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?
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.
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.
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.