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April 02, 2010

Grady-White Fisherman 230

Grady-White's Fisherman 230 gives anglers what they want.

The folks at Grady-White run a first-class operation with proven process and deep-seated interest in what their customers want and why. I always look forward to seeing boats from Grady-White, and the new Fisherman 230 didn't disappoint. It's a prime example of how the company's experience, thoroughness and integration of customer input create a design that is practical and reliable and has features relevant to the boat's size and purpose. Back the design, features and layout of the 230 with Grady's solid manufacturing practices, and you have a fresh 23-footer that's bound to make its new owners very happy.

From stem to stern, the 230 is all new and integrates great use of space with functional features, starting with the top-loading anchor locker and optional windlass and anchor chute. When configured with the anchor chute and windlass, the hatch is split, with access to the rode and chain offset to starboard. Without the windlass, the hatch is offered in one piece, to provide access to all ground tackle in the same compartment. Not an afterthought, this detail is designed into the boat. With pull-up cleats to port and starboard, as well as a recessed handrail, the foredeck is free of obstructions. On deck, the forward cockpit features two 101-quart insulated fish boxes that drain overboard. The boxes are separated so an angler chasing a fish around the boat can walk fully forward without having to worry about a step up. Likewise, this setup provides easy access to the anchor locker, without your having to negotiate a casting platform on the foredeck.

Forward of the console, with removable seat cushions, is a fully integrated 72-quart cooler that can be upgraded to a superinsulated cooler for heavy-duty cold storage. The console on the 230 features a stand-up head compartment with a vinyl liner, as opposed to cloth, so cleaning and maintenance is much easier. The console also houses the batteries, where they stay dry and out of the bilge for better access and longer life. The helm area of the 230 console is well laid out and has plenty of room for flush-mount electronics, with the gauge and switch panel above, more at eye level, so you do not have to look down to monitor engine functions. A side-mounted helm sits to port, with the binnacle on the centerline and dual drink holders to starboard.