Bennington 2250 RCW

The 2250 RCW is a luxurious pontoon boat that gives you plenty of reasons to spend time aboard.

We Say: Mating a luxury boat's ooh-lala with a floor plan akin to a fishing model's creates a hybrid for which comparison is scarce and praise runs high. Such is the case with Bennington's 2250 RCW. It sports some of the softest couches I've snoozed on. Two aft lounges permit comfortable socializing while facing aft, forward or abeam. Midship there's a love seat, while a pair of facing sofas resides in the bow.

The 2250 RCW’s biggest hit is the center walk-through. Invented by Bennington, the “CW” makes accessing the boarding platform easy. Youngsters can get a 24-foot running start right down the center when jumping into the water. Eschewing a changing room provides room for a full-width aft platform. And having both fore and aft platforms is also helpful while docking, particularly when the crew is not.

I tested the 2250 RCW lightly loaded. But I also used it to ferry 13 passengers to lunch, recording 21 mph at 4,000 rpm, burning 10 gph. While I'd suggest opting for the auxiliary 60-gallon fuel tank to enhance range, kudos to Bennington’s ESP (Elliptical Sport Package) system, which mingles standard outer logs with a 32-inch-wide center log, providing crisp handling and massive in-floor stowage. Good thing. You’ll be spending loads of time aboard, so you’ll be burning through supplies.

Who'd Want One: Boaters seeking speed, luxury and versatility in the same pontoon boat.

Another Choice: Premier's 225 Grand Majestic offers posh digs, tritoon performance via its PTX system, a changing room and, like the 2250 RCW, top construction. It costs $66,193 with PTX 36 and an F250 Yamaha.

Bottom Line: $52,445; www.benningtonmarine.com