Grady-White Freedom 307: My Favorite Dual-Console

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 Grady-White Freedom 307 is currently in production, but this model has been around for close to 10 years (originally launched with the name Tournament 307) so there are both new and used options on the market.
The Grady-White Freedom 307 is currently in production, but this model has been around for close to 10 years (originally launched with the name Tournament 307) so there are both new and used options on the market.

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.

Lunch on the hook? Dinner during an overnight cruise? Or, maybe you want to cook up that fish you just caught? Again, freedom and choices are what the Freedom 307 provides.
Lunch on the hook? Dinner during an overnight cruise? Or, maybe you want to cook up that fish you just caught? Again, freedom and choices are what the Freedom 307 provides.

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.

See Grady-White Freedom 307 listings on Boat Trader.

 

 

Grady-White Freedom 235 Review

No matter how well a boat sells after a few years the manufacturer generally redesigns the model to bring it up to date, and we shouldn’t expect anything different when it comes to the Grady-White Freedom 225—or, should we? Instead of the usual face-lift, despite this model’s popularity Grady-White has come out with an all-new Freedom 235 for 2017. Let’s take a peek.


This article originally appeared on boats.com. Republished by permission. 


 

 

Why choose a dual console boat in the first place? While it isn’t ideal for fishing it still gets the job done, and dual consoles tend to function well for watersports and family day-cruising. Plus, modern versions have lots of conveniences, like a head in the port-side console, and bow fillers that turn the entire bow cockpit into a “playpen” (For more insight into this design, see Dual Console Boats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly).

Any way you look at it, however, the dual console’s popularity is proof enough that for many boaters, it’s an ideal design. And the Freedom 235 joins a long list of dual-console offerings ranging from the Freedom 192 all the way up to a 37-footer. This extensive experience with larger dual console models allows Grady-White to walk some of the big-boat features down the line, and incorporate them into the new boat. Like the Freedom 285, for example, the port-side console in the 235 houses a roomy head compartment with a dome light, mirror, and teak-and-holly sole. And as they did with the Freedom 275, Grady’s engineers found ways to boost interior cockpit volume. In this case, however, they didn’t just slim down the gunwales and push out the inwales, they also increased the boat’s beam from 8’0” to 8’6”. Put these two factors together, and the Freedom 235 feels significantly roomier in both the fore and aft cockpits than the 225 does. Other features that have been incorporated from elsewhere in the line include multiple slots and pockets and 12V outlets for convenient cell phone stowage and charging, a transom gate, and an extremely large helm flat for flush-mounting electronics.

Naturally, the larger footprint and increase in displacement also have an effect on performance. The 225 could get by with 200 horses and cruise at around 30 MPH while topping out in the lower 40’s, but the 235 uses a Yamaha F250 to attain the same results. If you feel the need for speed, you can opt for a 300 HP powerplant. Cruise jumps up into the mid 30’s, and top-end touches 46.4 MPH. We couldn’t take the Freedom 235 out for a sea trial when we saw it (grrr… it was parked inside the convention center at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show) but since it rides on the standard-issue Grady-White SeaV2 variable-degree deadrise hull, anyone familiar with running a Grady-White of this size knows more or less how it will handle the seas.

Without question, the greatest strength of the dual console design is versatility. You can use a boat like this for fishing one day, and family cruising the next.
Without question, the greatest strength of the dual console design is versatility. You can use a boat like this for fishing one day, and family cruising the next.

Also familiar to those who have experience with Grady-Whites is the boat’s construction. Like all of their offerings, the glass is hand-laid, resin is temperature-controlled, stringers are glassed to the hull, and foam is sprayed into belowdecks cavities. There’s been plenty written about Grady-White’s attention to detail, quality control, and 14-year run winning the NMMA Customer Satisfaction Award (which requires a 90-percent or higher customer satisfaction rating), so let’s just say we feel we’re on solid ground when we assert that the Freedom 235 is well-built.

That does not, of course, mean the boat is perfect—none ever is. The adjusting port-side seat is nifty, but even with the seatback placed all the way on the end it isn’t really large enough for stretch-out lounging; some sort of extension or filler that connected it to the aft bench seat would be nice for the sun-worshippers in the crew. And while we applaud this builder’s dedication to quality, it’s hard not to notice that another way in which they out-pace the competition is with pricing. Well-equipped you’re going to have to plan to spend $140,000 for a Freedom 235, and loaded to the gills, could hit $150,000.

Quibble, quibble. When considering price one should also note that Grady-Whites maintain much better than average resale value, and a look at used Freedom 225 listings is quite eye-opening. As with most things, when it comes to boats you get what you pay for. And in this case, you’ll also find that a lot of the cost-adding items that are considered optional on competing boats are standard fare on the Freedom 235. The trim tabs, for example, are the expensive hydraulic auto-retracting Bennetts with indicators. The 20 gallon pressure freshwater system, windshield wiper, and blue cockpit LEDs, all of which are listed as optional equipment on most boats of this size, are included on the standard features list. And along with the boat you get the Captain Grady app, which is an AV operations guide covering the boat from stem to stern.

Loaded? Pretty much—in stock form, the Freedom 235 comes with a lot more than most competitors.
Loaded? Pretty much—in stock form, the Freedom 235 comes with a lot more than most competitors.

If you’re looking to maximize LOA for the buck, this is probably not going to be your next boat. If you’re a die-hard angler or a die-hard watersports fan and you want a laser-focused, single-mission boat, it’s likely you’ll keep on looking. But if you’re searching for a multi-use boat that puts quality ahead of size—and if you’re not afraid to invest big bucks to play the long game—it might be time to check out a Grady-White Freedom 235.

Other Choices: The Everglades 230 DC is another top-shelf dual console that’s built as tough as they come. Same goes for the Boston Whaler 230 Vantage. A slightly less expensive but still well-built option would be the Cobia 22 Dual Console.

For more information, visit Grady-White.

 

Grady-White Fisherman 236: Center Stage

The Grady-White Fisherman 236 center console takes fishing seriously, but also adds family friendly touches.


This article originally appeared on boats.com. Republished by permission.


Grady-White is known for building fishing boats, but in the past decade or so they’ve added a healthy dose of comfort to even fish-oriented models like the Canyon 271 FS and the 191 CE Coastal Explorer. This trend holds true with their newest release, the Fisherman 236.

As is true on most center console boats, fishing remains the main mission, but the Fisherman 236 is dressed up with plenty of comfort-adding features.
As is true on most center console boats, fishing remains the main mission, but the Fisherman 236 is dressed up with plenty of comfort-adding features.

The Fisherman 236 doesn’t replace an old boat in the line so much as add a new option. Grady’s current Fisherman 230 is still being offered, and while the specifications for these two boats are similar (though not mirror images; the 236 posts an LOA 11” longer), the layout of the 236 is clearly tilted more towards multiple use. The 230, for example, has a flush transom with a 35 gallon livewell on one side and a stowage box on the other. The 236, on the other hand, has standard swim platforms on either side of the engine, an added 160-quart insulated box on the port side of the transom, a 15.5 gallon livewell (an optional 25 gallon well can be added in the leaning post), and a fold-out transom seat. This transom expansion forces anglers away from the outboard and will make fighting fish around the prop a bit tougher, but adds gobs of stowage and seating.

An even bigger difference can be seen in the bow, where the 230 has a pair of 101-quart insulated fishboxes that can be used for forward seating when the boat’s at rest, and a removable 72 quart cooler that serves as the forward console seat. On the 236, those forward boxes are 89 quarts, the seating has backrests so it can be used comfortably while underway, and the forward console seat is molded in with stowage underneath. Some other family-friendly features this model incorporates include a 10-gallon freshwater system with a shower at the transom, a portable MSD in the console head compartment, and an optional pop-up ski pylon.

The bow of the 236 is clearly oriented more towards comfort than fishability.
The bow of the 236 is clearly oriented more towards comfort than fishability.

Despite the differences, performance between the two models is extremely similar. Since the 230 is slightly trimmer it does have a higher top end (44.0 MPH versus 43.2 MPH with Yamaha F250 V6 four-stroke  outboard) and cruise (32.5 MPH versus 33.1 MPH at 4500 RPM). Differences this minor can be negated by the weight of an extra passenger or a full fuel tank, so they’re more or less negligible. Both boats can also be rigged with an F300, and gain a few MPH at top-end and cruise. Seakeeping qualities should also be very close to one another, since both ride on Grady-White’s variable-degree deadrise SeaV2 hullform.

The Fisherman 236 is built in standard Grady-White fashion, with a composite stringer grid, a transom backed with aluminum bracing, and foam blown into the belowdecks cavities. Hulls are cured in the mold to ensure they retain their shape, and when the boat’s completed a 150-point quality check is performed. Even the canvass snaps and straps are fitted at the factory, an extra step few builders ever bother with.

If you’re buying a 23 center console purely for fishing, the Fisherman 236 may well be a bit dressier than you need. For weekend warriors with a wife and kids, however, this one could be a winner.

Specifications:

  • Length: 23’7″
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 1’7″
  • Deadrise: 20 deg.
  • Displacement: NA
  • Fuel capacity: 115 gal.
  • Water capacity: 10 gal.

Other Choices: The Regulator 23 FS tilts more towards fishability, but does have forward seating. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Chris Craft Catalina 23 offers minimal fishability, with maximum comfort and family features.

For more information, visit Grady-White.

 

Best Boat Deals: Expert’s Choice—Grady-White, Carver, Supra

If variety is the spice of life then this month’s perusal of the listings here on boattrader.com are spicy indeed. Among the thousands of listings on the site we found a well-equipped cabin cruiser, a well-aged but capable fishing machine, and an almost-new watersports towboat. Whether you’re an angler, a wakeboarder, or want to do some heavy-duty cruising, here are three boats that have the potential to inject some liveliness into your boating game.


This story will be available in the future as part of Boat Trader’s Best Boat Deals series,  but the boat listings below may not be. If you click through to an expired link it means that someone nabbed the bargain — or the owner had second thoughts about selling.

– Boat Trader editors


 

1993 Grady-White 22 Seafarer
1993 Grady-White 22 Seafarer

1993 Grady-White 22 Seafarer

View this listing on Boat Trader.

Folks who understand fishing boats know that Grady-White has a legendary reputation for building some of the toughest and most capable fishing craft out there. So, when we came across one of the better models the builder has ever produced—its 22 Seafarer—we were pretty stoked. This boat is so good, in fact, that Grady-White still builds it today as the Seafarer 228 Walkaround.

Part of what makes a Grady-White boat great is its deep-V hull, and with 20 degrees of transom deadrise the 22 Seafarer has enough of that V to cut right through a nasty chop.

Pushing this 1993 model is a 200-horsepower Yamaha two-stroke outboard with a relatively low 502 hours, and it’s been regularly serviced by the pros. Service records have been accurately maintained by the owner. Expect top speeds in the mid 30s. Most folks cruise this boat in the low to mid 20-mph range.

This 22 Seafarer has an expansive cockpit with lots of room for rods, reels, and anglers. There’s comfy seating at the transom, twin aft-facing seats behind the console chairs, and lots of room in between for working big fish. A large livewell will up your angling game by keeping tons of live bait fresh and wiggling.

Forward above the console, a Bimini keeps things cool and dry. New isinglass side panels can be added to create an enclosure for shoulder-season fishing.

One of the best parts of this boat, in our opinion, is the well-protected cuddy cabin. Truth be told, most anglers will use this area for stowing rods and other fishing tackle, but it can easily be used for fairly Bohemian overnighting if the need arises. A small washbasin facilitates washing up, and there’s even a porta-potty set underneath the V-berth.

Additional gear aboard includes a full complement of navigation and fishfinding gizmos from Lowrance, Bennett trim tabs, sea anchor, new fuel separator, anchor and anchor rode, and freshly applied bottom paint.

Don’t let this boat’s age fool you; it’s about as well-maintained as we’ve seen for a vessel of its vintage. The current asking price is a reasonable $13,900.

2006 Carver 36 Mariner
2006 Carver 36 Mariner

2006 Carver 36 Mariner

View this listing on Boat Trader.

Carver has definitely produced some interesting-looking boats over its history, but the out-of-the-ordinary Carver forms are not without function. In the case of the company’s 36 Mariner, you get a capable cruising craft with an exceptional amount of belowdecks space. With that in mind, let’s dig into a 36 Mariner we recently found in the Boat Trader listings to see what’s up.

Stepping aboard through one of the twin transom walk-throughs you’ll land in the aft cockpit, which has an ample amount of entertaining space. Beneath your feet lie a pair of low-hour, 320-horsepower Volvo Penta 5.7-liter gasoline inboards. A couple of plusses are that they’ve only been run in fresh water and have been meticulously maintained. Expect these power plants to give top speeds in the low 30-mph range with an efficient cruise in the low 20s.

Access to the massive flybridge is up dual stairways that gracefully wrap around the 36 Mariner’s cabinsides. The flybridge not only provides a commanding view, but has room for as many as 10 folks to lie back and relax. Access to the unique, inset foredeck bench is easy as well—it’s just a half dozen steps down one of the walkway decks from the flybridge.

Inside is where the Carver 36 Mariner really shines. The main saloon is accessed from the aft cockpit through a sliding glass door and then down three steps. The first thing you’ll notice is that the space is larger than it has any business being in a 36-foot boat. A large dinette with lounge is to starboard, while a comfy, couch-like settee is to port. The galley is forward to starboard in the same space. The huge master stateroom is situated in the bow with a queen-size island berth, while a small guest cabin sits off to starboard. Each shares a single enclosed shower and head on the same level.

There are all sorts of goodies aboard for the current asking price of $105,000 price, including twin 19,000 btu, reverse-cycle air units, a 7.3 kW gasoline generator, VacuFlush head, microwave, refrigeration, a custom winter cover, and more. The owner has even recently upgraded the bottom with a fresh coat of antifouling paint.

2014 Supra SA350

View this listing on Boat Trader.

Watersports enthusiasts rejoice, especially you folks with a bent toward wake surfing and wakeboarding. We just tripped over this late-model, 22-foot Supra SA350. If you’ve got wakeboards or water toys sitting in your garage unused, well, you’d better keep reading.

2014 Supra SA350
2014 Supra SA350

Under the hood this 2014 model has a 350-horsepower Indmar gasoline inboard engine with only 88 hours on the clock. This fuel-injected powerplant is capable of pushing the SA350 to around 40 mph, though it will do most of its work making waves and wakes in the 20s. And with 900 pounds of hard-tanked, highly configurable water ballast and Supra’s customizable Surf Swell system, making those wakes and waves perfect for riders should be a breeze.

Aboard are three distinct social zones, including a super comfy bow playpen, roomy aft cockpit with loads of cushy seating, and a cozy command and control console with companion seating behind a wraparound windshield. At the stern are two comfy in-transom seats that are designed to make gearing up—or relaxing—easy. Above it all is a serious wakeboard/wake surf tower with booming cannon speakers, cloth cover, andplenty of stowage racks for your boards. Virtually everything—including the wake controls—is dialed in via a cool touch-screen interface in the center of the driver’s dash.

There are extras, too, including a custom snap cover, snap-in custom carpet, heated seats, soft ballast tanks, and more. The custom trailer has only been used once. If you’ve been looking for a new wakeboard boat in the 22-foot range, this like-new used model should be one you consider… at a significant savings. Current asking price is $79,500.

 

 

Grady-White Freedom 192: Good Thinking

Grady-White Freedom 192
The Grady-White Freedom 192 is a great collection of ideas in a small package.

There’s a reason why Grady-White stays at the top of the charts, as this versatile, well-planned little Freedom 192 demonstrates. It’s a 19-foot dual-console bow-rider with about a dozen cool features. The company has been in business a long time, and has employees who know a lot about boatbuilding and boating itself. So they think of all sorts of things that make life easier, more secure, and smarter, like the easy-to-access seacock shutoff for the live-well, locker lids that are compressed and latched on top of gaskets to prevent spillage, and more.

Grady-White’s main construction method is tried and true. They build stringers and other structural components of no-rot marine plywood, then encase them in fiberglass. The finished hull is tough as nails and heavier than boats built with foam-filled stringers or other composite grid structures. The weight, combined with variable deadrise and long-refined hull shapes, tends to make Grady-White boats more seakindly and easier on their crews than their lighter competitors.

Watch Lenny Rudow’s 90-second video rundown of the 192 on boats.com and follow up with his full review.

 

 

Top 10 Center Console Fishing Boat Manufacturers

Designed for the sport of fishing, center console boats are a popular choice for in-shore or off-shore anglers. The helm is conveniently located in the center of the boat, leaving an open deck bow and stern for easy casting and reeling in of the catch of the day. The hull design is typically built to withstand rough waters, making it an ideal boat for ocean fishing.

Top 10 Center Console Fishing Boat Manufacturers
Top 10 Center Console Fishing Boat Manufacturers

Today’s top fishing boat manufacturers offer center console boats in varying lengths with built-in options such as rod holders, outriggers, bait wells, high-end electronics, hardtops, sunshade structures and high-performance outboard engines.

Here are the top manufacturers and brands for center console style fishing boats (alphabetically listed with no other rank):

1. Boston Whaler

Known as ‘The Unsinkable Legend’, Boston Whaler boats can literally be cut in half and still float. A division of the Brunswick Group, Boston Whaler makes center console fishing boats ranging from the 15 foot Montauk to the 37 foot Outrage.

2. Carolina Skiff

Carolina Skiff LLC offers a broad selection of center console boats ‘ from economical Carolina Skiff boats that perform well with less fuel consumption, to their quality Sea Chaser brand that is built for offshore fishing with hull-side rod racks and high gunwales.

3. Century Boats

Center consoles by Century boats range from 17 feet to 32 feet, with increasing built-in fishing conveniences as you increase in size. Hardtops are offered in 26-32 foot models.

4. Everglades Boats

With nine different center console models ranging from the 210CC to the 350CC, Everglade Boats are all built using their patented RAMCAP construction process that makes them unsinkable. The 350CC offers the industry’s first fold-away fighting chair.

5. Grady-White Boats

Not only does Grady-White offer an impressive line of center console fishing boats, but it has won the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s award for top customer satisfaction in the category of fiberglass outboard boats nine years in a row.

6. Hydra-Sports

Hydra-Sports, a recently acquired division of MasterCraft Boat Company, produces center console fishing boats from 18 feet to 34 feet in length. Hydra-Sports boats maintain a “no compromises” dedication to detail and quality, and are a brand well regarded by serious tournament fisherman.

7. Pursuit Boats

The Pursuit Boats brand manufactures center console fishing style boats from 23 to 34 feet in length, offering hardtops on the C280, C310 and C340 models.

8. Regulator

The Regulator brand is known as “the legendary ride” and delivers attention to quality and detail in their full line of center console fishing boats – ranging in size from 23 feet to a newly offered 34 feet.

9. Trophy

Trophy Sportfishing Boats range from 17 foot center consoles to 28 foot center onsoles. Sized a bit smaller than some competitors, Trophy boats focus on ride, range and smart-fishing features that improve an angler’s experience on the water.

10. World Cat

The World Cat’s dual hull design makes it incredibly stable on the water because it doesn’t pivot on the centerline like conventional single hull boats. The hull design also provides more access to shallow water and makes the World Cat center console a fuel efficient boat at high speeds.

As well as Center Console boats, you may be interested in Pontoon Boats for fishing due to the versatility of these large deck boats.