Bennington will discontinue I/O drivetrain

Bill N

Well-Known Member
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If you want one, please see your dealer and get your order in the system ASAP.
Just think...YOU could possibly get the very last Bennington I/O ever built!
I think the amazing V8s that are available in outboard now were the nail in I/O's coffin. A neighbor of mine went through 3 I/O Bennies (traded them up every other year) and he got a Merc 450R 3 years ago. I've ridden in them both and there's no comparison. The grumble of the I/O is VERY nice, but for ease of maintenance and absolute power/quiet there's just no way an I/O compares.
I've had 2 I/O's and they performed flawlessly until the fuel pump failed in my 2nd one. Because of where the fuel pump is located the motor had to be taken out of the boat to be replaced which means significant labor costs. My current Mercury outboard does everything my I/O's did but it's much lighter, easier to service and maintain, and does not to be winterized!
We will be sad to see the I/O options become unavailable from Bennington. We loved our first Bennington with an I/O, Volvo Penta. We enjoy our water sports. The issues we had were mainly layout issues. While we enjoyed the chase lounges in the stern we found that most of the time people wanted to try and sit by use when underway. Or when anchored or trying to anchor we felt crowded with people wanting to stand between the helms since they couldn't sit by us. There was also some issues that were under warranty that were being greatly delayed.

The wife decided she wanted to order a NEW boat and go through the process of getting the interior and features that fit us best. I had spec'd out a QSBWA , we had a QCWWA both 25' boats. The day we went to put the order in at the dealer, a friend who worked there and didn't know we were ordering a new boat asked me if I wanted to check out a new boat they had on the water. We said sure, I wasn't going to turn it down, and it turned out to be a 27' QSBA X2. So it had the rear seat we were interested in but it had more that the wife would end up wanting. It has the full Helm Master with the twin outboards. The Helm Master EX completely changed what the wife wanted. So we ended up going back to put the order in and the wife wanted to spec out a 30' QSBWA X2 with the Helm Master. During the checkout ride of the other boat, since it was new we didn't get to really check out the performance of the boat. But it felt like it would fit our needs for water sports and all the talk about todays outboards. So order placed wife was getting us a 30 wide beam with twin motors and her joystick control.

Shortly after the order was placed and we signed off on the order we found a leak in the center toon of our boat, more in warranty work. The dealer gave us a loaner boat so that we could continue enjoying the lakes. It was a 28 QSBA with a fridge and sink with a Yamaha 350 outboard. Our first trip out would involve some tubing. Boy was I scared now, every turn I was losing bite on the water and could feel the cavatation. you could not power through a turn. Later I noticed it without pulling a tube I was still losing power and bite on the water when not going straight. I brought this up with the dealer and others. Many things were discussed from the motor being too high to your new boat will have twins so that won't happen with the new boat. Well lets just say that isn't true.

If Bennington offered a wide beam with the I/O there would be serious discussions of ordering another new boat, I would probably loose still because of that joystick but it would still be a discussion. Our new 30 QSBWA X2 is a great boat with a great layout and fits most of our checkboxes. But there is no comparison once you start with the water sports, the I/O with DPS is just night and day difference. Guess that is why all your pure water sports boats are either inboard or I/O's. And your go fast go straight boats are outboards.