Bowrider or Regular Tritoon?

TERRY RINEY

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I just sold my 2011 Tritoon 2250GCW. I'm looking at a 2021 Bowrider 24RTFBC. Anyone have a comparison of the two boats? Better ride? Handling? Pros or cons for the Bowrider?
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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Welcome ! The only negativity my dealer told me is "People are shying away because of no front gate" you have to step on the seat to get off the front. Cool idea though!
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Welcome ! The only negativity my dealer told me is "People are shying away because of no front gate" you have to step on the seat to get off the front. Cool idea though!

But in reality, no different than any other “bow” type boat. I think dealers/potential purchasers forget this in their thought process. This hybrid type boat is intriguing.
 

Bill N

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The visibility from the cockpit is a great concept.
The bowrider will be just a touch slower than a similar size tritoon with same engine. But it banks nice when cornering!
 

CLDave

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Yes, I sat in one before I bought my 25 R and the visibility out the front is spectacular (far better than even the raised cockpit on my boat), and the thoughtful layout of the armrests up-front is incredibly cool. However, the dealer said that it's definitely going to be a few mph slower, a bit choppier (doesn't float over the waves like a tritoon) and a bit more expensive foot-for-foot.
 

TERRY RINEY

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I don't care about the top speed. We're looking at a 24RTFBC w/ a 200 hp Yamaha. We're just cruising and pulling a skier/tube. The choppier comment concerns me. We loved our 2250GCW over choppy waters. Going to VA next week to walk on an actual bowrider to see if it works for our family. There is very little information out there about these boats. I was told only 60 made in 2020.
 

Vikingstaff

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There is very little information out there about these boats. I was told only 60 made in 2020.

They were new in 2020, and they certainly are a unique niche pontoon. Our dealer had one in the showroom back in the spring. It was nice. I think the increased cost, decreased speed and smoothness of ride along with now front gate, work against it when compared to the traditional layouts.

However, for what you are looking at for use, the subtle but nice layout and visibility improvements, and the price range you are already shopping in, it may be a great fit for you. Keep us all posted on your thoughts once you’ve looked at it.

FYI, the 2020 Pontoon and Deck Boat Magazine Shoot Out had an article on the Bennington Bowrider if you can find a copy. I also found the article below. Not super detailed, but something:

24’ R Swingback Bowrider
 

DejaWiz

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They were new in 2020, and they certainly are a unique niche pontoon. Our dealer had one in the showroom back in the spring. It was nice. I think the increased cost, decreased speed and smoothness of ride along with now front gate, work against it when compared to the traditional layouts.

However, for what you are looking at for use, the subtle but nice layout and visibility improvements, and the price range you are already shopping in, it may be a great fit for you. Keep us all posted on your thoughts once you’ve looked at it.

FYI, the 2020 Pontoon and Deck Boat Magazine Shoot Out had an article on the Bennington Bowrider if you can find a copy. I also found the article below. Not super detailed, but something:

24’ R Swingback Bowrider

41-42 MPH with an F300? Yikes.
That would be a 46+ MPH setup with an SPS or ESP and the correct prop.
Wonder if the 15.75x15 prop that was installed is somehow inhibiting performance, because that could be the single defining factor.
 

DejaWiz

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Just checked the Yamaha Performance Bulletins for the F300 series on pontoons equipped with single engines.

A majority of them were fitted with the same 15.75x15 prop, and most only reach the 40-43 MPH mark.

There are a handful donning either the 15.5x16 or 15.5x17, and touch into the 45-49 MPH range.

If I were buying a Bowrider pontoon with a 250-300 Yamaha, then I'd definitely go with the 16 or 17 pitch prop.
 

Vikingstaff

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I think no matter how you cut it on that hull set up, you lose a fair amount of speed. However, I do hear they turn great: better than an SPS, but not totally like an ESP. If one is not overly concerned with top end WOT, hitting anything above 40 mph is plenty good for speed and outrunning adverse weather.

However, for many getting 150+HP motors, let alone 300+Hp motors, they want to sequeeze every MPH possible out of it. I know I lean that way. It certainly is a trade off...pros and cons.

Edit addition: All of this said, I added Sea Legs in 2019 to our 200HP SPS boat. We lost 3 MPH at WOT light load, and 5 MPH when loaded down. It also has a slight impact on hole shot and turning when tubbing a lot of people. However, for us, those compromises are worth it for the flexibility it provided to us for docking, low late season lake levels, etc... Thus, it’s nice to have the variety of options, and be able to tweak it all to meet ones wants and needs.
 

DejaWiz

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I think no matter how you cut it on that hull set up, you lose a fair amount of speed. However, I do hear they turn great: better than an SPS, but not totally like an ESP. If one is not overly concerned with top end WOT, hitting anything above 40 mph is plenty good for speed and outrunning adverse weather.

However, for many getting 150+HP motors, let alone 300+Hp motors, they want to sequeeze every MPH possible out of it. I know I lean that way. It certainly is a trade off...pros and cons.

Edit addition: All of this said, I added Sea Legs in 2019 to our 200HP SPS boat. We lost 3 MPH at WOT light load, and 5 MPH when loaded down. It also has a slight impact on hole shot and turning when tubbing a lot of people. However, for us, those compromises are worth it for the flexibility it provided to us for docking, low late season lake levels, etc... Thus, it’s nice to have the variety of options, and be able to tweak it all to meet ones wants and needs.


That's my thoughts exactly: if I'm shelling out the huge bucks for a Bowrider with a 300HP, then I'm going to want the most return on that investment, which means it better have a prop that's suited to as much top speed as possible, instead of speeds that can be attained with an SPS boat costing half as much being pushed by a 150-200HP 4 cylinder.
 
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Potomacbassin’

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The R looks to be 700 lbs more than an S, so I think expectations for top speed should be lowered even with a 300. The R is not built for speed apparently, so if speed is the goal another less portly model is more appropriate. It’s like expecting a Ford Expedition to go the same speed as a Mustang GT even with a larger motor. HP can offset weight (and that interesting V-center toon) but only so much.

That being said, the R looks much more aesthetically pleasing and probably has higher quality materials than an S. The new L bowrider might be a good compromise? While the v-hull looks to be the only option, at least it’s a few hundred lbs lighter and probably cheaper with the same overall design concept?
 

TERRY RINEY

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Our 2011 2250GCW w/ a 150 HP Yamaha would do 36 mph at best. If the bowrider layout works, the only thing left unknown is the ride. I suspect the ride at 20-25 mph will be close to the same. We're rarely at full throttle during our boat outings.
 

Bill N

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In our area, deck boats were quite popular. Now everyone is ditching them for pontoons, so $20K will buy you a very nice deck boat that will outperform a $90,000 R Bowrider
 

TERRY RINEY

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Hadn't thought about that. I hate to drop 90 grand and end up with a glorified Hurricane. I wouldn't have changed anything about our 2250GCW, but I'm intrigued by this bowrider. I like the sleek look. I'll report back after I get a chance to walk on one.
 

Tin Diesel

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I was curious about the hull configuration

20201121_091030.jpg
 

Potomacbassin’

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The middle pontoon is affixed to the bottom side of the deck because it serves as the footwell for the front seating area, allowing for the “bowrider” configuration. Normally they roll the tubes but because it has to fit the footwell cutout they are probably using brakes to shape it, which then allows for the whole tube to be shaped into a V. I actually like it and it may be a preferred shape for planing purposes. Innovative for sure, but I would imagine it also drives up the cost of production substantially over the traditional method.
 

TERRY RINEY

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I never went and looked at one. I ended up ordering a new 23 RSB. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
 

AuthorizedUser

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As cool as the R-series bowriders are, I think they will exclude members within a larger boating party. If you are out on the water with 8-10 people, invariably 2-4 people will not be able to fit in the bow seats and will be excluded from that conversation. The design of the boat really separates itself into bow and stern gatherings, especially with the bow elevation difference as well as the helm/co-captain stations that cut the boat in half. Not that an R-series bowrider was in my budget, but one of the reasons why I like the S-series I purchased is because all 8-10 of us can sit as one single group. Boat length, big engine size, super speed, and other coolness factors aren't important to me... especially at the expense of the enjoyment of my entire group.
 
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