Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

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trevsglide
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:56 am

Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#1 Post by trevsglide » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:05 am

Hi, I live in Florida on a River that goes out to the gulf. I just joined because this looks like a good place to find information from people who have experience with Pontoons. I already have a bunch of questions and hope to find answers in other sedction .... :mrgreen:

I've owned a 16' bass boat, a Jetski and a 21' Trophy Center Console. This is my first experience with a Pontoon but looking forward to learning more.

Trevor

captain28570
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#2 Post by captain28570 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:52 pm

What's your budget, intended use, speed expectations and what kinda HP you looking for.

Tritoons will ride better and cruise at much faster speeds. The pontoons are generally 115 HP and lower with speeds mostly around 30 WOT and slower.
2017 22 Manitou Aurora LE SHP Tritoon Evinrude G2 HO 150

trevsglide
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#3 Post by trevsglide » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:50 am

I need a boat that I can fit a bunch of people on I live on a gulf access river (Cotee) in New Port Richey. I want a BAR boat because I can take up the river from my house to where the downtown park is and sit right there and listen to the bands that play during a bunch of the festivals they have throughout the year and I can cruise to a multitude of the other bars along the river, or dinner when I feel like it. Next I want something with about a 150hp on it and it has to be a four-stroke. Had a two-stroke and it was noisy even for a center console. I can imagine it would be even more so in a pontoon, when I'm just trolling down a river to dinner. I want the tri-toon and 150 to be able to head about 5 miles south into the gulf to a few small islands that are a weekend boat hangout. I found one and it is priced pretty competitive $54,900 (Berkshire, 25', STSE 3.0, Suzuki 6 year non-depreciating warranty, with a multitude of options, leds, upgraded floors, cushions, electronics, stereo) and the layout is crazy with about 2 ft on the back for the swim platform or stand around the wet bar and grill. Also I am pre-approved for $57,550. SO now its just waiting out the dealer on price and hitting a boat show next weekend.

My first question is around making sure my lift has the right coverings on the bunks to protect the aluminum toons. After that I'm sure I'll run into more things I'll want to know.

Trevor

Bamaman
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#4 Post by Bamaman » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:44 am

That particular model and brand boat is pretty luxurious. There are many other interior layouts that suit our particular needs. I love the rear deck extension, and our Bennington has the rear facing lounge.

If you shop around, there are many more brands that fit the bill and are far less money than the Berkshire.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

captain28570
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#5 Post by captain28570 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:57 am

I would agree they are pricey. There is a lot more brands for cheaper prices. Tons of different layouts. Brands should look at are Bennington, Manitou and South Bay. All 3 sale a lot of boats and good quality.

I done tons of research and Manitou is about the best made boat for the price. Prices vary greatly from dealers and brands. Do your research.

Noway I would pay mid 50's for a tritoon with a 150. You can get other brands with 150's for much cheaper.
2017 22 Manitou Aurora LE SHP Tritoon Evinrude G2 HO 150

ron nh
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#6 Post by ron nh » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:02 am

That boat with those options should be mid 50's. It's not overpriced and Berkshire as a line aren't over priced. A Manitou with those options and that trim level, helm and seats would cost $70k. It won't be as fast or sporty, but great boat. And there made buy the same group as south bay. I agree that Monitou makes a great boat, But I would put Bennington, Crest,Premier, Soutbay and JC up there that are just as good if not better, I may be leaving some out. Manitou's pricing is not in line with the mid tier builders.
Last edited by ron nh on Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

captain28570
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#7 Post by captain28570 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:20 am

Don't let the dealer tell you that Suzuki isn't a non declining warranty. Because it is. The last 3 years is by a third party and more like insurance than a warranty. The last 3 years aren't as good as the other brands. There is a reason why it's cheaper. I would own a Suzuki in a heartbeat but don't let the dealer fool you.
2017 22 Manitou Aurora LE SHP Tritoon Evinrude G2 HO 150

Bamaman
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#8 Post by Bamaman » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:02 pm

Don't forget that all the bigger pontoon manufacturers have 3-4 different lines of boats. Usually the hulls are the same, but the fencing and seating goes from nice to ridiculously plush--all at a price.
I honestly don't know how they build so many different seating and model configurations. I think Benningtons can be outfitted 1000 ways.
I have the S series Bennington which is their cheapest, and it's as nice of a boat as I have any desire to pay for.
Manitou also has pontoons/tritoons in all price points. They don't really get terribly expensive until you go the high performance hulls with 250 hp or more.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

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smltooner
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#9 Post by smltooner » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:35 pm

Welcome to the club.
Good luck with your search.
SMLTOONER
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ron nh
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#10 Post by ron nh » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:47 am

I'm just pointing out that the Aurora is Manitou's entry level. If you buy there Encore trim with a 150 and SHP it's over 55k and jump to the legacy is 70k minimum. I priced them last summer. Also he's looking at a 25' so that's 2 sizes larger, around 3 or 4k more. You can't just compare manufacturers, you Have to take into consideration the trim level. That's all. This guy's looking for a boat he should get the proper info. I have seen the STS RFX with a 200hp merc with an arch & black out pkg for 55k, The E series is more expensive but with a 150 you might have some room to negotiate, but it's not a bad price.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

ron nh
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#11 Post by ron nh » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:56 am

[quote="Bamaman"]Don't forget that all the bigger pontoon manufacturers have 3-4 different lines of boats. Usually the hulls are the same, but the fencing and seating goes from nice to ridiculously plush--all at a price.
I honestly don't know how they build so many different seating and model configurations. I think Benningtons can be outfitted 1000 ways.
I have the S series Bennington which is their cheapest, and it's as nice of a boat as I have any desire to pay for.
Manitou also has pontoons/tritoons in all price points. They don't really get terribly expensive until you go the high performance hulls with 250 hp or more.[/quote]
It's almost overwhelming how many different ways you can set up a Bennington! I don't know how they do it. Go on the web site when you have an extra day to do nothing, you can build them all day. I think there s series is miles ahead of some of the other high end builders entry level.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

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FLOUNDERPOUNDER225
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#12 Post by FLOUNDERPOUNDER225 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:21 am

You probably already know, Berkshire, Xcursion and South Bay are all made by Forest River Marine. All built exactly the same way, same materials, just different layouts and luxury items. As far as running out 5 Miles in the gulf, that's an easy day, I run 7-8 to go fishing off Pensacola, and you know the confused chop we get, that Tritoon eats it up, the CC's look at me when I pass them running smooth on plane while their getting pounded and wet.
Pensacola FL
2015 Berkshire 231 RFC
Yamaha F-150

robertm
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#13 Post by robertm » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:13 am

If you can swing it, get the 200 hp motor. Especially if you are going to be hauling a lot of people. I've got a very similar boat to what you are looking at and with 10 people on board (4 kids) I top out at mid 30s. If your running up river you'll want all the grunt you can get. 150 will do the job fine I'm sure but 200 will get ya there a bit quicker :biggrin2

Regardless of motor they are great boats and really enjoyable to own. Simple, safe and great people haulers. Oh, definitely get the in pontoon floor stowage option too. It's a great place to throw a lot of the things you don't use often.

Best of luck whatever you decide!
'Miss Kelley'
2015 Berkshire 253 RFX Super Sport
Yamaha F200 LB
14.5" X 15P SS Reliance
2015 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel

Vikingstaff
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Re: Hi All looking at a new 25' Berkshire STSE

#14 Post by Vikingstaff » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:58 am

Welcome to the forum. New to it myself. Thought I'd check in and see if you moved forward with a purchase? If so, I'd love to see pictures of your set up.

We spend last summer and fall doing research for our first pontoon purchase. It was highly overwhelming with the tremendous amount of options available across and within each manufacture. Lots of good ones out there.

If you made a purchase, Congratulations! If still deciding, Good Luck!
Vikingstaff
Houghton Lake, Michigan
Bennington 24' SSBXP

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