Outboard power, the ever more prevalent propulsion for an array of boat types, offers a number of well-known plusses. These include the ability to trim clear of the water, enhanced corrosion resistance, and providing more space inside the boat. Outboard power gives this new 20-foot-3-inch Glastron deck boat an extra dose of performance, as it does other boats, due to a superior horsepower-to-weight ratio. The two-stroke Evinrude E-Tec 200 weighs just 418 pounds, lighter by half compared to a sterndrive or inboard of comparable power. (Put another way, the heavier motors essentially make you carry the equivalent of three extra crew members.) Deadrise is a stable 17 degrees, and in typical deck-boat style, the chines are carried far forward to a wide bow that creates a spacious seating area and a boarding platform. The styling is crisp, with some sharp edges and creases molded into the deck as highlights.
And it’s well-equipped, with a single-axle trailer, four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, a tilt wheel, and a bucket helm seat with flip-up bolster. Choose from three deck-layout options. The base boat has a single console at the helm with seating wrapped all around the port side of the cockpit. The console is topped with a smoked windscreen. The second option adds a portside console ($913) with a similar windscreen that also incorporates a pocket in its base for a 25-quart cooler. The third choice adds a full-glass windshield ($967) to these dual consoles. To port, the gunwale and coaming pad are hinged and pivot 180 degrees outboard to ease dockside boarding.
The center aft seat cushion is hinged and covers a mesh liner for wet gear. The other cushions lift off and reveal a smooth bottom and access to the inner transom; fuel lines and the freshwater tank (if equipped) are to port, the battery in the center. There’s a walk-through to starboard to a boarding platform that’s about 24 inches deep on both sides of the outboard motor, with an 8-inch-deep passway in front of the motor.
We tested on a really rough lake, and with this deck-boat hull style, we anticipated a pounding ride, but the GTD 200 charged through the head sea with little drama. Hole shot with the Evinrude 200 was outstanding — we just took off flat and accelerated. Fun!
* Outboard power advantages: lighter weight, ease of maintenance and more cockpit space.
* Great ride in any reasonable condition keeps passengers happy.
* Cockpit options to suit your climate.
Price: $50,700 (base with test power)
How We Tested
Engine: Evinrude G2 E-Tec 200 gasoline outboard
Drive/Prop: Outboard/14.5″ x 21″ BRP Viper 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.17:1
Fuel Load: 30 gal.
Crew Weight: 875 lb.
Glastron Boats – Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; glastron.com