Glastron GTDW 225

Surfing and fishing machine.

By Alan Wendt
Someday I expect the GPS voice navigator to replace that annoying “recalculating” with, “Oh! I see we’ve arrived in Traverse City, Michigan; shall I adjust your course to the Glastron plant in nearby Cadillac via the Traverse City Pie Company?”


  • LOA: 24'2"
  • Beam: 8'6"
  • Draft: 3'
  • Weight: 4,250 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 52 gals.
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power: 300 hp
  • Price: $62,133

Of my many vices, cherry cobbler is at the top of the list, and to reach Glastron, you fly through Traverse City. Hence my motto, never turn down a boat test here — unless it’s January, when the water is just a bit hard and most everyone has left town for sunnier climates like Sarasota.

So, here in the land of palm trees, blackened grouper sandwiches and eternal sun, we embark on the new 2019 Glastron GTDW 225, a combination surf and fish runabout. In the quest to build boats that satisfy short recreational attention spans, Glastron packaged the newest craze, surfing, with a boat that in moments becomes a well-appointed fishing vessel, while always serving up comfort for those simply seeking escape from the hustle and bustle.

Surf on

Rated for 13 passengers — and mind you that’s a lot of legs and bodies in a 24-foot frame — Glastron has deftly arranged ample seating in the bow, around the skipper and aft, closer to the surf action, without discomfort.

Powered by a Volvo V6-280C 300-hp Forward Drive, standard surf tabs, and an optional but highly recommended Zero Off GPS Speed Control, we consistently produced acceptable surfing waves. With each pass in Sarasota Bay, I got better at adjusting the length and height of the wave. For a decade, Zero Off has been standard on most competitive tow boats. Input from satellites and Volvo’s engine management system do all the math work, eliminating calculations for the skier weight, the number of bodies onboard, or even wind adjustment; you simply set the desired speed and go.

As for speed, we were on plane in six seconds, hit 30 mph a second later and achieved a top speed of 46 mph. Bring along more friends and of course those numbers will vary. Some practice is necessary to compensate while throttling down since the feeling can be rather abrupt.

Our test boat included the optional hinging wakeboard tower. This folds down for towing or storage in the garage, is minimalistic in appearance, and accommodates a pair of wakeboard tower racks helping to keep the deck open and free from clutter. A two-step, scalloped swim platform trimmed in MarineMat and with a concealed swim ladder creates an inviting appearance.

The color combo is picked up throughout the boat with two-tone vinyl, a bamboo table and a Surf and Fish graphics package that is rich, not loud like some tow boats.

Loud? Did someone say crank up the music? Four speakers are standard, with the Kicker AM/FM, MP3 port and Bluetooth connectivity entertainment package. An optional stereo subwoofer, aft remote and lighting package can rock any party cove.

For the family angler, the optional fishing package includes a baitwell, a bow casting platform, fish seats, a trolling motor and a mounting plate that connects through a pre-wired 24V fixture. 

Plenty of dedicated storage — including space for a carry-on cooler, a built-in cooler under the bench seat, expected under-seating storage for purses, beach bags and that all-important bag of Doritos, not to mention copious cupholders — probably leave you wondering if they threw in the kitchen sink. In the cockpit, there is room for a porta-potti (or optional pump-out) and a privacy curtain. Really there is no excuse to go back to the dock early, this boat is rigged for dusk-to-dawn family fun.

Smooth ride

Glastron engineers the legendary Super Stable Vee® hull design. The result is a boat that’s quick to plane, with minimal bowrise and tracks tight in turns. When you walk the boat show aisles this winter, take a look at the Super Stable Vee® hull’s wide reverse chines. Under power they create a bank of water that provides added lift and better precision in turns. Glastron has an even wider hull chine that extends far forward. These extended chines reduce rocking from side-to-side while giving passengers more space in the bow for the lounge seats. 

Extra room above the waterline translates into a concealed anchor locker and bow anchor roller, stainless steel bow ladder and other thoughtful touches, like USB charging ports concealed under the gunnels adjacent to the recessed cup holders. 

Another charging point at the helm is standard. Glastron anti-fog multi-function gauges, GPS speedometer and tilt steering round out the helm. While most dayboaters won’t need a charting system, anglers can add a multi-function display with fish finder.

Volvo power

We have pretty much leveled out in the switch from sterndrive to outboard power in this class of boat; Volvo owns the innovation for forward-facing drives, and they’ve managed to improve complete digital helm operation every year with Electronic Vessel Control. 

Volvo elected to keep GM power for its series of  V6 sterndrive platforms. There are some power to weight ratio advantages, but the real fuel economy is a result of moving the fuel-injection point closer to the ignition source. Fuel burn is more complete, emissions are reduced, and fuel mixture can be leaner, requiring less fuel to produce equivalent horsepower. Engine operation temperature is lowered thanks to oil spray piston cooling, helping the lean fuel mix while promoting longer engine life. 

While the GTDW 225 offers three Volvo engine packages, your dealer has likely selected the best match based on local knowledge. Our test boat with the V6-280 passed the “blow your favorite Lakeland Boating hat off” with flying colors on the first pass. Sadly, the hat was lost at sea. For other boaters, the only thing you should lose is track of time aboard this Glastron fishing and surfing machine. 


Spicer’s Boat City

Ravenna Marine

South Shore JUN17