Bennington’s 23 RSBWA is rich in creature comforts, but it is this boat’s ride that truly may be its most memorable attribute. Credit the brand’s ESP performance package, a design that pairs two 25-inch-diameter outer pontoons featuring performance foils with an elliptically shaped 32-inch center tube with lifting strakes. Along with an underdeck wave shield and power-assist steering, it promises enhanced stability and quick planing, but most impressive is what the features do for the boat’s cornering ability. Powered by a Yamaha F300 outboard, the 23 RSBWA carved beautifully during turns, with the smooth, inside-lean feel of a V-hull. Top speed peaked at 44.1 mph, and it handled well at all planing speeds.
Abovedecks, Bennington mixes more traditional fencing forward with dual fiberglass consoles amidships and an airy open stern. The latter section of the boat features a deep 6-foot-4-inch-by-4-foot-6-inch sun pad with angled backrest, a great spot to relax with more than a few friends. (The boat can fit 13 people total.)Flip that backrest upright and it creates back-to-back lounges, one facing the swim platform and the other joining the two captain’s chairs located behind each console in the main cockpit. Step all the way forward and a pair of 4-foot couches run parallel in the bow. Add the optional gate seat and you create nearly 13 feet of seating space in a lounge that wraps the entire perimeter of the bow. That’s a lot of space for people to hang out and hold conversations. Time for tunes? Note the USB ports hidden by the armrests.
As always, Bennington embraces the details. Couches feature oversize pillow tops with contrasting colors, diamond-stitched lumbars and similarly contrasting cushion ends. The full windshield sports a classy stainless-steel cap. The port console offers a granite-style prep space along with a stainless-steel sink and faucet, and the helm has a stainless three-spoke wheel and brushed-aluminum gauges. And come nightfall, speakers and cup holders all feature RGB lighting that can be dialed in to a specific color or rotated through all shades of the rainbow.
* Upscale touches include three-spoke stainless-steel steering wheel with leather wrap, and Roswell Vamp Spin speakers on the tow arch.
* Center tube adds not only stability and performance but also convenience; the added space makes possible a large in-floor ski locker.
* Standard features include sea-grass flooring, Surlast mooring cover, LED docking lights, 10-foot Bimini top, and Striker 4 fish graph.
Price: $98,140 (with test power/Elliptical Sport Package)
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F300
Prop: Yamaha 15 1/2″ x 16″ Saltwater Series II 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 21 gal.
Crew Weight: 315 lb.
Bennington Pontoons – Elkhart, Indiana; 888-906-2628; benningtonmarine.com