|Length Overall||19′ 6''
|Draft Up||N/A||Person Capacity||N/A|
|Draft Down||N/A||Fuel Capacity||
|Air Draft||N/A||Water Capacity||N/A|
|Deadrise/Transom||20-deg.||Length on Trailer||N/A|
|Max Headroom||Open||Height on Trailer||N/A|
|Total Package Weight (Trailer,Boat & Engine)||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.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||1 x 250-hp supercharged Rotax|
1 x 150-hp Rotax 4-TEC ECT
1 x 200-hp Rotax 4-TEC ECT
1 x 250-hp Rotax 4-TEC ECT
The Glastron GTS 187 has a LOA of 19’6’’ (5.94 m), a beam of 7’5’’ (2.26 m) and a draft of 14’’ (.36 m).
The Mission of the Glastron GTS 187
The Glastron GTS 187 marks the brand’s first voyage into jet-powered pleasure boating. She brings strengths and features Glastron is known for, including smart styling, the Glastron’s much-touted (“Super Stable Vee”) SSV hull, and reasonable pricing, with a base price of $24,440 through March 1, 2015, then $26,721 with the 150-hp engine.
Because of her rocket-like acceleration she brings thrills and exhilarating performance for boaters looking for an adrenaline rush while boating. For those who have been weaned on the excitement of PWCs but who are now ready for something like a real boat, a boat like the Glastron GTS 187 is just the answer.
Most important, of course, is the fact that a jet boat eliminates an exposed propeller, eliminating a potential safety hazard. This appeals to many families, especially those with young children. However, even with jet power, the engines should be turned off whenever people are in the water swimming around the boat.
Because the Rotax jet propulsion system takes up so little space and has a low profile, the Glastron GTS 187 has what we call “three tier seating”. The ladies above are sitting on the rumble seat which is an ideal place to put on skis or wakeboards. The integral swim platform becomes the second seat, and the extended swim platform is the third seat and launching pad for watersports.
The Glastron Back Story
Brand History. The Glastron was born in Texas in 1956. Its models became known for their sleek styling and innovative hull designs such as the “Aqualift” tri-hull and the more contemporary SSV hull, still in use today. Over the years, they achieved something akin to a near cult appeal with boating enthusiasts as far away as Europe. At one time it was the largest builder of sportboats in the world, producing over 50,000 sportboat units per year – something that today the entire sportboat industry cannot approach.
The GT Line and Legend. It is perhaps worth noting that being “cool” is part of Glastron’s boating legacy. In the long and successful franchise of James Bond feature films, one of their known hallmarks was to showcase “cool,” high tech gadgets in their action sequences. The 1973 James Bond film, “Live and Let Die”, featured one of the most exciting boat chases ever depicted in a movie, and all boats used were Glastrons. For his part, Agent 007 was driving a Glastron GT.
Glastron’s first entrée in the jet boat class was released for 2014 and designed for sport and fun on the water. Note that the re-boarding ladder is on the centerline, something that is prohibited on sterndrive boats.
In the 1990s, the Glastron brand was acquired by Genmar Holdings and manufacturing was moved to Minnesota. Like lots of brands it rode the roller coaster up hill in the late 1990s and early part of the new century. But the Great Recession starting in 2008 hit Genmar’s lead bank hard and it in turn forced the company into bankruptcy. Operating under Chapter 11 protection, the builder stayed in business and was sold, along with Four Winns and several other brands, to Platinum Equity, a turn-around investment company with a sterling reputation.
With jet propulsion, there are no spinning propellers underwater. In fact, they’re so safe, notice the reboarding ladder in the center of the swim platform, prohibited in sterndrive boats.
Platinum Equity Invests During a Down Market. After the brand’s acquisition the parent company invested heavily in upgrading existing products and in designing, then tooling new ones. Because overall boat sales had dropped to 25 to 30% of what they had been before the economic meltdown, Platinum Equity wisely consolidated boat production in the Cadillac, Michigan plant of Four Winns, building its boats along with those of Glastron and Wellcraft. With all three of these brands coming out of one, large factory, Four Winns’ experienced, quality-oriented work force was kept employed and put to work on the other brands as well.
Beneteau is the New Owner. With the partial recovery of the economy and the new tooling investment made by Platinum Equity, the largest boat company in Europe made an offer that couldn’t be refused and last summer (2014) and became the proud owner of Glastron and the other brands built in Cadillac. Now the full resources of this international, publicly-owned company are behind the venerable Glastron brand. And because Beneteau is managed and operated by boaters from the top to the bottom, we think Glaston’s future has never looked brighter.
The new GTS 187 has classic Glastron styling, but now there is jet power in her belly.
Glastron’s GTS 187 has --
• Choice of three horsepower ranges in a jet drive
• Direct drive, no transmission, no lower unit
• Shoal draft and no prop
• Retro windscreen
• Hull graphics
• Three-tier seating aft
• Color-matched trailer with disc brakes
• 2-tone hull and deck
• Bucket seats for the helm and companion
• Emergency engine shut off
• Sony stereo, AM/FM/CD, 2 speakers, MP3 port
The GTS 187 comes packaged with a custom built, color-matched trailer.
A side view emphasizes the GTS 187’s sleek styling and low profile. The spear graphic is a classic Glastron signature. The tower is optional.
A bird’s eye overhead view of the GTS 187 highlights the cockpit space and bow seating area.
The Engine is Key. Her Rotax 4-TEC jet power plant provides quick acceleration to get water skiers and wakeboarders up in a hurry. Further, she can be navigated in shallow water with only a 14” (35.56 cm) hull draft. Moreover, by offering models in three different horsepower ranges from 150 to 250-hp, buyers can match the power to their specific application.
Rotax Engines. The Rotax engine is a 3-cylinder, 12-valve, 4-stroke engine with a displacement of 1494 cc. The 150 and 200 versions are liquid-cooled, with a dry sump. All are EFI. The 250-hp version has a supercharger and an extended intercooler. One of the largest advantages of these engines is that their lightweight.
The GTS 187’s engine and power train is direct-drive (i.e. no transmission and no 90-degree turns), compact, and relatively simple with far fewer parts, both moving and otherwise. With fewer parts generally maintenance concerns are reduced. However, the jet propulsion system requires a higher level of maintenance if operated in salt water. Freshwater flushes are recommended after each use.
Green Running. These power units meet stringent CARB 3-star ratings for low engine emissions. The BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) Rotax engines are cited as among the cleanest, quietest engines in the industry. BRP has a 30-year track record in producing jet-powered Sea-Doo watercraft.
Cushioned bow seating is compact. There’s a centerline bow cleat and the anchor stows in a compartment under one of the seats. We’d like to see a backrest to create an aft-facing seat.
Built for fun on the water with friends and family, her maximum passenger rating is 8 people or 1,200 lbs. (544 kg), whichever comes first. With three people in the bow, three on the bench seat aft and two in the bucket seats, the boat has the room, but like most boats in class, the weight issue will be the controlling one on capacity, in most cases.
The GTS 187’s overall length is 19’6” (5.94 m) and her beam is 7’5” (2.26 m). Boaters will likely enjoy her open bow seating, stylish cockpit instrument design, stern rear-faced seating and generous stern swim platform afforded by her jet package positioned entirely under the water line. Extended swim platforms are historically a signature design featured on traditional Glastron I/O models.
The bucket helm seat is executed with style. The flip-up bolster is optional ($280), and is one of the few things we found to add to the standard boat.
A close-up look at the helm bucket seat showing diamond stitching and texture of the vinyl upholstery. It appears to us as if Glastron is trying to put its best foot forward.
The stern "stadium-style" aft seating is one of the things that sets jet boats apart from many of their conventional prop-propulsion competitors. Because jet engines have low profiles and the drive is direct to the water pump, a large engine box is not needed. Glastron has turned that space into two, comfortable aft-facing seats, making it an ideal place to put on boards or watch the kids paddling around off the stern.
The padded full-across aft bench seat has under-seat storage and a carpeted step under the center cushion for easy movement to and from the stern swim platform. The snap-in carpet is optional.
Looking aft at the bench seat. Note the cushions port and starboard inside the gunwales to make riding more comfortable for guests. The three-tone color scheme adds zest to what might otherwise be a monochromatic interior.
A handy hatch under the center seat permits quick and easy fluid checks without having to open up the entire engine box.
Aboard this Boat. The GTS 187 has a split, walkthrough windshield design with a gentle curvature. Side windshield wings are offered as an option. In the cockpit, dual console adjustable bucket seats forward are backed by a full-width bench seat aft with storage underneath. There is glove box storage in the port console and more storage under the reasonably roomy, padded bow seating for 3. She also has an in-floor cockpit ski locker.
The helm is styled like a 1960s sports car with fog-resistant custom Glastron GTS instrumentation. The accessory “switches” are unique pull knobs. The fiberglass deck has a built-in footrest; a depth sounder is optional equipment.
Hull Design. The GTS 187’s deadrise is 20-degrees at the transom and Glastron fans have always endorsed the SSV, deep-V hull that is part of the GTS 187’s package. This Glastron hull has been around for many years, testifying to the integrity of its design when it comes to runabout handling. Indeed, one of the best features of this hull is the fact that upon acceleration, the whole boat rises out of the hole and not just on its bow.
A Glastron hull design modified from an existing Glastron hull specifically for jet boat power. Note the shape of the chines.
Operation. Her draft is rated at 14” (36 cm) which makes her ideal to get into skinny water. However, at low speeds a jet intake is at risk of inhaling grass and debris off the bottom in shallow water of less than 2’ (.61 m). On the plus side, the Rotax engines have grates over the intakes to help block debris. More often than not, simply shutting down the engine, and therefore the suction, will clear the obstruction.
Other jet engines are also susceptible to grass and plastic bags getting wrapped around the impeller shaft. Rotax gets around this by having a shroud surrounding the spinning shaft, protected it from such problems.
The Glastron GTS 187 has a LOA of 19’6” (5.94 m), a beam of 7’5” (2.26 m) and a draft of 14” (35.56 cm). With an empty weight of 2,300 lbs. (1,040 kg), half fuel and 2 people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 2,801 lbs. (1,271 kg).
Top speed on our tests was 46.2 mph with the 250-hp engine.
With the 250 Rotax turning at 8250 rpm, we reached our top speed of 46.2 mph with an 18.8 gph fuel burn. Best economic cruise came in at 5000 rpm and 20.7 mph. At that speed the fuel burn dropped to 4.5 gph, which produced a range of 112 miles and an endurance of 5.4 hours.
The first, and most obvious characteristic of the GTS 187 is that she is a fast boat. We cranked her up to planing speed in less than 2 seconds. Hit 20 mph in 4.2 seconds, and continued right on through 30 in 6.3 seconds.
There’s a one-quarter turn to the steering, lock to lock. This generates the urge to continually crank the wheel all over the water. And the GTS 187 is more than happy with that. She’ll spin out in the turns, much like a PWC, and then releasing the wheel returns it to the neutral position and she’ll blast off in the next direction.
The GTS 187 went up to 20 mph in 4.2 seconds as well as reaching 30 mph in 6.3 seconds.
She tracks well in the straight and level and in more sedate turns she’ll come around with no adverse effects of chine walking.
The jet-powered GTS 187 has a standard 3-step ladder on the extended swim platform. Swimming and boarding safety is improved because there is no propeller. Nevertheless, the engine should still be turned off when people are in the water around the vessel.
Standard Trailer. The GTS 187 comes with a custom factory-matched trailer. Her storage length on the trailer is 20’9” (9.33 m). With a published dry weight of approximately 2,300 lbs. (1,040 kgs.) and reported trailer weight of 861 lbs. (390 kgs.), the GTS 187 falls well within the towing range of many mid-size trucks and SUVs, making her economical to pull and petite in terms of required storage space. The standard single-axle trailer has disc brakes and a swing-away tongue. An optional galvanized trailer with GatorHyde is $853 extra. A spare tire/wheel is $267.
Compact bow seating forward is backed by a traditional sportboat cockpit and well-executed stern seating, that is a versatile launching pad for all sorts of activities.
Options to Consider
Options for the GTS 187 include variations on the tow sports package, and it is called the XL Package and it starts at $1,300. It includes the bolsters for the bucket seats, snap-in carpet, tilt steering, and stainless steel grab handles among a number of other things.
When we looked over the options list, adding just “must have” items onto the base price, we came to a total of just $26,354 -- for the January 1st to March 1, 2015 period. We would order to following items --
• Flip-up bolster ($280)
• Depth sounder with temperature ($240)
• Engine room fire extinguisher ($333)
• Bimini top ($600)
• Spare tire and wheel ($267)
• Bow cover ($140)
• Cockpit cover ($387)
Even after the March 1, 2015 deadline, for this pricing for the base boat with 150-hp engine and the above options is $28,968.
As noted above, until March 1, 2015 the MSRP base price with the 150-hp engine is $24,440 in the U.S. After that time the base price will be $26,721. Dealer prep, etc. is extra in both cases. For the same period the base price for the GTS 187 with the 200-hp engine and the 250-hp engine with supercharger, are $27,213 and $28,207 respectively.
The GTS 187’s jet propulsion system operates efficiently in shallow water without concern for damage to prop or lower unit.
Observations on the Glastron GTS 187
During the last 18 months, three new jet boat brands have been introduced to the market, and Glastron is one of them. The reason for this has been the steady growth in jet boat sales for the last 10 years, the Great Recession notwithstanding. Their safety, agile, spirited performance, and skinny water capabilities have been the major reasons for their growing popularity.
With the advent of the new Glastron GTS 187, we see a marriage of the proven 3-cylinder Rotax 4-TEC engine with the proven Glastron hull shape in an attractive package that makes use of Glastron’s classic styling. Further, the engines are made in Wisconsin by BRP and the boats are built on the other side of Lake Michigan in Cadillac which means that the two companies can easily work together hand and glove.
Each new entrant to the jet boat market has tried to carve out its own niche, and Glastron is no exception. It is playing to its strength – a nearly 60-year tradition of building edgy, sleek-looking vessels with exceptional performance at a price that is quite competitive.
= Standard = Optional
|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!