a boat show. Check out the size and thickness of the crossmembers, supports, and other structural pieces. Check out the large stainless steel elevator style bolts that Bennington uses, versus the much smaller self-tapping screws for securing the plywood decking.

Both are at the top of the industry, so you have it narrowed down to the right two, IMO.
 

Black Pearl

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Here is a JD Power survey of pontoon owners from 2008 or 2009. Y axis is number of "problems" per 100 boats (less better, but its reversed axis in this graph, so higher on the graph is better), and the X - axis is "Average Boat Satisfaction" (greater satisfaction is better, or more to the right). Better scores are thus UP and to the RIGHT.

I hope this provides some data to use as part of the decision making process.

 
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kaydano

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That Quality/Satisfaction chart is AMAZING (even if the Y axis was reversed for marketing spin).

Where did you get this? Or better yet, where does one get an update?

Looks like a photo from a boat show maybe...

I thought Avalon and Tahoe were the same family, but with Avalon being the better line. The graph says otherwise...

Does the asterix near some mean anything significant?
 
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