New to Pontoons-Order new LXSB

mattpoinsett

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Coming from Axis T23 wake-surf boat to pontoon. Lake house on SD prairie lake. I am in the processing of ordering the attached build. As we are totally new to this if anyone has any suggestions for adds/deletes please feel free to contact. Looking forward to having a more family friendly boat. Navigating the wake-surf boat was a bear with the rudder steering.
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DiamondDave952

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Isn't the water fuel separator large normally included with the outboard? It's small potatoes cost in the grand scheme of things.
 

Vikingstaff

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First off, you spec’d out a heck of a Bennington. No doubt it will be both a beauty, but also a lot of fun too. Seems like you did your homework and put a lot of thought into spec’ing it up. The SPS+ with a the 250 Mercury and it’s digital control system is going to be fantastic for you. I would echo DiamondDave’s question above about the fuel-water separator. They used to be simply included. I am curious since it is listed as “large” do you know if you are paying more to replace the normal one with a larger/better one?

Like always around here, I have two potential suggestions that spend your money, so take them for what they are worth - free to me, but pricey for you. :p

1) In Floor Storage. Unless I overlooked it, many really like getting the in floor center pontoon storage. We have it. Since we are lakeside, it doesn’t get as used as some others that trailer exclusively. However, we do still stick our bimini poles, mooring cover, and skis in it. Very handy for those type of things in my mind. If lakeside I think it is a give or take feature. If trailering everywhere, then it is even more handy.

2) Simrad G07 or G09. I REALLY like the Simrad A LOT more than the Striker 4. Now if you plan to change out or add some other chartplotter/fishfinder anyway, no worries. Keep the Striker 4.

However, if not switching or adding a different chart plotter/fish finder, I’d highly recommend switching to a G07 or G09 Simrad. The maps and data connection features are excellent! AND the Mercuries and Simrads are made to speak to each other even more than most motors out of the Box. And they can be further connected to get even more motor data than it already provides. Finally, the Simrad is certianly a nicer looking and more modern larger built in system. It would certianly better enhance the modern look of your helm, but also provide lots of useful information.

Anyway, these were the two things that came to my mind for you to consider. That said, it really is a fabulous build already. Hope you post some pictures for all of us when that beauty comes in.
 

mattpoinsett

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I think I tried out a minimum of 40 different combos before ordering. I will check on the separator with my dealer. The under the floor storage did not seem important enough to us due to the fact that we have a home on the lake so the ability to go back to the house to swap things out is easy. The only complaint I have about the Bennington is there are far too many layouts and options! Probably would not have went for as nice a rig but received are very generous trade with the wake boat due the current market conditions.
I hang out on several auto and watch forums and really like the atmosphere on this forum. appears all are friendly and willing to help compared to some of the others.
In regard to the Simrad I have a rigged out walleye fishing boat at the same lake and that is what will use for fishing. This hopefully used mostly for cruising and ski/tubing with grandchildren.
Really looking forward to the pontoon as we were not able to use the Wake boat in windy conditions due to control issues unless my son was with us. Those boats are great when under power but putting on the lift at slow speed not under power they are almost impossible to control for me.
Thanks for the welcome and look forward to hours on the lake with this rig.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Wave tamer - you could lose speed and efficiency with that 250 without under skinning.

Pop-up cleats - nicer look and good to get those toe stubbers and trip hazards out of the way.

Stainless steel dock light housing - I stand on the these and kick them all the time while fishing on the bow, not sure how the plastic would hold up. SS much nicer look as well.

You have LED lighting in your bimini, so lighting controller would make make it fun for the kids. Consider toe-kick lighting as well, really neat at night.

Upgrade the KMC45 - budget level head unit and I can't wait to swap mine out

Another vote for the in-floor storage. Really nice to have that extra space for ski's, PFD's, grill, cover when running etc. More is better but expensive option.

To offset some of these costs above I would opt out of the motorized bimini. Takes literally three seconds to put up the manual one. According to my dealer the motors and gear often break. Many folks on this site LOVE the electric option though.

Lastly again another vote for the upgraded MFD. If you're used to a nice chartplotter on your walleye rig you'll probably hate the Garmin Striker. Simrad gets good reviews or go pure aftermarket (I have a Garmin Echomap 106sv).

But very nice build, you will love it!
 

Vikingstaff

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Poto has MANY good ideas above. Jumping on one of them: Wave Tamer, Waver Tamer, Wave Tamer!!!

I totally overlooked it. No use getting a SPS+ and A 250 without the Wave Tamer IMHO.

Total game changer in ride quality and performance. I would literally put it in a MUST HAVE category. Good Golly not sure how I overlooked that.

Oh…and I have to give Poto a hard time on the electric bimini deletion idea: We have it and LOVE it. Push button up and down bimini? yes please!

I did a lot of research into the gear issue before buying ours. I’m picky on quality. Not a common failure statistically, and IF it happens, its typically between the 8-15 year mark. Might happen under warranty, but if not, the gear that can wear out is about $500. So one is talking maybe…only maybe…dropping about $500 in a 20 year ownership of their boat. Not a deterrent in my mind given the easy of use, and I believe better look, of the electric bimini.
 

nickevans10

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I added the simrad to mine as well. Super clean look and lots of features. Take the strike out and replace with simrad would be my suggestion.

Also plus 1 on in floor storage.

On the deluxe ski tow bar how are you planning on using it? I would recommend the Turbo Swing instead if you plan on pulling tubes, and especially if you want to pull multiple tubes.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Poto has MANY good ideas above. Jumping on one of them: Wave Tamer, Waver Tamer, Wave Tamer!!!

I totally overlooked it. No use getting a SPS+ and A 250 without the Wave Tamer IMHO.

Total game changer in ride quality and performance. I would literally put it in a MUST HAVE category. Good Golly not sure how I overlooked that.

Oh…and I have to give Poto a hard time on the electric bimini deletion idea: We have it and LOVE it. Push button up and down bimini? yes please!

I did a lot of research into the gear issue before buying ours. I’m picky on quality. Not a common failure statistically, and IF it happens, its typically between the 8-15 year mark. Might happen under warranty, but if not, the gear that can wear out is about $500. So one is talking maybe…only maybe…dropping about $500 in a 20 year ownership of their boat. Not a deterrent in my mind given the easy of use, and I believe better look, of the electric bimini.

I winced a little when writing about the electric bimini because I JUST KNEW Viking would come back over the top! ;) But better to take the word of actual owners than some dock gossip!

I'm sure you covered this in other threads but can you run WOT with the electric bimini up? My manual one popped out of it's latch at only 20-ish mph and bent the frame, luckily replaced under warranty. But I've since beefed it up with extra do-dads so I can go WOT, and now the fabric is failing in a few areas.

OP Matt's boat is going to fly!
 

BigKahuna

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Okay I haven't been on the boat builder in a while but when you get the SPS, SPS+, or ESP........doesn't the wave tamer/under deck skinning automatically come with that package?!?
 

BigKahuna

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I winced a little when writing about the electric bimini because I JUST KNEW Viking would come back over the top! ;) But better to take the word of actual owners than some dock gossip!

I'm sure you covered this in other threads but can you run WOT with the electric bimini up? My manual one popped out of it's latch at only 20-ish mph and bent the frame, luckily replaced under warranty. But I've since beefed it up with extra do-dads so I can go WOT, and now the fabric is failing in a few areas.

OP Matt's boat is going to fly!
A few years ago we test drove a boat that had the electric Bimini and a 350 Mercury Verado on the back. The salesman was cruising along about 40 with the Bimini up and he looked over at my wife and I and said, Hold on and punched it! He was going just under 50 and that Bimini was flapping a bit but was otherwise pretty solid and it doesn't have the rear or front strut supporting it!
 

Potomacbassin’

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Okay I haven't been on the boat builder in a while but when you get the SPS, SPS+, or ESP........doesn't the wave tamer/under deck skinning automatically come with that package?!?
Good point BK - it may be, but then again the external 10 micron fuel water separator used to come with the rigging too! Just never know - worth clarifying. Certainly the wavetamer-to-bow used to be an option and worth considering for this build as well.
 

Vikingstaff

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I winced a little when writing about the electric bimini because I JUST KNEW Viking would come back over the top! ;) But better to take the word of actual owners than some dock gossip!
My electric bimini bias comes out too easily…and now predictably. Ha, ha.

Honestly, it is because I am that darn lazy! Give me push button operation, and I’m in. :D
 

Jack M

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SPS has 25 inch center tube ESP has 32 . I did not order it because, I keep mine in a slip all season and can't fit between the tubes to clean them once a week .
 

Jack M

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My electric bimini bias comes out too easily…and now predictably. Ha, ha.

Honestly, it is because I am that darn lazy! Give me push button operation, and I’m in. :D
I had the electric bimini on my 2020 ,once I got over 25 it rattled, because of no rear support struts
 

Vikingstaff

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I had the electric bimini on my 2020 ,once I got over 25 it rattled, because of no rear support struts
Mine does too. However, since we don’t put it up very often, that is a non-factor for us. And when it is up, we are usually anchored and lounging/swimming, or maybe slow cruising with company (but even then it is rarely up). If we want a lot of shade, we hang out lakeside on our deck and patio umbrella. Ha, ha.

But for some that want their bimini up as much as possible when boating, this may be an issue. It is rated for 30 mph, but like you said, has a rattle to it as you move above 25 mph or so. The rattle does not inspire confidence when going a little faster…
 
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Vikingstaff

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No, can you help explain the difference?
SPS v ESP: This should be an easy one to do some searches on in this forum. Been hit on before…multiple times.

ESP has a larger center tube. A little more bouyancy. Performs a little differently than the SPS/SPS+. I cannot remember if it is a little more robust than the SPS+ as well. It is more robust than the normal SPS.

It was originally designed for rough water applications. It suports high HP motors, and has a slightly bigger weight/passenger capacity. I think it can turn a little more sharply than the SPS/SPS+ as well.

In my mind, its a nicer hull, but probably only worth the price upgrade if you are matching it with a higher HP motor (300 and up), or you will boat in particularly rough water conditions (waves, turbulence, big wake hazard environments). Along with this, it is itself a heavier hull than say the SPS too.

If some of the above are true for you, then the ESP is a GREAT hull to consider. The top of the line tritoon hull by Bennington.

Otherwise, IMHO I don’t think the cost comparison value is there compared to how the SPS/SPS+ performs.
 
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