Never underestimate the importance of mid-20ft sportscruisers. This is the absolute heartland of first ‘proper boat’ ownership, the place people gravitate to when, with the onset of a family and the need for a separate loo and space for the kids to kip, the cuddy cabin can no longer cut it. Enter the Glastron GS 259.
Even for those that have outgrown this sector, the success of boats like this brand new 25ft Glastron might be what stands between a future buyer of your used Princess V39 signing on the dotted, or choosing to take up golf instead.
It’s a sector that absolutely has to work in order to springboard its owner and family into a lifelong boating addiction, yet paradoxically it’s also potentially the most compromised arena in the motor boat market because it has to do everything – be a driving machine for dad, a weekend cottage for mum and an aquatic play centre for the kids.
And it has to do all of this while delivering compact dimensions that keep running costs down and manageability up. And it has to be affordable.
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Glastron has form in this segment of the market. A decade ago, the previous model GS 259 sportscruiser sold strongly in the UK. Things have moved on for Glastron since then, not least of all, ownership of the company.
Rec Boat Holdings, which also owns Wellcraft and Four Winns, is now wholly owned by the monolithic French Bénéteau Group. Currently the boats are still built at Glastron’s base in Cadillac, Michigan. But don’t rule out French-built Glastrons in future, or indeed American-built Bénéteaus, as the group seeks to capitalise on its international factory base.
But what of the boat? Fundamentally, the concept echoes the GS 259 of old, and indeed pretty much every other sportscruiser in this sector.
And like most other similarly sized sportscruisers, particularly those hailing from the USA, the biggest area of compromise is the beam. Americans think nothing of trailering boats like this, so the beam is set to comply with their towing width restriction of 8ft 6in.
With a sub-8m length overall (length is pegged at 25ft 2in/7.7m), the designers have their work cut out delivering a meaningful sportscruiser experience within these compact parameters.
Read the full report in the August 2017 issue of MBY.