Eye Candy Plus
Glastron is back, well in New Zealand anyway, with some hot new models, amongst then the GTL205, one of the four versions based on the GT205 model.
If variety is the spice of life then Glastron certainly has the right ingredients. It is now offering the popular 6.10 m GT 205 in no less than four different versions to suit virtually any taste. Choose from the affordable GT 205, the sporty GTS 205, the luxury GTL 205, or head off fishing in the GTSF 205. All are designed with the GT Series retro look of sportiness ensuring that all heads will turn when one comes cruising by.
The mission of the Glastron GT 205 is to provide a sporty bowrider that can compete in the market segment by not only being well-built and feature-rich, but also by adding a retro sports car-savvy look into the mix, making what is sure to be among the most eye-catching boats on the water. By making the GT 205 available in four different models for four different applications, this one basic design can appeal to a large segment of sportboat buyers in its size range.
Undoubtedly the most important of all her features is her styling. It makes the statement that this boat is unmistakably a Glastron. First, is her “Reverse Spear” graphic pattern on her hull sides. Second is her retro, late 1950s look with her slightly curved windshield and her apparent tail fins sweeping up from her hull sides. Some have said she reminds them of a 1960s Corvette because of her interior details, others point to the fins that were exhibited on many of Detroit’s brands during a 4-5 year era.
Most builders seem comfortable charging for a hull colour other than white. Not so with Glastron as the GT Series is offered in no fewer than four different colours, none of them plain white. Pick from white and Sunburst Orange, white and Laser Red, white and Jet Black or white and Royal Blue.
Whatever colour is selected for the hull, will be matched for the deck, along with white, to blend the whole boat together in the same colour and style.
Another feature that defines the GT Series is the low-profile windshield. Glastron calls it a “roadster” style and it has an all-aluminum frame and glass wings to deflect wind and spray.
Glastron offers power choices from either Mercury or Volvo Penta in power ranging from 220-hp to 320-hp along with a choice of outdrives. A throwback to the ‘50s, are the roadster style gauges that have the look and feel of a classic ‘vette with metal collars that project out from the bottom. But unlike the Corvettes, these waterborne units have drain holes in the bottom of the collars.
The “Super Stable Vee” (SSV) hull was developed and patented by Glastron in 1976. It has the characteristic of bringing together the stability and quick-planing characteristics of a tri-hull with the smooth ride of a deep-V hull.
Differences Between the Models
With so many versions of the 205 to choose from, how does one decide? Well, quite easily. The hulls are the same, the running surfaces are all identical, but the differences lie in the gel scheme, the interior fit-and-finish, and of course, the functionality.
The GT version is designed for its affordability. She’s a sporty-looking boat in her own right but the GT Series design touches add even more flair to her features. She includes everything needed in a bowrider and the fluff is left largely to the options list. Base engine is a 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 MPI.
The GTS 205 is the sporty (S) version that is taken up a notch with upgraded graphics and more items on the standards list. Base engine is still the same, but options can bring the power level up to 300-hp with the engine supplied from either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta.
The GTL 205 adds a bit of luxury (L) into the mix. This version will have special appeal to those that are restricted to size by lake limits, or others that simply don’t want a larger boat but also don’t want to be limited to the basic ho-hum designs. Here, the GTL not only looks the part, but she has a clear luxurious level of panache that will satisfy the customer who wants a luxurious-looking sportboat. She has very little on the options list because most everything has been moved to the standards list.
The GTSF 205 brings fishing features to the game. SF stands for Ski & Fish and it allows the 205 to seamlessly transition from a Saturday family ski boat to a Sunday family fish boat. She comes complete with an aerated livewell, trolling motor mount, reversible bow seats/fishing deck, casting seats, a bow casting platform, rod storage, rod holders and the ski/fish two tone deck and hull scheme. All that needs to be added is the fishfinder of choice and the desired trolling motor. Oh, and bait.
Regardless of which version of the 205 is more appealing, they all have the same basic layout for positioning of the seats. The layout can be described as a “modified” sport seating arrangement. Sport seating describes a pair of bucket seats behind the consoles and a bench seat across the stern. “Modified” can be used because the aft bench seat also morphs onto a chaise lounge with the adaptation of a pull-out cushion to the port side.
A walkthrough to the swim platform is to port, and at the bow we have the usual V-seating with storage underneath. In the ski-and-fish version the bow cushions are reversible to convert to a casting deck.
Boats in this size and class are excellent for their ability to instantly revert from casual cruising to towing the kids on various water toys. The entire 205 line comes with a standard ski tow eye at the stern, but all will also accommodate an optional watersports tower. This not only adds a rakish look to the already sporty profile, but also creates a higher tow point for wakeboarders and the entire tower is hinged to keep the profile of the 205 low enough to still fit in a garage or a shallow rack at the marina. A second version is available that includes a color matched Bimini top.
With a boat in this size range, space is at a premium. So anything that can be done to save space only helps. For that reason, the trick of making U-shaped seating instead of the bench seat across the stern just won’t work. But it’s still nice to be able to put your feet up once in a while, so Glastron engineered a clever trick into the bench. At the port side, the seat cushion extends out from the bulkhead and converts into a chaise lounge. When a crowd comes aboard, simply push it back in and we instantly have more available space.
One additional perk to the seating arrangement on the 205 Series is at the aft sun pad. Not only does it present a place to catch some rays — while not underway, of course — but it also adds another seating option. With the walkthrough to starboard, the cushion needs to be hinged to allow access to and from the cockpit. Glastron seized on this as an opportunity and made the hinge lockable when the cushion is lifted. In this manner the sun pad morphs into a second chaise lounge, this time with an elevated viewpoint of the surroundings. If even more sunning space is needed, then go ahead and add on the optional bow filler cushion and turn the forward section into another sun pad.
The 205’s integral swim platform is a good size for serving as a staging area for watersports and as a great spot to relax with the feet in the water. There are three styles, one for each of the separate models. The GT swim platform is the usual with a non-skid surface. The GTS uses a non-skid mat with a logo embossed in. The GTL utilises a soft-step mat.
Depending on which model is chosen and which engine will power that choice, prices of the 205 can vary and adding options will boost those prices even further.
When considering which power option to choose from, savvy buyers will consider items well beyond which price point to stick with. Items such as the typical number of people aboard and the demands of the activities the boat will be used for.
The sporty set will want top-end speed, towing requires low-end torque and the luxury conscious will probably not be worried about speed but will have a lot of friends onboard and will therefore need power just for getting on plane. For a young family only interested in cruising and tubing, the standard power will likely suffice.
Options are available for each of the three models, and there are definitely some that we’d consider on any of the three that we would purchase. To begin, there’s the watersports tower that is available for all three models. It’s hinged for easy storage, and there are two versions, the basic and the same model with a colour matched Bimini top. The XL Package includes a bow scuff plate, an hour meter, depth gauge, dual flip-up bucket seats, 5 pull up cleats, snap-in carpet, stainless drink holders, stainless grab handles, and stainless speaker covers.
If boating at night docking lights should be added on. All of these apply to all three models with the exception of the XL package. Additionally, it’s always nice to have more room at the swim platform and an extended platform is available. A basic unit can be added to the GT and GTSF and for the GTS and GTL it’s a low profile upgraded. As for the GTL, most of what we discussed comes standard. But if we’re going all out on getting this model we’d also add underwater lights and the Quick and Quiet thru-hull exhaust ($3,267).
Non-structural parts and components have a 2-year warranty and the hull and deck have a 5-year warranty. We love how the GT Series sets itself apart from the other boats in class with unique retro styling. But there’s much more to the 205s than eye candy. The brand has always been a leader in styling, speed and value, and the GT 205 is no exception.
The first shipment of Glastron boats, imported by the sole New Zealand distributor, Family Boats, was due to arrive in Auckland in late August
- Make & Model: Glastron 205GTL
- Manufacturer: Glastron Boats
- Type: Bowrider
- Construction: GRP
- LOA: 6.25m
- Beam: 2.44m
- Deadrise: 21 deg