Central Florida Bennington Dealers

Calypso

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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a 2017 (actually 2018) 20SSRX and I've been dealer shopping.  The prices are all pretty well aligned, so I'm looking for dealer reputation over distance from my home... within reason.


The quality of the dealership is critical, in my mind, to a satisfying Bennington experience.


There doesn't seem to be as much interest in Benningtons in Central Florida as in other parts of the country, although they're "flying off the shelf" down here, as they are throughout the country.  I'm thinking there are very, very high volume dealers elsewhere. 


Any opinions out there about Central Florida dealerships?  Please PM me if you think it's necessary.


Thanks in advance.
 

tcpip95

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-Ft. Myers, FL
YES!  Go to Apopka Marine in Inverness.  Ask for Scott.  Tell him Jim from Ft. Myers referred you to him.  He's a great guy and will work with you.  Put a phone call into him, it will be worth your while.


I would NOT recommend Ingman Marine at any of their 4 locations.  I've had multiple dealings with them and would not do business with them ever again.
 

DD2075GL

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Little Ossipee Lake, East Waterboro, Maine
I commend you looking at reputation vs. proximity. I bought close without doing that research and had problems with the service we had on the boat. Good luck! Our boat is in Maine so I'm not any help...just wanted to compliment you!!
 

Link

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Just a word of warning here as the reputations of dealers is at stake, and these are personal opinions.  At one point I used to rely on Yelp to look at reviews of businesses.  It often confused me as I would see some degrading the business yet the next put them on a pedestal.  I might suggest from here on out for fairness sake we live by the moto "If you don't have anything good to say then say nothing"  But of course lets continue to praise those that are worthy.  
 

tcpip95

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Just a word of warning here as the reputations of dealers is at stake, and these are personal opinions.  At one point I used to rely on Yelp to look at reviews of businesses.  It often confused me as I would see some degrading the business yet the next put them on a pedestal.  I might suggest from here on out for fairness sake we live by the moto "If you don't have anything good to say then say nothing"  But of course lets continue to praise those that are worthy.  
Link, I would normally agree with that motto, except that circumstances are different here.  In this particular case, there are many tens of thousands of dollars at stake here.  Indeed reputations ARE at stake - both good and bad.  I believe the dealership has the responsibility to earn their good reputation, and when they don't they also need to take the heat for it for the betterment of all.


If we cannot make members aware of questionable dealerships, then we're giving those dealerships a free pass.  I would be severely disappointed if - by my silence - I caused someone to go through the very painful experience I went through simply because we're instructed that "you can only say good things about dealerships".
 

Link

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Link, I would normally agree with that motto, except that circumstances are different here.  In this particular case, there are many tens of thousands of dollars at stake here.  Indeed reputations ARE at stake - both good and bad.  I believe the dealership has the responsibility to earn their good reputation, and when they don't they also need to take the heat for it for the betterment of all.


If we cannot make members aware of questionable dealerships, then we're giving those dealerships a free pass.  I would be severely disappointed if - by my silence - I caused someone to go through the very painful experience I went through simply because we're instructed that "you can only say good things about dealerships".
Understand your point of view but one person could have what they consider a bad experience but 10 others had a great experience with that dealer.  I am just asking for holding back on the bad while praising the good let readers of this forum want to go to the dealers they see praised for great service and advice
 

bwsdj

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I have had a great experience so far at Apopka marine!! Would also recommend them. My sales person is Mike 
 

Alicedream

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Could we bridge this gap by having people private message when they have something to say not as positive.  I for one would want to know what I was walking into if I was spending the money these boats cost.
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Link, I would normally agree with that motto, except that circumstances are different here.  In this particular case, there are many tens of thousands of dollars at stake here.  Indeed reputations ARE at stake - both good and bad.  I believe the dealership has the responsibility to earn their good reputation, and when they don't they also need to take the heat for it for the betterment of all.


If we cannot make members aware of questionable dealerships, then we're giving those dealerships a free pass.  I would be severely disappointed if - by my silence - I caused someone to go through the very painful experience I went through simply because we're instructed that "you can only say good things about dealerships".
I'm pretty sure you have misunderstood Links directions. He wasn't really asking. He is a Moderator and is doing what has to be done to keep this forum alive and well with Bennington's support. I agree with your prerogative on the matter, and Link may very well also, but as a Moderator, he has to step in. I think the PM message is definitely the way to go. If I were in the OP position I would love getting valuable information from real world people, such as yourself, on bad apples out there.


We always need to remember that this is Bennington's forum.  
 

jonesjj3

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I too will be pulling the trigger on a New 22' Bennington I am in St. Pete Fl and looks like the only to that are sort of close are Riverside marine and Ingman marine in Sarasota.
Went to talk with the folks at Riverside to spec out a boat, spoke with a women there who was somewhat informative not what I would call real helpful as I got a lot of oh I dont know that, anyway very polite and willing to help, spent about 1hr plus there and she said I will get back to you in few days on a price, she knew I serious about buying a new boat, never heard back from them again, now this is 50K plus purchase I think they would have gotten back to me as I came there recomended form some one else. Also the person who recomended them has been trying to get a canopy warrenty issue on his new Benny and they never got back to him on that and he had to go else where to get it done now trying to go back to get things straight out.

Now have called Ingman marine only went over some speck on phone with a guy name Nick seem nice and helpful over phone, I reach out just last week to tell him I sold my other boat and was ready to move forward with a new purchase and he was not there so spoke with the GM and he was nice on the phone as Nick was not there and would return the next day. Well Nick called me back later next day seem helpful and nice over the phone.

I am going back in less than a week to see about getting a new boat from someone just looking for any feed back some one may want to ( PM ) me about if they dont post here publicly.
 

Dunn

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I too found it hard to get the dealers in central Florida to call back. Maybe its due to a lack of inventory compared to other types of boats, Im not sure. I found that pretty bizarre when shopping for $70-90k boats as Im in sales my self and I know these boats have a hefty profit margin..I'd at least give every lead a few minutes worth of email or phone follow up.

I'm in Orlando also and was willing to travel to either coast for the right service/price as the only dealer that stocked any kind of inventory besides bass pro was the Avalon dealer and the quality just wantn't on par with the Benningtons I had seen. 3 months into my shopping/sold my current boat went to the local boat show at the convention center just to browse near the end of summer and made a great deal on a boat on the spot with Boaters Exchange out of Rockledge. While I wish the shopping experience would have been a little more helpful Im very happy with the end result.
 

goldnrod24

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Since this topic has been resurrected, please let me remind everyone that if you have critical comments or first hand experience that you feel a member might appreciate hearing prior to purchase, please use the private message feature at this group.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Randy
Mod Team
 

dannyleininger

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Lake Wales Florida
Let me step in and praise my local dealer, Gary’s Boating Center in Lake Wales FL. The owner, Billy Kahler and his wife Christy run a great small dealership. Billy is very hands on and you will deal directly with him (or Christy) on all aspects sales and service. Billy was one of the early Bennington dealers in Florida so he has plenty of experience dealing with the company.

We took delivery of our 22SSX 10 days ago. We are currently on our maiden voyage at Lake George. We trailered her about 100 miles and the package, boat and trailer, performed flawlessly. I have a couple of small issues with the 22SSX, such as the Privacy Enclosure Top had a different cover than expected, We ordered the Diamond Pressed option but the Enclosure Top came with a plain vanilla material. Billy got on the phone with Bennington and after several calls he got Bennington to ship a new top. Also, just before we left for our trip I discovered the windshield was scratched. I took a quick video and emailed to Billy. He was willing to take one off a new boat, but I had already left for our trip.

This dealership is just south of the Hwy 60 & US 27 so he is easily accessed from either coast. BUT, don’t call Billy on Monday, the dealership is open Tuesday-Saturday.
 

Reinholdmatay

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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a 2017 (actually 2018) 20SSRX and I've been dealer shopping. The prices are all pretty well aligned, so I'm looking for dealer reputation over distance from my home... within reason.


The quality of the dealership is critical, in my mind, to a satisfying Bennington experience.


There doesn't seem to be as much interest in Benningtons in Central Florida as in other parts of the country, although they're "flying off the shelf" down here, as they are throughout the country. I'm thinking there are very, very high volume dealers elsewhere.


Any opinions out there about Central Florida dealerships? Please PM me if you think it's necessary.


Thanks in advance.
I know this is a bit late but perhaps someone else may see this post as well. I just took delivery of my new Benny from Don at Boaters Exchange in Rockledge Fl and must say they are fantastic to deal with. Every time I called he came to the phone if just to say he was with a customer can I call you right back. They had a huge selection and I lucked out and picked up a leftover 2017 for a steal. I highly recommend these guys!
 

Fixer

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As above, a bit late, but I was very pleased with Shawn at Apopka Marine in Inverness. We are in Tavares on Harris so they are not the closest dealer but treated me well on a 2015 20 SLX with 70 Yamaha. Prep work and all well done. Took delivery about a week ago. I found very little inventory around here except new boats. The boat is great !
 

Michiman

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As above, a bit late, but I was very pleased with Shawn at Apopka Marine in Inverness. We are in Tavares on Harris so they are not the closest dealer but treated me well on a 2015 20 SLX with 70 Yamaha. Prep work and all well done. Took delivery about a week ago. I found very little inventory around here except new boats. The boat is great !
Welcome and share a few pictures...
 

BRider

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A little late from the original posting but may help others. I recently purchased my new 2018 22 SSRX from Riverside Marine here in Tampa. I dealt with Chris one of the owners. I found Chris and Riverside Marine to be excellent in my dealings. Chris is extremely knowledgeable on Bennington's. Most all of his business is selling and servicing Bennington Pontoon boats so it is not just a side business selling other type of boats. Riverside Marine is a family owned business and has been around a long time here in Tampa at the same location on the Hillsborough River (20 years). I did a lot of shopping around before I decided on Riverside Marine but so far my dealings have been excellent. http://riversidemarinetampa.com/home/1864198
 

TomCat

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I just took delivery of a 2020 Benny R25 which I bought at the Tampa boat show in September from Riverside Marine. Worked directly with Chris and I have to say from sale to delivery it was an awesome experience. They are a family owned and operated business and Chris is the owner. Highly recommend them.
 

oldgreybull

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I just picked up my 3rd boat from Apopka Marine in Inverness, FL. I've always had great service and followup from Mike Cyr there, but the entire team is very responsive. They're a top dealer locally and well regarded in the community.
 
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