Sitting at the helm of Bennington’s upscale 2552 QCW I/O, it’s easy to forget there are pontoons floating your boat. In front of both passenger and driver sit dual, runabout-style consoles, topped by a full wraparound windshield. Behind, twin captain’s chairs with flip-down armrests cradle both captain and mate. Above, a clad water-sports arch evokes an express cruiser. Forward, a cantilevered bow deck hides any hint of aluminum tubes below, and a sloping, radius bow is light years removed from a boxy, vertical fence line. Finally, gaze aft. No outboard breaks up the horizon, leaving only a clean, unencumbered fiberglass swim platform above. Even the handling mimics a V-hull’s. Bennington’s Elliptical Sport Package (ESP) adds a third, 32-inch elliptical center tube between 25-inch outer pontoons. The size difference gives the boat a deadrise angle and allows it to bank into turns with a familiar inside lean.
Even the QCW’s power choice is more premium bowrider than party boat. It’s a 380 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrive, capable of pushing the boat onto plane in 3.9 seconds, pushing it to 30 mph in three more and topping out at 47 mph. That drive is tucked safely out of sight below the swim platform. The addition of a center pontoon also gives the boat an exceptionally large, in-floor ski locker.
Much of the interior seating, however, reflects a pontoon’s spacious potential. Forward, twin parallel lounges combine reclining chaises with multiple-passenger, couch-style roominess. Pillow-top upholstery with diamond-pattern lumbar insets and flip-down armrests — complete with cup holders — continues the QCW’s flagship vibe. Add the optional bow-gate seat and you’ve got full wraparound seating. Head aft and the accommodations are equally lush, if a little more private. Deluxe stern lounges face aft, with reclining backrests and plenty of room to stretch your legs. A simple stainless-steel rail rings the perimeter for security, while never obstructing the passenger’s view aft.
*Cantilevered deck makes maximum use of available space; sloping radius bow eliminates boxy fencing style and incorporates internal storage.
*Wraparound windshield and dual consoles offer a unique take on a pontoon floor plan with sheltered aft cockpit.
*Clad sport arch adds additional style and an elevated tow point for water sports.
*Accommodations include deluxe stern lounges with reclining backrests, pillow-top lounges forward and high-back helm chairs.
*Pillow-top upholstery with soft-touch vinyl and diamond-stitched lumbars adds rich, upscale appeal.
*Elliptical Sport Package and sterndrive power give the ride and feel of a V-hull.
*Top speed is 47 mph with a 380 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop.
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta V8-380-C
Drive/Prop: Duoprop/FH4 stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 2.14:1
Fuel Load: 45 gal.
Crew Weight: 280 lb.
$103,500 (with test power, Elliptical Sport Package)
Bennington Pontoons Elkhart, Indiana; 888-906-2628; benningtonmarine.com