Paul Harrison at the helm of his first taste of Glass Crack!

We got this great story last night from long time Woody Boater Paul ( Reporting from the side of the road ) Harrison.  Funny thing about these cool Plastic classic boats, they bring a smile to all those who have been touched by one of them. Today, it’s a killer rare 1965 Glastron! Take it away Paul…

If readers of WB know me at all, it is a a dedicated boat guy who has a couple of boats, gets around the countryside a bit and has assorted mishaps and misadventures (and lots of fun) while doing so. It was not long ago however that I was just a normal guy, going about my life in a pretty banal and mundane manner. But, then it changed and it all started with just one boat – just one boat, what can it hurt? It’ll be fun, right? Just try it this one time….

How cool is that. Very rare, very red and very fun!

In August of 1993 my soon-to-be wife and I went with friends to a local lake in Alberta for an afternoon on the water – in a late model ski boat (we knew no better- I am ashamed!). Meeting us there was another friend, who obviously knew much better than us and brought what he reported to be his newly acquired 1969 Glastron Futura 500 V-164 – a very cute little sport boat. I loved it, it was a cool red and white, it went pretty fast and was completely and absolutely distinctive. The owner and his wife called it “The Rocket”, and 15 years before I knew what a Chris Craft Rocket was, we started referring to this as “The Rocket”. She had obviously been well cared for and I thought it was awesome. What I then knew about boats could have been written on the head of a pin, but I knew I liked this one more than any new boat I had seen.

Nice shot from the aft end.

We learned our friend Brian was the second owner, it had been bought by a car dealer in Saskatoon new and used during the short boating season in that frigid, dry province ever since. That accounted for the sound condition. There was not much more to be learned about it in those pre-internet days. We continued to see this boat periodically over the years, and even ride in it or drive if occasionally. Even before we had a cabin I was always asking if he was ready to sell it. We bought our lake property in 2001 and the boat came to visit now and then. It was still in good shape and rarely used. Every year I asked “is it time to let her go, Brian?” No, not yet was the reply. Finally, in 2006 while out at the cabin for Easter, the annual call was made and the answer was “well, maybe it is time” I pounced and when I got home to Calgary, the deal was done.

This pic you can click to make larger. Some ya can some were just small. Sorry, now back to Paul..

The first thing I did was determine what I had suspected for years – it was older than 1969 – it was a 1965. The Glastron guys have a very active website and it is very informative. In retrospect, the relationship started as I now know many owner/classic boat relationships seem to. The 800 hour engine wasn’t breathing too well. It was really a 30’ boat – meaning it looked good from 30 feet but closer examination revealed some cosmetic challenges. I used it through 2006 and really enjoyed it. But it wouldn’t breathe right so I sent it in to get the bone stock original Mercruiser 120 rebuilt. Once that was done it ran great, but now the upholstery was wanting, and the spider cracking caused by shrunken gel coat seemed more noticeable to me. So, for not the last time I made the financially reckless choice of sending it in for restoration – this was in the spring of 2007. The restoration proved a challenge and the fellow doing the work was and is both meticulous and honest, and that made for a long restoration time line. He stood by his quote, but had to totally redo the gelcoat twice because he was not happy. I respected his commitment to doing it correctly and was happy to let the time slide in return for the honesty and quality that he presented to me in our dealings.

Meanwhile, in the summer of 2007 I kept thinking about how much I missed that little boat, and how much I loved it  – it felt great to be on the water with something that few others had, and as a boat it worked very well. So I started wonder, what other boats are around? I need something, a fix, what’ll it be this time? Something bigger, older, faster? Got to find something…I need another cool boat, I kept thinking in the back of my mind. By then I had been on Shuswap Lake for 7 years+ and had seen precisely 1 wooden boat and few old fiberglass boats. At that point in the spring of 2007, the only other boat I owned was a large and much-used and enjoyed pontoon boat. Later that summer, in August, we bought our first wooden classic, and later that fall our second. I was almost helpless by then, fully in the grasp of the addiction, or lifestyle as Matt and Texx prefer to call it. I guess one can fashion a lifestyle from an addiction,  and it was a full-on passion/addiction for me from then on. I now own 10 classic boats and share ownership in 2 others. These comprise many different styles and hull materials and eras. I knew no prejudices when I bought The Rocket and I know none now.

A different long shot, just like todays header.

This little 16’ 4’ Glastron is without a doubt the start of all of this for me. It turns out that this is a very rare Glastron – no production records are available but I have only ever seen on other (Field of Dreams, Sunnyland show in 2009 of all places), and it is quite sought after. I know of about three others in use – one in Iceland! Although it has only been 5 years since I bought my first wooden boat and 6 since I bought the Glastron, the seeds were sown the day I first saw it in 1993. The unseen monster was dormant, but once awakened it leapt upon me with full fury. For some guys the trigger is seeing a wooden boat or car like they saw or used in their youth or childhood. Not me – I just liked this one, and as it turns out – many others!This boat unlocked it all.  We use the Futura 500 extensively, it is relatively smooth and quick and visually it really pops – the car guys seem to really like it – from comments received at Keels and Wheels shows anyway.  For Karen and I, this fiberglassic was the true gateway into classic boating, and to this day I still have a strong affinity for early glass boats –as we obviously also have for most old boats.

 Photo Credit for Tyson Konecny, my friend and fellow Okanagan Antique and Classic Boat Society Member – he took all the shots.

If you want to dive in for more info on Classic Glastrons.. you guessed it, there is a website and a VERY active fun group. These guys show up at various shows and wow the crowd.  Here is that very site. classicglastron.com

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26 Responses to “Glastron Futura Classic Plastic. The Gateway Drug To Breaking Bad On Classic Boats?”
  1. Don Vogt

    What a neat boat, paul. During that time, I think glastron was one of the better regarded brands. A story on the rise and fall of that manufacturer would be interesting.

  2. Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy

    Paul Im sorry your saddled with all these crappy boats! I would be happy to take some off your hands if you could deliver the 3k miles, you do like road trips right?
    My first boat was a 59 14’arkansas traveler with a 35 hp, a real piece of s–t!, but like you it got me to where I am today!

  3. John Rothert

    Wow! Now that is no clorox bottle….real neat looking ride!!!

    John in Va.

    • Paul h.

      John – coming from you that is a huge compliment! Thanks!

  4. Rick

    I just keep picturing the Glastrons in a 007 movie jumping over a berm with a road on it. Very cool boat.

  5. Dane

    Paul,
    Beautiful job on the Glastron, and one of my favorite models. Our first Glastron was a 1965 outboard built on the same hull as yours. I’ve had a Glastron at the dock ever since.

  6. ranger

    wow!!!

    great story about your journey into the world of classic and antique boating.

    i remember as a kid when the hot shots on the lake would come by in one of these glatron’s, we would all stop with our playing to watch them pass.

    beautiful boat, good on you!

  7. WoodyGal

    So Paul, why has it taken so long for you to spill the beans about your fiberglass boat?

  8. Alex

    Paul, I knew you had a Glastron. I really like the brand. Very stylish boats.

    Never knew how cool yours was. It’s VERY!

    Btw, you know not to microwave plastic right? Just checking…

  9. Carl Garmhaus

    Us addicts have to stick together. More really is better. Very cool boat!

  10. m-fine

    My parents had a lovely green Glastron that I believe dated to the late 70’s. It was a fun little boat up until the early 90’s when the hull cracked and it sank at the dock. The itch to find another classic Glastron to restore is always lingering, but I try not to actively look for one since I know how that will go over with the wife.

  11. fender

    Nicely written,

    I just sent it to a buddy of mine in Kansas City. That’s in Missouri Paul. He has one that I think is similar… am requesting a pic.
    So… do you know where it was made? Hint… Frechette and I live there. Hope to see ya’ll soon…………

  12. Tyson K.

    That Glastron screams 60’s style. I drove it last year, and what a blast! Like driving a go cart!!

  13. Al Klink

    I to have a 1965 Glastron futura 500, exactly like the one shown. i got if from my father in-law and my wife grew up with. Although ours has seen much use and not used now. although still have it stored in a shed.

    Ours is dupped the SS Bond.

    Nice to see others still around since not information is available on these types of boats.

    • Paul H.

      No idea on value, and since there are virtually none for sale there are no comparables. It is probably worth far less than it cost me to get it into this condition. It is hard to estimate a value but I suspect it would be on the higher end of what collectible fiberglass boats seem to pull. It all depends on how badly someone needs to sell it and how badly someone wants to buy. Mine is not for sale but I am looking around for one on behalf of a friend who loves mine, and wants one for herself.

  14. Steve Boyd

    Grew up skiing behind one just like yours here in Alabama. We purchased it from the original owner in 1975, then sold it in 1989 to a friend. He sold to a collector in Michigan in 2002. Ours had twin spot lights and horns mounted up front. We received compliments on it all the time. Lots of fond memories in that boat. You did a fantastic job restoring yours.

  15. j ledesma

    want to sell mine just like the one in these pictures. body is in great shape ran last year but over heated this year so needs engine work any estimates what its might sell for.

  16. Neil

    I also have one exactly like this.
    I am also the 2nd owner and am fortunate that is was kept indoors when not in use in MN.
    Mine is in all original condition right down to the original brass prop and adjustable aluminum trailer.
    This boat really scoots along and is a real head turner.
    Really enjoy your posts.
    Keep writing and happy boating my friend !
    Neil