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Newbie to forum and boating (long)

Discussion in 'Pontoon Forum' started by Pfam7, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Pfam7

    Pfam7 Member

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    OK, long post, early morning, so grab coffee and enjoy (if you have nothing better to do). So, the adventure begins. Finally left the RV (i.e. yard anchor) world. Had experience with RV.net and found this forum.
    Last summer went to Put In Bay for my birthday and, after several visits, fell in love with Lake Erie. Live in Southern Ohio and have never been a water person, but just something about lake life. Eventually found a second home in Marblehead, and hope to live there full time eventually. Anyway, doesn't make sense to live on the lake and not have a boat. Went to several boat dealers during the fall, only knowing how to spell "boat" and knew port and starboard, but little else. Made a fool of myself several times asking questions with all the wrong terminology, but my schooling began. Thought we had narrowed it down to a dual console, but then saw a video about tritoons on the Lake.
    Went to the Cleveland Boat show last weekend, knowing we were interested in a "boat". After crawling up, over, in, and out of several, decided a tritoon was the best option for our family. First stop was a Harris dealer. Was very impressed, seemed like a good boat, salesman (of course) very persuasive. Next stop, the Bennington which we were looking forward to due to our previous research. The tipping point honestly is the 10 year warranty from Bennington (nice job Benny, that says a lot about your product). Arrived at the show when it opened and left just before closing. I'm sure the salesmen were worn out but hey, that's their job. After asking 19 times before, I again asked for the twentieth time, " are you sure you can take this on Lake Erie?" Finally became convinced.
    Kept comparing the SXP and R models (they didn't have any G models) and narrowed it down to the 25 SPDXP. However, although you can get a Yamaha 250 HP, you cannot get the ESP package. Dealer said you can get SPS or SPS+ with 200 HP and would work well with Erie. Came home and sat with family and discovered the 25 GBR. Both very nice boats, obviously the "G" has more options.
    So, here we are. Seems to be the best time of year to buy, and Bennington is offering rebates.
    Does anyone on the forum have any input regarding the following for a Lake Erie boat?

    25 SPDXP with SPS/SPS+ with 200/250 HP or,
    25 GBR with ESP 250 HP (Lake Erie dealer recommended).
    Anyone with double Bimini top? Refrigerator? Privacy chaise? pros/cons
    Any other suggestions/recommendations welcomed.
    Will keep everyone updated (if interested).
    BTW, automatic or manual transmission? (just kidding)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  2. The Wanderer2

    The Wanderer2 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I have a 2016 2575 RSB with ESP and a 300 HP Yamaha and boat on Lake Erie in the summer out of Toledo Beach Marina and Monroe Boat Club. The boat handles Lake Erie better than my previous Yamaha 242 Limited S Jetboat. Last summer I took a ride for lunch from Toledo Beach to Detroit and back with no problems or water over the front. My friends all experienced boaters were amazed at the comfort level of the ride. Lake Erie can be rough because it's shallow and the waves are close together, on those days avoid boating. I've been boating the Great Lakes my entire life and feel very comfortable on my Bennington. The trip to Detroit and back was just under 100 miles.
     
  3. Jb75

    Jb75 Well-Known Member

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    You've found Bennington so you're on the right track. Can't speak to the seaworthiness of the sps but I have a 2250 gsr with ESP/250 and can't believe how it handles any lake conditions. I'm on a lake that is nothing like Erie but gets whipped up from time to time. I'm sure a 27 foot boat will be that much more impressive. Good luck and keep us posted. Ps. Where in southern Ohio?
     
  4. Pfam7

    Pfam7 Member

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    Circleville
     
  5. Jb75

    Jb75 Well-Known Member

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    Pumpkin festival??? I was born and raised in Lebanon. Dad has a farm in southern Adams county not to far from you I still get to a few times a yr. too cold for me I fled south. Good
    Luck with the boat hunt. You can't go wrong. Buying our Bennington was the best thing I've ever spent money on.
     
  6. adkboater

    adkboater Well-Known Member

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    Don’t have any experience on Big water with our boat but when we do get some rough stuff 1-2’ waves it’s fantastic, when my glass boat would beat us to death, the triple toon just eats right up! I wasn’t a believer to I tried it myself. No flex, no noises, just pure fun!! Best of luck on your boat buying journey...... one thing I can tell you one thing..... you came to the right place and the brand!
     
    Charles Britt likes this.
  7. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    You will want electric assist steering. Search "power steering" here to see all the right info and advice.
     
    mbhenry1955 and lakeliving like this.
  8. The Wanderer2

    The Wanderer2 Well-Known Member

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    Most definitely on the power steering.
     
    mbhenry1955 likes this.
  9. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    We boat on rough water. I highly recommend the extra bouyancy of the ESP.
     
    mbhenry1955 likes this.
  10. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    “Boat” guys are all about manual transmission, but I’m lazy. I say get an automatic. :D
     
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  11. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    On a serious note, I was thinking along the lines of the comment I quoted. Now mind you, I have a 200 hp SPS SSBXP, and am on an inland lake in Michigan. I have no personal experience on the “Big Water” of the Great Lakes, or with an ESP myself.

    However, just based on research, and others more experienced opinions, that seems to be the route to go if you can afford it. I also second the above thought of JB75 about going up to a 27’ if possible. Longer Tritoons are going to ride across waves better, and the ESP should give even better buoyancy (though I think our SPS is pretty darn solid in this respect too).

    IF the budget allows: ESP, 250hp, power steering on a G or R series seems like it would be better (also a “beefier” construction on those two models compared to the s-series). Better yet, if the budget allows, go up from a 25’ to a 27’.
     
  12. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    If budget allows might as well get the G. Better handling and power with the esp and 250.
     
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  13. Link

    Link Moderator

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    Longer the boat more stable she will be. My privy is large enough that I can place a full size commode in it and we use sanibags. It doesn't get used that often but cant beat having it rather than the ladies going in cold water such as Lake Erie
     
    Vikingstaff likes this.
  14. Pfam7

    Pfam7 Member

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    I really appreciate everyone's input. Agree with the 27 foot benefit but the floor plan we want does not come in the G or R models. I think we will pursue the G (maybe the R if affordable) with the ESP and 250HP. Biggest problem now is deciding colors, and wife really likes the blackout package. Also have to decide how many bells and whistles are important but the old man has to "shine with maturity" against the college kids at Put In Bay (always think of the tortoise and hare analogy). As a beginner, will concentrate on Sandusky Bay and trips (in good weather) to the Islands and Cedar Point. Down the road with experience and retirement, may upgrade to longer boat to tackle Great Lakes touring type of trips. Hope to meet with dealer in three weeks (or sooner) for the "sit down".
     
  15. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    Definitely loved the handling of the ESP and 250hp, also the in floor storage is a GREAT investment!
     
  16. mattb

    mattb Well-Known Member

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  17. The Wanderer2

    The Wanderer2 Well-Known Member

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    I go to PIB three or four times every summer in my other boat. Haven't tried going over in the toon yet. It's about 32 miles across from my marina at Toledo Beach. Going to see Pat Daily here in Fort Myers on Wednesday. Also, going to see Mad Dog here on 2/14. Both are PIB legends.
     
    Michiman likes this.
  18. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    Oh my, Pat Daily is one of my favorite performers. Saw him live a few years back in East Lansing. He's great in a live show! I'd go again in a heartbeat.
     
  19. The Wanderer2

    The Wanderer2 Well-Known Member

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    He puts on one hell of a show.
     
  20. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got a gcw 2574 esp and it handles 2+ foot chop with ease. I think you’ll be just fine on Erie most days. Welcome and have fun putting together your new Benny!
     
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