Never ones to rest on their laurels, Grady-White Boats introduced two new models at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show. The crowds took notice as both models attract all members of the family. While one model is tweaked from an existing favorite fish boat, the other is a party platform guaranteed to entice the kids to abandon their PlayStations and beg to go out on the boat. Versatility is the order of the day with Grady-White, and their attention to detail impresses newcomers and old salts alike.
Grady-White Canyon 271 FS
Taking cues from their customers, Grady-White realizes that today’s boats have to handle double duty and appeal to the needs of the hardcore fisherperson as well as the family. But instead of reinventing the wheel, the company modified a popular model to give it more flexibility so that non-fishing kids and spouses will have fun, too, ensuring the boat is used more often for a variety of watersports.
The existing Canyon 271 (which is still being built) received a makeover, specifically on the bow as it was dubbed the 2016 “FS” (Forwarding Seating) model. Gone is the single forward fishbox, replaced by port and starboard built-in seats and backrests that hinge inward to create forward-facing lounges. An optional fiberglass insert in between the seats extends and locks into place, and with a cushion the entire bow becomes a large sunpad. With the table base option, this same insert can become a table as well. Insulated 85-quart, overboard-draining fish boxes or stowage lockers rest below the seats, and if you want to fish off the bow, simply remove the cushions to reveal an elevated casting platform. An additional forward console seat boasts a cooler underneath, and altogether the bow accommodates five additional people.
The center console was redesigned with a wraparound windshield integrated with the T-top, which encapsulates LED recessed lighting in the overhead. The lean bar still holds a 42-gallon livewell as well as a sink and tackle storage space built in behind the double seat with a flip-up bolster. The console brings switches and throttles within reach of the helmsman, and there is room for twin 16-inch multi-function displays and a place to mount a VHF and autopilot control. Aft is a 198-quart fish box that’s equipped to carry up to 14 rods in rod holders and rocket launchers—not bad for a 27-foot boat.
Like all Grady-White vessels, the 271 FS has the Hunt-designed SeaV2® hull built of hand-laid fiberglass filled with unsinkable foam flotation. The sharp entry continuously varies all along the keel ending in a 20-degree deadrise at the transom, and there are plenty of strakes to minimize spray. Grady-White touts their hulls as the best ride on the water—soft, dry and with terrific tracking.
Grady-White Freedom 275 Dual Console
If fishing is still important but takes a back seat to overall family enjoyment, Grady-White’s redesigned Freedom 275 Dual Console model does just about everything a 27-foot boat could possibly do.
The new design tucks right into the middle of the 10-model line of Freedom Dual Console hulls between 19 and 37 feet. An integrated anchor locker with optional electric windlass is at the bow, and a chute through the hull allows you to launch and retrieve the anchor without ever baring the chain on deck.
Moreover, the bow is now more versatile, larger and wider than previous versions. The table in between the settees is a great place to enjoy dinner, and removing the table and inserting cushions reveals a sizeable lounging sunpad. Remove the cushions altogether for an elevated casting platform. To starboard is an insulated 96-quart fishbox or cooler for drinks, and the seat to port hides a gear compartment that also holds the tips of rods inserted via the head, which is aft.
The walk-through tempered-glass windshield and composite door protects the driver and companions from spray and wind. The T-top’s shelter keeps folks dry and shielded from the sun, and its overhead zip-in storage holds PFDs or clothing. To port, a wide seat with a small storage pocket holds devices such as iPads, smartphones and controls for the stereo, and there is also a door that leads to the large head compartment with extensive storage space.
The helm to starboard has been reworked for better ergonomics and safety. The single multi-function display now sits slightly higher making it easier for the driver to check the plotter without diverting their focus from the horizon for too long. All switches have been shifted lower and closer for easier reach from the helm seat. And there is room for a VHF radio as well as a Command Link LCD Display to manage information from the twin Yamaha outboards.
The cockpit is also a delight. To port is a wide aft-facing electric seat that extends to form a short lounge. A table may be fitted in between the aft-facing seat and lift-up doublewide transom seat for comfortable dining. Behind the helm to starboard is an optional galley module with a sink, fridge, trash bin, and a grill (hidden under a cover), which cleverly hinges up and outboard providing a preparation station to maximize the limited counter space.
The transom is a wonder on its own with its 29.5-gallon livewell and 165-quart insulated box, not to mention the integrated swim ladder and a super-strong walkthrough door. And extending from below is a ski pole to tow the kids on their favorite water toys.
If either of the above models seems a bit challenging to understand and/or run, download Grady-White’s Captain Grady App. Today’s systems-laden vessels are more integrated and complex making it easy to become overwhelmed by the ample equipment on board. That’s why all Grady-White models produced after 2013 come with the Captain Grady App, which provides systems and operations guides to aid any new or seasoned cruiser through all the onboard systems. Instructions include startup and shutdown checklists, troubleshooting tips, emergency procedures, and ways to decipher onboard alarms. The app is not just a simple electronic manual but a comprehensive boat systems’ guide that includes information on critical systems such as electrical, generator and load management among others to ensure safe operation and timely maintenance. The user-friendly app is model specific and features step-by-step instructions, photos and even video tutorials. With this amount of guidance available at your fingertips, there’s no excuse to stay home.
Grady-White Canyon 271 FS
LOA: 26′ 10″
Beam: 9′ 6″
Weight: 5,790 lbs. (without engines)
Fuel: 186 gals.
Power: 2x F300 Yamaha outboards
Cruise/Top Speed: 42/55+
Range: approx. 385 miles with twin F300s
Grady-White Freedom 275 Dual Console
LOA: 26′ 11″
Beam: 8′ 6″
Weight: 4,972 lbs. (without engines)
Fuel: 184 gals.
Power: 2x F200 Yamaha outboards
Cruise/Top Speed: 31/49 mph
Range: approx. 420 miles with twin F200s
P.O. Box 1527
Greenville, NC 27835
By Zuzana Prochazka, Southern Boating Magazine August 2016