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Grady-White Canyon 326 Boat Test

DATE POSTED:March 6, 2020

We think half the people who buy fishing boats just enjoy the macho look. Grady-White gets that. But don’t think boats such as the Canyon 326 are not tournament-ready fishing machines as well as luxurious.

 Twin Yamaha outboards 300 to 350 hp
LOA: 33'1" | Beam: 10'9" | Draft (max): 2'0" | Displacement: 8,500 lb. (without engines) | Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 9'5" | Fuel Capacity: 327 gal. | Max Horsepower: 700 | Available Power: Twin Yamaha outboards 300 to 350 hp (Garrett Cortese/)

The helm is wide and protected by an even wider hardtop supported by a color-matched superstructure that hugs the helm, making fore and aft passage easy. Triple bucket seats with footrests, armrests and flip-up bolsters accommodate riders of any size, who are protected from the weather by an aircraft-quality acrylic windshield. Each of the three helm seats adjust fore and aft for comfort and optimum visibility.

Forward seating options include a lounge on the front of the console, and a pair of forward lounges complete with foldaway seatbacks.
Forward seating options include a lounge on the front of the console, and a pair of forward lounges complete with foldaway seatbacks. (Courtesy Grady-White/)

Forward seating options include a lounge on the front of the console, and a pair of forward lounges complete with foldaway seatbacks, enabling comfortable forward-facing reclining. The cushions can be stowed when fishing action is apt to fill the bow.

In the cockpit, a double couch folds out of the transom, converting coaming bolsters to seating. It does so easily too, without requiring you to reach over or fumble with latches. It snaps away just as easily.

In the cockpit, a double couch folds out of the transom.
In the cockpit, a double couch folds out of the transom. (Courtesy Grady-White/)

Want the cockpit shaded? Press a button and out slides Grady’s SureShade ($9,085) for sun protection. The top is specially designed to enclose the shade in its sleek structure. The hardtop underside can be color-matched to your hull, but some prefer to keep it Grady’s standard hull color to more closely match the superstructure, hatches and speaker covers.

Technology is king today, and Grady nods to it by ensuring there is enough dash space to accommodate two or three GPS -displays. Our test boat was equipped with two large and optional Garmin units, and they were equipped with chirp, DownVu and SideVu sonar for maximum fish-finding capability. Grady-White can install your audio system at the factory, and on our test boat it did so with Fusion equipment. Thanks to the system’s digital signal processing, the sound is clear, sweet and heart-throbbing at any speed. A small cubby near the helm can hold smartphones, and two USB ports inside it provide charging and audio connectivity. LED lighting helps you find the slots in the early morning hours.

There is enough dash space to accommodate two or three GPS ­displays.
There is enough dash space to accommodate two or three GPS ­displays. (Courtesy Grady-white/)

Even more technology awaited us in our test boat, thanks to Yamaha’s power options. First, the dual 300 hp motors provided ample power and exciting speed. They trolled nicely as well. Yamaha’s optional Helm Master joystick steering ($20,550) offers Set Point and Drift Point features in addition to easy docking in tight spaces. Set Point holds the boat in a specific place, and Drift Point keeps the boat in a constant heading, allowing it to drift with the wind or current. Not enough buttons to push for you? Then you can use Grady’s optional bow thruster ($7,500). Helm Master steering and a bow thruster are nice to have, but we also noted the 326 was well-behaved in close quarters using just the throttles in forward and reverse as the situation demands.

Regulator Boats also offers Yamaha propulsion and accessories, and it’s natural to compare the Grady with its 31 ($339,995 base with 300 hp Yamaha outboards). In spite of the model number, the boat checks in at 31 feet, 4 inches before the outboard bracket, and has a beam of 10 feet, 4 inches compared to the Grady’s 10 feet, 9 inches, making the footprints similar. Also built in North Carolina, Regulator’s rugged reputation boasts less brightwork but no less luxury, with a similar list of available options.

Yet beneath Grady’s skipper-pleasing technology are creature comforts trimmed in brightwork. A large changing room, flushing head and freshwater shower plus battery switches are below, along with easy access to helm-station electronics. A number of storage cabinets are also handy.

A large changing room, flushing head and freshwater shower plus battery switches are below.
A large changing room, flushing head and freshwater shower plus battery switches are below. (Courtesy Grady-White/)

Topside again, behind the triple bucket helm seats, are a freshwater sink, cooler and an optional electric refrigerator ($2,570). So far, sunset cruisers, beachcombers and sightseers are happy, but here’s where Grady sets the hook on fishermen.

There are eight gunwale rod holders on each side, and a shotgun rod holder is available in the transom, along with plenty of undergunwale storage and rocket launchers, and even four tuna-stick stands in the console for locking those extra-expensive machines away. And the hardtop is ready to receive optional outriggers. Altogether, we found 24 rod holders on board. The optional tow pylon can take the place of a shotgun rod holder if preferred.

Grady’s uniquely designed hardtop with its integrated SureShade protects the cockpit from the sun while fishing or beachcombing.
Grady’s uniquely designed hardtop with its integrated SureShade protects the cockpit from the sun while fishing or beachcombing. (Courtesy Grady-White/)

Live bait is kept in a standard 32-gallon livewell on the transom, and the ice box on the leaning-post station can be converted to a 38-gallon baitwell too. Tackle-box storage under the livewell (or ice box, per request) makes the console a prep station for fishing rigs, and the freshwater sink assists.

When your gaff man tucks his toes under the gunwale railing and sticks that whopper, you can choose to pull it in through the transom tuna door or the portside dive door. The sunbathers aboard may just drop their lotion and pick up fishing rods of their own.

High Points

  • Transom door, portside boarding door and removable dive ladder are all handy.
  • Transom fish box is deep and long for wahoo, mahi, tuna and kings.
  • Remote seacock levers—a Grady specialty—are easy to reach and operate.

Low Points

  • Grady doesn’t factory-install navigation electronics, but that does leave the owner with more brand options.
  • Dive-door ladder is sturdy and useful, but a little awkward to install.

Price: $306,945 (base including test power and Helm Master joystick)

Available Power: Outboard

Grady-White Canyon 326 Certified Test Results
Grady-White Canyon 326 Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

How We Tested

Engines: Twin Yamaha F300

Drive/Props: Outboard/Yamaha SWS II SDS 15 1/2″ x 17″ 3-blade stainless steel

Gear Ratio: 1.75:1

Fuel Load: 160 gal.

Crew Weight: 400 lb.

Grady-White Boats - Greenville, North Carolina; 252-752-2111; gradywhite.com