The S20 Cruise is a lot of boat for just under $29,000. Highly configurable, with many upgrades available, it’s a great platform fitted with Yamaha’s F70 four-stroke outboard. With a 13.5-inch-by-9-inch standard Yamaha aluminum three-blade prop, we hit 22 mph at 6,250 rpm. Our best cruise speed was at 15.5 mph and 4,500 rpm; at this gait, the little F70 drew only 2.9 gallons per hour, which calculates to a thrifty 5.3 miles per gallon. While 15 mph won’t win any speed contests, it’s plenty for family cruising and lighter watersports like tubing and kneeboarding. A 90 is the largest engine that can be bolted to the S20’s transom; in that case, the extra ponies would give more speed without reducing economy or range noticeably. Standard single-cable mechanical steering gives good control without excessive engine-torque steer.
Twin 23-inch-diameter pontoons provide a stable platform for family outings. Even at its compact 20-foot length, the broad party platform has plenty of space for a family group. Seating configuration features standard facing lounges in the bow, with the portside couch slightly shorter than the starboard-side couch to accommodate the midship entry door. The driver’s console is fitted with basic analog instruments to monitor performance, with a Striker LCD graph optional. A Kicker stereo with subwoofer and amp upgrade provides great sounds, especially at this price point. The helm seat is a comfy upgraded reclining lounger.
Storage abounds under each lounge cushion. Amidships en route to the aft seating area, an L-shaped lounger creates an open conversation pit accented by an elevated sun lounge that opens to reveal more storage underneath, along with easy access to the battery.
Simtex Platinum vinyl upholstery is complemented by Seagrass beige flooring and offset by a Zebrawood beige dinette table with matching Zebrawood-accented dash panel and steering wheel. Outside, the ocean-blue-and-white-accented perimeter panels give a light and airy look to the S20. For those looking for an affordable family entry ’toon with the Bennington pedigree, the S20 Cruise works.
- L-configured rear seating provides for big-party capability on a smaller platform.
- Twin 23-inch-diameter pontoons give excellent stability in rougher conditions.
- Yamaha F70 sips fuel yet provides stout pulling power.
Price: $28,706 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F70 four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha 13.5″ x 9″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.33:1
Fuel Load: 16 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Bennington Pontoon Boats – Elkhart, Indiana; 888-906-2628; benningtonmarine.com