Among pontoons, this is a Q ship others will follow. It’s a power cruiser of a pontoon, just over the top in so many ways. Bennington never fails to surprise, and to throw us a twist, it rigged this flagship tri-toon with the largest outboard available: Mercury’s new V-12 600 hp Verado. Primarily designed for and aimed at the multi-engine offshore market, the Verado provided this beast with refined, quiet, jet-aircraft-like power. It launched like a rocket from zero to 30 mph in just 4 seconds flat. Top speed was a heady 57.5 mph at 6,450 rpm, with the decibels at 89.5 dB(A) even at that high-rpm level. Best cruise speed was achieved at 2,500 rpm, where it burned 6 gph and 3 mpg at just under 18 mph.
It’s a luxury flagship for sure, with a huge 10-foot-wide beam and nearly 31 feet long. At the bow, an extended foredeck gives way to twin facing lounge couches, which are deep and wide, and can comfortably seat four or five per side. Stainless-steel grab rails within easy reach encircle the perimeter here. Blackout deck trim and top rails plus deck skirting combine with the smoked Lexan windscreens, adding to the sleek look. Our test boat had the optional seagrass flooring. Typical Bennington touches, like high-speed USB charging ports strategically located throughout the boat and folding armrests with touchpad charging, add to the utility and cool factor. The pilot and co-pilot sit in luxurious high-back captain’s chairs with adjustable bolsters, with a fully loaded Commander dash facing the pilot. A 12-inch graph with all engine readouts is front and center, flanked by a premium sound system with Roswell speakers and a subwoofer.
Aft, a smaller party pit features a wraparound seating area with a removable center gate seat. The gate to the aft deck is stainless steel, as is the foldaway wide-rail boarding ladder.
The transom, decking, supports and Elliptical Sport Package Plus 32-inch-diameter pontoons are all integrally designed for the huge footprint of the hull and the extra power of the Verado V-12 to provide extra buoyancy, lift and control. Bennington has done a great job with this flagship; it’s a born flotilla leader.
- Mercury Verado V-12 600 is a jaw-dropping powerplant.
- Bowrider-style dual-console layout really shines.
- Beautiful diamond-stitched Sport interior in Graphite Simtex vinyl with perforated metallic carbon.
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury Verado V-12 FourStroke 600 hp
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Verado 12 24.5″ pitch 4-blade (forward); Verado 12 24.5″ pitch 3-blade stainless steel (aft)
- Gear Ratio: 2.50:1 Fuel Load: 62 gal. Crew Weight: 250 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|Dry Weight:||4,500 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||19/4,895 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity:||83 gal.|
Bennington Marine – Elkhart, Indiana; 574-264-6336; benningtonmarine.com