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Pontoon boats are great for entertaining large groups of your friends and family members with wide spaces to move about. But these boats can actually be a natural fit for more than just that. One model, the Bennington 23 SCCTTX, sets Pontoons apart by focusing more on fishing and less on entertaining.

Boating Magazine tested out this Pontoon and was pleased with what they saw. Let’s look at what they liked about it and how the Bennington 23 is bringing a whole new look to the Pontoon. 

A brief history of Pontoon boats

A pontoon boat docked on a lake at sunset
A pontoon boat sits on a dock | GettyImages

ITC Marine tells us that the pontoon boat could be traced all the way back to the Chinese Zhou Dynasty, its modern counterpart began in the ’50s when a Minnesota farmer, Ambrose Weeres, built his own take on it. According to ITC Marine, his creation was an answer to a need he had for a vessel that would support his family on the water for a day of fun or a day of fishing. 

As crude as it was, it worked, and to meet the needs of other families looking for the same kind of boat, Weeres started his own pontoon boat company. Other manufacturing companies joined him, and as the years went by, different designs surfaced. Each one was built on airtight tubes and would generally run slow for a relaxing experience on the lake.

One, in particular, added upholstered seating and other luxury amenities, transforming the boat into an entertainment vessel instead of a fishing rig. Donned with wet bars, furniture, and stereo equipment, the pontoon became the boat of choice for birthday parties or other celebrations on the lake. You can offer drinks as well as food while you listen to music and chat with others. 

How the Bennington 23 SCCTTX redefines what a pontoon boat can do

Fast-forward to our modern day, pontoon boats continue to be designed with many luxury amenities to make boating fun and offer plenty of space for groups of people to get together for a day on the lake. The Bennington 23 SCCTTX model, however, is bringing back the fishing element and joining it with the entertaining aspect of the boat. 

While many pontoon boats could be used to fish, they designed the Bennington to place the focus on what you need to make your day of fishing more productive. Specialized boats offer the better value.

A typical pontoon would have a side console where you steer the boat, but it gets in the way. The Bennington 23 SCCTTX is a center console model that frees up space for you to fish off the boat in any direction you want without hindrance.

But that’s not the only thing that sets this model apart from other pontoons, though. This Bennington model also contains live wells to keep your prize-winning catches fresh, racks for your rods, and comfortable seating areas in the bow and aft of the boat. 

Is buying a pontoon boat worth it?

Boating magazine had plenty of great things to say about this boat. One aspect that pleased them is the fact that even though the Bennington 23 is designed for fishing, you can still use it for entertaining your friends and family for a day of fun. 

The center-console was another area they liked. It comes with a plexiglass windshield and an overhead T-Top to protect you from the sun’s rays and the elements, but won’t get in the way when throwing your line out. On the dash, the test boat they used had two displays on each side of a standard compass. 

Bennington’s fishing model offers durable construction, encased wiring, and stainless steel elevator bolts, which ensures everything is well-bonded and nothing will come loose. The test boat they used came with 25-inch pontoons and a 250 hp Yamaha motor.

There were only a few things they didn’t care for. One dealt with the loose wiring located under the center console. They felt it was easy to catch things on those wires. Another drawback was the ability to access one of the live wells was annoying.

You have to remove a backrest and put it aside or store it somewhere to get to the live well. Lastly, the casting deck in the aft of the boat was difficult to raise. 

The Bennington 23 SCCTTX is not just another Pontoon boat on the market. It puts the focus on fishing and lets you spend more time casting your lines and catching fish, which is what anglers want to do.