Feature-Packed Cruiser-Glastron’s GS 279 Sport Cruiser
By Captain Keith Burton
My imagination sometimes gets the best of me when I am reviewing a new boat, especially one with luxury features and sleek lines. I imagine myself as the proud owner and think of the fun I would have with it. That was the case when I stepped aboard the Glastron GS 279 Sport Cruiser.
Here’s a boat that with its 8.5-foot beam still fits easily on a trailer, that is packed with features and amenities that you normally see on boats that cost far more. That is not to say that the Glastron GS 279 Sport Cruiser is inexpensive, but its price, features, and performance marks this boat one to consider when making a decision on a new cruiser for your family.
There are numerous details that add to this boat’s value. Any sport cruiser at this length is a boat that rides high on the water, but Glastron’s designers managed to sculpt a boat that still looks sleek. The forward cabin slopes downward at the bow and is matched by a graceful stainless steel rail that together form an attractive design that keeps the boat from looking too tall.
There are a wide number of options available too such as the remote controlled windlass to raise and lower the anchor. Besides a controller at the helm, there are weather-protected buttons near the bow to make what could be an arduous task easy.
Getting up to the bow is also made easy by a walkthrough windshield and steps built into the main cabin door. That door, by the way, slides open and close on rails with a finger-touch. That’s a good thing too as the door is heavily constructed.
With any good cruiser, the cabin is the main focus of attention on board. The 279 doesn’t disappoint here. It is very well equipped and attractively designed.
Cabinets are made of a very realistic cherry wood laminate design, which should look good for years of use. The V-berth at the bow can be converted for use as a dining table with the center section removed. At the forward end are several spotlights for night lighting, in fact, lights are all around the cabin.
The galley is completely equipped with a small microwave oven, a full two burner electric stove and a small refrigerator. Throughout the galley are cabinets that have very firm latches to store supplies. To the left of the galley on the port side is the entrance to an under-deck sleeping area with room for two large people.
The 279’s main electrical control panel is also at that location. We noted that the panel was well-marked and intuitive to use.
The 279’s head is full-size and complete with an electric toilet. There is also a freshwater sink and shower. We particularly appreciate how Glastron’s designers stored the place for the toilet paper into a water-tight compartment. The room has its own ventilation and a window for light.
At the Helm
Stepping up to the main deck, the Glastron 279 has a fully instrumented helm with attractive gauges and rocker switches for auxiliary functions. The captain’s seat can seat two people and has a built-in bolster. Controls at the helm include a remote control for the AM/FM/CD-Satellite radio, as well as controls for the aforementioned windlass and trim tabs.
On the port side, the passenger seating is a short lounge seat with a reclined pad toward the dash. That seat sits over a small window for the under-deck cabin.
Another small entertainment station is on the port side, which includes a freshwater sink and icebox. A sturdy stainless steel handhold is another plus and adds an upscale look.
Unlike many cruisers, the 279 doesn’t make you step up and down to get around. The main deck is all at the same level. The aft seating has forward and rearward facing bench seats. An option is a sunpad that can be placed between the seats to form a large area to enjoy the sun.
We also like how the aft-most seat can be removed to provide addition footing when fishing is the focus of activity.
Getting aboard is also made simple with an aft doorway and full-width sky platform, complete with a ladder and a freshwater shower point.
Performance and Handling
When underway this boat shines. With power steering and plenty of power from the 5.7-liter Volvo sterndrive, the Glastron GS 279 is easy to navigate and is responsive to the helm. She cruised most economically at 27.7 mph turning 3500 for a range of 164 mile on a full tank of fuel and reached a top speed of 43.1 mph turning 5050 rpm. But being a tall boat with a high freeboard, turns are greeted with a lot of banking, which is common among this class of boats. Still, the 279 handles very easily and is fun to pilot.
Overall, the Glastron GS 279 impresses with its excellent design and features. Passengers will like the smooth ride and room to move about. This is a boat that is designed for fun and luxury at a truly reasonable price.