Bennington’s 23GSBA is a great value, with plenty of room and power for a reasonable price. Traditional exterior styling helps keep the cost down without skimping on amenities, features and muscle. Up front, new docking lights in contoured ABS plastic housings provide needed guidance at night. Contoured plush lounge couches with tons of storage underneath offer an opulent party spot; the two-tone perforated vinyl lends a sporty look similar to seating in luxury performance cars. Dual captain’s chairs give comfort whether underway or at rest. A huge, raised driver’s console is fitted with SeaStar hydraulic steering with tilt helm, in addition to all the instruments needed to monitor the Yamaha’s performance. A Kicker sound system with stern-mount remote boasts good quality sound.
Storage abounds under all couch cushions, in both forward-facing backrests and under the driver’s console. Vinyl teak-looking weave flooring contributes to a cozy and stylish interior appearance. At the stern, a wide bench seat with a reversible backrest makes the choice of sitting forward or facing aft a quick one.
Triple 25-inch-diameter pontoons with welded spray deflectors are secured to the deck with 1/4-inch-thick bow and stern cross channels and 16 inches on-center midship cross members. The Yamaha outboard is mounted with a beefy box-frame transom bracket. All fasteners are stainless-steel through-bolts with Nyloc nuts.
Fitted with a Yamaha F200 four-stroke outboard, the 23GSBA hit a top speed of 42 mph at 6,000 rpm, with a quick 7.1-second rip from zero to 30 mph. Performance was lively; the Bennington reacted quickly to throttle and trim inputs, and turning was sure-footed, with little banking and very little prop slip. Best cruise speed was just over 13 mph, where the Yamaha drank fuel at a 2.7 gph, achieving 4.9 mpg. With a 37-gallon fuel tank, that’s a healthy 163-mile range, leaving 10 percent of the fuel in reserve.
* Big 25-inch-diameter triple pontoons with underdeck spray deflectors give stable and quick performance.
* Aluminum sport arch with Bimini top provides welcome shade on hot days.
* RGB (Red/Green/Blue) mood lighting lends a party touch when combined with Kicker sound system.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F200 200 hp four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha 14¾” x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.86:1
Fuel Load: 28 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$95,704 (as tested)
Bennington Pontoon Boats Elkhart, Indiana; 888-906-2628; benningtonmarine.com