Help with a new pontoon purchase

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mpilot
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:56 am
Location: Lake Murray, SC

Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#16 Post by mpilot » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:34 pm

30% is a pretty standard markup from what I've seen. You aren't far off at that price for the maximum they'll give you. Ours was 52k online and we paid mid 30's. A helpful tip when getting a new boat insured is that with some companies, like progressive, you can ensure for the full replacement cost (the sticker price) and not just what you paid for it. I think this is only valid for a certain numbers of years but it's good piece of mind.

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ROLAND
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#17 Post by ROLAND » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:32 am

[quote="mpilot"]30% is a pretty standard markup from what I've seen. You aren't far off at that price for the maximum they'll give you. Ours was 52k online and we paid mid 30's. A helpful tip when getting a new boat insured is that with some companies, like progressive, you can ensure for the full replacement cost (the sticker price) and not just what you paid for it. I think this is only valid for a certain numbers of years but it's good piece of mind.[/quote]

As for the insurance with progressive, I have my boat insured thru them and I believe when I took out the policy, they asked me how much to replace the boat and motor... That was 6 years ago and I told them 25K ( actually paid less than that ) so that's what they wrote the policy at and set the premium to accordingly. My understanding was for the first 5 years they pay the full 25 K in the event of a loss, after the fifth year is done, then depreciation kicks in and the loss value would be "actual cash value" at the time of loss... I'm on my sixth year so I'm in the "depreciation" catagory now... and my boat is the only thing I insure thru progressive... started to switch my boat over to Shelter ( which has all my vehicles and house ), but the premium at Progressive on the boat was so damn cheap, it was hard to give it up... 127 bucks for the year.... never had an accident so I can't say how good they are in the event of a claim.
Roland & Jo
2010 Bennington 20 Sfi
Yamaha 75 4 Stroke
Shreveport, Louisiana

ron nh
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#18 Post by ron nh » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:50 am

I agree 30% isn't shocking, But from what Iv'e seen up here it is for a Benny.
Last edited by ron nh on Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

PontoonNewbie2017
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Location: Pocasset, MA

Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#19 Post by PontoonNewbie2017 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:56 am

Captains Choice, great people to talk to by the way, are currently offering about 20% off MSRP as boat show pricing. This puts their $52,000 Bennington about the same price as the others. Back to trying to find the best boat AND the best deal on it....

ron nh
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#20 Post by ron nh » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:55 pm

You could get a 20' sylvan tritoon with a 150 for 35k at Ossipee lake marina. It would be the base model, any upgrades would obviously bring it up quickly but It can be done. Long ride for you but the guy is the best. It's been 2 years since I got prices from him but that was with a trailer so I'm sure it's still pretty close. They were better priced than Monadnock was. I think that's who was at the boat show?
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

PontoonNewbie2017
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#21 Post by PontoonNewbie2017 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:00 pm

Where does Sylvan rank in build quality compared to boats like Bennington and Premier?

ron nh
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#22 Post by ron nh » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:18 pm

There considered a mid tier builder, But there's no problems, There well built boats. I know you are looking at a little bigger then I described but going up a few feet should only be 1 or 2 k more. I wouldn't think twice about buying one. Like people said when the rpts 1st came out they had issues but I haven't heard a single issue since they fixed the problem. There made by smoker craft that's why I said they've been doing it for a long time, Same group as Starcraft and Sun Chaser. Sun chaser are the cheapest off the three. Even they just came out with a more expensive line.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

captain28570
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#23 Post by captain28570 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:55 pm

here is my findings.



Well I will be a first time Tritoon owner in a couple months. Did tons of research on who makes the best boat for the money. Its amazing how many brands are out there and priced almost the same for the same options.

The main brands I had heard the most about and see the most of were Bennington,South Bay, Coach,Xcursion, Misty Harbour, Manitou ,Harris, Bass Pro and Lowes. I know I'm missing some but they were the most common.

I priced just about every brand with the same features, motor and same level of boat package. Meaning value leisure quality as in middle of the road upgrades. I wasn't looking into the high end packages with all the fancy stuff.

I was kinda leaning towards Bennington because the 10 year warranty and they sale the most boats. But that's kinda misleading. I believe I was told by the Actual Bennington dealer that well over half their sales are toons and smaller tritoons. They sale a crap load of boats with 2 toons with 90's and 115's on them.

The factory told me they produced about 12,000 boats a year. They are mass produced. Makes sense now how they sale so many.

I have had 4 Sea Hunt boats which are the number 1 selling fiberglass boat in America besides Carolina Skiff. They produce around 2000 boats a year. They are a great value for what you get. But when you step up to a brand that is made one at a time and better workmanship the prices are 20,30 maybe 50 grand more for the same size boat.

In the Pontoon brands there isn't that huge price difference. Everything is within a few grand of eachother.

Well I have several local Bennington and Manitou dealers. I even priced the high volume dealer in S.C. for Bennington prices.

One thing that made no sense to me on the Bennington is a 30 gallon tank on the tritoons. You cant get anything bigger than that unless you go to the Eliptical version which is a lot more money.

Why on earth such a small tank? With their performance package its rated up to a 200 HP. With basically 27 gallons of useable fuel that means if you cruising at 3800 to 4000 rpms doing 25 to 30 mph you will be burning about 6 to 7 gallons an hour with a 150 and more with a 200. If you pull anybody those numbers will go down. So at best you could run at mid 20's for 4 hours before you out of fuel. I have looked at the performance bulletins which show around 4 mpg at best with a 150 unless you go low 20's you might get 4.2 or so MPG.

The Bennington was the only brand I could find that offered such a small tank. Everybody else was over 40 gallons and even Bass pro was 52 I believe.

Well I priced a 22 Bennington tritoon with the performance package ,150 Yamaha, hydraulic steering, trailer,with about 1,500 in options was around 40 grand without taxes in S.C. Here in LA it was 45 K. My local dealer said he couldn't believe the dealer in S.C. could sale it that cheap. The S.C. dealers sales about 500 Bennington's a year. Top 5 dealer.

Well after looking at so many boats and learning that Mantiou's seem to be the best of the best. I was sold on them. The factory was very supportive and explained to me that they use to build 3 or 4 boats a week out of a small factory. Now they have a bigger place because the demand commanded a bigger place. Now its 6 to 7 boats a week which still compared to Bennington's 200 plus a month is nothing.

Why would I buy a mass produced boat over a boat that's built basically one at a time with more detail and better workmanship? Not knocking the Bennington but its a no brainer to me.

I can see the difference's in the welds and details.

Well I ordered a 21 Aurora LE standard tritoon with the SHP package. Its actually over 22 foot long.

150 HO Evinrude G2 with digital controls,power steering,digital gauge and 10 year warranty. Options include tandem axle aluminum trailer with spare tire, wired for trolling motor with half door, luna upgraded flooring, dinette table, s/w package, upgraded captain's chair,portable cupholders,logos, kicker Bluetooth stereo head unit, dual smart battery switch and 2 batteries.

41,000 without taxes included. I thought that was a great price for everything I'am getting. Not knocking other brands but I'am glad I did my research.
2017 22 Manitou Aurora LE SHP Tritoon Evinrude G2 HO 150

Soonertoon
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#24 Post by Soonertoon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:22 am

There are a helluva lot of quality boat builders out there besides Bennington. While they do make a good boat, Bennington is as much a product of superb marketing much like Harley Davidson is in the motorcycle world. Before you let yourself get convinced that if you don't own a Bennington you wont be part of the cool kids club, spend some time researching other brands. Theres a lot more bang for the buck out there in makers like Sylvan, Suncatcher ( Damn fine boats made by Yamaha ) , Crest, Aqua Patio, Lowe , StarCraft, etc.
Broken Arrow Ok
2014 G3 Suncatcher
115 Yamaha 4 stroke
Paradise Cove Marina on Ft. Gibson Lake

PontoonNewbie2017
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#25 Post by PontoonNewbie2017 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:15 pm

captain28570
Excellent advice, thank you.....



Soonertoon:
thank you for your advice also...

Vikingstaff
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:23 pm
Location: Houghton Lake, Michigan

Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#26 Post by Vikingstaff » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:28 am

Hi there! We just went through this process this past fall into the start of winter on our first pontoon purchase. With our cottage in N. Michigan, the new tritoon has arrived at the dealer, but it will still be awhile before we can put it in on our lake.

I share this, so you know I am not an experienced owner, but I am experienced at being in your shoes! ;-). I started my research last June (online, visiting dealerships and looking at boats in person, test driving some, comparing prices in person and online with boattrader.com, etc...). This continued into fall as we looked for good sales and deals in the off season, and we closed a deal on an order in mid-December with some great savings. - got down to 32% below msrp.

Our priorities were as follows: 1) build quality/construction, 2) warranty coverage and support, 3) quality and trustworthy local sales and service dealership, 4) ability to do water sports, 5) adding some options from there as price points allowed.

I narrowed it down in my research initially to the following, because numbers 1 and 2 above were our priority: Bennington, Premier, Manitou...later after more research I added in Sweetwater (premium only) and Aqua Patio (built by Godfrey marine which is now owned by Bennington - built like Bennington's with nearly the same warranty at a better price point). Each of these offered the level of construction, thicker aluminum, 16" cross member supports, more durable rail construction and panels, etc... even into their lower line boats. Of course, they were all a bit more expensive in starting price too.

I think for priority #1, pretty much each of the above had very comparable attention to detail and bolstered construction. It seemed to us Bennington, Manitou and Premier had the slightest of leads in this area. For priority #2, Bennington was a solid winner (10 year bow to stern, and amazing reviews of bending over backwards in warranty coverage for the customer). This bumped back Manitou, and Premier had some poor customer support feedback from a few dealerships and people I spoke with. For #4, there are a number of good places in Michigan (Great Lakes State after all...), and a number of them in our lakes' area since its the largest inland lake in Michigan. Thus, we had options and choices with a variety of manufacturers from a good local service and sales perspective. For priorities 4 and 5 it was apples and oranges...including numerous other manufacturers. I think any number of them would have worked perfectly for these last two, and probably saved us money.

Here are some quick articles that stood out to me early in my research process so I was asking good questions, and had an inkling of what I was looking for in construction related answers. If you look them over, some of it you'll already know, and some of it will dial you in on construction and quality build details to look for:

http://www.pontoonhouseboatodyssey.com/ ... s_101.html

http://www.boatreeds.com/wp-content/upl ... ontoon.pdf

http://media.channelblade.com/EProWebsi ... 20boat.pdf

In the end, we went up in price to go with an optioned up entry model Bennington. We could have saved nearly 10k going in another direction and likely been just as well off. However, I leaned towards the Bennington's for a number of reasons, and the fact our local dealer specializes in them and is wonderful to work with, that was the final major factor.

From my now biased perspective, the manufacturers I list above ALL make top of the line constructed pontoons that would meet your salt water, chance of rough seas at times, water sports needs in a tritoon. I'd still go with a Bennington if in your shoes, but I also like their styling, seating (aesthetic appearance, materials, construction and layout - someone else may prefer one of the other manufacturers in these areas).

That said, I have talked to very few pontoon owners that don't love their boat, regardless of manufacturer. Thus, I am sure that whatever you end up going with, you are going to be thrilled! At least that was the consensus in all our research.

Let us all know what you end up going with, and post some pictures when you get it. :-)
Vikingstaff
Houghton Lake, Michigan
Bennington 24' SSBXP

CajunCoach23
Posts: 21
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Re: Help with a new pontoon purchase

#27 Post by CajunCoach23 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:22 pm

I have a 23C Coach tri with Honda 150. I love it. Beautiful boat, with lots of features, and rides great!

If you have any questions, please feel free to hit me up...
2016 Coach 23C
2016 Honda 150

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