Our New Boat has Arrived !!!

Baja 252

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I had a thread titled, “I have a build date/week!!!” but since the boat arrived I thought I’d start a new thread.

If you didn’t read any of the other thread, on June 21st we ordered a 22 GSRFB with the new Mercury V6 200hp. It's our 3rd new pontoon and my 13th boat. We are on LOTO and have very rough water, so went with the ESP hull and bow wave tamer to get every advantage in the rough water. It's white w/blk accent and the blackout pkg with the SS rub rail. I ordered the SS ladder, because it goes well with the SS rub rail, SS dock lights and the SS gate on the back of the FB's. We skipped the amp, but did get the upgraded Kicker KMC10 stereo. The interior is the R series captains chairs with the Pillowtop Diamond Stitch Upholstery in driftwood with carbon inserts.
The boat sits on a lift in front of the house, so we go for rides or use water toys off the dock, not all day outings. Because of this we skipped the in floor storage. I also would have rather had the 250hp, but skipping those last two things let us get the ESP hull and we thought that was more important.

Unfortunately the boat has been at the dealer for a few weeks waiting on the engine from Mercury. After a few delayed delivery dates the engine was built on Oct. 3rd, shipped on the 5th, and arrived at the dealer on the 10th. We’ve had some rain, so I didn’t take delivery until yesterday. It was totally worth the wait! Didn't have a good camera with me, but here are a few cell phone pics.

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Everything with the delivery went great; the boat looks fantastic, we’re very happy with our dealer, all our decisions and option selections. The fit and finish is better than the high expectations I had for it. Bennington builds a boat that is sure way above the rest I looked at.

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Unlike summer, at this time of the year especially during the week things are very quiet on the lake and even in those conditions this engine is so quiet! At idle you can’t even tell its running unless you focus on it. At speed you do have to talk louder to a passenger, but not because of the engine noise only because of the wind noise. The instant power (torque) of this engine is amazing. I was warned to brace my hand against the side rail while changing throttle positions, so I could make only minor changes. Boy were they right, a tiny throttle movement gives you a burst of power that will catch you off guard if you're not ready for it. While going 30mph I can snap people’s heads back if I I accelerate hard.

With the new Mercury break in procedures you do a full throttle run for 1 min, every 10 minutes. So with only 1 hour on the engine, 50 gal of fuel, two people (should be 3, cause I should count as 2 ;)) I'm getting a GPS reading of 40mph at 5800 rpm with a 14P Enertia Prop. I was convinced a 14P was way too low, but the dealer stood firm telling me Bennington and Mercury had this combo tested and it was correct. So far, unless I gain more rpm after break-in it looks like they were right on the prop. I’m right on the top end of the rpm range with only 4% slip!!!!! I’ve owned 100mph lightweight tunnel hulls that were very efficient at 9% slip. 4% slip is unreal to me.

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I've had SmartCraft gauges before and I love them. The information comes straight from the engines computer; even things you usually don't have like oil temp, oil pressure and fuel usage are available on the gauges.

The negatives for me so far are the power steering pump whine is a little noisy under the helm at slow speeds. It’s not terrible and I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I also wasn’t a fan of the new G helm, but after a few rides it’s growing on me. I do wish the boat had more small storage places for passengers. A place to store things like sunglasses, wallets, suntan lotion etc. I’d also like to see more USB ports. I hate the kids always on their phone, but the driver isn’t the only one that needs to charge their phone on the go.

I can’t speak to the ESP hull in rough water yet, maybe this weekend if the weather is good we will get some boat traffic and rough water to test it out. (Boy, I never wished for rough water before.) In smooth water the hull is quiet, smooth, planes at a very low speed and turns very sharp while staying on a plane.

After a fill up (ouch) and long ride, we took it home.

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My dock is older, so the roof is a little low and the slip isn't a wide as I'd like. It's a tight fit, but it works. I just have to have the top down and take it slow when docking.

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The space age look of the new Mercury's takes a little getting used too, but it's growing on me. I love how the black matches the boat.

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Sorry for the long winded post and I realize I sound like commercial for Bennington and Mercury, but that’s how impressed I am with this boat.

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Hopefully we will have some more nice fall weather to enjoy the boat before the snow falls.
Now Bennington about those heated seats.
 

KC24

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Very nice. I really like the colors. Enjoy
 

sjhorner9475

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She is a beauty. I enjoyed the "long winded" post. Stories are always nice to hear and the pictures are great. Enjoy the boat. I am hoping to be able to add to this post in a couple of weeks when my new boat arrives.
 

Stevez

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Yeah, I love the post and the pictures! you really help people like me who haven't decided yet. Absolutely gorgeous boat and set-up. Thanks for sharing it all and congratulations.
 

BURRIS PROP

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Very nice, sweet looking boat.
 

lakeliving

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Sweet. Congrats on finally getting it home!
 

Vikingstaff

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I love a good “long winded” story. Thanks for sharing. I also enjoyed the additional pictures.


I think a lot of us sound like Bennington commercials, and our boat motor manufacturer’s commercials. I know I have felt that way a number of times too. Hopefully it is a good sign we have largely gotten our money’s worth since these beautiful boats are so expensive.

Glad you are loving your new Bennington so much!
 

BulldogsCadillac

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She's a beauty!! Great to hear in depth stories / reviews on things, it helps others!! Sure makes me miss mine :(
 

RodEarl74

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Very nice boat! I'm sure you'll get many years of great use out of her!
 

Mike31406

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Great looking boat and very informative narrative. Welcome to the forum.
 

Rick from Rocky Mount

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Great looking boat!! Love your color schemes and the Mercury motor cover. Trust me, you will love the ESP on LOTO! Our dealer looked for the largest cruiser on the lake to drive behind on our test drive, and from then on we were sold on the Bennington and ESP hull. Where are you on the lake? We're in Rocky Mount, obviously, on the Gravois Arm. Congrats and enjoy!! We hope to take ours out this weekend for one last ride for awhile.
 

DaveyJ

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Congrats on the beautiful boat!
 

BigKahuna

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Congrats! Nice looking boat! The black and white scheme looks great! We took the boat out on Monday. My daughter was visiting and wanted to ski/wakeboard on her birthday. The water was pretty chilly but we got in. We usually take the boat out of the the water when it's too cold to swim. Enjoy your fall boating at LOTO ....
 
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SEMPERFI8387

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That my friend, is a thing of beauty!!!
Other than no door, that helm does look pretty nice ..... I didn’t like it when I first saw pics of it, but from the side it looks good!
 

BigKahuna

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That my friend, is a thing of beauty!!!
Other than no door, that helm does look pretty nice ..... I didn’t like it when I first saw pics of it, but from the side it looks good!
Okay so there's no access to the helm then? What if anything is housed under there? Or is it hollow wasted space?
 

Baja 252

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. Where are you on the lake?
We are at the 8mm, Sunrise Beach. You bought your boat at Kelly's Port?

Okay so there's no access to the helm then? What if anything is housed under there? Or is it hollow wasted space?
Yup no door on the side to access under the helm. The whole backrest of the front seat flips up (and stays up) and you then remove the seat cushion completely. This opens up the access to under the seat and then connects to under the helm. Not as easy to access as a door, but okay I guess.

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My dealer put my cover in there, so lots of room. I do think it's nice to have the long area, I put my paddle under the seat extending under the helm. Also my ski pole is under there. It has nice plastic brackets that keep it from rolling around, another Bennington nice touch. The mechanic that rigged my boat said they had a lot of issues with people over stuffing the helm with things and when they would push stuff in or take stuff out it got caught on wiring and messed it up. Now when you put stuff under the helm it may push against wiring, but it won't slide against it and snag it After seeing the amount of wires under the helm I get it, it is sure a huge maze of wiring.
That being said I would rather have the door for easier access, but I'm careful about stuff around wiring. I guess
Bennington has to worry about the how everyone will use their boats.

We're up to 3.5 hrs on the boat.
 
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Michiman

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Thanks for sharing your beautiful Benny and story with us! Personally, after three seasons with my Mercury, the only thing I'd change would be the color. Try as I might, I can't seem to keep the water spots off for more than a couple of hours.
 

BigKahuna

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We are at the 8mm, Sunrise Beach. You bought your boat at Kelly's Port?



Yup no door on the side to access under the helm. The whole backrest of the front seat flips up (and stays up) and you then remove the seat cushion completely. This opens up the access to under the seat and then connects to under the helm. Not as easy to acess as a door, but Ok I guess. My dealer put my cover in there, so lots of room. I do think it's nice to have the long area, I put my paddle under the seat extending under the helm. Also my ski pole is under there. It has nice plastic brackets that keep it from rolling around, another Bennington nice touch. The mechanic that rigged my boat said they had a lot of issues with people over stuffing the helm with things and when they would push stuff in or take stuff out it got caught on wiring and messed it up. Now when you put stuff under the helm it may push against wiring, but it won't slide against it and snag it After seeing the amount of wires under the helm I get it, it is sure a huge maze of wiring.
That being said I would rather have the door for easier access, but I'm careful about stuff around wiring. I guess
Bennington has to worry about the how everyone will use their boats.

We're up to 3.5 hrs on the boat.
That's good that you have access to it then. Enjoy your boat!
 

Rick from Rocky Mount

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We are at the 8mm, Sunrise Beach. You bought your boat at Kelly's Port?



Yup no door on the side to access under the helm. The whole backrest of the front seat flips up (and stays up) and you then remove the seat cushion completely. This opens up the access to under the seat and then connects to under the helm. Not as easy to acess as a door, but Ok I guess. My dealer put my cover in there, so lots of room. I do think it's nice to have the long area, I put my paddle under the seat extending under the helm. Also my ski pole is under there. It has nice plastic brackets that keep it from rolling around, another Bennington nice touch. The mechanic that rigged my boat said they had a lot of issues with people over stuffing the helm with things and when they would push stuff in or take stuff out it got caught on wiring and messed it up. Now when you put stuff under the helm it may push against wiring, but it won't slide against it and snag it After seeing the amount of wires under the helm I get it, it is sure a huge maze of wiring.
That being said I would rather have the door for easier access, but I'm careful about stuff around wiring. I guess
Bennington has to worry about the how everyone will use their boats.

We're up to 3.5 hrs on the boat.
Yes, we bought it at Kelly's Port. We put 100 fun filled hours on our boat the first year:). We're only 5 miles from you at 3mm of Gravois. Will probably wave back at you sometime in the future as we pass by each other and admire each other's beautiful boats;)
 
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