About to order my first Bennington!

lakelifeMN

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Hello everyone! After doing substantial research and browsing this very, very helpful forum, I am about to go ahead with the order of a 23 LSB. Based on everything I've read on the forum saying "buy your last boat first", this is what I'm hoping to accomplish! My only dilemma is whether to go with black canvas or smokey granite canvas. Any and all opinions are welcome! Here is a rundown of the build:

23LSB
SPS Package
175hp Yamaha Vmax
Textured Smokey Granite Panels
Smooth Midnight Black Accent
Blackout Luxe
Dimensional Chrome Logos
Black or Smokey Granite Canvas?
Curved Bimini Top
Blue Ice Bimini LED Lights
4 Step Stainless Steel Ladder
Pillowtop Diamond Pressed Upholstery Upgrade
Silver Simtex with Metallic Carbon Accent
Zebrawood Slate Matte Trim Accent
Co-Captain Seat Exchange
Recliner Upgrade V2 Pure Comfort Captains Chairs
Swingback Plus with Lighted Speaker Grill
Simrad Go7 Display
Elevated Helm
Rockford PMX 2 Upgrade
RGB Toe Kick Lighting, Cupholders, and Side Illumination
Woven Vinyl Silver Floor
Starboard Bow Cooler
Power Hydraulic Assist Steering
Dual Batteries with Switch
Power Distribution Panel
Master Power Switch
Center Fuel (SPS) Port Fill
Dock Lights in LED Stainless Housing
Black Rub Rail Insert
Heavy Duty Rub Rail
Pop Up Cleats Bow and Aft
Ski Pylon 54" Aluminum Removable

Am I forgetting anything that I will be regretting down the road? I opted against the swingback keeper rail as I don't anticipate anyone lounging back there while the boat is underway, and also against the center toon storage. Any and all opinions are welcome!

Thanks!
Brian
Sounds like you have done your research and, like me, getting your last boat first. Congratulations! I see you have gotten lots of excellent comments above. I wanted the LEDs in my Bimini as well but decided to take it off since we will not be doing much nighttime boating and as they pointed out would not have the canopy open anyway. The standard ladder is also an excellent option instead of the stainless. Between those two items you would save $600 to $700. Something my dealer pointed out, is that the master power switch at the dash doesn’t kill everything so if you want to do that you still have to use the switch at the batteries. If you wanted to save another $150 you could go without but it is nice to have.
The biggest question is how are you going to use your boat? If you’re going to be tubing and pulling people the rail for the swing back would be ideal since people could sit on the back and take pictures and keep an eye on the people in the water. If you’re only going to use it at sandbars or while swimming then you could go without since you wouldn’t be sitting back there when under power. There was a very good discussion about this topic on the Bennington Facebook page just recently. Also depends what the rules in your state are. Some states seay you have to have it in order to sit back there while underway. You could always purchase it from the factory and then take it off if it doesn’t suit your needs at this time. Would be cheaper than trying to retrofit one later.
Enjoy and post lots of pictures when you get it!
 

lakelife53

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LakelifeMN at this moment, I would say tubing and pulling people would only be happening for about 1 week out of the summer. 5 years from now, that could potentially increase. I can see that being a good spot to watch from. Otherwise it will just be used for lounging while anchored out and swimming. I’ll talk to the dealer tomorrow and see if it’s something that can be added later if I feel the need for it or if I should just order it with it and then take it off for the 90% of the time where no one would be lounging there while under power. I will now be eliminating the bimini lights and the stainless ladder. That’s interesting about the master power switch, I didn’t know that!
 

lakelifeMN

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LakelifeMN at this moment, I would say tubing and pulling people would only be happening for about 1 week out of the summer. 5 years from now, that could potentially increase. I can see that being a good spot to watch from. Otherwise it will just be used for lounging while anchored out and swimming. I’ll talk to the dealer tomorrow and see if it’s something that can be added later if I feel the need for it or if I should just order it with it and then take it off for the 90% of the time where no one would be lounging there while under power. I will now be eliminating the bimini lights and the stainless ladder. That’s interesting about the master power switch, I didn’t know that!
I think it kills all auxiliary power but you would still have power to the motor. I am new to boating so some of the veterans on this page can straighten this out. ;) As far as the rail goes, I always thought if it was going to be just at the sandbar for swimming it would be nicer to not have the rail. Again, just depends how you’re going to use your boat. Talk to your dealer, get some pricing information, and make the best decision for you and your situation. Good luck and enjoy!
 

Potomacbassin’

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The center storage is expensive but honestly great bang for the buck. I have it filled with a ton of stuff and don't know where I would keep it otherwise. Currently:

- Extra pfd's
- Boat cover and poles while under way
- Boarding ramp
- Bucket for bait or emergency toilet
- Boat hook
- Fishing net

I could fit three small children in there, it's that big!

The helm master power switch is a bit redundant if you regularly kill your power at the main battery switch, not sure it's purpose but I got it anyway.

I know you have the elevated helm, but the bolstered captains chair is also a can't miss option IMO so you can have a better view of floating debris, birds, people in the water etc. The higher your vantage point the better/safer.

Didn't see the wavetamer underskinning, but may have missed it.

You have center fuel option - good. Can't remember if this gives you the 52 gal capacity so might be worth confirming.

Great build!
 

lakelife53

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I see your point about the center room storage, I’m coming from an 86 ski nautique where there is no storage space at all lol! Having a house on the lake, I usually leave whatever I don’t need at the house or on the dock and just take what I need out on the boat. That’s the reason I passed on the storage. I’m going to talk to the dealer tomorrow when I go to order the boat and see if I can talk him down on the 200 vmax. If he won’t budge, then the 175 vmax I’m sure will be just fine for what I’ll be doing with the boat.
 

tjozwiak

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Hello everyone! After doing substantial research and browsing this very, very helpful forum, I am about to go ahead with the order of a 23 LSB. Based on everything I've read on the forum saying "buy your last boat first", this is what I'm hoping to accomplish! My only dilemma is whether to go with black canvas or smokey granite canvas. Any and all opinions are welcome! Here is a rundown of the build:

23LSB
SPS Package
175hp Yamaha Vmax
Textured Smokey Granite Panels
Smooth Midnight Black Accent
Blackout Luxe
Dimensional Chrome Logos
Black or Smokey Granite Canvas?
Curved Bimini Top
Blue Ice Bimini LED Lights
4 Step Stainless Steel Ladder
Pillowtop Diamond Pressed Upholstery Upgrade
Silver Simtex with Metallic Carbon Accent
Zebrawood Slate Matte Trim Accent
Co-Captain Seat Exchange
Recliner Upgrade V2 Pure Comfort Captains Chairs
Swingback Plus with Lighted Speaker Grill
Simrad Go7 Display
Elevated Helm
Rockford PMX 2 Upgrade
RGB Toe Kick Lighting, Cupholders, and Side Illumination
Woven Vinyl Silver Floor
Starboard Bow Cooler
Power Hydraulic Assist Steering
Dual Batteries with Switch
Power Distribution Panel
Master Power Switch
Center Fuel (SPS) Port Fill
Dock Lights in LED Stainless Housing
Black Rub Rail Insert
Heavy Duty Rub Rail
Pop Up Cleats Bow and Aft
Ski Pylon 54" Aluminum Removable

Am I forgetting anything that I will be regretting down the road? I opted against the swingback keeper rail as I don't anticipate anyone lounging back there while the boat is underway, and also against the center toon storage. Any and all opinions are welcome!

Thanks!
Brian
Congratulations Brian! Very well thought out plan for purchase. Not sure what the extra cost of the center pontoon storage is, however it is a large space to stow a lot of gear out of sight yet very handy to retrieve. My 1st Bennington did not have it but my new boat does and I love it!
 

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Carlson80

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I see your point about the center room storage, I’m coming from an 86 ski nautique where there is no storage space at all lol! Having a house on the lake, I usually leave whatever I don’t need at the house or on the dock and just take what I need out on the boat. That’s the reason I passed on the storage. I’m going to talk to the dealer tomorrow when I go to order the boat and see if I can talk him down on the 200 vmax. If he won’t budge, then the 175 vmax I’m sure will be just fine for what I’ll be doing with the boat.

Seems like you really want the 200 SHO and I agree with you, that is what I went with. I went back and forth like you. In the end I did not want to have any regrets so I went with the 200 SHO. If there is any way to stretch your budget you will not regret doing so. If you can not push the budget you will be very happy with the 175 SHO. The 200 SHO was on back order when I ordered and the dealer put a 175 SHO (swapped out for free to my 200 SHO when it was available) on my Bennington and I must say it was a strong motor. Honestly I was happy with it. With that said if you can afford to max the HP you will not think “what if”.
 
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tjozwiak

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I see your point about the center room storage, I’m coming from an 86 ski nautique where there is no storage space at all lol! Having a house on the lake, I usually leave whatever I don’t need at the house or on the dock and just take what I need out on the boat. That’s the reason I passed on the storage. I’m going to talk to the dealer tomorrow when I go to order the boat and see if I can talk him down on the 200 vmax. If he won’t budge, then the 175 vmax I’m sure will be just fine for what I’ll be doing with the boat.
More power is always better! It's like building a garage or a pole barn. You don't want to be in the position of, boy I wish I had added a couple of extra feet.
 

Vikingstaff

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We are lakeside like you at our lake house. I did go with the center toon storage because so many people highly recommended it. Yet, with the swingback configuration, you also have all that extra storage space under that large rear lounger. Between having our cottage & garage lakeside, AND the crazy extra storage provided under our swingback seat, we absolutely do not need our in toon floor storage.

I do keep a set of water skis in it seasonally, and tend to drop our mooring cover into it because it is there and otherwise not getting used. However, I have so much more conveniently accessible (and never damp) options under seats and the swingback lounger, that it just isn’t used as I had in visioned.

Now if we trailered, I could see using it more. If we didn’t have all the storage space under the swingback lounger, I could see using it more. However, like us, you will be both lakeside and have the swingback storage. I wouldn’t bother with it if I had it to do over again. Get that dang 200 HP!!! :cool::D

We have the Mercury version of the 200 VMAX with our Verado Pro. I wouldn’t want to go any other way (unless it involved even more HP). It’s a phenomenal motor!
 

lakelife53

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Well I just left the dealer! Boat has been ordered, tentative delivery for mid May! They weren’t able to fit the 200hp within my budget, however they assured me that the 175 vmax would move the boat just fine! I have no doubt that it will. After all, if I really have a need for speed I can just hop on the my GP1800 Jetski that does 85 lol! I eliminated the Bimini lights and the stainless ladder and added the keeper rail based on everyone’s recommendation, and I feel like I made the right decision. Thank you for all of your input and I will be sure to post pictures when it is delivered!
 

Carlson80

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Congratulations, I do agree and had experience with the 175 SHO you will be happy! Great call on the changes you made. Welcome to the Bennington family! Happy pontooning!!
 
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Vikingstaff

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Very exciting. Congratulations! It’s going to be a fantastic boat.
 

lakelife53

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Well, I finally took delivery of my boat this past weekend, and I couldn't be happier with it! I spent the entire weekend out on the lake with it; what a blast! Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions while I was going through the process of building this thing, it truly paid off! I know everyone likes to see pictures so here are a few!
IMG_6673.JPGIMG_6674.JPGIMG_6676.JPGIMG_6678.JPGIMG_6679.JPGIMG_6681.JPGIMG_6682.JPGIMG_6691.JPGIMG_6695.JPGIMG_6690.JPGIMG_6693.JPG
 

Carlson80

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Congratulations! Beautiful Bennington!!
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Congrats! She’s a beauty!!!
 

Vikingstaff

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Your boat looks amazing Lakelife. Congratulations on finally getting it. Nothing beats the feeling of the first weekend on the water with the new boat.
 
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