Boat owners whose idea of a fun time on the water is to invite all their close friends — plus their friends — Bennington has the right pontoon. Upon boarding the Bennington G25 Fastback, my eyes were immediately drawn to the longest settee I’ve ever seen. Set to port, beginning at the stern, it stretches longer than the formal name of this boat, the 25GSRCFB. Designed to provide maximum seating, especially when paired with filler sectionals for the stern and bow ($743 each), this 27-foot, 9-inch pontoon’s perimeter can be ringed by more than enough seating for its 16-passenger rating.
Buyers can expand the width of the chaise lounge seat bottoms by checking the options box ($413). All the seats on our test boat featured dark, diamond-stitched panels, which can get blazing hot in the sun… unless they’re made of Simtex, which features a fabric-like feel and stays far cooler. For snack presentation, an optional rectangular, matte-finish Zebrawood table ($407) can be added to the bow section.
What makes this pontoon a Fastback? A pair of radiused corners that hold rear-firing speakers, so passengers can be entertained while swimming or waterskiing. There are a number of stereo options, but this is an entertainment boat, so buyers should spend the extra $2,900 for six Roswell speakers and another $1,528 for a Kicker stereo upgrade that includes a 10-inch subwoofer. Two ski tow pylons are available, with the taller 52-incher ($1,190) being the preferred model.
The G-series features a new driver’s console this year; framed in a wide upholstered border, the console has a repositioned glove box — now to the right of the padded, tilt steering wheel — with 12v and USB charging ports. Also at the helm is a standard Simrad G07 touchscreen chartplotter (are these on every boat now?).
Under the deck on our test boat was the Elliptical Sport Package (ESP), a $9,765 add-on that includes a huge 32-inch center tube that’s flatter on the bottom for a ride that lifts it higher in the water, so cruising with a full house doesn’t mean plowing through the water. Powered by a Yamaha F350 four-stroke V-8 that now comes with a standard 5-year warranty, the boat had plenty of muscle. The F350 pushed the G25 on plane in 2.4 seconds, to 30 mph in just 5.8 seconds and to a top speed of 48.8 mph.