Grady-White has been building center console boats for over 40 years, so it pretty much has the drill down pat. All of the fishy features are here, the hull is made for offshore work at speed, and with a 186-gallon (704 L) fuel tank she should be able to have a range of something on the order of 280 to 300 nautical miles at best cruise, which we reckon would be in the mid to upper 20s (knots, of course) powered by twin 300-hp outboards. We have not tested the boat, this is just our best guess based on similar boats and engines we have tested.
Our research tells us that 27' (8.30 m) is in the sweet spot for offshore fishermen. The boat is big enough to get the job done comfortably with four or five anglers aboard, and the price of the boat new is within the budget of successful self-employed entrepreneurs and businessmen who dream all week of blue water action on the weekends. While many think of a large center console as primarily a fisherman's boat, enough amenities have been installed to make it very friendly for a boating family.
The "Fighting Cockpit"
To our mind one of the most attractive aspects of the Canyon 271 FS is her "fighting cockpit" which is the area between the transom and the bait prep console. With her 9'6" (2.89 m) beam she has as much space here, or more, than we see on most center consoles of this size.
Readers tell us that the thing they would like to see increased on most center consoles is the square footage in the "fighting cockpit" area and Grady-White seems to have responded to that sentiment. Cockpit depth is 27" (68.5 cm) and there are padded bolsters 360-dregrees in this boat, which is really as close to a fighting machine as one is likely to find these days.
Between the outboard well and the fold-away seat is a 198 quart (218 L) fishbox with top-loading lid. The standard 42 gallon (159 L) livewell is in the bait prep console abaft the helm. A second livewell is optional. In the prep console there is a sink, cutting board and numerous trays for tackle, everything you would expect to find.Grady-White has always been proud of its patented fold-away transom seat design, which differs from those of other builders. Grady-White uses aluminum tubing to support the cantilevered seat. Other builders in this class typically use heavy stainless steel struts or supports. Note that there are no support legs touching the fiberglass deck, which is a good thing.
At the Helm
The console was reworked by Grady-White this year and has been refined to be even easier for the captain to see all his gauges, switches and stereo and affords even greater space for today’s large screens. The Canyon 271 FS was a molded-in foot rest for both the captain and the navigator. The seat/leaning bar has been well thought-out, something else that Grady-White has refined over time to get right. It has a flip-up bolster that most people will lean against when shooting along at 35 knots offshore. With the bolster down, both captain and companion can put feet in the foot rest, and still lean against the seat and cushion. Alternatively, on long stretches of flat water the operator and friend might want to hop up onto the seat with the bolster down, and there is a seat back to make sitting even more comfortable. We like the fact that Grady-White has provided three ways to use the leaning bar/seat, because we have found on long hauls we like to change position.
We think that Grady-White has done a good job of keeping the aluminum piping for the standard T-top as unobtrusive as possible with no support bars in the helmsman's field of vision. The top also has an enclosed box for a VHF or whatever, plus stereo speakers, rocket launchers, hand holds and all the rest. The windshield is now a fully integrated console-to-T-top, scratch resistant, hard acrylic -- the same material used in helicopters -- that can handle a windshield wiper, which is standard equipment as is a washer system. We are happy to see these two items on the standard list, as anyone going offshore needs it.
The Console Inside
The lockable head is large for a boat this size with a couple of delightful twists. First, it has full-standing head room for most people. There is also the usual access to the back of the instrument panel, and here you will be able to see the care with which Grady-White craftsmen install the ship's wiring. Overhead is a skylight, which is a clever way of getting "free" light into this otherwise dark space and with this year’s revamp, they added even more light to the compartment. And finally, there is a mirror on the head door for no extra charge. As with all center consoles, prospective buyers must stand, lean and sit at the helm to make sure that they can comfortably see over the console both at rest, but more importantly, while running. Most boats run with a 5-degree bow-up attitude so plan on that. Speaking of trim, Grady-White has equipped its Canyon 271 FS with hydraulic trim tabs as standard equipment. Just like windshield wipers, trim tabs are a must on deep-V boats particularly ones which might be having heavy crewmen aboard. We are interested that Grady-White has stuck with hydraulic trim tabs rather than going with the newer electric versions that most builders are installing these days. We're sure that there is a good reason for that, and buyers should ask their Grady-White dealer why.
Beneath the bow seating, port and starboard are large 85-quart insulated, overboard draining fishboxes to store your catch of the day. As mentioned earlier, the convertability of the bow area makes it a great fishing platform and a great family day boat too.
The gunwales are higher here than aft thanks to the Grady-White "Rybovich" sheer line that has been Grady-White's signature look almost since the beginning. The higher freeboard helps keep water out and provides added support for anglers fighting fish.
In the bow of the Canyon 271 FS is a very large anchor locker, something we like to see. The boat features a "thru-the-bow-stem" anchor system that has become popular with many builders in the last few years. We like it as it looks shippy, keeps the deck clean, and is easier to handle. The Canyon 271 FS has a standard anchor windlass.
The cockpit of the Canyon 271 FS is self-draining and it has four scuppers to pipe water overboard, a true self-bailing boat, where all the boxes drain overboard as well. Grady-White states in print that the Canyon 271 FS is "unsinkable" and has "basic flotation." In the boating industry, "basic flotation" means that some part of the boat will float above the water even with the engines attached. Safety, seaworthy and reliability all in a classically beautiful package where form and function meet in harmony.
The Pricing Issue
Because of its experience, quality of materials, manufacturing processes and corporate infrastructure, most Grady-White boats are in the top tier price point. The Canyon 271 FS is no exception. Given the economic times, increasingly consumers are comparing features and standard equipment and asking themselves if the Grady-White model is worth the up-charge.That is a question we cannot answer, but we can shed some light on why Grady-Whites are priced as they are. First, it is a real company with management, engineers, quality control staff, and customer service associates at work every day.
This means that there is a staffing infrastructure to assure product quality and aftermarket service and support. But there is more. Grady-White's warranty means what it says and the company has a reputation for interpreting it in the owner's favor when there are gray areas. All of this, of course, is built into the price.
There Is A Difference
Many years ago the company got a bad batch of resin from its chemical supplier which got into a whole run of boats. When management discovered what had happened, each one of the boats built with that batch of resin was tracked down and replaced. Grady-White didn't hesitate to do the right thing before there was a complaint. This action stands in stark contrast to less consumer-friendly reactions we have seen from some other well-known builders over the years.It is this kind of corporate depth and integrity upon which it is hard to put a dollar value. But it is there and it is built into the cost of every Grady-White boat as it must be. It is what separates Grady-White from boat builders with skeleton staffs and minimal infrastructure. Consumers must decide for themselves which way they want to go, but they should be aware that even if the boats look the same, what is behind them is usually not.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!