Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010)
(w/ 1 x 220-hp Volvo Penta 5.0GL)


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Twenty-one feet is the most popular size bowrider and is a good size for the growing family. This size is also large enough to begin to do some entertaining aboard.

Glastron didn’t skimp on materials either. The grab handles are beefier than I find on many cruisers. Stainless steel drink holders are peppered about rather than the plastic ones you generally see on bowriders. Elegant touches like simulated woodgrain accents around the cup holders and the wheel give you an upscale look and feel. The GLS 215 has plenty of standards and a few great options to this boat/motor/trailer package.

Key Features

  • Adjustable SuspensionAire bucket seats with flip-up bolsters
  • Aft bench seat/sunlounge
  • AM/FM/CD Sirius satellite-ready stereo with 4 speakers & MP3 adaptor
  • Automatic bilge pump
  • Flip-up bow filler pad
  • Molded extended swim platform
  • Padded sunlounge
  • Rear bench seat
  • Ski locker with mat & hinged lid
  • Snap-in carpet
  • Stainless steel bow & stern eyes/control plate/courtesy lights/drink holders/speaker covers/grab handles/pull-up cleats/rubrail insert/stern rails
  • Sunlounge storage compartment
  • Telescopic 3-step boarding ladders, fore & aft
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Unitized fiberglass floor/deck
  • Walk-thru full glass windshield with full side glass
  • Walk-thru transom with swing-away gate
  • Woodgrain steering wheel

Specifications

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Specifications
Length Overall 21' 4''
6.50 m
Dry Weight 3,330 lbs.
1510 kg
Beam 101''
2.57 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 31 1/2''
.80 m
Fuel Cap 34 gal.
129 L
Deadrise/Transom 21 deg. Water Cap none
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 220-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 GL
Tested Power 1 x 220-hp Volvo Penta 5.0GL
Opt. Power Not Available

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Captain's Report

Glastron GLS 215

When you see some of the details and features on the Glastron GLS 215 we think you’ll be impressed that the company has still kept the boat affordable.

Capt. Rob Says--

Glastron’s 215 is one of four boats in the company’s GLS Series. The entire series is more than just an entry-level runabout and the 215 fits well for the growing family or a family that just wants more room to enjoy their time on the water. The GLS has wood-grain accents, upscale upholstery and lots of stainless steel fixtures and hardware instead of plastic – all of which give the boat her up-scale look.

Glastron GLS 215

The 215’s retro windshield works well with the boat’s lines. Note pop-up spring line breast cleat which many price-point boats omit.

Up Front

One feature I noticed right away were six pull-up cleats for tying your boat up properly at the dock – two bow, two stern and two breast cleats. Many affordable boats only have four cleats, or even three, combining one at the bow. The bow looks smaller than it really is. I was able to feel comfortable stretched out and I am 6’ tall and 230 lbs., so at least two adults or several kids can use the bow to relax in. In the side panel are dual stainless steel drink holders, a stainless grill over the speaker and extra beefy grab handles for security.

Glastron GLS 215

This is a subtle variation on the bowrider design with a seat across the bow that is almost as wide as those seen on deckboats. Note the handy way the cushions pull up to reach storage.

In the Cockpit

Moving to the cockpit, you have one of the distinctive features of the GLS Series: the retro flat glass windshield and I am seeing more builders going back to the old days with these windshields. This windshield is also supported well. Glastron also looks ahead to the possibility you may have the dealer add a wakeboard tower and has the cockpit gunwales reinforced for the Xtreme tower they offer.

Glastron GLS 215

The companion seat is attractive but when it is swiveled aft it rubs on the side of the boat. Look closely at the seat’s pedestal and you’ll see that it is the six-bolt variety, not the three-bolt model seen on some boats which invariably loosens with time. And check out the wood-like grain pattern in the carpet.

Cockpit Dimensions are Important

Gunwale to gunwale in the cockpit, I measured 72” (183cm), which means you have some room to move without tripping over feet. This is an important dimension and is only possible because the beam is 8’5” (2.57 m). When comparing boats make sure that you pay attention to the beam because some low price-point boats will shave valuable inches off the beam which makes the boat smaller inside, reduces stability, and also reduces weight. (And, of course, they will go faster with the same horsepower, and that is why these builders stress WOT speeds in their promotion.)

Another important measurement is the height of the gunwales in the cockpit. I measured 37” (94cm) high from deck to coaming. That means your young children will be secure in the boat. This is an important measurement to remember.

The sole locker has a mat to drain and protect gear. We proved how large it was by cramming all the canvas into this space when the rain passed and we could shoot video again. This boat has a full fiberglass liner for the cockpit and standard snap-in carpet to increase your comfort.

Glastron GLS 215

Simple instruments make piloting easy. Gauges are in molded in spaces as opposed to sitting on a flat panel. Note the space for an optional moving map GPS.

The stereo is a Sirius Satellite Ready AM/FM/CD with four speakers and an auxiliary input for your own mix of tunes from your MP3 player or iPod. The helm and companion seats are up-scale SuspensionAire bucket seats with bolsters. They were a little snug to the sides, but you only notice this when spinning them completely around to face the stern. Bench seating is aft with a lounge and a walk-through to starboard.

The walkthrough is a bit unique and I like it with one exception. To come aboard, you flip up the seat backrest, open a hinged cushion, and remove the seat. I’d like to see the seat be a flip type that has a carpeted bottom to step onto. Once aboard, flip it to the cushion side and take a seat. It would make for one less item to store. If you check out the video, you’ll see what I mean.

At the Helm

The helm has a wood grain tilt wheel. The primary gauges, speedometer and multi-function, are 5” gauges mounted high in the dash for clear visibility. The other gauges are 2” gauges mounted below. The center of the dash between the 5” gauges is designed to add a GPS if you would like.

Glastron GLS 215

A well-designed locker for watersports gear and fenders lies under the sunpad and atop the engine box.

At the Stern

Beneath the sunpad, I found the standard 220-hp 5.0L GL Volvo Penta carbureted engine. Glastron offers no less than 10 engine options from MerCruiser and Volvo ranging from the 220-hp to a 320-hp stern drive. Access to check points seemed good and there was room to stow the wet life jackets using the heat of the engine to dry them.

The water tank for the optional swim shower is mounted on the port side.

Once on the stern, you have a small integral swim platform that doesn’t completely cover the outdrive unit, so do be extra careful about hitting the lower unit when dropping into the water. The GLS 215 has a standard stainless steel, three step telescoping swim ladder and a large grab handle that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

Test Results

I tested with three people on board and nearly a full load of fuel to come closer to a typical load rather than giving you a very light load performance report. Since the performance of these boats is very weight sensitive, you can probably get better performance with only one person aboard. She was nimble, getting up on plane in 3 seconds and passed through 30 mph in 6.2 seconds. These are very good numbers and mean that skiers and wakeboarders will have an easy time getting up.

Her top speed was clocked at 48.7 mph while a more reasonable, and fuel conserving, speed of 26.6 mph was measured at 3000 rpm which will deliver about 114 miles on a full tank of fuel.

Steering and Handling

Seated, I was looking through the center of the windshield, not at the windshield frame. Bow rise was minimal and I never lost sight of the horizon as it climbed up on plane. This is relatively unusual for sport boats at any price. These two attributes are important. A windshield frame at eye level is nuts and I find it on all too many boats that I test. Low bow rise when getting on plane is frankly fairly rare on this size stern drive boat, and I count it as one of the most important aspects of the boat from a safety standpoint.

The boat ran straight with no noticeable steering torque and turns were smooth. Trimming down a bit, she takes a hard-over turn without losing grip—and without being wet on the flat day that I tested the boat.

Recommendation

Glastron seems to have met their goal of delivering more boat amenities at an affordable price. With a base price around $40,000 with the 5.0L engine and an EZ-Loader trailer, this boat is priced lower than most boats on the market her size and about the same as other price-point boats in her class.

If you are trying to get the best value in this size and price range, then take the Glastron GLS 215 for a test drive to confirm my description of her handling, as this may well be the most important attribute of the boat that sets her apart from her competition.

Remember that Glastron is now owned by Platinum Equity, which also owns Four Winns, Wellcraft and Ranger boats. The company claims to be one of the best capitalized companies in the business. For the 2011 model year which starts in August or September, all Glastron boats will be built in the Four Winns factory in Cadillac, Michigan. This is good news simply because everyone there from top management to assembly line staff have been well-schooled in the importance of top-notch fit and finish.

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) is 48.7 mph (78.4 kph), burning 17.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 67.37 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) is 31.6 mph (50.9 kph), and the boat gets 3.73 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.59 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 114 miles (183.47 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 220-hp Volvo Penta 5.0GL.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Standard and Optional Equipment
Systems
CD Stereo Standard
Power Steering Standard
Trailer Standard
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Tower: Watersports Optional
Canvas
Bimini Top Optional
Cockpit Cover Optional
Full Canvas Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Warranty

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Hull Warranty
Years Lifetime Limited
Transferable Yes, with $250 fee
Link http://www.glastron.com/us/warranty.html
Deck Warranty
Link http://www.glastron.com/us/warranty.html
Engine Warranty
Years 2 year
Gelcoat Warranty
Link http://www.glastron.com/us/warranty.html
Blistering Warranty
Link http://www.glastron.com/us/warranty.html
Accessories Warranty
Years 2 year non-structural components
Transferable Yes
Link http://www.glastron.com/us/warranty.html
Certifications
NMMA Certification Yes
Other Certification USCG

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Price

Glastron GLS 215 (2009-2010) Price
Pricing Range $38,286.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.


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