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.
The console is accented by an acrylic windshield and handrails. Our test boat had the optional T-top with an overhead radio box, dome light, aft spreader light, storage net and four rod holders across the back. The T-top mounts to the console so that it does not eat up deck space, a stylish and practical arrangement for sure. A molded-in footrest makes running the boat comfortable. Pedestal seats are standard, but there’s a better option available for fishermen. The deluxe helm lean bar is comfortable and offers better visibility, whether it’s adjusted for sitting with its cushioned backrest or with the pivoting lean bar raised to convert it to a leaning post for stand-up driving. This option also offers more tackle storage, knife and pliers holders, and rod stowage.
The cockpit is spacious and offers a classic straight transom and traditional single-engine motorwell with no need for a removable or flip-down motorwell dam. This configuration allows for the patented fold-down aft bench seat, as well as the 35-gallon livewell to starboard. The well is fully insulated and doubles as a cooler when not doing live-bait duty. The livewell is fed by a 1,100 gph pump and has full water-column distribution to keep bait strong and healthy throughout the day. A 20-quart drop-in storage box with tray to port is just another “Gradyism” that maximizes storage and makes sense for the family on the water, whether they are fishing or hanging out on the sandbar.
Our test boat was powered with a single Yamaha 300 hp four-stroke that just made the boat glide. The 230 is a comfortable boat, at ease on its Grady-exclusive SeaV2 hull bottom, with a predictable ride and smooth handling. I was impressed with the amount of torque provided by the 300, especially in the upper ranges of its revolutions-per-minute spectrum, as well as the agility and calmness the 230 displayed with all that power and torque. It’d be just fine for most anyone with the standard 250 hp four-stroke. With the 300, we saw nearly 48 mph wide open, but it really loped along beautifully at 3,800 rpm. It made a hair over 30 mph while burning 10 gph, offering a range of 326.7 miles!
Economy, range and a great layout with functional features make the Fisherman 230 another in a long line of thoughtfully engineered and well-built boats from one of the industry’s leading companies. With the dedicated people at Grady committed to building this type of common-sense boat, they’ll be around for a long time.
Max hp……300 hp
With Yamaha F250
Grady-White Boats • 252-752-2111 • www.gradywhite.com