Capt. Steve Says...
First of all, I really liked the looks of this boat, particularly the great job Glastron did with the graphics. Of course, I think any boat looks good as long as she isn’t only white, but this GT 205 SF, like her sister the 205, seems to have raised the bar. If her comfort and handling are on par with the eye appeal, then we have a winner, especially with this base price.
Handling and Performance
The Glastron GT 205 SF test boat had a 225-hp 4.3 GXi Volvo Penta which took us to a top speed of 48.9 mph. At that speed, the 4.3 was burning 17.5 gph that gave her 35 gallon (132 L) fuel capacity a range of only 88 miles. However, pulled back to a more economical 3500 rpm, we were running at 35.3 mph. At that speed we were burning only 8.5 gph which increased our range to 131 miles. If you want to do even better, consider that at 3000 rpm our speed was 28 mph with a 6.5 gph fuel burn. Not much of a change in range, 5 more miles, but this gives yet another cruise choice if you want to save money for the short haul.
The GT 205 SF’s handling characteristics were quite comfortable. Turns were met with a gentle slide that kept the “hanging on for dear life” in check. A 5-degree roll angle was sufficient to keep everyone planted in their seats, rather than tossed to the side.
Once you get up on plane and reach cruise speed, start bringing the trim up. Look at your trim gauge and put the needle at about the ¾ mark. You won’t see a change in the spray coming from the side of the boat but you will feel a marked boost in speed and a more comfortable ride. Going too high ventilates the prop and you simply bring the trim back down a notch or two.
On acceleration the GT 205 FS has about a 16-degree bow rise, but because Glastron builds in a gradual decrease to the sheer line as it reaches the bow, you’ll lose zero visibility. Our tests showed us reaching planing speed in 3.3 seconds and we cruised through 30 mph in 8.5 seconds.
Fully forward, the bow cushion comes out to reveal a non-skid step that makes a great launching spot for diving off the bow. Re-boarding will have to take place at the stern as there is no beach boarding ladder at the bow. Under the side seats is storage that is self draining. All of the cushions are held in place with a pin and socket that I found a bit difficult to use. You have to get your fingers under the cushion which is held tight by the pin and socket. Some folks will have trouble utilizing this system.
Bow Fishing Features
Noticeable in the deck is a pedestal base for a fishing seat. The seat comes equipped with an extended pedestal. We’d like to see the addition of a table pedestal that can accommodate the same size base. Certainly adding it as an option would be helpful. All the way forward is a mount for the trolling motor. The mount is standard, but the motor is part of the fishing package that also includes a fish finder (add $1,571) viewed through the windshield so it can be rotated to face the forward seat. However the neatest feature of the bow arrangement is the seat cushions. By flipping them over and swapping sides, they reveal solid bases underneath. Now by adding a filler, you’ve created a casting deck. This filler also has a pedestal base to elevate the seat even more. Add another cushion and the whole area is a sunpad.
Sitting forward in the bow seating is very comfortable. With your arm resting on the gunwales, your hand falls right to the stainless grab handle. This is a much better position than the handles on the side of the interior, as we usually see. It also looks better. The walkthrough windshield is held open with a snap strap. The windshield frame is stainless steel with supports that not only double as grab handles, but held my full weight.
Glastron held to their reputation of quality by building the GT 205 SF with a full fiberglass cockpit liner. In the center of the cockpit is sole storage that is padded at the bottom for protecting your gear. The lid is ventilated to prevent mold from gathering on your skis while in storage.
Glastron provided dual wrap-around bucket seats that are open in the back for ventilation. Both seats swivel and slide fore and aft. Out test boat had the optional flip-up bolster for the captain (add $132). The helm had full instrumentation with Faria gauges with chrome bezels. Our test boat had the optional convenience package consisting of a depth sounder and hour meter (add $369). All gauges were mounted to a faux wood panel that was complemented by the wood steering wheel.
Aft is three-across seating with open storage underneath. This is a great feature, for you can see at a glance what is in the storage compartments without having to open anything. In the center is a carry-on cooler in a slide tray with stainless steel tracks. The center seat cushion lifts out to reveal a non-skid step to the aft walkthrough.
To either side of the aft seating are pedestal seats that are removable, so as to re-locate to the raised fishing decks in the bow and stern.
Sunpad and Swim Platform
Aft of the bench seating is a sun pad that will keep any sun worshippers happy. In the center is a pair of flip-open cushions that reveal a non-skid walkthrough for boarding and disembarking. In the center is another pedestal base for mounting the cockpit seat.
Under the sunpad is the engine compartment. I found the hatch to be a little difficult to open, but an easy cheat is to flip open the walkthrough cushions and push on them to open the hatch. Once inside, our test boat's installation of the Volvo Penta 4.3 GXi was not cramped and left plenty of space to the sides for storage, which was separated from the engine by cargo netting. The battery, to starboard, lacks a cover. Also lacking was a fire extinguisher discharge port to the engine compartment. Our boat was also fitted with the attractive XL Package that includes tilt steering, the convenience package of depth finder and hour meter, the fishing package of trolling motor and fish-finder, SS horn grill/speaker covers/drink holders/rubrail insert/thru-hull fittings/intake/exhaust vents, forward bow pull-up cleat, and full glass wings (add $2,439).
Other Notable Options
We wouldn’t want to leave off the snap-in carpet ($347) and might even consider the Sirius satellite radio (add $464). Engine choices range from our test power of 4.3 Volvo Penta GXi (add $1,933) to an upper end of a 260-hp 5.0 MPI EC MerCruiser (add $6,509). Lastly, there are no canvas packages included on the standard list. Prices very depending on desires and mounting points with or without the tower. Certainly at least a Bimini is a must. So what’s the bottom line? With a standard 190-hp 4.3L MerCruiser, you’re looking at around $25,800. That represents a serious value for a boat of this class with this list of features. Certainly there are options to be desired, but not everyone wants lots of options and having choices makes a good deal of sense. For our money, the Glastron GT 205 is a smart buy.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Glastron GT 205 SF (2011-) is 49.4 mph (79.5 kph), burning 17.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 66.24 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Glastron GT 205 SF (2011-) is 27.7 mph (44.6 kph), and the boat gets 4.26 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.81 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 134 miles (215.65 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GXi.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!