It almost seems silly to “test” a Grady-White sometimes, because after more then a decade of boat testing (including virtually every model Grady has on the water,) I know what I’ll find before I even see the boat: flawless fit and finish, heavily-built construction, and a well thought-out design. Yet Grady-White still manages to slip in a surprise now and again. When I ran their new Fishermen 230 rigged with a 300 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard the other day, it fit the Grady mold perfectly. There’s not room for an entire boat test here, but let me give you some of the highlights; first, a picture:
The first and biggest departure from the norm is to be found in the T-top. It’s integrated into the console, eliminating those toe-stubbing pipework bases on the deck. Some other builders have tried this and encountered structural problems, but Grady White built this rig super-stout by integrating aluminum braces into the console which tie into both the top and the stringer system.
Another highlight: the door to the console head compartment, which swings open onto a magnetic catch, has a back-up strap to hold it open. Okay, okay – hold your laughter – I know this sounds like a minor detail. But I’ve tested dozens of boats with magnetic door catches and have been complaining about them for years, because a strong breeze or a sharp roll is all it takes to pop them free. Let’s see if you still think this is a minor detail after a few fiberglass doors slam shut on your fingers. Maybe it’s not a “major” development, but it does show that Grady White puts some actual real-world experience and thought into their fishboats.
You want to hear more about the Fishermen 230? Head over to www.HookedOnFishingBoats.com and you can read a stem-to-stern review there, including hard numbers on the performance and efficiency we experienced during our test run across a choppy Biscayne Bay. The review will be on the home page all week, and will live on forever on the Center Console pages. Enjoy!