Like a classic Corvette, some looks are simply timeless. Such is the case with the new Glastron GT 200. She has all the features that shout retro, but with all of the latest internal material and equipment and the modern touches such as high freeboard and a color-matched painted trailer. She's part of the celebration of Glastron's 55th year in business. Let's take a look at the features as we do a walkthrough of this retro beauty.
A transom walk-thru with molded swim platform
A port side bench seat that slides out with a flip down
leg to create a lounge seat
Fully adjustable, auto-inspired racing seats
Plenty of storage hull side, under the bow and
aft seats, and a large ski locker below deck
Roadster styled windshield and gauges.
Spacious, deep cockpit for plenty of interior room
Glastron GT 200 (2012-) Specifications
20' 4'' 6.2 m
2,200 lbs. 998 kg
96'' 2.44 m
35'' 89 cm
32 gal. 121 L
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.
With her bright red hull and good looking sharp angles the GT 200 is like a trip down Memory Lane.
By building a modern bowrider with retro styling and colors, Glastron is signaling that it has not lost the design daring that was the hallmark of the company at its sales apogee in the 1960s and '70s. Remember, in the early days of fiberglass boat building, Glastron was the largest builder of boats in the world, bar none.
To a large extent Glastron was a driving force in the expansion of sportboats in the popular imagination. Its curves, metal fleck gel coat, and even hardtop models were exciting, and perhaps, the first "sports cars" afloat. Many of the Glastron models of that day took their styling cues not from traditional wooden runabouts, but from Detroit.
The new Glastron GT 200 has all of the features one expects in a new value-oriented bowrider, but with a nod to the boat lovers among us who remember the exciting days of our youth on the water. The Glastron GT 200 is a model designed to recapture that excitement. Her relatively high freeboard makes her better for big lakes than some other boats in class.
Retro. As mentioned, the design theme is retro, something we have been seeing a bit of here and there on some sportboats, but none quite as comprehensive as the GT 200. The retro look is due to a number of signals, some subtle, some not. The bright red and white, two-tone color scheme is a reminder of what boats were once like and it is hard to miss.
Red means hot and fast, so the GT 200 will be catnip to all of the hot shots on the lake. The graceful, imitation sheer line is off of the 1950s Rybovich drawing board. In the cockpit are round, chrome deep-set analog instrument bezels that seem to be right out of a 1957 Corvette. But it is pretty much there that the retro theme stops, giving way to other styling elements that are as modern as tomorrow.
Outboard power. While over the first few years we have seen a few bowriders introduced that are outboard powered, there still are not many. Most are under 20' (6.09 m) so the GT 200 stands out as being one of the larger outboard-powered bowriders. The GT 200 we looked at was powered by an Evinrude 200-hp engine, 65-hp more than what we commonly see in value-oriented bow riders.
Stainless steel hardware. Glastron is very much a price-conscious builder, but when it comes to hardware, it is uncompromising in its use of stainless steel. The boat's cleats, handholds, drink holders, rub rail, speaker grates and other items are all stainless steel.
Large swim platforms. One of the drawbacks to an outboard-powered sportboat is that it loses the large swim platform across the stern that almost all sterndrive models feature. Glastron's designers have gone a long way toward solving that problem by making extra-large platforms (3'3" x 2'/1.0 m x .6 m) to port and starboard of the outboard engine, the GT 200 has almost as much platform space as the largest sterndrives in class, and more square footage than many.
Overall design. While there is a lot about the GT 200 that is retro, there is also much that is as modern as the latest designs coming out of Turino, Italy. For example, the angular molded-in accents on the topsides are au courant. The sloping sheer line aft that sweeps down to the long swim platforms reminds us of what we see on the sleek, large Pershing sport yachts.
High freeboard forward. The GT 200 has a relatively high freeboard forward compared to many boats in class. This means that not only can the boat be used on freshwater lakes, but also in saltwater locations, and stay dryer.
Other features. There are several other details that we rarely see on boats in this class that should be pointed out: First, the seat on the port side of the aft bench seat pulls out to make a sunning lounge. The two-tone color scheme is standard. There is a 7" reverse chine that is carried fairly far forward which will add stability at rest and knock down spray.
A pull-up cleat at the bow is center-mounted directly behind the running lights. We like the location of this cleat for tying off the anchor line because boats should usually only by anchored from the bow. Glastron has cleverly moved the anchor locker from the gunwale level where you might normally find it to below the forward seat where it can perform double duty.
All seat cushions are removable to expose storage underneath. The space between the seats is a bit narrow for facing one another but as that rarely happens this shouldn't be much of a factor. Spreading out with my back against the rest on the front of the console, I found more than enough room for my 5'8" (1.72 m) frame. The safety factor of the high freeboard starts here with 15.5" (39.4 cm) from the seat top to the caprail. Two cushions fill in the space between the seats to form a forward sun pad. There is 20 " (50.8 cm) of space between the two consoles which is more than on some value-oriented boats.
You can see how sitting and facing each other might get a little cramped, but sitting with your legs forward allows for plenty of room.
The helm has such an uncomplicated look that I find refreshing. A shaped vinyl covered sunshade over the four gauges is a pleasing offset to the red panel and the deep set gauges. The tack and speedo seem to have been taken right out of an old Corvette with white faces, black numerals and extended bottoms to the bezels.
Even more of a throwback to the retro styling are the pull switches that are the same as I had on my first boat back in the late 60s. For a brief instant, as I sat behind the helm, I had the feeling of being in an antique boat lovingly restored to its original glory, but it was all brand-new, fresh from the factory.
Now here is a design that is uncomplicated as it is attractive. Notice how the gauges look like they came straight out of a 60s car, and those pull switches to either side of the wheel probably did come out of the 60s boat.
Notice how the two console edges are trimmed and stainless steel.
With an average cockpit depth of 32" (81.3 cm) the GT 200 carries an inherent air of family safety. The bulwarks are finished off in bright red gelcoat with an offsetting colored vinyl upholstery. Chrome grab handles and speaker grills add functionality and good looks to the interior.
Bucket seats. The captain and the observer get individual bucket seats and four across seating runs across the stern. Embedded in that seating are two convenient features. To starboard the seat retracts into the transom to reveal a nonskid step with storage underneath. The opening, rather than the hatch cover, is gasketed all the way around and should eliminate vibration rattle. The step serves as the main entryway to the cockpit from the swim platform.
Clever lounger seat. To port, the seat pulls out to form a relaxing chaise lounge. This is a clever feature that I haven't seen before, and full marks to Glastron for inventing it. We suspect by this time next year it will have been imitated. In the center of the transom is a ski tow pylon.
To the left you can see the step leading to the swim platform, and there is storage underneath. I'm sitting on a chaise lounge that pulls out effortlessly and stows away just as easily to increase the available space in the cockpit.
Because this is an outboard powered boat there are two swim platforms measuring 3' 3" x 2' (.99 m x .6 m). The size of these platforms is quite unusual, and I cannot recall seeing platfroms this large on a monohull in this size range.
In the center is a 200 hp Evinrude E-TEC two-stroke engine. The engine is mounted to a transom with 6" (15.2 cm) of extended running surface beyond the mounting bracket of the engine. Similar designs have shown that this approach can lead to lower planing times and reduced bow rise upon acceleration. We have not tested this boat as yet, so you'll have to wait for conformation of those possible attributes.
At the stern you can see how the transom is recessed inside the extended running surfaces to either side of the engine mounting bracket. Note the extra large the port and starboard swim platforms.
Even the hull looks like it's design came straight from an old-style Corvette with its two-tone colors. The SS rub rail line reminds us of the sheer on a Rybovich. The molded in cove stripe and other angles break up the high freeboard and make the boat look lower than it really is.
Does anything about this design look familiar?
Walking along the exterior of the GT 200 is where you get more of a feel of the retro look. There are a lot of sharp angles and molded in curves with an relatively high freeboard. With the topsides colored in high-gloss red offsetting the white above the rub rail and an abundance of chrome it's hard not to see just how good looking this boat is. The styling and overall look is further enhanced when she is sitting on the color-matched painted trailer.
Creating a modern boat with retro details is a great way to celebrate Glastron's 55 years of producing boats. I think she makes a very attractive combination of styling from the halcyon days of the sport and all of the technical advances that have come in the meantime.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Glastron GT 200 (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
= Standard = Optional
Glastron GT 200 (2012-) Warranty
Glastron GT 200 (2012-) 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.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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