23' Bennington Owners input

jwall

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Hello Bennies

I am shopping for my 6th boat, but 1st toon. We have been looking at 2018+ 23 SSBXP or the newer edition being the 23 LSB but regardless in the 23' range with Swing back interior layout.

On the used side it is very hard pressed to find anything over a 150. Tons of 150's on the market and occasionally find a 175 and up to a 200. Can owners chime in regarding the HP you like on your 23'? I'd really like to find an SPS+ with the 250 Yamaha onboard but in months of searching I am not finding it.

Is it worth it to go SPS+ to get the larger engine?
In my mind I would like a V6 to get away from the high pitched 4 cyl sound at higher RPM. Yamaha 200Vmax (V6) a good option to stay away from the SPS+ pricing?

How will we use the boat?
-On a good sized lake doing water sports as well as cruising. 2-6 adults with coolers and dogs.

This covid era inventory on the new and used side is making everything tough! Been looking for sometime now.

Budget < 80K would be great.


Looking forward to the input from the group!
 

Jack M

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I had a 2014 23 RCW SA ,with a 150 ( topped out a 38 ) , I regretted not getting the 200 . In 2020 I bought a 23 QCW with a 200 ( topped out about 45 ) . Sold it last year. Ordered a 2022 QCW with 250 .
 

jwall

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I had a 2014 23 RCW SA ,with a 150 ( topped out a 38 ) , I regretted not getting the 200 . In 2020 I bought 23 QCW with a 200 ( topped out abut 45 ) . Sold it last year. Ordered a 2022 QCW with 250 .
Did you regret the 200? Was it the I-4 or V6 series?

Sounds like you stayed a 23'... so would you recommend holding out for a used one that already has the 250 on it or is 200 good?

I wonder how much weight and performance loss is associated with the SPS+ to get the extra 50HP.
 

Jack M

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I did not regret the 200 at all , I did not have a Yamaha. I wanted one of the 2022 QCW's and I was made a nice offer on the 2020 .I was going to get a 200 on the 22 , my wife said this will be our last ( :D I heard that before ) so get the 250 .
 

Vikingstaff

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We have a 2017 SSBXP SPS with a 200HP Mercury Verado Pro (v6). So pretty much in the heart of what you are looking for. I really love our combination. Sure, wouldn’t mind a SPS+ with a 250, but that just wasn’t in the cards for us when we were buying.

Performance prior to adding Sea Legs in 2019:

Lightly loaded up: 44-45 mph on gps at WOT in ideal conditions. 42-43 MPH at WOT on gps in normal conditions. Loaded up with people (7-10 people), gear and gas, about 37-40 mph on gps at WOT. Our 2017 200 HP Mercury Verado Pro is an inline 6, with a Supercharger. Super smooth power arc. With it paired with the Enertia prop, it has excellent hole shot (crazy really), and yet still topped out at WOT at a very nice clip.

After adding Sea Legs in 2019:

Top speeds lightly loaded dropped between 2-3 mph. Fully loaded evened out more at round 35-38 mph. Not anything major. Biggest two differences after Sea Legs: (1) hole shot is still very nice, but doesn’t “jump” out of the water like it used to. (2) When loaded down and towing our Super Mable tube with 3-4 on it, I have to give it a lot more throttle in zig-zag turns during water sports. Still enough throttle, but I feel it at the helm more, and have to apply more throttle than in the past.

I cannot speak to the 150’s or 4 cyl. 200’s. But a 6 cyl 200HP is still a lot of power for a 23-24’ SPS tritoon.

We use ours for a combination of cruising the lake (we are on a large inland lake), and water sports. For water sports, it is predominately tubing. Water sports payload is our older teens and 20-something kids & their friends, as well as family and friends. Occasional us older adults being towed to. Thus, water sports for us has 2-4 110lbs to 210lbs people on the tube alone. Hence, we are not towing a “light load” when doing water sports.
 
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Willes

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We have the 2021 Bennington 23SSBXP SPS With Swing Back Lounger. 200HP Suzuki DF200ATXRSS2. I am at times both impressed and frustrated with the performance. I really wanted a 250 or 300HP, but you are adding weight with a motor that big as well. We bought what was in stock, so options were limited to 200HP. The Suzuki does run well actually and tubing and spirited cruising with 6-8 people is still possible. If the boat collects any algae on the bottom, performance will drop. Looking at a lift this year to keep it clean. I'll probably sell this boat in 1-2 years and go up to a 25'.
 

FightinIrish

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Hi JWall. There are many discussions (try the search bar upper right corner) on the 150 vs 200 discussion.

We have a 2021 23SSRCX SPS with a Yamaha 150 VMAX that we use on a large lake in upstate NY. Love the combination. For our uses (mostly cruising, occasional water sports, 2-8ish adults and one toddler) I feel it was a nice combination of price vs benefit. Tops out around 38mph, and we have no reason to go any faster. Certainly kept the budget under 80k but prices have definitely gone up over the last year since we bought it new.

Good luck!
 

Potomacbassin’

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23 SSBXP with SPS+ F250 here

Haven't owned another pontoon for comparison but test drove a 22 foot tritoon with an F150 on the back. As expected the top speed is much better on the V6 as well as ability to deal with load - I can put 8 people on my sled and only give up 3 mph. Part of that is propping in my opinion - a big V6 will be able to turn a 15+ inch diameter prop which will grab the water even with all the drag and additional displacement.

The inline 4's will have shorter gearing (i.e. 2:1 or 1.86:1 vs 1.75:1) so they have decent hole shot compared to a V6. But you'll give up 5-8 mph top speed.

I'd sell you mine if I had another on order!! But I think once Covid blows over the used pontoon inventory will increase. A little patience might be rewarded.

277D50D8-B842-4068-BA00-AE27609D3C2C.jpeg
 

Link

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Hi JWall. There are many discussions (try the search bar upper right corner) on the 150 vs 200 discussion.

We have a 2021 23SSRCX SPS with a Yamaha 150 VMAX that we use on a large lake in upstate NY. Love the combination. For our uses (mostly cruising, occasional water sports, 2-8ish adults and one toddler) I feel it was a nice combination of price vs benefit. Tops out around 38mph, and we have no reason to go any faster. Certainly kept the budget under 80k but prices have definitely gone up over the last year since we bought it new.

Good luck!

fightingirish what lake in upstate NY? We are on Sacandaga
 

BigKahuna

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23 SSBXP with SPS+ F250 here

Haven't owned another pontoon for comparison but test drove a 22 foot tritoon with an F150 on the back. As expected the top speed is much better on the V6 as well as ability to deal with load - I can put 8 people on my sled and only give up 3 mph. Part of that is propping in my opinion - a big V6 will be able to turn a 15+ inch diameter prop which will grab the water even with all the drag and additional displacement.

The inline 4's will have shorter gearing (i.e. 2:1 or 1.86:1 vs 1.75:1) so they have decent hole shot compared to a V6. But you'll give up 5-8 mph top speed.

I'd sell you mine if I had another on order!! But I think once Covid blows over the used pontoon inventory will increase. A little patience might be rewarded.

View attachment 31804
Love those graphics!!!
 

jwall

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Hi JWall. There are many discussions (try the search bar upper right corner) on the 150 vs 200 discussion.

We have a 2021 23SSRCX SPS with a Yamaha 150 VMAX that we use on a large lake in upstate NY. Love the combination. For our uses (mostly cruising, occasional water sports, 2-8ish adults and one toddler) I feel it was a nice combination of price vs benefit. Tops out around 38mph, and we have no reason to go any faster. Certainly kept the budget under 80k but prices have definitely gone up over the last year since we bought it new.

Good luck!
I should have been a little more specific in my original post. I’ve read the 150vs200 discussions. Long time reader, first time poster on here.

150 is not an option for me. I was really getting at 200 4 cyl vs 200V6. Or going larger to the 250 type of discussion.
Wondering how much weight the SPS+ adds to get those 50hp and is it worth the price hike. Biggest issue isn’t the price for me it’s the lack of being able to get one used.
We are headed to the boat show now! Maybe COVID will spare us with some sort of inventory and special pricing.
 

Jack M

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I ordered the SPS + and a 250 , not sure on the weight difference .When I ordered mine it was about $7500 more to upgrade to the + and 50 more HP . Also there was just another price increase . Due to the supply issues there is still a long delay when ordering . I ordered last August , it is scheduled for a mid February build .
 

Timdelta

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Jack M only 16 more days for me and a few more than 16 for you to start the builds. Very exciting times.
Does navioncs run on the simrad GO chartplotter? Is it necessary or is the software that comes with them good?
 

scottkp

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I have the SPS+ with a Merc 200 V6 propped with the enertia 15x15. Hole shot is absolutely amazing, top end speed is not where I want it to be based off of what I have read (max 39mph) but it is enough for what we do.

As many say on the forum, you will never complain about having too much HP but certainly will if you are underpowered.
 

Jack M

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I have been happy with the Simrad and the chip that is included. We live between and travel ,2 of the largest inland lakes in Michigan. I heard the other day they may be a few days behind in the scheduled builds
 

dshannon11

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Get the sps+ that can take the higher HP and get the v6 that can upgrade existing to high hp. I know alotta of people do it. The higher hp engines are almost identical minus ecu and maybe gearing.
 

Vikingstaff

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Get the sps+ that can take the higher HP and get the v6 that can upgrade existing to high hp. I know alotta of people do it. The higher hp engines are almost identical minus ecu and maybe gearing.
A SPS+ hull structurally tops out supporting 250HP. Probably not worth an ecu reprogram as you have to have the v6 200 anyway to do that (at least historically with a Mercury). Cannot re-program the Mercuries anymore because they sued those that were doing it. Anyway, I think something similar is also true with other motor manufacturers. Motors and ecu’s change up in that 150-225HP range…

Thus, I don’t see getting an SPS+ and chipping a 200HP to 250HP making sense when hitting the HP cap that quickly for that hull. Maybe worth it if you upgrade to a ESP, but not an SPS+ in my mind.

I’d say either stay with the lighter SPS and v6 200HP, or if bothering with a SPS+, then just get the 250HP v6. IF someone is going to go above that HP, they need to go to an ESP which is structurally rated and sound at those levels.
 
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dshannon11

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A SPS+ hull structurally tops out supporting 250HP. Probably not worth an ecu reprogram as you have to have the v6 200 anyway to do that (at least with a Mercury). I think something similar is also true with other motor manufacturers. Motors and ecu’s change up in that 150-225HP range…

Thus, I don’t see getting an SPS+ and chipping a 200HP to 250HP making sense when hitting the HP cap that quickly for that hull. Maybe worth it if you upgrade to a ESP, but not an SPS+ in my mind.

I’d say either stay with the lighter SPS and v6 200HP, or if bothering with a SPS+, then just get the 250HP v6. IF someone is going to go above that HP, they need to go to an ESP which is structurally rated and sound at those levels.
Good to know, I just assumed the + went more than 50hp more. Thanks a for correcting me!
 
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