Glastron GX 205: Performance Test

Glastron GX 205 is a spunky bowrider that delivers a great ride.

27th September 2003.
By David McIntosh

The GX 205 has a low bow, so we always had good visibility, even when getting on plane. Moreover, the boat offered tight, flat turns at wide-open throttle.

The GX 205 has a low bow, so we always had good visibility, even when getting on plane. Moreover, the boat offered tight, flat turns at wide-open throttle.

The Glastron GX 205 puts more than enough power at your fingertips, and its excellent handling makes that power easy to wield. However, the 205 is more than just a powerhouse; it’s also the archetype for getting every detail just right.

Whenever a boat starts with Genmar’s Virtual Engineered Composites (VEC) technology as its foundation, it already has a good leg up on comparable models. It’s like being born into royalty.

The Glastron GX 205 makes good use of the VEC technology, but it also crams a lot of great features into its just-under-20-foot hull. We were impressed by the boat’s high-energy attitude and its spare-nothing fit and finish.

Although a 190 hp 4.3L MerCruiser stern drive is standard power on the GX 205, our test boat had the more powerful 5.0L Volvo Penta (available in 220 or 270 hp). We were more than satisfied with the 5.0L, but we wouldn’t recommend going any lower in power.

If speed is an important factor to you, you can probably squeeze an extra 5 or 6 mph of top-end speed from the GX 205 if you further upgraded to one of the available 5.7L engines, but we were happy with the top speed of our test boat: 50.3 mph (at 4,800 rpm). We doubt that the more powerful engines would affect cruising speed as significantly, and that’s the speed you’ll probably be traveling most of the time, anyway. Cruising speed for us was around 30.5 mph (at 3,000 rpm).

There was a light chop when we tested the boat out of Tampa Bay, Florida, and our test boat’s fuel tank was 3/8 full when we clocked our speeds. We had two adults on board; however, the boat has a maximum capacity of 10 people (or 1,475 lbs.).

The first word we thought of to describe the GX 205′s ride was “spunky.” The boat jumped to plane in just 4 seconds.

The GX 205 has a low bow, so we always had good visibility, even when getting on plane. Moreover, the boat offered tight, flat turns at wide-open throttle. It has a tendency to wander at the 1,000 rpms, but that wasn’t a big deal.

The Genmar Advantage

VEC is a computer-monitored and controlled closed-mold process that produces complex fiberglass parts of defined thickness and strength. The closed molds trap styrene and other airborne emissions, enabling Genmar (Glastron’s parent company) to surpass all applicable clean air standards with 77 percent less emissions than standard open-mold lamination.

More importantly, with the VEC process, the hull, stringers, flotation and sole are all molded in a single unified part. As a result, the GX 205 and other boats built with this technology have greater integral strength — and they are rattle-free.

Hidden interior surfaces are finished to the same smoothness as the exterior, so the fit and finish is beautiful throughout the boat. With VEC, the entire hull is flawless from the moment it comes out of the mold.

However, VEC isn’t the only Genmar advantage that Glastron has used to its advantage. The GX 205 also comes with Genmar’s First Mate program, which is free for the first year. The service includes instant access to live information and assistance — and it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Digging Deep

The layout of the GX 205 is simple, yet satisfying. A V-shaped settee winds its way around the bow. In addition to the regular under-seat stowage you usually find underneath most settee cushions, you’ll find PFD storage nooks with snap-on mesh sides (for plenty of ventilation). The settee’s hinged bow backrests offer access to further stowage.

The GX 205′s helm station is impressive not only for its appearance, but also for the very full set of instrumentation that accompanies it. A speedometer, a tachometer, and trim, fuel, oil pressure, voltmeter and temperature gauges are all standard, as are switches for the bilge pump, blower, horn, lights and accessories. An Audiovox stereo system is also standard, and it comes with two speakers.

The port console across from the helm console (which is to starboard) has a glove box with a built-in cooler and an overboard drain. Each of the consoles is served by a SuspensionAire adjustable bucket seat with a flip-up bolster.

A long, straight settee runs along the inside of the boat’s aft section, and a large sunpad is behind the settee. The GX 205′s molded-in swim platform, which has a telescopic three-step boarding ladder, is at the very back of the boat.

The GX 205 has a wake that’s great for wakeboarding — and the standard ski tow ring and ski/kneeboard locker make it simple to “walk on water” whenever you like.

The GX 205′s overall appearance might be beige in color, but there’s nothing beige about its spirit. This (we’ll say it again) spunky bowrider is a great match for boaters who have a lot of living to do.

Glastron GX 205 Specifications

Length 19’11″
Beam 8′
Weight (with 5.0 GL Volvo Penta) 2,375 pounds
Fuel capacity 35 gallons
Maximum power 280 hp
Price (with standard package) $27,595
Price (with .0 GXi Volvo Penta) $30,781

Test Engine

Model 5.0 GL Volvo Penta stern drive
Propshaft horsepower 220
Cylinders V-8
Displacement 305 c.i.d.
Bore and stroke 3.74″ x 3.48″
Gear ratio 1.60:1
Compression ratio 9.4:1
Maximum engine speed 4,800 rpm
Weight 979 pounds

Performance

Cruising speed 30.5 mph at 3,000 rpm
Top speed 50.3 mph at 4,800 rpm
Miles per gallon at 30.5-mph cruising speed 4
Gallons per hour at 30.5-mph cruising speed 7.6
Range at 30.5-mph cruising speed 260 miles

Standard Features

Audiovox stereo CD player w/two speakers, glove box w/built-in cooler and overboard drain, ski/kneeboard locker, ski tow ring, 6-inch cleats, courtesy lights, bilge pump w/blower, tilt steering, three-step telescopic boarding ladder, fiberglass floor, SuspensionAire adjustable bucket seats w/flip-up bolster.

Options

Canvas package ($709), convenience package ($313; includes hourmeter, depth sounder, automatic bilge pump), Bimini top w/boot ($501), watersports inflator/deflator ($107), snap-in carpet ($273), U-shaped cockpit seating w/filler cushions ($608), extended swim platform ($900), cockpit cover ($468), bow cover ($240), high-altitude prop ($33).

For More Information

Glastron Boats
P.O. Box 460
Little Falls, MN 56345
(320) 632-8395
www.glastron.com


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2 thoughts on “Glastron GX 205: Performance Test

  1. We bought a GX205 in 2003 and our whole family has loved it. I do need some stuff done on it like replace carpet etc. do you know who can do that type of work? Also can we add a second Tow hook? I think the seats need to be replaced or worked on too

    Thanks

    Chuck Triggs
    11548 72nd Ave No
    Maple Grove, MN 55369
    763-286-1862

  2. Hey Charles – Unfortunately Glastron probably can’t help because the upholstery patterns for this boat aren’t likely to have gone through the bankruptcy transition. That means you’ll need to get local help, and we don’t know the specific shops in your area. Our suggestion would be to visit the nearest Glastron dealer, who probably has some experience working with a near-by upholstery shop. That’s suburban MSP – must be lots of choices. Good luck!

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