We Say: Saying that pontoon builders are expanding the boundaries of their boats’ capabilities is beginning to sound like a broken record. Yet I’m going to say it again because Bennington’s 30 Club is another boat that shatters preconceived notions of a pontoon.
At over 30 feet long and with a 10-foot-wide beam, the 30 Club has the deck space to hold 21 people. Bennington adorned our test model with its Club layout, one of five possible floor plans for this 30-footer. No matter the layout, the running surface underneath is the same: three 25-by-32-inch elliptical pontoons. Lifting strakes and foils improve performance and handling; we executed tight turns with inboard heel at 30 mph on test day. The Yamaha outboards displayed some serious midrange oomph, kicking to a new level between 3,500 and 5,000 rpm.
About that usable space: The Club layout provides a wraparound sofa arrangement in the stern that converts to a sun pad with cushion inserts. The roto-molded seat bases feature a water management system that keeps the gear stored inside dry. An entertainment center sits to starboard. A teak table can be inserted aft for meals. The bow area sports twin lounges that wrap along the fencing to the bow gate, which opens to a huge bow platform. All in all it’s a boat that will get the crowd moving and grooving.
Who’d Want One: Pontoon-boat lovers looking for the space to entertain.
Another Choice: The Premier Dodici ($104,282 for the base boat only) is a 30-footer with a 12-foot beam.
Bottom Line: $141,167 (as tested); benningtonmarine.com