A unique bowrider-style pontoon

Boat Test #1605
By Tom Dillon

The 24 RTFB from Bennington is a sleek pontoon boat that showcases some new innovations in the field. Of particular note is the deck layout, with a bow-area that is significantly lower – two steps down – than the rest of the deck. This is a simple, but important change. By lowering the height of the passengers forward, the height of the rails can also be dropped, allowing for more refined styling than you would typically see on a pontoon boat. From the point of view of the passengers, this sunken bow area provides a great place to enjoy the ride. Labelled as the U-Lounge, this section has a wrap-around bench with reclining lounge backs on either side.  There is plenty of storage under the benches.

As a result of the lowered bow area, the helm features a wonderfully unobstructed view.  Bennington refers to this as the Vantage-Point Captain’s View, and when combined with the view ports in the forward rails, it results in a measurable improvement in increased safety both underway and while docking.  Plus it’s just cool!

The companion (or Admiral’s) single-pedestal chair is a mirror image of the Captain’s chair, and aft you’ll find a sofa with a flip-fold seat-back that also makes a wonderful aft-facing lounge. The exit to the swim platform and the swim ladder is to starboard.

Another innovation showcased in this boat is the Integrated V-Hull Performance Package. This design, developed by Bennington, is the next step in the evolution of high-performance pontoon boats. There are normal pontoons on either side, but down the centreline you’ll find one that is wide and flat, almost resembling the hull on a small power boat. This centre pontoon provides increased stability, a more rapid climb onto plane, and even functions as a large storage locker, accommodating items as large as wakeboards and skis. The boat is only designed to carry one engine, but it can be up to 300 HP, which when combined with the V-Hull provides plenty of power and performance. 

The quality of the Bennington construction is evident throughout all twenty-six feet of this pontoon, from the smallest details to the high performance packages. Bennington makes extensive use of stainless parts, closer frame spacing at areas of high stress and ties it all together with stainless fasteners for longevity and minimal maintenance. An all-metal extruded side skirt provides all around protection for your boat. Bennington’s rattle-free rails are another great feature; with a bit of thought and effort Bennington has managed to remove the rattle you hear on many other pontoon boats, a small but important feature.

From the earliest phases of the designing process to the 10-year bow-to-stern warranty and lifetime structural warranty, every aspect is carefully thought out and planned. One area of innovation for the company this year is rolling out a new feature on their website to help prospective buyers truly get a sense of what their new boat will look like. The 3D Boat Designer takes the visualization process to the next level. After selecting the model and floor plan you want, you get to experience the boat from all angles as you tweak colour and flooring options. 

If you need one more reason to check out a boat from Bennington, there is Club Bennington. Owners are encouraged to join so they can receive a wide range of benefits, including discussion forums for Bennington owners. 

Ultimately, the all-new-for 2020 24 RTFB is a very innovative twist on the pontoon boat. I predict that this pontoon is going to be a best-seller and provide plenty of pleasure for you and your guests.


Specifications

Length Overall: 26’ 6”/ 8.07 M
Width: 8’ 6” / 2.59 M
Weight: 3,753 lbs. / 1702 Kg.
Capacity: 15 People
Max HP: 300
MSRP: $76,995 CDN with a Yamaha 200 V-Max SHO

For more information: www.benningtonmarine.com