Grady-White Tournament 275
By Capt. Rob Smith
We have always thought that Grady-White boats made terrific “utility” boats and cruising boats for the whole family in addition to being excellent machines for the died-in-the-wool fishermen. Recently Grady has begun to add more and more details that acknowledge that their boats can be used for pretty much anything. An example of this is Grady-White’s new Tournament 275 which they started delivering in 2007. We’re told that it has become a big hit among the families that have bought them, and we’re not a bit surprised.
On one hand it is a rugged fishermen with incredible range and through-the-windshield access to the bow for following reluctant fish, and on the other hand it is a sport boat bow rider with plenty of seating and a head.
This is not just a marine grade SUV, it is a solid performing multi-purpose platform for the family that enjoys cruising the beaches as much as Dad likes charging off-shore to his favorite fishing grounds. Solid as a tank, this boat has the comforts of a far bigger boat and the fishability you need to bring home dinner – even if you have to go long distance to find it. The whole family will appreciate the head compartment and the privacy it provides and the fishermen in the clan will enjoy the features such as a 32 gallon live well and 185 quart cooler. If you like the comfort of your late model car, then you’ll feel right at home with the power seats and lounger options on the 275!
From the Bow
Our reader feed back mail indicates that many buyers wish they had installed the optional anchor windlass. My test ride had the optional windlass top mounted with a large starboard side chain and line locker to keep the rode neat. It is a great aid to have and it permits Mom and the kids to help with the boat.
Since the 275 is a fish boat, she sports pop up cleats and low profile grab rails around the bow seats. Peppered around the layout are 11 drink holders for your favorite beverages. The starboard bench seat base is an 88qt. insulated cooler or fish box. The port side bench seat conceals storage that also doubles as a rod holder with access through a hatch from the head compartment.
The walk through in the windshield is very large and safe but doesn’t have a lower air dam for those cool mornings or blocking the sudden summer rains as you race back to the docks. The stereo mounts in the side of the helm pod. A door opens up to reveal access to dedicated table and aerator tower storage when they are not in use. Behind this is a really large drawer, something every fisherman or woman will appreciate for their tackle.
At the Helm
The more sun I get the more I recommend and appreciate the value of the optional hardtops and T-tops. This one adds cover as well as a radio box, net storage for throwable PFDs and jackets and spreader lights. The seat on the test model had the optional electric slide adjustment that was part of an optional wet bar package. I have to admit, I personally don’t need an electric seat, but this one was really quite comfortable for the long ride! The dash is well laid out with room for adding your favorite flat screen displays. You can easily add a Raymarine E80 or G Series to the right of the wheel. They have a compass on top where it should be with the Yamaha Digital Command gauges across the panel just below. Trim tab switches are close to the Yamaha throttles. Just aft the helm seat was the optional wet bar with sink storage drawer and a handy trash bin on the door below.
Your companion or navigator gets the special treatment as well, especially if you have opted for the electronically operated lounger sleeper seat combination. Standard seating for the helm and companion side is adjustable deluxe seats with height and slide adjustments. This upgrade looks like a super back-to-back ski seat, but with the touch of a switch, extends out to the aft bench seat to create a big lounger/sleeper.
In the Cockpit
The aft cockpit is always going to be the focus of activity, so with fishing and cruising on the menu, this one has flush mount rod holders in the top of the gunwales, rod racks under them and a combination tray, drink holder and toe rail system near the floor. Next to the electronic lounger seat was an extra Kenwood Commander remote so you don’t have to get up to change the channel or tunes. The aft bench seat is really a joy to work with. It folds out in seconds and flips back up to be flush under the aft gunwale when you need the room to fish or play. Battery switches are conveniently located in the starboard side under the gunwale.
Off the Stern
The stern wall has a huge 185qt fish locker with replaceable cutting board mounted on top of the lid for prepping bait. In the port corner is a 32 gallon insulated cooler or live well. Off the starboard corner the kids will enjoy climbing back on board with the telescoping three step swim ladder.
By the Numbers
This model measures 26’11” center line length, but feels larger. She has a very trailerable beam width amidships of 8’6” and weighs 4972 lbs without the engines. The Tournament 275 has a standard fuel capacity of 200 gallons and is rated for up to 500hp outboards. I tested with twin Yamaha 150s that really had a good punch. Best cruise was at 4000rpm getting 2.22 mpg and 28.7 mph. Cruise speed seems to be at 3500rpm and 23.7mph for a 90% of full tank range of 424 miles. That is incredible range and means you can cruise all day long on a tank of fuel and still have a reserve for the next day.
Top speed was recorded at 45.3mph.
The mark of a good coastal boat is a wave softening ride in the rough stuff. The worst I could find on test day was our own wake. What I did find was that this boat handled smoothly enough that you will feel comfortable with just about anyone at the wheel. Noise levels were 94 dBa at top end and only 82 at typical cruise. She is on plane in 3.7 seconds and up to 30mph in 5.6
To me, this model represented a good combination of creature comforts the family wants and needs combined with the fishability they will want to have for the trips off shore. She is smooth handling and economical making her truly an aquatic SUV.