Captain's ReportGrady-White Express 330By Capt. Rob SmithAs successful as the Express 330 has been for Grady-White, it begs the question “why mess with success?” They answered my question with a good reason -- they listened to their clients. By listening to the people who bought this model in the past and to the ones who were interested in it today, they came up with over 40 improvements to this current model. Key for me, at least, was raising the cockpit and windshield heights to improve sight lines from the helm. The 330 now has great visibility, even coming out of the hole. Another feature someone from South Florida can appreciate is the addition of optional cockpit air conditioning for those dreadfully hot August days and nights!On the BowGoing forward to the bow is simple as they have molded in steps leading up to wide sidedecks with 316 grade stainless rails for handholds along the way. At the front is a bow pulpit with the anchor passing through the slot and lead to a standard windlass. The only thing lacking was a skid plate to protect the deck from the chain and shackles. Foot switches and a remote at the helm mean you can single hand this rig or have helpers up front when necessary. Walking around up front I found it to be very stable and safe.At the HelmYou definitely have some good sight lines from the bridge deck. The windshield is tinted safety glass for long life and durability. The standard hardtop is much appreciated. It has an electronics box, zippered net storage overhead for life jackets and throwables, ventilation hatch and overhead two-color light. Spreader lights and 6 rocket launcher rod holders are on the back side of the top and it is reinforced so you can add radar and outriggers. Seating is in high style on this model as well. To port, you have a short bench seat with a drop-away end and adjustable footrest so one or two can join you. I really appreciated some extra touches, such as the 12 volt socket for my portable gear on both the port and starboard side seats. On the starboard side, the bench goes from the dash to the aft cockpit with another drop-away center piece so two can sit facing each other or everyone sits facing the driver. The driver’s seat is a high-end Pompano fully adjustable deluxe seat with vertical and horizontal adjustments and flip armrests. It is too expensive to leave your electronics exposed these days and Grady-White knows it. A huge panel is electrically driven to bring your flat screens up to just the right angle for you. On top of the dash is a compass right where it should be with the Yamaha Digital Command gauges and trim indicators just below it on the first vertical panel. Rocker switches are grouped together for easy reach and in logical position and the trim tab switches are next to the Yamaha Digital Command throttle and shift. Around the wheel on my test model was a Raymarine VHF, Autopilot and SidePower Joystick control for an optional bow thruster. The foot kill switch for the bow thruster was at the base of the starboard surround seating within easy reach of the wheel. My only issue was I either need to lose some size or they need a little more clearance around the helm and right side of the surround seating.AccommodationsThe cabin entry door was easy to open and to keep open with a heavy magnetic catch rather than the nail I see so often. Just inside the door were the controls for the optional cockpit air conditioning and the optional fish box chill plates. Up front is a raised berth with rod storage loops overhead and stained wood racks for books and magazines on the sides. Teak and holly floors with a single step up to the teak table really add some warmth to the space. The table drops down and a filler cushion added makes this into a berth. Entertainment on my test boat included an Aquos Sharp TV, Toshiba DVD player, Kenwood satellite ready stereo and auxiliary inputs for portable video and stereo/MP3s. In the deepest part of the cabin, I had about 73” of cabin height.The port side galley included all the gear you need to stay out for an extended trip or overnight. This one had a Tappan microwave, Corian counters and cutting board, two burner cooktop, Isotherm refrigerator/freezer and some storage for dry goods. Across from the galley is a separate head compartment. This compartment includes a vanity with storage, pull out shower wand and VacuFlush head. This compartment is ventilated and has about 71” of overhead for comfort.The power distribution panel is protected by a Plexiglass cover on the aft wall. Just below the panel wall is a comfortable crawl in double berth. I say comfortable because it was easy for me to get into and stretch out without being considerably claustrophobic. The mattress to cabin height in here was about 25”.
Boat DeckContinuing the tour to the working space, the cockpit floor is reinforced so you can add a fighting chair for the serious angler. The cockpit has about 80 square feet of working space with 29” high gunwales and cockpit bolsters to protect your legs when giving the fish your best efforts. The gunwales have flush mounted rod holders and under gunwale rod racks. At the floor level are toe rails for safety when leaning over the sides. In the port corner is a handy drop box and in the wall below it is the battery switches and fuel cut-off valves. The center box is a 270-qt monster fish box with optional Cruisair chill plates. In front of the fish box is a super handy, patented bench seat that takes seconds to set up or put away. Behind and under it are access panels to the 4kw Panda diesel generator and dedicated tank along with remote handles for the through hull shut offs. The walkthrough on the starboard side shows how serious they are with super duty handle and hinges. Off the stern was a three step telescoping swim ladder so you can get back on board after taking a cooling dip.The MeasureThis model measures 35’10” with the pulpit, 33’6” centerline length. She carries a beam width of 11’7”, 10’6” at the stern where you can hang up to 700 horses of outboard power. Hull depth is about 25” and bridge clearance is about 9’10”. This model tips the scales at 10,840 lbs without the engines. I tested it with twin Yamaha 350-hp V-8 Four Strokes. She has a capacity of 350 gallons of gas and 13 gallons of diesel.The Test ResultsIt was bitterly cold when I tested, but the seas were pretty calm. The true test of how well she works will have to be another day when you can crash through some off-shore pounding waves, but I did find she is responsive and nimble for her size. Her hull was designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the firm that popularized the Deep-V hull. She has a very fine entry forward and a warped hull to a semi-deep-V aft. She is up on plane in 4.22 seconds and passing through 30 mph in 6.6 seconds. Her best cruise was around 3500 rpm for 25.5 mph and a range of 383 miles on a full tank. At top end, she was smooth, quiet and dry riding at 50.75 mph and 6000 rpms.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Grady-White Express 330 is 50.8 mph (81.8 kph), burning 71.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 270.63 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Grady-White Express 330 is 31.3 mph (50.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.22 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.52 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 384 miles (617.99 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 350-hp Yamaha Four-Strokes.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
||1 Year http://www.gradywhite.com/customer/manuals/|
Pricing Range: $324,650.00
Price as Tested: $331,505.00 Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.