It’s true that center console boats have come to dominate the saltwater fishing boat market, especially when it comes to relatively small models, but for many anglers a cabin is a must-have. They may need a boat with somewhere small kids can take shelter from the weather, they may want a boat that allows for weekending excursions, or they may opt for a cabin boat for any number of other reasons — the bottom line is that for many people, having an enclosed V-berth and head are critical features. And for them, Grady-White has created the Adventure 218.
Grady-White Adventure 218 Fishing Features
Like all boats built by this manufacturer, the Adventure 218 is designed with anglers in mind. Stock fishing features include 100- and 106-quart insulated, integrated, overboard-draining fishboxes; cockpit toe rails; four gunwale rodholders; rodracks for four rigs in the cabin; six under-gunwale racks; and a raw water washdown. Options die-hard fishermen will want include a 25-gallon livewell plumbed in the port-side fishbox, and the hard top which also gets you four rocket launchers, spreader lights, and outrigger plates.
A 21-footer is always going to be a bit on the tight side as far as fishing space goes, but Grady-White maximizes the angling territory available on the Adventure 218 in a few ways. First off, the cockpit is completely open and uncluttered. From the fishboxes (integrated into the helm and passenger’s seat bases) aft, the deck isn’t interrupted in any way until you reach the transom seats. And here, Grady-White shows some real ingenuity in how the available space can be utilized to its fullest. The aft seatbacks pivot so they become parallel to the outboard. Then you can pull the seat cushions and utilize either side of the motorwell as a mini casting deck. And thanks to a deep walkaround ringed by a stout bowrail, you can use the bow as a casting position as well.
Grady-White Adventure 218 Cruising Features
While you probably wouldn’t want to spend weeks at a time aboard the Adventure 218 (well heck, that would be an adventure) the cabin provides the basic necessities for overnighting: a V-berth large enough for a couple to sleep on, plus a head. There’s also extra stowage down below, lighting, and two screened opening ports. Those who plan on weekending aboard may want to add the optional 10-gallon freshwater system with transom shower. Anglers who cruise and fish in frigid weather, especially those who bring the kids along, might also want to consider getting the hardtop drop curtains which allow you to enclose the helm station and block out the weather.
Long runs will be made easier thanks to the standard auto-retracting hydraulic trim tabs with indicators and hydraulic tilt steering. Also, the Adventure 218 comes with something that’s bizarrely rare and often longed-for on small boats: a windshield wiper. And once you get where you’re going, you can make good use of the integrated swim platforms, Bluetooth stereo system, and blue LED cockpit lighting.
Grady-White Adventure 218 Performance
The Adventure 218 is available with Yamaha outboards, either a F200 or F250. If you opt for the F200 you can look for speeds approaching but not quite topping 40-mph at top-end, with a cruise just under 30 mph at 4500 rpm. What’s surprising, however, is that this package delivers its best cruising economy of 3.2 mpg while spinning 4100 rpm and making speeds solidly in the mid-20s. Most rigs get their best fuel economy while spinning closer to 3500 rpm, and to enjoy it, you have to pull the throttles back to barely-planing speeds. Who wants to cruise at the speed of molasses? No one. So, this is a nice advantage.
Up the ante to the F250 and top end jumps into the mid-40s. A 4500 rpm cruise gets you speeds in the mid-30s while getting 2.5 mpg. You can still get 3.2 mpg, but in order to do so you’ll need to throttle back to 3500 rpm and speeds in the mid-20s. Wait a sec — that means you can have your cake and eat it, too. Opt for the larger powerplant and at the lower rpm mark of 3500 you enjoy the same performance and economy as the F200 rig… but when you want the extra power and speed, you’ll have it. On top of that remember that boats rigged with max power generally benefit from better resale value, and this choice becomes a no-brainer: get the F250.
Grady-White Adventure Specifications
- Length Overall: 23’3”
- Beam: 8’6”
- Weight: 3,650
- Draft (motor up): 1’4”
- Transom Deadrise: 19 degrees
- Max HP: 250
- Fuel Capacity: 100 gallons
- Water Capacity: 10 gallons
In a small boat world taken over by center consoles, it’s nice to see someone paying attention to a segment of the market that’s been given short shrift in recent years. We certainly can’t say if the Grady-White Adventure 218 will be the ideal boat for you, personally, but we do know one thing for sure: If you want a new small walkaround boat that’s focused on fishing and allows for overnighting, this model is a must-see.
See Grady-White Adventure 218 boats for sale on Boat Trader.
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