Guests haven’t been this eager to get off a boat since the Titanic! Bennington’s L25 Quad Bench Top Deck sports an elevated platform with a slide to whisk crewmembers into the waters.
Bennington’s L25 marks its first foray into the top-deck segment. The supporting structure, through-bolted to the crossmembers, is wider at the base for added stability. The pebbled King StarBoard deck features a perimeter channel to funnel away water. Maximum occupancy is four people or 585 pounds. An open perimeter rail sits at about knee height, maintaining a sleek appearance but not quite offering the security of the taller enclosures found aboard competitors. The slide itself is lubricated with water fed by the shared washdown pump.
Interior and Accessories
While the deck-slide combo will certainly delight, the accommodations below will see the majority of use. The Quad Bench floor plan accommodates up to 12 people with ease, with large facing sofas forward and a shorter pair of seats aft. Use the gate filler cushion to transform either into a U-shaped lounge. Duraframe seat bases provide plenty of storage, and drainage and ventilation to keep contents fresh. Our test boat’s captain’s seats were upgraded to luxurious recliners featuring fiberglass cladding covering the back sides.
Underway, that sizable deck didn’t negatively affect the ride. A Mercury 250 outboard pushed the 4,000-pound L25 to 30 mph in under 8 seconds and powered the boat to a peak speed of 41.6 mph. The standard SPS Performance Package features a trio of 25-inch round pontoons with lifting strakes and, to handle the added weight of the deck, a sealed transom. Crank the wheel and this ’toon responds with the same agility as a boat without a top deck. But without that deck, how would you cowabunga down the slide?
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury 250
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Inertia 15″ x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 30 gal. Crew Weight: 360 lb.
- Built to Bennington specs, the Kicker speakers include thicker magnets for durability, as well as more volume and bass with less distortion.
- New Gate Glide almost magically swings open the port gate—and keeps it there.
- Cutaway lumbar regions in the bow seating add additional seat room while housing cup holders, speakers and high-speed USB charging ports.
- Though it features a pebbled, nonslip finish, the top deck remains a bit slippery, especially under bare, wet feet.
- Because the slide water supply and washdown share the same pump, they would benefit from individual shutoff valves.
- Exposed wiring under the helm could be neater and better supported, especially given that this area will have coolers and other items placed in storage.
Harris’ Solstice RD 260 ($150,024 with a Merc 250) is closest in style and floor plan. The upper deck is vinyl-covered marine ply, but taller rails and partial fencing add a touch more security for upperfloor occupants.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$122,961 (with Mercury 250)|
|Fuel Capacity:||32 gal.|
|Available Power:||Mercury and Yamaha outboards to 250 hp|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Bennington Marine – Elkhart, Indiana; 574-264-6336; benningtonmarine.com