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  1. #1
    BBC SPONSOR REP TroyBoy30's Avatar
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    Pontoon opinions

    I will be in the market soon. Looking at something in the 20 foot range, tri toon, performance package, splash guard, with a 150 four stroke. I'm considering the following

    Bennington
    Avalon
    Maybe ranger

    Any opinions on build quality of these three. I want something made very well to handle the rough water here on lanier

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  3. Member
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    #2
    My dad has a Avalon tri toon and runs Barkley and Kentucky lakes with it, very nice ride in some chop and nice boat. Bennington is nice, another option to look into is South Bay

  4. fish8503@yahoo.com GOTTA BIG SACK's Avatar
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    #3
    I've got a Bennington and its been great. Best thing I did was trade the ski boat in on it. Its a tri toon with the lifting strakes and a Yamaha 150.
    2017 BassCat Cougar FTD/250 Yamaha SHO

    Team Brech Marine/Selma, AL

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    #4
    I have a 24' Bennington tritoon with a Yamaha F150 running a 15 pitch Reliance stainless propeller. It's good for 40 mph @ 6000 rpms with lifting strakes. It rides great, and is of the utmost quality.

    I wouldn't suggest purchasing any boat less than 22' to 24' with 25" tritoons with lifting strakes and 150 hp. That's the sweet spot of the retail market.

    My favorite brands are Bennington, Manitou, Harris and Premier. Avalon's another good brand, and they have a very aggressive dealer over in Douglasville. There's a really good Manitou dealer out in Athens.

    Bennington is the largest in sales and Yamaha's largest wholesale purchaser of Yamaha outboards in the world. They and Forest River's brands are the only pontoon boat manufacturers experiencing much growth.

    You can always get the best deal if the motor's supplied by the manufacturer. I prefer the Yamaha motors, but the Mercury 150 FourStroke is another fine motor.

  6. Member
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    #5
    I used to sell Bennington pontoons. All 4 corners of rails are welded. Panels are on the outside of the rails. Full length welds on tube and stakes and splash guards. The upholstery is top notch and is very high quality. And yes they have a great relationship with Yamaha. The company is excellent for customer service too.
    " A Few Good Fish"
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  7. Member
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    #6
    I have a crest and it's built like a tank. They do have Tri toon versions with performance toons. The Bennington and Avalon are both solid choices with Bennington being very expensive when I looked last year for what you get. Interested in the new Ranger versions that were just released.

  8. Member Josh*'s Avatar
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    #7
    Add Manitou to your short list, I assure you you wont be disappointed. I am well versed in build quality of a some of the brands mentioned, and I sold Bennington for years. Pay close attention to the construction of Manitou, their cross member spacing thickness, and "top hat" design. Compare this to the others, and you will see a clear advantage. Pair this with the "V" toon hull configuration, and test drive them all. There is a clear difference.
    Remember, all tri toons will ride better, and be faster than a traditional two tube, but not all tri toons ride the same. I can go on and on as to why, but you will benefit more from taking them all for a ride on a similar conditions day.
    Good luck in your search, feel free to shoot me a email if I can help with any questions.

  9. Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by icebound View Post
    I have a crest and it's built like a tank. They do have Tri toon versions with performance toons. The Bennington and Avalon are both solid choices with Bennington being very expensive when I looked last year for what you get. Interested in the new Ranger versions that were just released.
    Yep, the Crest is another good brand. All of the major manufacturers will have 3-4 models of boats. The hulls are the same, but the fencing and seating is the difference. I have the least expensive Bennington, and it was very price competitive--and about $3K less in cost than a tritoon Suntracker with a 150 FourStroke. I haven't seen a Ranger, but it's an overpriced SunTracker--made in the same factory.

    The whole thing is finding a dealer relatively close to you that you feel comfortable with. I had to go 90 miles to buy one, but now have a local dealer. I'd be very happy to own many different brands of pontoons--including Avalon.

    You might want to hold up until the Atlanta Boat Show in a few weeks. All the major companies will be represented there, and prices often are discounted there.

  10. Member
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    #9
    The v bottom on the toon makes a big difference my crest has it and turning and lift are exceptional. As Mankato does as well. It makes a difference

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    #10
    I have a Crest Family Fisherman and absolutely love it. I did some research before I bought mine a couple of years ago and Crest is one of the top 4 brands.

  12. BBC SPONSOR REP TroyBoy30's Avatar
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    #11
    thanks guys

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    #12
    I bought a Bennington R25 fastback last spring. I previously owned 6 ski boats. This boat is amazing. I have a 200 Yamaha on it and it runs @ 42 mph topped out. We never go that fast because the ladies get their hair messed up, lol! Imo, Bennington is the best pontoon in the business and my dealer, blue springs boat company, are incredible folks to do business with.