Great sun and fun loving layout.

Boat Test #1477

Bennington Marine offers six different model lines. I got the opportunity to test one model from their most popular line – the SX line – which the company brands as “ultimate value pontoons”.
The 22 SLX was finished in black with a beautiful tan upholstered interior. It was striking against the morning sun rising over the fall colours on the trees. 
I stepped aboard at the stern and noticed the 90hp Yamaha affixed to the middle tube of the 22 SLX.  The four step re-boarding ladder was to starboard, and I stepped through the aft entry gate.  There was a double-wide aft-facing rear lounger to port on our test boat.  I had my wife Moira along with me that day and she immediately claimed the lounger.  She commented that the seat base was very nicely tilted down just slightly at the back of the seatbase against the seat back which made it comfortable and easy to stay tucked into – especially underway and in the corners.  The seatback was nicely reclined, and the footrest lifted to reveal an ample sized popup changeroom.  The 22 SLX also comes in a dinette option floorplan when you take the time to explore the plethora of ways you can configure your pontoon on the Bennington website.
Moving forward, I noted the Sea Weave flooring throughout the boat – it’s cool and non-slippery and an excellent all around choice.  The helm featured a mid-back Captain’s seat with armrests positioned perfectly centred behind the 3-spoke steering wheel. The dash featured black on silver gauges set into the fiberglass console – with a large storage door in the side to easily access the space under the helm.  The l-shaped sofa to port backed up against the rear sun lounger and wrapped around a removable kidney shaped table.
The forward twin facing sofa’s bracketed the bow entry gate leading to a small but useable foredeck. The starboard sofa featured a forward facing sunlounger back directly in front of the helm. There was ample storage under the seats, but the design lacked a forward table mount in the floor. Adding a table here is easily done with aftermarket products. This would be my choice of lunch or dinner seating location for the family, given the double-wide aft lounger.
The 22 SLX featured a triple tube design with Bennington’s Express Tube Performance Package. While our test boat was outfitted with a 90hp Yamaha, the maximum horsepower this model is rated for is a 150.  The 90 Yamaha cranked once and fired, and we left the dock with the tell-tale water jet making more noise than the engine at idle and in gear.  It was late October and we were the only ones out on the lake that morning, so it would have been easy to detect any unexpected noise from our test boat.  If there was any noise that is. Nothing, nada, zilch. No rattles from the overhead bimini, no shakes or shimmies from the pontoon fences.  In fact, the water rushing past the tubes and spraying out both sides made more noise than anything. The 90hp Yamaha made a pleasing hum at the 28mph top speed we recorded.  
As I returned to the dock, I reflected on how the quality of the construction in every Bennington model is so evident.   Their designs include stainless steel parts, closer frame spacing, stainless fasteners for longevity and minimal maintenance. 
If you still need another reason to check out a pontoon from Bennington, there is Club Bennington and a full 10 year bow to stern warranty.                                          
By Brad Roberts