Courtesy Grady-White Boats
Grady-White produces 26 models in five different categories, including coastal explorer, center-console, dual-console, walkaround cabin, and express cabin boats.
Founded in 1959, Grady-White builds boats from 18 to 45 feet at its plant in Greenville, North Carolina. Since 1968, the company has been under private ownership by NMMA Hall of Fame member Eddie Smith, and it is led today by another HOF member, Kris Carroll, with 48 years’ experience in the company.
Grady-White has received every third-party customer-satisfaction award ever presented in the marine industry, including all eight of the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Awards for their category, and consecutive NMMA Customer Satisfaction Index awards for all 21 years they’ve been presented.
Visitors can tour Grady-White’s factory in Greenville to see firsthand the process used to create the company’s legendary fishing and family-oriented boats, and to meet the passionate craftspeople who build them.
Courtesy Grady-White Boats
Grady-White 281 CE
Fishability and luxury combine in the new Grady-White 281 CE (Coastal Explorer), built on Grady-White’s SeaV2 continuously variable V-hull design and created to venture deftly into shallower waters but easily go offshore.
The 281 CE features a new port-side sport deck with an electromechanically folding platform and a stowable boarding ladder, perfect for landing fish or as a swim and dive platform.
A new aft bench can be configured three ways: as forward-facing seating for three or more, an inward-facing lounge area, or a large casting platform.
The bow, with electromechanically adjustable backrests, easily transitions from lounge to fishing platform or sun pad. A bow-table package is optional.
The 281 CE has four rod holders aft and four amidships, four on the T-top, plus two horizontal rod racks. Crew can prep bait at a deluxe leaning station complete with a 38-gallon livewell, a rigging station, a cutting board, four rod holders, a lure holder, lockable storage drawers and tackle trays.
Another, 18-gallon livewell at the transom holds plenty of bait. There are two 70-quart fish boxes in the bow and a 296-quart fish box/cooler under the forward console seat. Options include a hardtop outrigger kit.
Below the standard T-top, the captain and mate ride in plush seats; Command Elite helm chairs are optional. The helm features Helm Master EX with digital electric steering, and space for two large displays.
Other features include a lockable console with a tinted window, LED lighting, bulk storage, and a marine head with electric flush.
The 281 CE can be equipped with a single Yamaha XTO Offshore 450 or dual Yamaha 300 engines. Additional options include a Helm Master EX Full Maneuverability suite with a joystick and autopilot, trolling motor pre-rigging, an outrigger kit, a SureShade electrically retractable cockpit shade, and an easy-up bow shade.
An innovative touch in the 281 CE is the aft platform. Not only does it double as a versatile seating area, but the convertible port and starboard backrests also can swivel outward to create leaning bolsters and add stability when fishing from this elevated deck. -Joe Albanese, Executive Editor Salt Water Sportsman
Test Power: Twin 300 Yamaha four-stroke
Test Props: 15 ¼ x 19 SWS II SDS
Test Load: 8,247 lb. (including people, fuel, water, gear, engines and accessories)
Test Speed: 29.1 mph at 3,100 rpm
Max Range: 341 mi.
LOA:27’7″Beam:9’4″Fuel Capacity:160 gal.Dry Weight Without Power:5,650 lb.Max HP:600Certifications:NMMA