The mission of the Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner is to provide a comfortable cruising platform for a traveling couple as well as to serve for offshore fishing expeditions and entertaining. With her hardtop and three sides enclosed, plus a removable aft enclosure, she easily becomes a four-season boat. To complete this functionality, an optional 8,000 BTU heating/cooling unit rounds out the standard package.
Helm Deck Features
The Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner has a protected helm deck with glass to three sides running up vertically to integrate with the hardtop. We love this feature as it means we don’t have to fall back on isinglass curtains to fill the gap above the windows… at least to the front and sides. Further aft those side windows take on a "Downeaster" look and slope away from the overhead.
For three-season comfort
, by all means, break out the curtains and there’s an option for an aft drop-down curtain as well. There is also a solid aft door option that might be appropriate to some applications. Glacier Bay calls it an "Alaskan Bulkhead," which probably speaks of its insulating properties. A reverse cycle system adds to the functionality in the cold seasons.Overhead there’s snap in storage to both sides, five dome lights and a center skylight.
On the Helm Deck
On the helm deck companion seating is fore-and-aft facing the captain, and sitting on the foot of the "L" facing forward. Certainly several adults can ride here in comfort whether heading to the fishing grounds or the waterfront steakhouse. It includes cushioned backs and laminated footrests. An insulated 132-quart (125 L) integral cooler underneath has overboard drains. A removable pedestal table is offered as an option and inserts into a base in the deck.
Let Me Entertain You…
When it’s time to bring the friends onboard for a cocktail cruise to nowhere, the 2780 Isle Runner has that covered. Just behind the helm is a starboard side entertainment center with freshwater sink, Corian top, stainless cup holders and a pull out trash receptacle. Entertainment options include a grill with gunwale mounts and a stainless refrigerator to replace the pull out trash receptacle.
Of course seating plays a big part of the entertainment aspect. Not only is the helm deck L-seating but there is also pull-out seating in the stern and additional seating for two at the bow.
Of course it’s hard not to appreciate the fishing aspect of a boat with offshore capabilities such as this. Aside from the helm having a clear view of the action in the 35-sq. ft. (3.3 sq. m) cockpit, there are several features that make this a well-qualified fishing platform.There is storage to port and starboard for up to 6 rods. Four gunwale-mounted rod holders present a spread to the fish. A rigging station with a 20-gallon (75.7 L) livewell is to port and it includes plenty of storage as well. Spreader lights keep the action going well after the sun has dipped below the horizon. The catch can be stored in two in-deck fishboxes. Each measures in at 100-quart (94.6 L) and are drained with diaphragm pumps.
Of course, the 2780 Isle Runner is equally well suited for cruising, especially as a two-person boat. The cabin is accessed from the port side hull and the companionway door is just ahead of the helm deck L-lounge. Inside is a modest cabin with queen-sized berth, head and shower. Natural light comes from the overhead hatch and three side portlights. The Lonseal teak and holly cabin sole adds class to the cabin, to be sure. Showering and other freshwater comes from a built-in 20-gallon (75.7 L) tank.
She doesn’t really lend herself to life as an extended cruiser as there’s no real conventional galley. Cooking is relegated to the optional grill on deck but a microwave is next to the berth below. That certainly makes short work of the instant coffee in the morning. Dining will be at the L-shaped seating at the helm deck.Of course this boat is more about the comfort in getting to the destination rather than the trip itself. Typically, a cruise of this nature will be to the location’s waterfront restaurant anyway.
The helm is well laid out and well protected thanks to the hardtop and surrounding glass. There’s still access to ventilation as the overhead sunroof slides open as desired. There’s only a starboard windshield wiper as standard, but we'd like to see one to port. While spray is not so much of a concern, rain is and it affects both sides.
The ergonomic dash panel
has open space to accommodate up to a 12” (30.5 cm) display and it will have to be added aftermarket. Glacier Bay does not align itself to any single electronics manufacturer, and that’s a policy we agree with. Not everyone wants the same ole-same-ole electronics and having a choice left up to the buyer is the way we would prefer it. We would opt for adding the power-assist steering with the 13” (33 cm) stainless wheel. Long runs can get uncomfortable when struggling with the helm.
Engines for the 2780 Isle Runner
are going to be 150 4-strokes that will come from Suzuki or Yamaha. An important note here is that these engines are connected to independent fuel and electrical systems. One engine failing does not necessarily equate to a failure in the second engine and that sort of “get-home” redundancy is something that catamarans will forever hold over the monohull builders. There are very few monohulled boats that make this same claim.
While we haven’t tested the 2780 Isle Runner, Glacier Bay certainly has and they were happy to share the results of the test with us. Here’s what they found--With a pair of 150-hp Yamaha 4-strokes turning 14 ¼ x 17 props, they reached a top speed at 5900 rpm of 40.7 mph. At that speed fuel burn was measured at 33.1 gph. That translates to a range of 186 miles. Best cruise was found to be at 3000 rpm and 17.7 mph. At that speed fuel burn was reduced to 8.4 gph which produced a range of 319 miles.Acceleration was brisk with the test boat reaching 30 mph in 6.85 seconds.
The Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner does not come up on plane as does a monohull, with bow rising sometimes obscuring visibility forward. Rather, the 2780 Isle Runner rises up more or less horizontally but does not get on plane, as such. Where a monohull planes on top of the water, all cats ride in the water. The 2780 Isle Runner's sharp bows and fine entry allow her to cur through waves easily, and her displacement makes her ride comfortable in a chop without the pounding associated with most monohulls.
In a Seaway.
Likewise, when the seas are confused or in a beam sea, the 2780 Isle Runner is much more stable than we would expect a monohull to be. Because deep-V designs have great buoyancy on the centerline and very little at the chines, it naturally rolls. One the other hand, the 2780 Isle Runner's buoyancy is outboard so any rolling is considerably less, and less violent. This makes her a much more comfortable cruising and fishing platform and much more attractive to people prone to mal de mer.
Like nearly all catamarans, the Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner leans slightly outboard in turns or is flat in turning. This is as opposed to a deep-V monohull which leans in because it has little buoyancy at the chines -- the same reason why it rolls. Since the 2780 has outboard buoyancy it cannot lean in. Most captains we know get used to this difference in about 15 minutes. It's not a biggie.
The Glacier Bay 2780 Isle Runner is a remarkably seaworthy vessel that is comfortable in most sea conditions. She can be used for any number of purposes, including a dive boat or commuter, as well as fishing and cruising. Her standard hardtop is a big plus in our book because with some isinglass she can easily be converted to four-season boating. She costs a bit more than a monohull her same length, but that is because she has much more material in her, and it could not be any other way. That is compensated by the fact that she has 20% more deck space than most mononhulls her length. For those used to taking Dramamine, the 2780 Isle Runner might well eliminate the need.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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