Boat Test: 2013 Bennington 2550 RCL

Boat Tested2013 Bennington 2550 RCL
Price As Tested$61,900 CAD
Category Pontoon Boat
Manufacturer Bennington
Length27ft 1in / 8.26 m
Beam8ft 6in / 2.59 m
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeMercury Verado
Fuel Capacity30
By Mike MilneFast pontoon boats are far from a novelty these days; they are now a well-established part of the still growing pontoon segment. The Bennington 2550 RCL is a great example of this. Powered by a Mercury Verado 225 outboard, the test boat provides plenty of speed but it’s also got comfort, space, luxurious appointments and practical finishes.

With 25-foot, 6-inch pontoons, the 2550 is a big day boat weighing about a ton and a half. The quiet four-stroke Verado pushes it on plane and up to 20 mph in just over four seconds and to 30 mph in 6.82 seconds. GPS-verified top speed is 39.4 mph at 5900 rpm. The boat cruises at 21.6 mph at 3500 rpm and 24.6 mph at 4000 rpm. And with a 30-gallon fuel tank in the centre pontoon, it could do that all day.

The performance is thanks to an elliptical 32-inch centre log with 25-inch tubes along each side. The Elliptical Sport Package (ESP) also includes angled lifting strakes along the bottom sides of the centre log and on the inside bottom edge of each outer log. Full-length keels help directional stability.

The design produces fast planing, excellent tracking and quick, carved turns. With ESP, the Bennington corners and handles as well as any big deckboat or runabout.

Where the 2550 really gets ahead of its competitors is in space and comfort. The RCL has two long lounges forward and a J-shaped lounge aft around a small table. The forward and aft lounges have chaise-style backrests. The aft lounge also converts into a huge sunpad for serious relaxation or tanning.

At the helm, the comfortable captain’s chair has twin armrests and is mounted on a slightly raised platform that’s part of the helm pod. The pod also includes storage, a grab-bar, cup holders, a windscreen and woodgrain trim.

Add soft vinyl pillow-top finishes, fold-out armrests, moveable drink holders and an ottoman/cooler to the picture and clearly luxurious relaxation is top priority.

On the practical side, there’s vinyl flooring with snap-in carpets, durable teak-look vinyl on the aft deck and massive storage space under seats and in a cavernous centre log locker. For quick wardrobe changes, there’s a pop-up canvas enclosure.
Boaters with day cruising, watersports and relaxation in mind, however, won’t want to change anything about the Bennington 2550 RCL.
Mercury Verado FourStroke 225, 2.6 L/158 cid, 225-hp fourstroke supercharged outboard with electronic fuel injection, pushing a 14-pitch three-blade stainless steel propACCELERATION (mph/sec)
0-20 / 4.28 ; 0-30 / 6.82TOP SPEED (rpm/mph)
5900 / 39.4CRUISING SPEED (rpm/mph)
3000 / 16.5 ; 3500 / 21.6 ; 4000 / 24.6 ; 4500 / 29.1
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