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Bennington R Bowrider Series (2021-)


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Captain's Report

The R Bowrider series positions the forward passengers lower in the boat and comes in 20’ (6.1 m), 22’ (6.71 m) and 24’ (7.32 m) offerings.

Editor’s Report by Eric Colby

In a crowded, competitive segment like pontoon boats, a small design wrinkle can help set a boat, or a series, apart from the crowd. Bennington may have found such a difference maker in its R Bowrider Series of pontoon boats. It positions the forward lounges lower in the boat, which gives the captain and a companion better sightlines and could be different enough to draw customers. It also rides on Bennington’s triple-pontoon performance package that lets the boat get up and cruise like a runabout.

Take a Bow

The R Bowrider Series is available in 20’ (6.1 m), 22’ (6.71 m) and 24’ (7.32 m) offerings in two floorplans. The Swingback has a double-wide aft seat to port with a backrest that can be swapped for forward- and aft-facing travel. The Quadbench has aft-facing chaise-style lounges in the stern.

The Quad Bench has twin aft-facing lounges that could probably accommodate two kids each in the stern.

The Quad Bench has a usable swim platform between the seats and the engine with a central passageway just ahead.

The Swingback could be good for a family with smaller kids who want to use the aft lounge as a big play area.

A stainless-steel rail encircles the Swingback lounge and notice the gate that closes off the passage from the stern area forward to the cockpit.

But the most noteworthy part of this series is the step-down U-lounge seating configuration in the bow. Basically, the seat bases are less than half the height of a conventional pontoon boat and position the passengers lower in the boat. The primary traveling position will be reclined and guests can customize their experience with adjustable headrests. A table can be erected to add to the bowrider area’s utility.

The concept of having the bow seats lowered is smart. It positions the passengers deeper in the boat, which is always safer.

Storage is provided in the backrests and there are pockets for small items like cell phones and car keys, but the space beneath the bottom cushions is eliminated. There is space in the center pontoon to make up the difference.

Backrests in the bow open to provide storage and there’s even USB plug-ins for phones and other re-charge-able items.

Better Sightlines

Additionally, this configuration creates what Bennington calls the Vantage Point captain’s view that gives the driver and a companion in his/her own bucket seat unobstructed sightlines over the bow seats. It makes the boat easier to drive, and especially dock. Openings in the fences called View Ports also let the captain and observer communicate more easily with people in the water when towing a tube or other sports.

Here’s the Captain’s View from the raised helm seat. He can easily see over the adults in the bow.

The Garmin GPSMap multifunction display provides engine and navigation data on the same screen.

Underneath, the boat rides on Bennington’s V-Hull performance package with triple pontoons. The center pontoon has a V-shape on the bottom and at the bow while the outer pontoons have lifting strakes.

Notice that there are only smooth surfaces on the underside of the deck and on the pontoons. This improves hydrodynamic efficiency.

The Specifications

The Bennington 24RTFB measures 26’ 6.5” (8.09 m), with a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). She’s rated for 15 people and carries 58 gallons of gas (219.55 liters).

We can’t imagine that a Bennington R Bowrider series boat is going to have only one person on it very often.

Available engines range from a 115-hp to 300 hp single outboard from Mercury, Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki in a variety of colors. Retail price for the 24RTFB starts at $89,998 with a 115-hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard with a 25” (63.5 cm) shaft.

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