My first peek at Glastron’s future came midsummer, when I slipped into its GTS 205 prototype at a Cadillac, Michigan, test facility.
This was Glastron’s redux of the GT line, and the new parent company, Recreational Boat Holdings LLC, wanted it to make a lasting impression reminiscent of the exciting designs of the Art Carlson era. It was just one of many successful retoolings for the brand’s 2013 reveal.
First, I wanted to know if the sexy fun of the Carlson era would be evident in this new boat. Umm, yep, it was.
When I idled it away from the docks, it was tracking so easily that I could steer with my knee and jot notes. I stashed the notebook and punched the throttle, looking for thrills. It tipped to plane in just 3.9 seconds, but more telling was the 7.7-second time to 30 mph. Top speed was 54.7 mph, and the best part was the boat’s attitude on the water. Very little bow rise at the hole shot adds comfort to nervous newbies, and the boat handled like a dream at wide-open throttle. Riding high on its hull, cutting through chop painlessly from both a head-on angle and from 45 degrees, spoke of a stable ride, not just a fast one. Hard-over turns were executed beautifully, and with proper trim it came around sweetly as I fed in more and more throttle and rudder.
At the Clown Burger Dock, the contoured lines of the hull (and the gelcoated color scheme) turned heads. The contours build in stiffness and good looks. Crisp lines outside are complemented with crisp edges to the upholstery — a design touch we’d seen done best first by Cobalt in its A-series runabouts. Accent colors convey performance to envious onlookers.
For convenience, Glastron built in two hidden features so simple they were brilliant. Why bother stowing a walk-through transom cushion when you can just slide it aft into the seat bulkhead? I loved it. The sun pad was hinged to fold up and stay up, clearing the walkway. Glastron’s design gurus created a portside aft lounge that also pulled out from the back seat and created an L-shape seating arrangement. Both are features you’ll actually use because they tuck away and deploy without hassle.
She comes packaged with a color-matched trailer too.
First impressions are lasting, and from the looks of the GTS 205, the half-century-old brand will be making its mark on the sport for another 50 years.
Comparable model: Larson LSR 2100