New Boat Questions

Potomacbassin’

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Without giving away too much, the quote I received was in excess of 12-13% off MSRP so it sounds like I’m buying at a good time or with the right dealer. Still... I’m sure there is fat in the number and competition will ultimately show where the market is for these things.

I do plan on some long runs so hopefully the digital controls will help monitor fuel burn to optimize cruise. Interestingly I didn’t think the 250 gained much speed over the 200 but according to the Yam bulletin about 5mph gain. Burn is much better with the 200 at 4.5mpg at 3000 versus 3.6 at 3500 for the 250. My rough math say this is about $25 savings per tank so it might be worth considering if I’m going to put 500+ hours on this. Fuel savings would pay for the digital controls and with beer money to spare.
 

Nautical

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My local dealer has a special coming up this weekend for 33% off msrp but they must use some kind of fuzzy math because the quote they sent me was still up in the clouds. If they took another 33% off the number they gave me I'd be somewhat interested. Can't wait for this bubble to pop.
 

PRaudio

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My local dealer has a special coming up this weekend for 33% off msrp but they must use some kind of fuzzy math because the quote they sent me was still up in the clouds. If they took another 33% off the number they gave me I'd be somewhat interested. Can't wait for this bubble to pop.
They say "SAVE up to 33% off MSRP". I think we all know what that means :rolleyes:
 

Jack M

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Build different models .I was just on the boat builder . I built a 23 RCW identical to the 23 QCW i ordered . I added in the QCW standard options ( pop up cleats ,steering wheel rub rail etc ) on the R .The R listed for more when built the same
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Also model and price probably dictates varied discount. A $15k S won’t see a discount like a $125K Q. Even if dealer works at a 10% profit margin (sheer guess) you can see there’s no meat on a $15K boat but a fair amount on a pricier model.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Just for reference the SXP I’m pricing is +/- 20% discount to MSRP and the motor is 25%. I don’t have the proposal yet for the Manitou I’m cross shopping but the dealer claimed he would simply add 15% to his cost for the Aurora LE. I’m guessing that would drop to 10% for the higher end models.

My sense is that volume is good right now for boat manufacturers so they can play the shell game with numbers and discounts are just window dressing. It’s a terrible time to buy anything including real estate and luxury items, and the smart money is to accumulate cash for when the bubble pops. But my kids are growing up fast and I can’t wait years to time the market.

On the flip side, when times are good there are more players that jump into the game and can drive innovation. Boats these days are better than ever in many respects and we have tons of choices. When the market crashes everyone is going to hunker down, consolidate and cut costs to survive. Every part of the cycle offers pros and cons to the consumer.
 

AZHEAT

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I really can’t comment on the fishing aspect of either, however I considered Manitou and Avalon before deciding on Bennington. I really like the local Manitou and Avalon dealers, and initially thought their product offerings were very similar to Bennington when doing preliminary comparisons, however when you look closely at general structural integrity, build quality, quality of materials, etc. Bennington was clearly better from my perspective. The only other Tritoon that seems to rival the Bennington in the models/trim levels I was considering is the Trifecta. (Only my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.....). The 10 year warranty is really nice on a new Bennington as well. Good luck in your search!
 

Potomacbassin’

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Test drove a 22SX with a 150 today. Winds were 10mph so we had a decent 1-2 foot chop. Initial impressions:

1) the tritoons handled just fine with me tossing it heading into the chop, beam, quarter and following. Zero spray and overall seemed quite stable and comfortable without any hull slap. I could see some bow-stuffage with 3 footers in a following sea going another 5-10 mph like any other boat, so this thing isn’t an unsinkable battleship.

2) a 150Hp is woefully inadequate for my needs. Running and gunning from fishing spot to spot will be painfully slow, and even if just cruising, on a large body of water it would benefit from more speed to keep the scenery fresh. The 250 I’m pricing will not be overkill by any stretch.

3) even if a lower priced model the fit and finish was still a bit of a let down. The molded plastic furniture bases, hinges, wiring, etc. seemed quite chintzy. Screws were literally loose on some seat hinges to the point I could twist them with my fingers - no tooth washer or loctite? In car terms, reminded me of a base model Chevy or Ford when I was maybe hoping for base level Honda. The SXP I’m pricing might be a little more high end but I doubt it?

4) engine only had the hydraulic steering, and I now see why so many have recommended the power steering option. Those triple tubes really want to keep a straight line and more “plow” into turns requiring a lot more steering input especially at speed. The $2k is a no brainer. I think this is where a Manitou might outshine the Benny with it’s lower/deeper running center tube.

5) swing back option is fantastic. Most comfortable seat in the house and appears to contain the privacy enclosure and loo.

6) speaking of poop, the generic helm is pretty crappy. Hope I can option a higher end one.

7) the center storage is cavernous as some have mentioned. Another no brainer.

8) basic Kicker system is more than adequate. I know audiophiles may claim blasphemy but I was pleasantly surprised with the sound, especially with a quiet motor like the Yammie.

All in all the test confirmed a few things but also enlightening on others. It by no means scared me away from a Bennington but rather reinforced that I should keep expectations in line with the price point. It will not win any naval architecture awards but will function as advertised. Family and friends won’t care about the details and will have a great time even if secretly I’m wondering when the seat is going to unscrew and fall off!
 

Michiman

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Pbass, thanks for the test drive feedback. You obviously have quite a bit of experience with boats so it's nice to get your prospective. Regarding "loose screws", mine had a couple but it was a quick fix and no problems since. As far as the Manitou center toon vs. Bennington, I'm wondering if you were comparing it to a Bennington SPS or ESP?

At any rate, keep us updated on your decision.
 

Vikingstaff

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At least in 2017 when we got our Bennington (24’ SSBXP SPS hull), the upgrade to an SXP version was a significant boost in refinement over the baseline S-series. Should you move into a G/R, then it increases much more. Also, upgrading to a higher version helm is a big leap up from the base helm on the base s-series. If you stay with a baseline S series, you really are getting the bare bones version of what Bennington offers.

Also, being someone who also considered a Manitou tritoon back in 2017, if you are comparing to their model with the deeper center tube (which is a pretty decent cost increase over their base models/hulls) , then you need to be testing a Bennington with the ESP hull on a spec’d up G or mid-range R series Bennington. That is the comparison in hull/model at a comparison price point. A baseline S series tritoon again is not a price equivalent or hull equivalent comparison to that particular version of Manitou (assuming these things are similar to how they were in 2017).

All of that aside, your report on the trial run is really detailed, and shows you are dialed in to what you want and need. Once you eventually make some final decisions, Bennington or otherwise, you should be much happier with fewer unpleasant surprises. Best of luck to you as you continue your research and testing.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Michiman - base SPS hull on the tester. But if I recall the base triple tube on a Manitou is still a v-configuration with the center tube sitting lower. I’m going to spec the SPS Plus on the build which I believe just adds thickness and rigidity to the transom but probably no better planing ability. But if they have an ESP available to test drive it would probably be worth checking out.

Viking - from a price point standpoint I priced an Aurora LE with the better SHP hull and it came in around $62k mildly optioned and 250 G2. The 23SSBXP with SPS+ priced roughly the same lightly optioned and F250 but included the pricey power steering. The G2 has integral power steering already so it’s essentially a wash. I didn’t price the ESP hull but I imagine this would add a good chunk over the SPS+ but I will confirm once I get into the design with the dealer.

I see yours is a 24’ did they size them differently in 2017? I only see them listed at 23 and 25’ now.

I really should test drive the Manny but I just don’t want to waste that salesman’s time - trailering to and from Annapolis MD (2 hours) for warranty work etc. would only be worth it if the price differential was $$$. But if similar as it stands now, then the slightly lesser performance (based on others’ reviews) is worth the PITA factor. Hell I’ve caught plenty of fish from canoes and jon boats - I think I’ll manage on a Bennington!
 

Potomacbassin’

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So I was able to refine the build today, see below. Unfortunately and expectedly, the price tag soared so I had to make those tough decisions (dock lights for $300?? vs hand held flashlight for $9.99). But the important things made it in so I think I’m done. Only thing left is the dealer has to ask Bennington to blue print the custom mods and see if it can be built. Biggest issue will be to try and cram a dinette table (CEO’s request) in front of the swingback while losing the bench.

It’s refreshing to actually work with a dealer that tells it like it is and actually listens and tries to make you happy. Trust equals more business in my book so they’re off to a great start!


3F769837-6DC9-4223-ABBC-F311075718BD.jpeg
 

lakeliving

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Holding a flashlight might be a little hard when steering and working the throttle. Remember those are msrp prices so it’s actually less. Out of curiosity, are you going to add a trolling motor to it?
 

Vikingstaff

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I love your eye for detail and specificity!!! Looks like you spec’d up a nice boat. I think you will find the refinement on the XP version of the s-series a nice step up from what you tested. I didn’t like the Aurora line as much, but probably kind of akin to some aspects of the S-series compared below the G/R series.

In the end, we have been very pleased with our SPS SSBXP. However, I also like the flater ride/turns of the SPS vs. the v-hull affect of the SHP Aurora’s. That is certainly a personal thing, and I can totally see where others would much prefer the SHP approach.

Yup, in 2017 they had 22’ or 24’ SXP’s, but that changed to the 23’ or 25” versions since 2018. 24’ is a solid length for us, so I’m glad it was an option for us at the time. I would have liked to have moved up to the SPS+ and a 250 like you, but we just couldn’t squeeze any more out of our budget at the time.

In the end, I think you would be happy with either of your narrowed down options. Accessibility to a trustworthy dealer and service probably the best factor in deciding between the two for you.

Obviously, as a Bennington group, we are all glad you went in our direction. Happy boating this summer.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Thanks Viking, I ran out of budget about $10k ago! But I want to make sure this is my “last boat” as many of you are apt to say. Makes a lot of sense because these things aren’t cheap and I have other quickly-depreciating toys to purchase.

Lakeliving - yes I’m trying to get the factory to create a 4’ deck outside the playpen so I can mount a 36v trolling motor. Will also add power poles and electronics to complete the fishing mods.
Speaking of the new 2020 marketing book has the center console included, pretty slick.
 

Potomacbassin’

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In case anyone is bored due to COVID19 lockdowns like I am, here an update on the build. Finally got the engineering drawings from Benny for my custom 23 SSBXP. Basically Frankenstein’s monster where we’re deleting the port seating on the swing back layout and subbing for a dinette table, and using shorter bow seating from a 21 to make a larger casting deck for me and the trolling motor. 41” might be tight so I might ask to add another foot if they can use a deck from a 24’ model? Going into production hopefully this week.

AC78E1D7-23E2-439C-92FC-B711A4FB8249.png
 

Boostaddict

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So I was able to refine the build today, see below. Unfortunately and expectedly, the price tag soared so I had to make those tough decisions (dock lights for $300?? vs hand held flashlight for $9.99). But the important things made it in so I think I’m done. Only thing left is the dealer has to ask Bennington to blue print the custom mods and see if it can be built. Biggest issue will be to try and cram a dinette table (CEO’s request) in front of the swingback while losing the bench.

It’s refreshing to actually work with a dealer that tells it like it is and actually listens and tries to make you happy. Trust equals more business in my book so they’re off to a great start!


View attachment 26355
If you want to take a test drive on ours, i would happy to do so. We are down at Lake Anna and have all the options you have listed. Your missing the live well. We just put the boat back in the slip last week.
 

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Potomacbassin’

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If you want to take a test drive on ours, i would happy to do so. We are down at Lake Anna and have all the options you have listed. Your missing the live well. We just put the boat back in the slip last week.
Appreciate the offer!

That blackout package looks awesome. Wife thinks it will get too hot to touch in the summer and I agree, plus it was $$$ that I needed for other things. I did have the live well spec’d but with the changed front seating Benny says that neither live well nor cooler can be optioned. Bummer but not a big deal - it was a choice between casting deck room and something I would infrequently use... I won’t be fishing tourneys in this thing.

Lastly I’ve been debating the F250 (or VF) versus the new Merc V8. Probably going Merc at this point since it comes with digital controls and electric p/s standard and newer tech should have better fuel efficiency and power at 87 octane. My sedan loves to drink the 93 octane at a very fast clip so I can only afford one “pig” in the family!
 

Boostaddict

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No problem. Just throwing it out there. Love to have the V8, it wasn't a option when we ordered. The Vmax drinks the gas quick, but worth every penny. Good luck on your new boat!
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Blackout gets hot, but not much hotter than my old boat with standard anodized rail. Don’t let that scare you, spend that $$$$ ... :p
 
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