Think of Bennington’s R25 Swingback Bowrider as the split-level ’toon. From the helm and port console aft, the deck sits atop the pontoons below at a level we’ve come to expect from the category. Move forward, however, and you find a separate bow cockpit recessed a full foot lower than the norm. Bennington accomplishes this feat by putting bow seating essentially at the floor level and dropping a sizable molded fiberglass footwell into the central V-hull that sits between the pair of 23-inch outer pontoons. It’s like a sunken living room from the ’70s, except this styling choice features multiple real-world benefits that both the captain and crew can appreciate underway.
For starters, the crew in the bow is now lowered below the captain’s line of sight. Add in side rails that taper forward and fenceless “view ports” below the top rail to both port and starboard, and it’s far easier to sight a dock or keep tabs when approaching a tuber or skier. That integrated V-hull, along with the lower center of gravity it provides, also adds to the boat’s agile handling and overall ride quality. With SeaStar power steering and a Yamaha 300 hp outboard at the stern, the boat effortlessly glided through aggressive turns and handled rough water with relative ease.
The twin couches found in that recessed bow were paired with captain and passenger high-back recliners amidships and, on our test boat, Bennington’s Deluxe Swingback lounge aft. A flexible seating alternative, it features a forward-facing bench, stern sun pad and shared pivoting backrest, along with the ability to transition into a completely flat sun pad, or both forward- and rear-facing reclining lounges.
Bennington has made the formerly optional fiberglass port console standard issue for 2022. It’s a handy spot for stowage immediately upon boarding, as well as one that won’t require passengers to get out of seats while underway for access. As to the helm across the way, it’s classic Bennington, with upscale styling, a matte wood-grain finish, an upgraded leather-wrapped Corvina wheel, and not a single unsightly fastener in sight.
- Seating hides big storage and USB ports in comfy lumbar recesses.
- Optional arch integrates Kicker can speakers and foldaway Bimini.
- Center V-hull provides space for a pair of standard in-floor lockers.
How We Tested
- Engine: Yamaha 300
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series 15 3/4″ x 13″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 58 gal. Crew Weight: 355 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$136,415 (with Yamaha 300)|
|Draft (max):||1’2″ (tubes); 2’7″ (engine)|
|Dry Weight:||3,753 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||15/2,142 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity:||58 gal.|
Bennington Marine – Elkhart, Indiana; 574-264-6336; benningtonmarine.com