We Say: The Glastron GT-180 stands out for finish, for quality construction and, yes, because it’s just plain fun.
As a starter boat for families with small kids, the high coamings, thoughtful padding and good handgrips make it secure. But when the kids become teenagers, this is also a boat where you can hand over the keys without worrying. It’s not too fast (45ish mph), but it’s great for tubing and, if their youthful hormones overcome them, it’s hard for teenagers to get into trouble. Crank the wheel, and the boat just takes over and cools things down. With normal handling, you can make the turns you want for towing, but get too rambunctious, and the GT-180 sheds speed and keeps things calm.
Our test boat had the XL package (order it if only for the two bolstered helm seats) with well-padded bow seats, backrests and a wide bench aft. Stowage is outstanding, with self-draining carpeted lockers forward, a big center locker and a roomy glove box.
A Mercury 115 FourStroke powered our test boat. You can opt for up to 150 hp, but why would you? We found this power to be perfect. If you’re dipping your toes into boating, you won’t regret the Glastron GT-180. It will stay with you as your family grows.
Who’d Want One: Growing families who want to play on the water for years to come.
Another Choice: Tahoe Boats offers the 18-foot-5-inch-long 450 TS Outboard on a painted trailer for $25,990 (price may vary with freight charge) powered by a Mercury 115 outboard on the transom.
Bottom Line: $27,253 (base with Mercury 115 FourStroke); glastron.com