Review: Grady-White Seafarer 226

By: Kevin Smith, Photography by: Kevin Smith


Grady White Seafarer 226 26 Grady White Seafarer 226 26
Grady White Seafarer 226 27 Grady White Seafarer 226 27
Grady White Seafarer 226 29 Grady White Seafarer 226 29
Grady White Seafarer 226 05 Grady White Seafarer 226 05
Grady White Seafarer 226 09 Grady White Seafarer 226 09
Grady White Seafarer 226 13 Grady White Seafarer 226 13
Grady White Seafarer 226 14 Grady White Seafarer 226 14
Grady White Seafarer 226 19 Grady White Seafarer 226 19
Grady White Seafarer 226 20 Grady White Seafarer 226 20
Grady White Seafarer 226 21 Grady White Seafarer 226 21

The Grady-White Seafarer 226 is loaded with features but doesn't compromise on design.

Game and Leisure Boats on the Gold Coast is an Australian dealer for Grady-White Boats. This boat dealership sees a constant flow of premium fishing boats pass through its gates, many of which I get to lay my hands on.

 

New Grady-White walkaround

Grady-White Seafarer 226

The Grady-White Seafarer 226 walkaround is a mid-range all-rounder catering for the avid offshore angler and trailerboat enthusiast alike. At-a-glance the Grady-White Seafarer 226 preserves the original Grady-White style and lines – as do most of them in my opinion – and it appeals to me. Now don’t get me wrong, Grady-White boats are extremely modernised but more so in the way of build, fixtures and features, and a slight touch on the aesthetics.

When it comes to walkarounds in general, it’s a debatable one, as there is always a compromise where either too much cabin space is lost to compensate for the sidedecks or the cabin is a bit big and in turn limits the walkaround space to the bow. Either way it’s tricky one to get the balance right, but in this case Grady-White has nailed it on the Seafarer 226, and even with a beam of 2.44m that’s legally towable in Australia.

 

Layout

Grady-White Seafarer 226 cockpit

Like all the Grady-White boats I have reviewed, the builder has creatively managed to cram so much into them but still somehow makes the boat look open and nearly bare inside – which is a good thing.

The Grady-White is loaded with many features and options, and like on most Grady-White boats, generally too many to list as it’s quite endless. For me it was a question of how well this boat actually works as a walkaround, how suitable it is to offshore fishing and is it suitable for the family boater.

On board the Grady-White Seafarer 226 the first positive for me was the rear deck having more than ample space to fish from, or just as a great spot to relax with the family. Then there are the finishes which are spectacular on these boats, right from the gelcoats in subtle colours to the stainless steel and aluminium fabrications. It’s a classy look throughout and that’s before even taking a closer look at what’s on offer.

Grady-White Seafarer 226 deck

The big box-tickers for me in the layout are the self-draining deck which is easy to keep clean with the deckwash as well as being a good safety feature, the rear transom seating for passengers that includes stowage space and access to batteries and plumbing below, and although it didn’t have a baitboard and rear pre-station, those are easy add-ons. The gunwales have rod racks either side and comfortably take two game rods, while also having toe-lock rails in place. The deck is non-skid and again, is nice and easy to keep clean.

 

Cockpit

Cockpit on Grady White-Seafarer 226

Before entering the cockpit of the Grady-White Seafarer 226, I really liked the two-way front and rear seating. As a moulded seating system, the rear seat acts as the sidesteps to the walkaround as well as incorporating livewell and split ice/fish boxes, or just extra storage space. The next top feature I noticed was the zip ‘n’ clip rear side curtains/clears which, when added to the hardtop, transforms the cockpit into fully enclosed hardtop. Besides looking really good this system actually works exceptionally well when closed, reducing wind, cold and noise. Love the workmanship and the idea, and I would be happy to have that on my boat during a Queensland winter.

GradyWhite 226 cockpit

Within the confines of the cockpit I never felt crammed sitting at the helm or entering the cabin. That’s a big positive as this is where compromise generally has to happen on walkarounds, and this design is spacious and comfortable throughout.

Above the helm the hardtop is also far from standard having a good diameter and sturdy anodised alloy framework, along with radio box, storage net, spreader light, rocket launcher rodholders and four side-mount rodholders. It’s a nice setup!

 

Engine

Grady-White 226 with 300 hp Yamaha

Spinning a 300hp Yamaha V6 outboard motor, the Grady-White Seafarer 226 is as agro as they come when power is concerned. That said this engine is super-smooth, slick and controllable throughout the rev range and gets the boat up and boogieing with literally a gentle flick on the controls – and man, it feels good and far from being overpowered.

Thanks to Yamaha’s propeller system with inbuilt damper, there is no chunky clunk into gear, and when it comes to holeshot, six-cylinders with large bores do the job and get you onto the plane effortlessly. There’s a pleasant crackle as she fires up to speed, pleasantly reminding you of the serious power available at the stern, and when backing off the V6 settles down to just a murmur in the background.

 

Handling and ride

Grady-White Seafarer 226 on the water

A healthy 44.8kts can be achieved at wide open throttle on the Grady-White Seafarer 226, and although it handles full taps at ease it’s probably not advisable for long periods, unless you don’t mind guzzling up to 100lt/h. Dropping back to a good comfortable cruise speed of around 25kts the Seafarer purrs along between 3800 to 4000rpm, with fuel consumption below 40lt/h, which isn’t too bad considering the size of motor.

On the day conditions were great for reviewing, a solid 15 to 20kt southeasterly pumping through the seaway, along with a fair swell. The Seafarer 226 slices and dices chop well, and produces the kind of ride where you can sit back and relax without worrying about bashing yourself to pieces – this of course at civilised speeds. Throw her into tight turns, knock the throttle down, do whatever, and it’s a nice, comfortable and safe-feeling ride.

Off the plane and again it’s comfortable and I particularly like the feel of the boat at troll speeds; smooth, tracks well and at a speed of 7kts you are only sitting at 1500rpm and only using around 8lt/h. No complaints when it comes to stability underway and at rest, and once again very few dislikes if any on the Seafarer 226.

 

The Trade-A-Boat verdict

Grady-White, in particular the Grady-White Seafarer 226, has certainly refreshed my liking for walkarounds. The 226 is a fantastic combination of quality workmanship with innovative design, creating a fully functional trailerboat in all aspects, let along being an import that’s legally towable on our roads.

 

Highs

• The price for this particular boat

• Pretty much everything else

 

Lows

• If I have to be picky, I would prefer the control box to be farther back and positioned just in front of an armrest (only because I prefer having a hand on the control all the time from a safety perspective).

 

Grady-White Seafarer 226 sea trials

Single 300hp Yamaha V6 four-stroke outboard motor.

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN(LT/H)

1500

7.01

8

2500

11.8

20

3500

23.7

32

4500

32.9

54

5500

40.5

86

6000

44.8

100

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

Grady-White Seafarer 226 specs

Grady-White Seafarer 226 price: $139,900 (one-off special price, price as tested)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Planing monohull fibreglass fishing boat

LENGTH 6.76m

BEAM 2.44m

WEIGHT 1535kg (hull)

DEADRISE 20˚

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (DAY) 10

REC. MAX HP 300

FUEL 431lt

WATER 37.9lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Yamaha F300 outboard motor

TYPE V6 four-stroke petrol outboard motor

RATED HP 300

DISPLACEMENT 4169cc

WEIGHT 253 to 259kg (depending on model)

GEAR RATIO 1.75:1

 

SUPPLIED BY

Game & Leisure Boats

Factory 1, 147 Bayview Street,

Runaway Bay, 4216, QLD

Phone (07) 5577 5811

Email sales@gandlb.com.au

Web gandlb.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #467, July / August 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.