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September 21, 2007

Grady-White Sailfish 282

Grady-White recently redesigned one its most popular boats, the Sailfish 272, transforming it into this new and improved model. What's different about the two boats and what's not? In typical Grady-White fashion, the company took its time and did things right, retaining the best features of the previous model while making evolutionary changes to the new one.

The 282 basically has a new deck and liner on the same proven hull, giving it a more stylish look with a more rounded cabin and a larger cabin window. All changes weren't merely cosmetic, however. The 282 comes with new features to make it more durable and easier to use, such as redesigned oil fills in the transom bulkhead, standard coaming pads, a bait center, and backlit switches at the helm for easy nighttime operation. But it goes without saying that the 282 retains Grady-White's legendary fit and finish, attention to detail and solid construction techniques.

Improved Fishing Features

Fishermen will love the 59-square-foot cockpit. A starboard transom gate lets you get to the engines or boat big fish, but the redesigned transom bulkhead will be the center of activity. A centerline seat conceals drop-in tackle trays, and opens all the way for excellent inner-hull access. To port, a divided sink and a cooler are standard for easy bait rigging. Under-gunwale racks hold three rods per side.

Grady-White Sailfish 282The 282 boasts a larger live well at the forward end of the cockpit than the 272, moving up from 28 to 40 gallons. It is supplied by a 700-gph pump. A 300-quart fishbox to starboard sits immediately behind the helm chair. Two tackle drawers under the helm seat hold more tackle than the 272, and the passenger seat to port rests atop a large dry-storage space.

Grady-White did an excellent job in designing the helm station, and the wraparound aluminum windshield is both stylish and functional. A footrest provides comfort while seated, and the gauges and switches are laid out in plain sight on either side of the compass. The electronics fit in a box that has a two-piece smoked acrylic door.

Down below, you'll find a mid-cabin berth beneath the bridgedeck, and storage space beneath the companionway steps. There's even a sub-deck compartment beneath the mid-berth for additional storage. The portside galley features a microwave, a butane stove, a refrigerator, a sink and tons more storage, always appreciated on a boat of this size.

A high-low table at the bow drops down to form a filler piece and create a double berth. There are three storage compartments under the berth, and four rod racks overhead. The head compartment, to starboard and aft, features a true marine head with a holding tank and pump-out. The cabin has a fiberglass headliner, and there's a Bomar hatch forward for letting in some light and fresh air. Grady-White has crammed about as much into 28 feet as you could possibly expect.

Being a true walkaround, the 282 has wide pathways to the bow and excellent non-skid. Bow cushions come standard, and you're sure to appreciate the large anchor locker. The optional windlass on our test boat really made anchoring a snap as it takes virtually all the effort out of anchor retrieval.

The 282 is an excellent performer, too. We fished the boat hard for several days off the Florida Keys, making long runs into the Gulf of Mexico to fish wrecks, and it ran soft and dry even, even in very rough water. The boat is no lightweight, but that heft helps when in comes to knocking down big seas. It handled everything we threw at it comfortably.

With the twin 200-hp Yamaha HPDI outboards, the 282 cruised at 34 mph at 4000 rpm while burning only 20.2 gallons per hour. At a wide-open 5400 rpm we hit 46 mph.

The new Sailfish is sure to be a winner for Grady-White, but that should come as no surprise. Grady has long been at the top of the heap when it comes to quality construction, and that's why the company is one of the most highly regarded boat-builders in the country. The new 282 will only help enhance that reputation.

Grady-White Boats, Greenville, NC; (252) 752-2111; www.gradywhite.com.