A great view from the Grassicks Bennington Tritoon
This is the first installment of our Clemons Boats customer profile series! Boaters are always friendly people that are willing to share advice, help others out, and have a blast together. That is the spirit of our new blog series and we hope you enjoy reading and learning about Clemons Boats’ greatest asset, OUR CUSTOMERS! We are fortunate enough to have the best customers on the planet, some of which have been part of the family for more than 20+ years! The amount of people that come in and tell me about owning a boat that they got from my grandfather Bob Clemons back in the 60’s blows my mind! Through thick and thin, our customers have stood by us for nearly 50 years and we look forward to that relationship lasting 50 more! Our plan is for everyone to get to know each other a bit better and maybe learn what new adventures you may want to add to your boating favorites list!
Grassicks latest boat, a Bennington 2015 22SSLDX Tritoon
For our first customer profile, we will be talking with David and Pamela Grassick from Mansfield Ohio. The Grassicks have owned many boats in their life and have now settled on a Bennington Tritoon…a 2015 22SSLDX with a 150 Mercury XL to be exact! I did an Interview with David for everyone to get to know him a bit better and I hope you find it informative and entertaining. First off, a short bio from the Grassicks:
Boating Experience: Since 2002
Total amount of boats owned: 7
2002 Bayliner 175
2003 Bayliner 205BR
2007 Bayliner 225BR
2009 Ebbtide 214 SE BR
2013 Sea Doo Speedster
2013 Bennington 24 SSLX
2015 Bennington 22 SSLDX
Until recently we spent most of our time boating on inland lakes. As much as we loved lake Erie it was always a bit to rough for us, even on our Ebbtide it was a bit rough. While looking at another bow-rider we met you at Clemons Boats. We were looking for something bigger…something that would give us a good ride on lake Erie chop. The problem was the nicer boats were a bit more than we wanted to spend so we continued to window shop. We kept in touch all the while you were trying to get us to look at a Bennington, telling us it would fit our needs perfect. I don’t remember if you called us or we called you but we eventually took a ride on the 24 SSLX and we bought it because the ride was exactly as you told us, unbelievable! We rode the Benny around for 1 1/2 yrs and thought we missed the performance of a bow rider so you brokered the Benny and sold it right away. After that we took a ride on some of the more expensive Bowriders, (Monterey— 88,000.00, Chaparrel 115,000.00) and discovered a few things:
1- We got the snot beat out of us and the wife was back to taking Motrin for the back and headaches
2 – I really hated looking through a windshield again, standing up to see over it because of all the GLARE!!!
3 – Slowing the BR down to a comfortable speed meant dealing with that awful bow rise, and blocked view
4 – Forgotten how loud the I/O’s were — missed my 150 OB!!
5 – We had 4 people on our demo rides and we were tripping over each other taking turns to drive.
6 – We really missed the panoramic view that the Benny provided.
7 – We missed the comfortable seating of the Benny, like a living room on the water!!!!!!!
I’m not saying that bow-riders are bad but if you can get a better ride, better fuel economy, and a lot more room for half the price then I’m in!!!! Anyway’s, after all that we ran back to you at Clemons and bought another Benny…HAHAHAHA. People look at us funny when we tell them we run a the Benny out on the big lake, but I wish they would drop the fear thing and get a ride on one, I would like to see more of them out there.
VIDEO OF A 25 BENNINGTON OUT IN ROUGH SEAS
Jason: “Thanks for taking the time today to answer some questions and to let everyone know a little bit about yourselves and your boating lifestyle!”
David: “You’re welcome Jason. We love boating and would be glad to do so”
Jason: “If you had to pick just one thing that draws you to the water and boating, what would that b”
David: “There are so many aspects we enjoy but if we had to pick one it would be atmosphere!! We just love to sit and lounge.”
David and Pamela relaxing on their 22SSLDX
Jason: “Relaxation is more important in today’s hectic world more than ever. You guys have had a lot of boating experience! What is the biggest thing you have learned along your adventure with boating?”
David: “How much we really love the water, especially Lake Erie and how much of a difference the Bennington Tritoon has made out on the lake. We still can’t get over the ride on Lake Erie chop!!”
Jason: “Lake Erie can certainly be choppy! Do you have a favorite thing to do while on the Benny? Any special places you guys like to go that you aren’t afraid to share?”
David: “Yes. We like to go around to the north side of Kelly’s and lounge in the cove.”
The Grassicks favorite past time, relaxing!
Jason: “Where do you guys run your boat out of and why?”
David: “Castaway Bay Marina is where we keep our Benny. We like the dock access, fuel station and Cedar Point pass with all its amenities!”
Jason: “Sadly I haven’t been to Cedar Point in a long time, maybe I need to go this year! So I always tell people about the great ride of a Bennington Tritoon, but coming from a sales guy, I think most people think “Yeah right, another truth stretcher!”. I would love for you to tell people in your own words how AWESOME these things are on Lake Erie! You eluded to this already in your Bio, but lets hear some honest feedback…let them know of any bad experiences as well!”
David: “Folks, JUST TAKE A RIDE!!!! Please, if anyone is considering a Bennington Tritoon go and get a ride. That’s what we did and it was a no-brainer. In fact we have been there twice! Clemons brokered our first Bennington because we thought we would give the more expensive bow riders a try, and we did try them. We ended up coming back to Clemons and bought another Bennington due to the comfortable ride and room! Those rear loungers sure make the Benny awesome for what we do. We really have had no bad experiences with our Benningtons, and that isn’t a sales pitch, it is simply a fact.”
Jason: “Thanks for the honest feedback! Not one bad experience? I have only had one bad experience on a Benny and that was our own fault. We were in 6-7 fters and we were the only soul out there! Dad (John Clemons) wanted to go to Kellys Island for dinner and take the boat over to Anchors Away marina in Marblehead. We were crossing the bay and saw that the wind was a bit more swift than they called for and by the time we hit the lake it was rolling a constant 5′ with the occasional 6′-7′ swell. Since we too had never had a bad experience we decided to put the Benny to the test! We did manage to make it about a half mile before Dad made the mistake of backing off the throttle and we took one over the bow and got a bit wet! We turned around with our tail tucked between our legs and headed back to the Sandusky Bay and ended up at Dockside cafe for a burger!” (The picture below is right after this experience…Mom wasn’t happy! We were soaked, and believe it or not, she cant swim! Hopefully nobody takes offense to the “bird”, but this is truly “raw” footage! Pictured are: John Clemons, Sandy “mama” Clemons, and Sarah Clemons.)
David: “Oh my gosh, that is too funny! My favorite story to tell is when five of us went fishing on the Benny. We weren’t paying attention and got caught in white caps, probably 4-5 footers. We made it from Kelly’s to Castaway Bay and never even got wet let alone taking one over the bow. In fact my buddy who was an avid fisherman was freaking out because the fish cooler which originally was placed in the front of the boat was still in the front of the boat when we got back. He said “if that would’ve been my boat the cooler would’ve been in our laps”.”
Jason: “People just do not realize how soft these boats ride. I used to think it was impossible too, so I guess I can’t blame them. I thought this for years! We both know that although the Benningtons are incredible, but they have a couple downsides like anything else in life. What are the biggest things you wish you could change on the Benny and are they worth the overall experience?”
David: “Well I guess I would change the following:
Seats – they are too soft we keep napping on them.
Layout – you can no longer tell the in-laws there not enough room.
Ride – ride is soft, I miss standing up when cruising to prevent whiplash.
Noise – the 150 is quiet so I can’t act like I don’t hear people when under way
Economy – I miss frequenting the gas dock and throwing hundreds of Dollars away.
In all seriousness, there isn’t anything I don’t like about it. I mean every boat has its limits. If you want to go super fast or corner on rails then you should be looking at a performance V bottom boat but that’s not we wanted. The canvas can be cumbersome but after some practice it is a breeze.”
Jason: “That canvas can get old fast! I agree though, it gets easier and the benefits far outweigh the hassles. How has the general boating population reacted when they see you out there? I do remember a story about a blonde in a Sea Ray coming around Johnson’s Island. Can you re-tell that story for everyone? It is awesome!!!!”
David: “Oh ya, haha. I think it was a Sea Ray 26-28 footer and I don’t have anything against Sea Ray, they have quite a following but I remember pulling along side a sea ray going around Johnson’s Island. There was a blonde lady pointing at us and probably telling her husband, who was driving the Sea Ray to look at that “grandpa boat”. I throttled up to pass and the Sea Ray throttled up too and soon we were running along at 25 mph or so. Then about halfway around the island we hit the lake chop of 1-3 footers, you know, the usual. Anyway, knowing what I know about the Benny I hammered the throttle and so did the Sea Ray at first but after a few seconds the Sea Ray was bouncing and pounding and slamming like a floundering fish as I passed them going close to 40 mph! They had to slow down or risk getting whiplash.
For the most part people probably look at us like we are crazy. And, it angers me to read some of the forums on the web about people telling others not to run the “new tritoons” on big water but when they see us on Lake Erie I can’t help but to show off. Especially around the Kelly’s island ferry, crossing their wake and waving at those on board!”
Jason: “AWESOME, I love that story! Tom from Bennington uses it often. It has been an uphill battle educating people on these, but a test drive is usually all it takes! Its been growing 50% a year and I do not see that slowing down at all!”
David: “Good, I would love to see more out there. I think it would be nice to start a Lake Erie Tritoon club!”
Jason: “Lake Erie Tritoon club…now there is an idea! We plan to have a few events this year and I’d love to see you guys there. I’ll take you out in that 2375RCW I/O this Spring and see what you think of her!!!!”
David: “You bet. Looking forward to that!”
Jason: “I really appreciate the time, and your continued business and support! It means a lot to us all here at Clemons Boats. Summer isn’t too far away, if only this pesky ice would go away!”
David: “My wife and I appreciate you too Jason and everybody else at Clemons boats. We have Bought a lot of boats in the past and you have given us more attention then all the other dealers combined. Everything you have told us about the Benny was the absolute truth. From the test drive to the delivery, it was a wonderful experience. Nothing hidden and no hassle…Thanks a bunch!!!!!”
Jason: “Just doing our job, we appreciate all of the kind words. See you soon!”
Pam catching the beautiful sunset from the stern lounger
I hope you enjoyed getting to know the Grassicks! As you can see the Grassicks are great people that appreciate a good laugh and love to relax on the water! I truly appreciate their time and all of the kind words they gave us. We would love for our customers to get to know each other better and enjoy the adventure of boating together! The idea of a Tritoon club is something I took from this interview that could be a great thing! Maybe we can start a Tritoon poker run, cruise, beach party, river run, etc? If anyone thinks this is something you would want to do, let me know! Until next time…
See you on the water,
A great view from the Grassicks Bennington Tritoon