Glastron GTS 245

Posted: July 1, 2014

Glastron’s GTS 245 takes one part flash, adds more seaworthiness and comes in at a lower price than many comparable boats.

By: Alan Jones

Glastron’s GTS series gets a new flagship that has the playful sportiness of its smaller brethren but is the only bowrider model in the lineup to have a console big enough to hold a head compartment. And for many families with small kids, this is the tipping point.

Unique Factor
One of the most clever innovations on the GTS 245 is its multifunction sunpad. The designers at Glastron know people love to drop the hook and spend most of their time just chilling, catching some rays and hanging out on the stern of the boat. Folded flat, the sunpad gives people going horizontal a nice flat surface. With the flip of a cushion, a rear-facing backrest pops up for sunset gazing or watching the kids splash around. For chaise-lounging, another backrest can be popped up on the starboard side to give sunning folks an angled perch.

The GTS 245 is a 24-footer that’s even roomier than its length and width suggest. It has an 8-foot, 4-inch beam, which is slightly narrower than most, but you’ll never notice it, because Glastron maximizes interior space by having thinner gunwales, allowing the cockpit to be pushed outward. The bowrider chaise lounges scooch the rider into the corner a little to give even slam dunk–capable riders plenty of legroom by directing feet toward the centerline.

The helm station of the 245 is a Glastron original and channels a retro, classic sports-car vibe with its bug-eyed, yellow-faced gauges and distinctive six-spoke sport wheel. Unique pull knobs activate most accessories.

Performance
Our test boat features Volvo Penta’s new-gen V-8 sterndrive that displaces six liters and pumps out 380 hp. It has a closed cooling system, which makes it especially attractive for boaters on the coasts. That engine is paired with a stretched version of Glastron’s proven Super Stable Vee (SSV) hull, and the combination produces some amazing results. The Duoprop setup hooked up with alacrity, and the GTS 245 reached plane in only 2.6 seconds with very little bowrise. Its 4.6-second 0-30 mph time was one of the quickest I’ve recorded for a bowrider with this amount of power. Top speed pegged out at 55 mph.

Glastron offers a wide choice of engine options, both MerCruiser and Volvo Penta sterndrive power, starting with the 260 hp small-block 5.0L V-8 MerCruiser (Volvo’s 5.0L puts out 10 more equine units for the same price). While this does “save” you more than $13k off the top-of-the-line engine our test boat sports, you will deeply regret under-powering it. If you are going the more economic route, at least bump it up to a MerCruiser or Volvo Penta 5.7L V-8 that produces 300 hp, or the 320 hp, 6.2L engines.

Handling
Glastron has used the SSV hull on its boats since 1977 with only minor tweaks, because it really works well. A sharp deadrise at the entry flattens to 20 degrees at the stern, which assists with slicing through waves. The SSV hull delivers both lift and stability, and as a result, the GTS 245 really never seemed to fall off plane, it just sort of raised and lowered at different speeds, remaining controllable at virtually any speed. It has the chops to handle the chop often encountered on larger bodies of water.

I discovered one unusual quirk the first time I hauled the GTS 245 into a hard turn. When I do a sea trial and test the handling, I always make a progressively harder turn, rather than just spinning the wheel hard over. This proved to be prudent, because when I got about halfway into my first arc, the hull seemed to catch a chine and really started turning hard. Don’t get me wrong, the 245 corners brilliantly, even during this event. Once you know what to expect, it’s very easy to control, but the hyper-turning moment will catch you by surprise the first time it happens.

Best Uses
Our test boat has the optional wakeboard tower, which should provide a clue about one of the intended uses of the GTS 245. As a watersports boat, it does a number of things well. Some sterndrive boats will wallow at slower wakeboarding speeds, but at 21 mph with just a little up-trim, the 245 produces a moderately sized launching pad while remaining very controllable. The port-side wake was a little more crisp than the one to starboard, which was a little washed out, but having a heavier-than-outboard sterndrive engine and the weight of a 13-passenger full house will satisfy most riders’ desire to fly. At 30 mph, the wake flattens enough for recreational slaloming. The driver, thanks to the boat’s prodigious turning ability, is fully capable of giving tubers the ride of their lives. A centerline ski locker can hold an impressive arsenal of boardage.

The GTS 245 has the size and seating capacity for entertaining large groups, whether cruising or at rest. I would like to have seen a bow ladder option to make beach exploring easier, and while I’m nitpicking, a centerline cleat rather than the twin pull-up cleats off to the sides would create a more-even pull when anchored.

Preferred Setup
Glastron gives you three trim levels to choose from. The GTS is the sportiest of the three and comes with custom gelcoat and graphics, along with special logoed carpeting and a bold red, white and black upholstery design. While black probably isn’t the best choice for an upholstery color — due to its solar-collecting properties — Glaston uses Aquaflex vinyl, which has a fabric-like texture that does a better job of dispersing heat than traditional vinyl, so it remained tolerable even in direct sunlight. The fabric used to be an exclusive of the pricier Four Winns line, but it has migrated over to Glastron, another Rec Boat Holdings brand.

The GT version is a bit plainer but does save $1,325 off the list price of a GTS. At the other end is the more luxurious GTL version, which features an upscale Saddle or Cashmere interior that resembles the upholstery in high-end automobiles. This comes with a $1,473 upcharge over the GTS model, which starts at $50,373 with the base engines.

Glastron gives you a large number of options to customize your 245 and most come at an affordable price, such as the upgraded stereo system ($427), which gives you a subwoofer and a transom remote control. Even adding a pumpout Porta Potti for the roomy head compartment is only $267. The XL Package bundles a number of useful additions, such as twin bucket seats with flip-up bolsters, snap-in custom carpeting, an hourmeter, a depthfinder, a bow scuff plate, pull-up cleats and stainless steel upgrades for the cupholders, speaker grills and grab handles, all for just $1,300.

Specifications

LOA 24 ft.
Beam 8 ft., 4 in.
Fuel 52 gals.
Engines Volvo Penta V-8, 6.0L
Base Price with test power $63,727
Standard Equipment Dual-axle custom trailer w/diamond-plate steps, ski tow, swim platform mat w/logo, tilt steering, Sony 4-speaker CD stereo w/helm remote, concealed horn
Optional Equipment Bimini top, flip-up seats, pull-up cleats, underwater lighting, bow filler cushions, cockpit table w/mount, wakeboard tower, Quick & Quiet through-hull exhaust, snap-in carpeting

Glastron GTS 245 Owner Review

Purchased By: Jeff and Lynn Wiegand, plus Kyle, 14 and his adult siblings Jason, Stephanie and Mike , Sterling Heights, Mich.

Purchased At: Wilson Marine, Harrison Township, Mich.


What we liked

- Roomy layout
- Styling and color
- Value
- Performance and handling
- Storage


What we would change

After we bought it, we decided we needed a GPS/fishfinder because Lake St. Clair is so big and gets very shallow in spots.


Why we bought it

When I was younger, I used to go out on my aunt’s boat with my family and really loved it. My husband and I decided that we wanted to get back into boating, so we started looking for the perfect boat. We’ve got four kids and have lots of friends, so we needed a roomy boat, but we wanted something sporty, too. The Glastron 245 is small enough to trailer up north on vacation, but big enough to handle Lake St. Clair, which is large and frequently gets rough. So far, we are really loving it. I’ve even driven the boat and found it really easy to handle. Lake St. Clair is a really big lake near Detroit and the Canadian border, so there’s lots to see and do. We love to cruise to Harsens Island and Ford’s Cove where lots of boaters hang out. My kids are even getting into skiing. The people at Wilson Marine made the buying experience a real pleasure.

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