SPS vs ESP

TERRY RINEY

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Does anyone have performance experience in the difference between the SPS package and the ESP. I assume the ESP handles better, but wouldn't the SPS be fine with a 200 hp Yamaha?
 

Marantzer

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The ESP gives a more traditional V-hull feel when turning. I have driven both and didn’t find the difference staggering. I would not do anything less than 250 hp on an ESP setup, mainly due to the weight. If I recall, there was about 700 lbs difference between the SPS .100 and the ESP on a 23 foot R-series, regular SPS would be an even greater weight savings. To directly answer your question, SPS would be perfectly fine with a 200 hp unless you are barrel racing.
 

Vikingstaff

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Does anyone have performance experience in the difference between the SPS package and the ESP. I assume the ESP handles better, but wouldn't the SPS be fine with a 200 hp Yamaha?
I have not driven an ESP, only looked at, ridden on one, and considered buying one. My direct personal experience is as a four year owner and captain of an SPS with a 200HP Merc. Both are great hulls! As mentioned above, and due to the lake I would be boating on mixed with costs, I didn‘t find the differnce between them to be enough with a 200HP motor (which was my limit for HP due to budget).

Below are personal opinions based on a mix of experience, and a mix of research and second hand knowledge. 2 cents worth at best...

Handling Performance:

Both hulls handle rough water well, get on plan very quickly, and maneuver very well. SPS will turn more flat, the ESP will more mimic a v-haul turn, but without the extreme banking of the Manitou hull. SPS is thinner and lighter (see below). It is also cheaper. ESP is thicker and heavier (also see below). It is also more expensive. So, depending on how you want it to handle in turns, particularly aggressive water sport type turns, you may favor one over the other: SPS more flat and slightly wider turns; ESP slight bank and tighter turns.

Rough Water Handling:

If on a much more rough body of water, the ESP would handle it a little better, and be more robust/durable in doing it. If memory serves me correctly, the ESP was originally designed to betteer handle the crazy wakes and rough water of LOTO, so its going to be best for rough water conditions.

IF you will not go above a 200 HP, then both are good options. If you want to go above 200HP, then you’d have to consider the SPS+ capped at 250 or ESP all the way up the HP range.

Speed Performance Factors:

IF you wont go above a 200 HP motor, I would consider sticking with the SPS. It is lighter, less expensive, typically put on lighter model boats, and delivers really nice performance. Due to weight, you get more speed at WOT based out of the 200 HP on the SPS.

IF you would go 250 HP or above if you switched to the ESP, then you offset that weight difference vs. speed performance issue. And if you go 300HP and above, well then you certainly can outperform any 200HP on an SPS out there if properly propped and motor mounted properly. Finally, if on a crazy huge lake with super rough waves or wakes, it should be more robust in handling them too.

Costs:

SPS more economical tritoon, but still a full tritoon. ESP more expensive tritoon, but a little more robust and has different turning characteristics.

My Experince:

I have a 24’ SSBXP SPS 200 HP Mercury Verado Pro. I can tell you that a 200HP, particularly a supercharged i6, is a beast when paired with the SPS hull on my S-series. However, if I had the $$$, and had went up to a heavier model boat at the time (G, R, Q) then I would have wanted the ESP to then go higher in HP to maintain (and improve) speed and performance. Unfortunamely, any such move was just too far out of our price range. As it was I had to give up getting a jet ski to shift that money to the boat as spec’d up (went $12k above our original budget at that time).

There are a small category of forum members with good experience on both, but most have experience on one or the other if they have a tritoon. Hopefully others will chime in as they may see things I am overlooking, have different perspectives, or feel I am off base with something above.

If money is tighter, you’ll be thrilled with a 200hp motor on an SPS hull. If money is not an issue, then take a close look at an ESP, but personally I’d then recommend moving up beyond 200HP due to weight factors that impact performance. The caveat being the type of water conditions you’ll boat in, more normal lake and river conditions, or more extreme rough water conditions.
 
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TERRY RINEY

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I just sold my 2011 2250GCW w/ a 150 hp Yamaha that had an elliptical center toon. Looking at the front of that boat, I don't remember the center toon being as large as the 2021 picture shows. I suspect it was more like the SPS, even though it was elliptical looking on the rear of the boat. The 2250GCW cornered very well and had a top speed of 37 mph. But we're not into water sports unless pulling kids on a tube count. I'm looking at a 23 or 25 RSB w/ a 200 hp motor. I'm afraid the ESP will be too heavy and although may handle well, end up being under powered. We loved our 2011. Cost isn't a big issue, I want to end up with at least the same performance and power. Thanks for your input. Any more thoughts?
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Couple things to add, if you are getting in floor storage, the ESP is HUGE! Which is awesome, I've been completely inside it and I'm a 6' 220lb guy!
As for the weight of it, keep in mind that the ESP also adds an extra 1000lbs of buoyancy.

I vote 100% on ESP, I had an 2275 RCW with a 200hp that I took a couple out that were interested in a Bennington. They already had a tri-toon with a 150 (different brand). It took one higher speed turn / bank to make their decision.

Best scenario is that you ride / drive each back to back and make your decision that way. To answer your question directly, yes an SPS will be fine with a 200, but to add to that, an ESP is awesome with a 200 as well! Viking has a very informative post, just thought I'd add to it.

@Vikingstaff what is your top speed with the S and 200 Merc? Wondering what kind of difference there is between an S w/SPS and an R w/ESP. I believe mine was around 44/45 with the 200 SHO.
 

TERRY RINEY

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Does anyone know if the ESP technology in the 2021 boats is different than that of the 2011 models? I suspect Bennington has improved on this idea, added size, weight, etc.
 

Vikingstaff

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Couple things to add, if you are getting in floor storage, the ESP is HUGE! Which is awesome, I've been completely inside it and I'm a 6' 220lb guy!
As for the weight of it, keep in mind that the ESP also adds an extra 1000lbs of buoyancy.

I vote 100% on ESP, I had an 2275 RCW with a 200hp that I took a couple out that were interested in a Bennington. They already had a tri-toon with a 150 (different brand). It took one higher speed turn / bank to make their decision.

Best scenario is that you ride / drive each back to back and make your decision that way. To answer your question directly, yes an SPS will be fine with a 200, but to add to that, an ESP is awesome with a 200 as well! Viking has a very informative post, just thought I'd add to it.

@Vikingstaff what is your top speed with the S and 200 Merc? Wondering what kind of difference there is between an S w/SPS and an R w/ESP. I believe mine was around 44/45 with the 200 SHO.
I was at 44/45 prior to my Sea Legs. Dropped to 42 tops after the Sea Legs. I think I can/could adjust my motor mount height (and maybe play with prop pitch one more time) to squeeze a couple more out of it, but haven’ as we are still happy where it is at. I don’t get many opportunities to open it up all the way due to wife and company wanting to just slow cruise and chat.

Even better than my top end WOT was really the hole shot with the Verado Pro with the supercharger. Prior to Sea Legs, it would just feel like it was jumping out of the water when you hit that throttle. It ”felt” light. Now that I have added the Sea Legs, acceleration is good, but it is not as abrupt or sudden (which I miss, but no one else does) LOL

All of that said, really in the same range as yours was at WOT, which does surprise me. Your boat would have been much heavier than mine. Maybe a sign of the increased bouancy of the ESP compensating/mitigating most of the weight trade off...?
 

CLDave

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Not sure, but another factor might be fuel capacity. The ESP comes with the 56 gallon tank. And with the extra buoyancy you get more capacity as well - my R25 with Swingback has a 16-person cap.
 

Marantzer

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Based on this video posted in 2011, the center tube was 32", just like the current ESP: http://club.benningtonmarine.com/threads/bennington-video.7/. Sounds like you're looking at a pretty similar boat to ours (23 RFB) and in perfect conditions, we'll top out at 45 mph or so with the 250 SHO. I don't regret getting the ESP, but I think I might if I had a lower HP motor. While still being newer to boating, I notice that we lose a LOT of speed in just about any turn. The prop seems to cavitate as the boat turns despite the motor being in the lowest setting. I don't know if, by staying flatter, the SPS might actually maintain speed better in a turn.
 

Vikingstaff

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Not sure, but another factor might be fuel capacity. The ESP comes with the 56 gallon tank. And with the extra buoyancy you get more capacity as well - my R25 with Swingback has a 16-person cap.
Oh...this is a big item here that I forgot about in my post. I WISH I had the 56 gallon fuel capacity of the ESP tank instead of my 33 gallon SPS fuel tank. That is certainly a nice advantage depending on the body/bodies of water you will boat on. Easy access to gas, no biggie. Long trips, less access to gas, then that bigger fuel tank is a nice advantage.
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Based on this video posted in 2011, the center tube was 32", just like the current ESP: http://club.benningtonmarine.com/threads/bennington-video.7/. Sounds like you're looking at a pretty similar boat to ours (23 RFB) and in perfect conditions, we'll top out at 45 mph or so with the 250 SHO. I don't regret getting the ESP, but I think I might if I had a lower HP motor. While still being newer to boating, I notice that we lose a LOT of speed in just about any turn. The prop seems to cavitate as the boat turns despite the motor being in the lowest setting. I don't know if, by staying flatter, the SPS might actually maintain speed better in a turn.
Hmm, you should be getting a few more mph than that with the 250 (unless that is with 5-6 people and full fuel). I only say that because with my 2275 RCW Sport Tower with a 250 SHO I was getting around 46, but I had LOTS of extra weight. 325lbs of batteries , the full sport tower, all the extra stereo gear, heck I had probably 45lbs just in extra wire! Haha, plus we always kept two 2 person tubes, one 3 person tube, kneeboard, wakeboard and other random crap in the in floor storage! Although, tubes were spotless because it was a trailer queen in my driveway!
 

jhill

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........and add electrically assisted hydraulic steering to either as it is a kick in the butt to carve turns when you have it. My SPS is unreal with power steering. My 2017 22 SSRCX SPS Yamaha F150 has quite short center pontoon lifting strakes (only about 2/3 length) Maybe it is because of the full seating layout for handling potential weight of passengers?. .....my hypothesis.... I know some other Bennington models have full length lifting strakes. You would think having the lifting strakes all the way to stern would make the most sense. If I carve hard turn it responds instantly and lifts outside pontoon well above just level and actually lifts while turning. It loses speed with hard turn which needs to be compensated with more throttle. It would be cool to have video of 2 similar Bennys with SPS and ESP doing barrel racing hard corners around a course.IMG_4520.jpg.
 
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Baja 252

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I have a 200hp Merc V6 engine with the ESP hull and love it. With a full tank and 2 people I can still hit 40mph and the acceleration is great. We do have a shorter boat, but if you are under 25’ 200 hp isn’t bad at all.
 
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