Grady-White doesn’t just give its boats a face-lift to keep up, but rather sees revamping as an opportunity for upgrading and refining. Case in point: the Canyon 306, a popular 30-footer that now dons enhancements sure to appeal to those who place a higher value on versatility, comfort and convenience.
Make no mistake, the new generation 306 is equally suited for the unrelenting offshore fisherman who targets bluewater game even in harsh conditions, and the more opportunistic angler who’d rather cash in on the nearest hot bite.
The Canyon 306 is built on Grady-White’s SeaV2 hull, with a vee that increases steadily from the transom to the bow. The deeper vee forward slices through the waves, and the reduced vee at the transom — coupled with wide chines — affords stability at rest and trolling speed. The varying deadrise improves efficiency by creating lift as the boat moves forward, and strakes incorporated in the hull design provide excellent tracking.
Like all other members of the Canyon series, this latest addition features a through-hull anchor at the bow, accessed via a large hatch that hides rode and tackle, as well as a windlass with helm and remote switches. That hatch is part of a raised platform wide enough to stand on and net live bait.
Recessed grab rails line both gunwales up front. Plush cushions over a pair of raised compartments, both insulated, provide bow seating to port and starboard, with a combined 300 quarts of overboard-draining storage underneath and coaming pads that serve as backrests. There’s an optional removable pedestal table, standard foldaway backrests that turn the bow seats into lounges, and an insert fills the gap between seats to form a spacious casting deck as an option.
The 306 console, with a lockable, stand-up enclosure, holds a head, shower, sink and storage drawers. It also sports a forward seat for two and a full-height, integrated windshield that reaches the standard hardtop for wind, rain and spray protection. On the dash, groups switches, gauges and a compass up top, leaving real estate for electronics, especially if the VHF is relegated to the radio box on the hardtop, which includes LED spreader and convenience lights, storage netting, and four upright rod tubes on the frame too.
The fully adjustable twin helm seats look like they belong in a race car or the cockpit of a Learjet. They come with flip-up bolsters and arm- and footrests to drive while seated or just leaning. The helm-seating module extends aft to house a lighted 47-gallon livewell with viewing window and full-column aeration, bait-prep station with freshwater sink, insulated bait box, lockable tool and tackle storage, and a flush-mounted rod holder on each side, which, with those on the covering boards (two at the bow and six along the cockpit) and four on the back of the lean bar, totals 14.
While the bow — with a couple of add-ons — morphs into a sun pad, its insulated storage compartments are meant to double as coolers or fish boxes, should your catch exceed the limits of the 304-quart fish box on the transom, where it doesn’t limit the cockpit’s elbow room, or hinder access to the six-rod undergunwale racks under each covering board or the four on the hardtop.
On the transom, a foldaway bench-style seat accommodates two. Meanwhile, a starboard-side door helps bring aboard large game or swimmers coming off the boarding ladder.
The extensive list of standard equipment on the Canyon 306 also includes hydraulic trim tabs; a stereo system with MP3 jack, Bluetooth and remote; seven drink holders; fore and aft raw-water washdown hookups; a freshwater pullout shower in the cockpit; and more.
A steady 13-knot wind wrinkled South Biscayne Bay enough to test the Grady-White in a decent chop, and the boat didn’t disappoint. With twin Yamaha 350s on the transom, hole shot was better than expected, and never did the bow rise enough to encroach upon line of sight at the helm.
Acceleration — especially at midrange — was impressive. During several shuttle runs, with and against the wind, the 306 went from zero to 30 mph in an average time of just 5.5 seconds. And letting the Canyon run at wide-open throttle, we topped 58 mph at just under 6,000 rpm.
Though I repeatedly changed speeds and directions, the boat remained predictable, easy to handle and solid, even when taking on 4-footers or jumping wakes. There’s absolutely no rattling or creaking to report, nor spray coming over the gunwales, which bodes well for anglers venturing offshore in windy conditions.
In its never-ending quest to strike a balance between comfort, purpose and innovation, Grady-White has rolled out another winner. Graced with clean lines and understated refinement, endowed with the brand’s legendary ride, and equipped well beyond the essentials, this 30-foot center console offers a lot for your buck. If it sounds like the kind of boat you’re looking for, stop kicking tires and take the Canyon 306 for a spin.