If you’re going to put the word ‘Premium’ in the actual name of your pontoon boat, you had better make it something that stands out from the crowd. This is not an easy task. Some manufacturers try and fail quite miserably, tacking on chintzy parlor tricks and useless frivolity and trying to pass them off as luxurious features. But then thankfully, some companies like Bennington have carved out a solid reputation for being able to make even lower-end model class boats look and feel like they are worth much more than they cost.
The 21 SLX Premium lives up to that same expectation. There is ample space up front just about eight normal sized people, and another four plus the captain out back. The pillow-top back cushions in the bow lounges combined with the two-tone Simtex vinyl scheme that also shows up in the aft L-shaped lounge. From the captain’s chair, there is a polished steering wheel, a one piece fiberglass console, sealed deutsch connectors, a low profile windshield, an hour meter, as well as brushed panels that keep the gauges and switches neat and tidy, a set of nonslip and drain enabled dash nooks make organizing yourself even easier. There is an all-in-one Kicker KMC1 stereo that is piped into all of the passenger popular areas to keep the party going as long as needed.
Have a seat behind the captain’s chair in the lounge area and you may or may not notice the ergonomically shaped cockpit table that allows passengers to move about the area easily without bumping into it and ruining the party. The standard sea-grass flooring looks higher end, but is worlds easier to clean and use than standard carpeting. What you also may not recognize until it threatens to become a potentially unforgettably embarrassing event is the pop-up changing room curtain actually snaps to the exterior frame to avoid any unintentionally flashing. The Bimini top offers eight and a half feet of headroom, and can even extend up to ten feet to make sure everyone can warm up, or cool off, if needed.
Out on the exterior there are a host of fun features that keep the SLX moving along in the right direction not only figuratively, but literally as well. Anodized raised rails, stainless steel deck bolts and cleats, a deep-step stern boarding ladder, extruded splash guards, rounded solid keels and the aforementioned quick release Bimini Top.
Out on the water, the Bennington 21 SLX Premium, again, feels like it lives up to its namesake. It has a confident and yet soft lean inside coasting in and out of turns thanks to three full-length 25-inch pontoons. The center tube has lifting strakes, while each of the outer tubes have performance foils on the inside. SeaStar hydraulic steering combines with solid round keels, and and under deck wave shield which all help this boat keep things steady even in unfavorable water conditions.
In terms of actual specs, the 21 SLX Premium is set up for a single outboard motor with a max horsepower of 115-150. It measures in with an LOA of 21’ 11.5”, a beam of 8’6”, a dry weight of 2,504 pounds, and a max seating/weight capacity of 12 people or 1,624 pounds. Fuel capacity is 21.4 gallons. Performance specs are also fairly impressive given the entry price of this boat. Top speed was just short of 40 mph at 5600 rpm. While the max economical cruise speed was had at an even 20 mph at 3500 rpm which reigned in an impressive 5.00 gph.
There certainly are quite a few numbers to keep in mind when considering a new boat, pontoon or otherwise. But arguably the most important of those numbers is the one that has a dollar sign in front of it. Obviously, choice of options and power will differ somewhat, but all in all, a new Bennington 21 SLX Premium can be had with power and a few nice options for less than fifty grand. So it seems like Bennington has been able to make a boat that conveys a “premium” feel to its execution, and the only it doesn’t command a premium for, is price. Well done, Bennington. Well done.
Features may include:
- 3 Chaise Lounges
- Stern Storage Closet
- (NEW) Radius Bow Furniture
- (NEW) Two-Tone Vinyl Furniture
- Powder Coated Seat Hinges
- (NEW) SX Premium Furniture and Console
- Duraframe Seat Bases
- Fire Extinguisher
- Stainless Steel Rimmed Cupholders
- G Series Reclining Captain’s Chair
- Bennington Logo Speaker Grill
- Horizontal Diamond Pressed Upholstery
- Kidney-Shaped Table
- Transom Fuel Tank
- Simtex Vinyl Upholstery
- Woven Vinyl Full Floor
- 24 Gallon Fuel Tank
- 21.4 Gallon Usable Capacity
- Crystal Cap Logos
- Stern Deck
- Underdeck Spray Deflectors
- Full Height Panels
- Surlast Mooring Cover
- Full Length Extruded Anodized Skirting
- Anodized Raised Rails
- Stainless Steel Cleats and Corner Castings
- Stainless Steel Deck Bolts (Fanged Elevator Bolts secured with Stainless Steel Nylock Nut.)
- Streamline Rail System
- Mooring Cover Quick Clips
- 25″ Pontoons
- Quick Release 10′ Bimini Top with Surlast Embroidered Boot, 1.25″ Frame & Trailering Struts
- .250″ Thick Bow & Stern Cross Channels
- 6″ Stainless Steel Cleats
- Deep-Step Stern Boarding Ladder
- 18 IN Stern Deck
- Flush Bow Deck
- Polished Steering Wheel
- 12 Volt Receptacle
- Console Courtesy Light