Each month we pick out an iconic boat that can lay claim to the title of world’s coolest boat. This month, we take a closer look at the Glastron GT-150…
Think James Bond movie boats and you immediately think of Sunseeker. A Superhawk 34 was pursued down the River Thames by our hero in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough; Jinx, played by Halle Berry, escaped aboard a Superhawk 43 in Die Another Day in 2002; and arch-baddie LeChiffre sailed into Casino Royale in 2006 aboard a Sunseeker Predator 108.
Sunseeker founder Robert Braithwaite himself appeared in Quantum of Solace, chauffeuring 007 across a lake aboard a vintage 1970 Poole Powerboats Sovereign 17. However, marine product placement started far earlier.
In 1973, Roger Moore’s Live And Let Die hit the big screen, and after escaping the clutches of the bad guys who’d left him to die at an alligator farm, took off down the Louisiana Irish Bayou in a stolen speedboat, pursued by numerous henchmen. In total, 26 boats were used, all of them Glastrons of various types. Only nine survived.
Bond’s boat was a 15ft Glastron GT-150 powered by an Evinrude Starflite 135hp outboard engine. Rather larger than the rated maximum of 85hp, there was a reason for that extra power and speed, not to mention one or two other non-standard upgrades.
The helm position, normally offset to one side to allow a passenger, was centrally mounted, and underneath the boat were small black skids designed to keep the boat level on terra firma. The reason for these mods became evident halfway through the chase.
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On October 16, 1972, the stuntman doubling for Roger lined the boat up with a ramp set where a raised road bisected the river and gunned the 135hp Evinrude.
He cleared the ramp, the road and a police car parked on it, landing back in the water on the other side and keeping going, securing not just one of the best boat chase moments in Bond history, but also a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest boat jump at 120 feet.
As an interesting post-script, Roger Moore, who learned to helm a boat specifically so that he could be filmed in the chase, clearly got a taste for boating and in retirement kept one close to his private villa in Cap d’Antibes. The make? Sunseeker…
Glastron GT-150 specifications
LOA: 14ft 9in /4.5m
Beam: 7ft 7in / 2.3m
Power: Evinrude Starflite 135hp outboard
Top speed: 40 knots (approx)