Rear-facing loungers are still hot features in the pontoon world, and the Bennington 25 GSB takes the concept to the max with its Swingback Lounge (the SB in the boat name), which has approximately the same acreage as a queen-size mattress. As the name implies, the Swingback is a backrest that can be secured in several positions; unlike most rear recliners, however, it isn’t behind the fencing. Instead, it’s behind stainless steel rails and a section of chain — it should be a velvet rope — so it is legal to occupy the lounge while the boat is underway.
Bennington 25 GSB – Boat Test Video
Despite being an outboard-powered boat, it has a decent-sized rear platform, and reboarding is easy thanks to a curved ladder that’s more like stairs than a vertical ladder. Our test boat was equipped with a forward-swooping white watersports tower that will give wakeboarders a high tow point … plus it looks cool.
Although Bennington’s G-Series is considered one of its mid-level lines, the 25 GSB is decidedly upscale, thanks in part to the Sport upholstery upgrade ($1,382) and the addition of Roswell speakers ($2,750) to the Kicker stereo system, both of which our test boat had. The standard Seagrass vinyl flooring was a bit unusual in that it appeared to have a carpet-like fabric woven in that gave my bare feet a little more grip.
The layout features identical twin reclining loungers that are comfortable for passengers reclining fore or aft. An L-lounge in the stern provides plenty of seating capacity, but the stern bench can’t be used if the Swingback backrest is tilted forward. An elongated Espresso Teak cockpit table has plenty of room for snacks.
At the helm, the skipper sits in an extra-wide bucket seat that has a flip-up bolster. Bennington will rig its boats with any major outboard brand, and our near-28-foot test boat was powered by a Yamaha F300 V-6 with Command Link Plus digital throttle control. This high-horsepower option is available on 25 GSBs with the optional Elliptical Sport Package (ESP) ($8,284) triple-tube setup, which includes a giant 32-inch-wide center tube that’s flatter on the bottom and provides a pivot point for pulling hard turns. On plane in 2.4 seconds, the rig’s hookup stayed true as it reached 30 mph in 6.5 seconds and hit 44 mph. Not fast enough? The ESP package can handle up to 400 hp.
Time to Plane: 2.4 sec.
0-30 mph: 6.5 sec.
Peak: 44.0 mph/6000 rpm/ 93 dBA
Cruise: 32.2 mph/4500 rpm/ 82 dBA