The Grady-White Canyon 326 is ready for distant voyages, big crews, and fish. Lots of fish.
Sure, we love mammoth quad-engine center console yachts like the Grady-White Canyon 456 but some people would call them excessive, and many die-hard anglers may want a fish boat that’s smaller and easier to manage – like the Canyon 326. Wait a sec, doesn’t Grady already have a slew of boats that slot nicely between their flagship and much smaller models? Sure they do. But the 326 fits perfectly into a specific niche that many bay and offshore anglers will find appealing: it’s big enough to haul a crowd and handle heavy seas, yet small enough to rampage through the ocean with just a pair of F300 Yamaha V6 four-stroke outboards.
The numbers tell the story. Cruise the boat at a mellow 3500 rpm, and you’ll make 28 mph while getting better than 1.6 mpg. Throttle up to a cruise in the upper 30s, (37 mph at 4500 rpm to be exact, on test-day) and you’ll still be getting 1.3 mpg. And when you feel like putting the hammer down and running dang close to 50 (recorded top-end: 49.7 mph) efficiency still hovers at just under one mpg. As a point of reference, note that the big quad-engine center consoles usually post efficiency numbers a bit less than half of those amounts, and some do significantly worse.
Meanwhile, there’s no arguing about how roomy this boat is and no question as to whether it’s big and beefy enough for heavy-duty offshore action. At one point we had seven people aboard, and it still felt like an empty boat. And not only is there plenty of room for people, but there’s also plenty of room for fish – really big fish. While looking at the 318-quart fishbox and pondering the ability to cram in a big bluefin, I decided to climb into it myself – and I fit without a problem. Heck, on a European-built boat they might even call that fishbox the crew’s quarters. You don’t believe it? Well, here’s the proof:
The livewell capacity is also oversized, with 32 gallons in the transom and a second optional 38-gallon livewell behind the leaning post. The leaning post also houses tackle stowage and a rigging station. You can opt to have an electric grill there instead, which from a hard-core angler’s perspective, we’d have to call tragic. The same goes for those who might opt out of the Helm Master feature. Sure, it adds to the cost of the boat and many experienced captains laugh at the notion of joystick boat controls. But forget about the whole docking-via-joystick thing. What we find really valuable from a fishing standpoint is the virtual anchoring abilities you get with it. Press a button, and you can hold a position over a wreck without needing to anchor. Tap the joystick, and you can shuffle the boat 10-feet to port or starboard. Press another button, and the boat maintains its heading while drifting. The bait-catching, kite fishing, reef angling advantages virtual anchoring delivers can’t be overstated.
So far as construction goes, the Canyon 326 is standard-issue Grady-White. Glass is hand-laid, the boat’s structurally wood-free, below-deck cavities are foamed, and you won’t find a fitting or fastener that’s not 316L-grade stainless steel. The hull also holds true to Grady fashion, with a variable-degree deadrise that tapers to 20-degrees at the transom. Net result? It was breezy when we ran this boat and a tight Chesapeake Bay chop of two feet had formed, but even running full-tilt it presented zero challenge to this boat and my achy old back wasn’t aching when I stepped back onto the dock after our ride.
Canyon 326 Specifications
- LOA – 33’6”
- Beam – 11’7”
- Draft – 2’1”
- Displacement – 9,200 lbs.
- Transom deadrise –20
- Fuel capacity – 333 gal.
- Water capacity – 44 gal.
You usually have an achy back after a full day offshore, too? What a great segue to another feature Grady-Whites are known for comfort. The helm of this boat has triple-wide drop-down bolster seating with armrests (try to find another boat of this LOA with a triple-wide) and multiple-level footrests. A bench seat swings down from the transom for passengers, there’s a wide seat in front of the console, and flanking bow seats (with swiveling backrests) that can be connected with a filler and turned into either a casting platform or a sun pad. We note that some people really like the extended forward-console loungers found on some competing boats, but on the flip side, having a more compact seat up there increases bowdeck fishing space. Light tackle casters, in particular, will really like the forward cockpit layout.
The bottom line? You know exactly what you’re getting with a Grady-White, and in that regard, the Canyon 326 is no different than its siblings in the model line. But if one boat seems a hair too small and the next one seems ever so slightly too big, you may well find that the 326 fits just right.
For more information, visit Grady-White Boats.