Bennington 2575 QCW Pontoon Boat Review: Top Shelf Fun

Who says pontoon boats aren't fun?

23rd May 2014.
By Gary Reich

When it comes to pontoon boats, there’s perhaps no more well-known, or prolific builder than Bennington. So when we had a chance to check out one of the Indiana manufacturer’s high-end 2575 QCW models at the Miami International Boat Show, we jumped at the chance. Yeah, sure, you can go ahead and turn your nose up because it’s a pontoon boat (I would have done the same until I saw the light), but if lake or river living is your thing, I challenge you to find a better platform for enjoying these types of water. (Hint: there aren’t very many.)

A photo of the Bennington 2575 QCW.

The Bennington 2575 QCW is designed for maximum on-the-water fun, relaxation, and performance.

The 2575 QCW builds on Bennington’s highly modular and insanely customizable 2575 series pontoon boats, which can be had in almost any flavor, including a mahogany-clad model and even one with a wakeboarding tower. Our test boat was equipped with the Sport Arch package, which includes a pair of swiveling captain and co-captain’s chairs, deluxe stern lounges, upgraded seating and upholstery, enhanced stereo package, and of course, a beautifully welded aluminum arch. While that arch may not seem as if it’s a big deal, it offers the ability to install an optional integral canvas bimini (versus the flimsy fold-down type), and can also serve as a base for electronics antennas and accessories, too.

You can configure the Bennington 2575 in one of about 500 different ways, but one option most buyers opt for is Bennington’s Elliptical Sport Package (even with an MSRP north of $6,000). What you get for your Benjamins here is an elliptical center pontoon with lifting strakes, larger and heavier 25-inch outside pontoons with performance foils, splash fins, solid pontoon keels, SeaStar hydraulic steering, and an under-deck wave shield. Other options include custom arch colors, a multitude of stereo packages, LED lighting schemes, and various stowage and tankage possibilities that work with different tube or seating layouts.

A photo of teh Bennington 2575 QCW helm.

The helm on the Bennington 2575 QCW is comfortable, with easy-to reach (and read) switches and instrumentation.

Power options on the 2575 QCW are as customizable as the 2575 platform itself. Base standard power is a 50-horsepower outboard. The standard maximum horsepower rating with the base tubes is 150 horsepower. But if you really want to blast across the river, you can strap on up to a 350-horsepower outboard, with a catch: That maximum 350-horsepower rating requires selecting the aforementioned ESP pontoon package option, plus the upgrade to the Yamaha F350 outboard ($24,263). That may seem like a lot, but those 350 horses will allow you to push the 2575 QCW to just a touch above 50 mph. Sound fun? I thought so.

Bennington offers buyers their choice of four-stroke outboard from Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, and Yamaha, or two-stroke power from one of Evinrude’s E-TEC models. If those options sound daunting, have a look at our outboard expert’s great article on choosing an outboard for a pontoon boat.

As with all Bennington boats, fit, finish, and build quality are top-notch in every way. You can feel the quality in the texture and weight of the seating upholstery (Bennington calls it “Soft-Touch” for a reason) and deck surfaces all the way down to the brightly anodized elliptical aluminum tubes and support railings. But all of that fit and finish wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t all put together in a meaningful way. There’s ample stowage hiding under many of the seats and headrests, a clever lighted stowage locker under the helm, and of course, more cup holders than a modern SUV. The whole platform oozes comfort and relaxation.

A photo of the aft chaise lounges on the Bennington 2575 QCW.

The two best seats in the house are the twin chaise lounges situated toward the stern on the Benninigton 2575 QCW.

Starting all the way aft, the 2575 QCW has a large swim platform that makes getting in and out of the water super easy. If you’re into watersports such as skiing or tubing, there’s also a removable tow post/ski pylon.

Specifications
Length 27’6″
Beam 8’6″
Draft (hull) N/A
Deadrise N/A
Displacement 3,298 lbs
Fuel capacity 50.1 gal.
Water capacity N/A

As you transition forward from the swim platform, you’ll walk through a sturdy welded gate that gives access to the railed interior of the boat. Just forward of this gate are two insanely huge (and amazingly relaxing) chaise lounges that are what I consider the best seats in the house. Under one of those seats is a stowage locker, while the other houses a pop-up changing shelter.

Next up, moving forward, are the helm (starboard) and accompanying co-captain area, both equipped with swiveling captain’s chairs. Lastly, up forward is a massive U-shaped seating area that can swallow up at least eight people comfortably. Yes, invite the neighborhood.

Whether you’re strictly into water-lounging, quiet creek exploration, or serious on-the-water fun, the Bennington 2575 QCW has a little something for just about everyone eying up a pontoon boat purchase. And with a power plant option that will push it to up to 50 mph, who says pontoon boats aren’t fun?

Fore more information, visit Bennington Marine.

See listings for all Bennington boats.


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About the author:

Gary Reich

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Gary Reich is a Chesapeake Bay-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years of experience in the marine industry. He is the former editor of PropTalk Magazine and was the managing editor of the Waterway Guide. His writing and photography have been published in PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Yachting Magazine, and Lakeland Boating, among others.
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