Boat Test Monday: Gillgetter 715 Fishmaster

January 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay

Our First Impression

This is a brand-new model for 2011, and believe it or not, they were able to get three fishing stations on this 15-footer, which is very impressive. Proving you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a quality fishing `toon, this Fishmaster is set up to hook a lot of fish.

Consumer Test

Geared to be a great fishing pontoon, we love the layout on this compact `toon. In the bow are two solid fishing stations, complete with a great folding fishing chair, two places to store your rod and a place for your beverage. And since the same fishing chair is used for the captain, you can swivel around and take advantage of the same setup in the stern, giving you six total rod holders.

A vinyl floor is a nice added touch to this model, which will help make cleanup simple. Opposite of the helm console is a comfy bench seat, complete with a rear-facing lounge, and below the seat is a livewell that completes the fishing package.

The fiberglass helm console flows well with this boat, especially for being a value-driven model. One of the few options is the Humminbird PiranhaMax fish finder, and on a boat like this you really need a nice system like this to take advantage of the fishing features. The stainless steel spoke wheel is also a nice touch, and the rocker switches are labeled well for easy use. There are plenty of options available to customize this Gillgetter to your specific needs, but if we had to be picky we'd like to see a stereo as part of the standard equipment as well as a 12-volt outlet.

Inspection Test

The 23-inch diameter pontoons are chambered with a full-length keel, and the weld quality on the splash guards as well as the rest of the undercarriage earned high marks from our inspection team. The cross-members are on 24-inch centers (12-inch centers in the stern) and are screwed to the plywood deck. Gillgetter doesn't compromise the quality just because it's a compact design. 

From inside the bow gate to the rear rail there is just over nine feet of usable deck space. There are three gates on this model, and on the floor of the port side entry is a spot for the removable emergency ladder, which is a great added feature.

We found no dangerous or sharp edges on this boat, and overall again our crew had nothing but positive feedback concerning the fit and finish work on this Gillgetter.

Performance Test

Obviously this 15-footer won't be winning any speed races anytime soon, but that's not what it was designed for. She's a 15 mile per hour pontoon, and the four-stroke Mercury 25 will get you to your favorite fishing hole just fine, while the money you save on gas can be spent on new tackle.

Who Should Buy It

Don't let the price fool you; this Gillgetter has a lot to offer, especially if you thought you'd never find a solid fishing pontoon under $13K. We love the layout on this fishing masterpiece, proving you don't need to spend a lot to get a lot.  

This `toon earned a high value rating at our test, and across the board, the Gillgetter held its own in our rating system. Really the only category it didn't score high in was performance, but that's because this boat wasn't built for speed with the 25 hp engine. You can't help but appreciate the high value score that indicates you get a lot for your money with this one.

St. Louis, Mich.

Phone: 989-681-0037


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