Similar in basic layout to the Grady-White Freedom 307, the first “real” boat I ever owned was a dual-console. It was much smaller than the Freedom 307 at 19’ LOA, but I quickly realized the value of the dual-console design. Sure, it sacrifices a smidge of fishability as compared to a center-console, but the return you and your crew get in the comfort and protection department makes it a worthy trade-off. So, why would I finger the Freedom 307 as my favorite?
The boat delivers exactly what its moniker “Freedom” describes, mostly in regards to expanding your choices when it comes to how you spend your time on the water. Its size certainly matters, because with 30’6” LOA and a 10’7” beam, there’s room for an oversized port-side console with a head compartment and even a berth. That expands your options to include overnighting. Of course, you need some sort of galley if you’re going to spend a weekend aboard, and the Freedom 307 has an outdoor galley behind the helm station with a sink and an optional electric grill and refrigerator. Wait a sec—that means picnics at the beach just got a lot more convenient, too.
Also thanks to the boat’s broad shoulders, there’s room for a huge crew. Seating for six is available between the cockpit and consoles, and you also get to enjoy the bowrider aspect of the dual-console design with a forward cockpit that holds two more passengers in comfort. The only problem with making a dual-console this big is that it’s not appropriate for watersports, right? Wrong—the optional ski tow pylon is all you need; performance and handling are zippy enough to whip around those tow-toys, and the integrated swim platform has a boarding ladder.
Along with all of these activity options, the boat is also designed to be fishable, as is true of every Grady-White. It incorporates insulated fishboxes, a 32-gallon livewell, plenty of rod holders, coaming bolsters, and fresh and raw water washdowns. Plus, with the tried-and-true Ray Hunt variable degree deadrise hull, the Freedom 307 is quite capable of long runs to the fishing grounds. And thanks to the fold-across full windshield and bi-fold bow cockpit door, you and your passengers can make those long runs with far more protection from the wind and spray than a center-console can provide.
All boats have down-sides, of course, even our favorites. In the case of the Grady-White Freedom 307 they’re easy to identify: Anglers lose the 360-degree fishability of a center-console, and since the boat is both large for a dual console and it carries the Grady-White nameplate, it’s rather expensive. New boats can push up into the $300,000 range, and older models rarely go for less than half that amount. As is usual in life and boats, however, you get what you pay for. And in this case you’re getting more freedom of choice in your boating adventures with the Grady-White Freedom 307.