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Crest vs Bennington: Which pontoon boat is the best for you?

Pontoon boats have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their versatility and ease of use. They are ideal for a wide range of activities such as cruising, fishing, watersports, and entertaining. A pontoon boat is an excellent choice for those looking for a stable, spacious, and comfortable vessel that is suitable for all age groups and skill levels.

When considering a pontoon boat purchase, it is important to understand the purpose and advantages of these boats. They offer a range of benefits such as increased stability, more room for passengers and storage, and a smoother ride thanks to their buoyancy.

Key features to consider when choosing a pontoon boat include size, seating capacity, horsepower, layout, and convenience features like storage space and entertainment systems. Understanding these factors will help you make the best choice for your boating needs.

Key takeaway
Crest pontoon boats offer innovative features, attention to detail, and a range of models for all budgets.

An Overview of Crest Pontoon Boats

Crest Marine is a family-owned, Michigan-based company that has been in the business of manufacturing pontoon boats for over 60 years. With a well-established reputation for quality, innovation, and style, Crest is a popular brand among boating enthusiasts.

When it comes to the range of models offered by Crest, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a luxury vessel with all the bells and whistles or a more functional, budget-friendly option, Crest has a boat for you. Some of the popular models by Crest include:

  • Crest Caliber
  • Crest Continental
  • Crest Savannah
  • Crest II
  • Crest Classic

Crest boats are known for their innovative features and attention to detail. Some noteworthy features of the Crest models include:

  • Waveglider triple-tube package for improved handling and stability on the water
  • CPT (Crest Performance tubes) technology for optimal performance and fuel efficiency
  • Powder-coated rails and fence panels for enhanced durability
  • Luxe upholstery, LED lighting, and Bluetooth-enabled sound systems to elevate the onboard experience

Customer reviews of Crest boats are overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the brand for its impeccable craftsmanship and superior customer service. Crest marine offers a comprehensive warranty program that ensures peace of mind for buyers.

If you’re in the market for a pontoon boat that combines functionality, style, and innovation, Crest is a brand that should definitely be on your radar.

An Overview of Bennington Pontoon Boats

A. History and Market Position of Bennington

Bennington is a leading manufacturer of pontoon boats, founded in 1997. Since then, the company has pioneered numerous innovations that have propelled the industry forward. Today, Bennington boasts state-of-the-art facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, and a wide distribution network that spans the United States and beyond.

Bennington has established itself as a market leader thanks to its commitment to quality, durability, and customer satisfaction. The company’s attention to detail and investment in R&D has resulted in multiple patents, including the groundbreaking V-hull design and premium interior furnishings.

B. Bennington’s Diverse Model Line-Up

Bennington offers a varied array of pontoon boats, each designed with style, performance, and functionality in mind. Whether you’re an avid angler, a family looking for a relaxing day on the water, or somewhere in between, Bennington has a pontoon boat that suits your needs.

The company’s model line-up encompasses four basic categories: fishing, cruising, luxury, and performance. Each category features numerous models with varying lengths, widths, and layouts, giving buyers the opportunity to select the pontoon boat that satisfies their specific desires.

C. Signature Features and Design Elements of Bennington

Bennington’s signature features and design elements ensure its pontoon boats stand out from the crowd. The company prides itself on its commitment to quality and precision engineering, with every detail carefully considered in each boat it produces.

One of Bennington’s most unique features is its Rock-Solid Structure. This proprietary design combines an exclusive under-deck support system with a reinforced bow structure, resulting in a sturdy and reliable pontoon boat. Additionally, Bennington boasts stylish and luxurious interior furnishings, including premium seating and high-end finishes.

D. Consumer Feedback and Industry Accolades

Bennington has received numerous industry accolades for its superior craftsmanship, including multiple NMMA Innovation Awards, NMMA Excellence in Customer Satisfaction Awards, and consecutive J.D. Power Awards for highest customer satisfaction in the marine industry. Consumers rave about the performance, handling, and comfort of Bennington pontoon boats, with many considering them the best in the market.

In conclusion, Bennington pontoon boats have earned their place among the most respected and trusted brands in the industry, thanks to their innovation, craftsmanship, and customer focus. If style, luxury, and comfort are what you’re looking for in a pontoon boat, Bennington should be at the top of your list.

Comparing Crest and Bennington: Head-to-Head Analysis

A. Performance and Handling

When it comes to performance and handling, both Crest and Bennington are top contenders. However, Crest generally offers better acceleration and speed, thanks to its advanced hull design. On the other hand, Bennington’s tubes are positioned further apart, which provides greater stability and easier maneuverability.

B. Durability and Build Quality

Crest and Bennington both manufacture quality boats that are built to last. Crest uses thicker aluminum and hand-welded seams, while Bennington uses heavy-duty aluminum, high-quality stainless steel components, and superior welding techniques. Both brands offer warranties of varying lengths, ensuring that your investment is protected.

C. Design and Comfort

When it comes to design and comfort, both Crest and Bennington offer a range of models with various layouts and features to suit your preferences. Crest is known for its luxury appointments and attention to detail, such as plush seating, premium sound systems, and elegant lighting. Bennington’s designs are more versatile, with options for fishing, cruising, and watersports. Additionally, Bennington’s seat foam is multi-layered and denser, providing greater comfort and support.

D. Customization and Options

Both brands offer a wide range of options and customization to their boats. Crest offers various wood-grain accents, luxury carpeting, digital gauges, and a wide array of color choices. In contrast, Bennington offers a variety of seating and furniture options, a choice of vinyl and flooring materials, and a range of graphics and finishes. Overall, both brands offer a range of customizations to make your boat unique.

E. Warranty and After-Sales Support

Both Crest and Bennington offer warranties ranging from 7 to 10 years for hull and structure and up to 5 years for other components. Both brands also offer excellent after-sales support through their dealership network, with trained technicians and replacement parts readily available.

F. Price Comparison and Value for Money

When it comes to price, both Crest and Bennington are at the higher end of the spectrum. However, you get what you pay for, meaning that both brands offer excellent value for money in terms of quality, features, and longevity. Crest is generally more expensive due to its luxury features, whereas Bennington offers more budget-friendly options with its S, SX, and G series boats.

In conclusion, both Crest and Bennington offer high-quality pontoon boats with varying features, styles, and prices. When it comes to choosing between the two, it ultimately depends on your preferences and what you value most in a pontoon boat. It is recommended to take a test ride of both to get a feel of the handling, comfort, and design before making a final decision.

Performance and HandlingBetter acceleration and speed due to advanced hull designGreater stability and easier maneuverability due to tube positioning
Durability and Build QualityThicker aluminum and hand-welded seamsHeavy-duty aluminum, high-quality stainless steel components, and superior welding techniques
Design and ComfortLuxury appointments, plush seating, premium sound systems, and elegant lightingVersatile designs with options for fishing, cruising, and watersports. Multi-layered and denser seat foam for greater comfort and support
Customization and OptionsVarious wood-grain accents, luxury carpeting, digital gauges, and a wide array of color choicesVarious seating and furniture options, a choice of vinyl and flooring materials, and a range of graphics and finishes
Warranty and After-Sales SupportWarranties ranging from 7 to 10 years for hull and structure and up to 5 years for other components. Excellent after-sales support through dealership network, with trained technicians and replacement parts readily available.Warranties ranging from 7 to 10 years for hull and structure and up to 5 years for other components. Excellent after-sales support through dealership network, with trained technicians and replacement parts readily available.
Price Comparison and Value for MoneyGenerally more expensive due to luxury featuresOffers more budget-friendly options with S, SX, and G series boats

Making Your Decision: Which Pontoon Boat to Buy?

A. Assessing Your Boating Needs and Preferences

When deciding between Crest and Bennington, it is essential to assess your boating needs and preferences. Consider the factors that are important to you such as the number of passengers you will typically have on board, the type of water you will be navigating, your budget, and the types of activities you plan to do on your boat.

B. Considerations for First-Time Pontoon Buyers

If you’re a first-time pontoon buyer, you may want to stick to a smaller model which is easier to handle and less expensive. Crest and Bennington both offer entry-level options that are perfect for new buyers. Look for features that provide safety, durability, and functionality, such as comfortable seating, a reliable engine, and good maneuverability.

C. The Importance of a Test Ride

One of the most critical steps in choosing the right pontoon boat is taking a test ride. This is an opportunity to experience the boat firsthand and confirm if it meets your needs and preferences. When taking a test ride, take note of how the boat handles, how fast it can go, and how comfortable the seating is. Test riding can also help you to identify any potential problems or issues before you make a purchase.

D. Final Verdict: Crest vs Bennington

Both Crest and Bennington are reputable brands that offer high-quality pontoon boats. However, in terms of overall value for money and customer satisfaction, Bennington may have a slight edge. While the two brands are similar in terms of features and design, Bennington models tend to come with more features as standard.

E. Next Steps: Purchasing and Enjoying Your Pontoon Boat

Once you have decided on the brand and model of your pontoon boat, it’s time to make a purchase. It is recommended to buy a boat from a reputable dealer who can provide good after-sales support and warranty. A good dealer can help with financing, delivery, and installation. It’s also essential to plan for regular maintenance to keep your boat in good condition so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is better: Crest or Bennington?

Both Crest and Bennington are excellent pontoon boat brands that offer a wide range of features and options. Ultimately, the best brand for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

2. How much does a pontoon boat cost?

The cost of a pontoon boat can vary widely depending on the brand, model, and features. Entry-level models can start at around $20,000, while high-end models can exceed $100,000 or more.

3. How do I maintain my pontoon boat?

To keep your pontoon boat in good condition, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance such as cleaning the hull, changing the oil and filters, and inspecting the propeller. It’s also essential to store your boat properly, either on land or in a covered slip. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific maintenance guidelines.

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