By Brett Becker
The Glastron GT 225, a Runaway Runabout Bargain
The 22-foot Glastron flagship delivers surprising all-around performance at a genuinely good price.
Somewhere on the wake-chopped waters of Lake Minnetonka just outside Minneapolis, I discovered the real benefit of a Glastron runabout. You see, Lake Minnetonka goes off in the summer in a big way.
Summer is short in Minnesota, so the locals converge on boating season with a fervor that is alien to someone like me, who has hung Christmas lights on palm trees for most of my life. Boats are everywhere, including ski boats, dinner cruisers, go-fast boats, personal watercraft, sailboats and even yachts. You name it, it’s out there, and the water can get pretty darn rough for an inland lake.
It looks a lot like the yacht club scene from the movie “Caddyshack.”
In such conditions, you’d be right to expect a sound pummeling in a 22-foot runabout, but not in a Glastron. The boat features 21 degrees of deadrise, which smooths out the bumps. Even in such nasty lake conditions, the ride is downright pleasant, even in the bow seats. As we would crest big cruiser wakes and the bow would drop into a trough, I kept waiting for the spine-crushing hits. But they never came.
What’s interesting is that, typically, boats with a steep deadrise—and 21 degrees is pretty steep for a runabout—often labor to come on plane, but the SSV hull design climbs on top of the water with just a little throttle input. It makes driving the boat a lot easier.
Ride and handling are key to your enjoyment of any boat, but it takes a well-rounded package to make it downright livable, and the GT 225 delivers. For example, the base engine is a 220-hp V-8, with options for up to 320 horsepower. The better news is that the engine range is all small blocks, which saves weight and precious under-hatch stowage, which improves weight distribution and allows for more nimble handling.
“It is the largest model in our GT series,” said Leone Chirhart, marketing manager Glastron Boats. “We call it the flagship of the line because of all the features, the huge bow area and the cockpit seating. It’s perfect for families and lots of friends.”
Inside, the GT 225 will never be confused for a Cobalt or even a Sea Ray, but it does have everything a family needs The easy-to-maintain all-fiberglass liner can be had with snap-in carpeting, but a bow filler cushion is standard, as is a removable Igloo cooler and a really nice extended swim platform with a three-step telescoping swim ladder.
Just forward of the swim platform, the sun pad, which is wide enough for two people, features a flip-up cushion over the center walk-through. That way, when boarding from the dock, your passengers won’t soil your upholstery. Once inside, you can see that Glastron designers kept things decidedly simple.
Stowage beneath the rear bench is exposed and the rear bench supports are simple stainless legs, which might seem a bit Spartan, but it allows owners to hose out the interior without having to worry about water standing inside compartments. Pretty smart, actually.
Some worthwhile options include flip-up bucket seats, a wakeboard tower, a bimini top and bow and cockpit covers. Those undoubtedly raise the base price, but they help make the boat more enjoyable and help protect it from the elements, money always well spent.
The Glastron GT 225 is as straightforward as runabouts get. It’s built well and has what you need. It’s just right for families who might not have the buying power to shop the upper reaches of the runabout market, but don’t want to settle for something used. And it’s nice to know that when your local lake gets choppy, an affordable family runabout still gets the job done.
Retail prices start at $32,683, which includes an EZ Loader trailer and a 5.0-liter GL Volvo Penta.
Editor’s Note: Brett Becker is a freelance writer based in Ventura, CA. He covers the marine, automotive and racing industries for various print and Web titles. For more information on the GT 225, visit the Glastron website.
- Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.