Grady-White Canyon 336 Boat Test

When is a centre console really something different? Warren Steptoe argues Grady-White’s Canyon 336 is more accurately described as a centre-cabin, as it offers creature comforts as well as fishing ability at both ends of its outstandingly sea-friendly hull.

Grady-White Canyon 336 Boat Test

Boat Test Grady-White Canyon 336: CANYON-BOUND
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe

This boat test ran in ISSUE 112 of BlueWater magazine – SEPT-OCT 2015

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

I may have been in a contrary mood while reviewing the Grady-White Canyon 336, because I couldn’t agree with this respected boat-builder’s model designation. While the Canyon 336 is demonstrably a centre console, when the home comforts inside the console are taken into consideration, the series would be more applicably regarded as a centre cabin!

When compared to the saloon of a 10m cabin boat, the cabin/console in the Canyon 336 is fairly compact, I suppose. It’s also quite a bit smaller than the cabin/console in the 11mCanyon 376 reviewed in BlueWater last year. However, it still provides a dry and comfortable space where two people can escape the rigours of fishing, use the toilet in complete privacy, take a hot shower and, with the optional microwave fitted, prepare food and eat it regardless of the weather outside. And if the 6000btu air conditioning system and 4kw diesel generator to run it are ordered from the factory options list, you can have complete climate control. Yes, you’d need to be pretty familiar with your companion to share the bunk space for 40 winks, but that’s okay for couples – although less so for blokey fishermen.

Nevertheless, although it is compact, the Grady-White Canyon 336’s cabin/console introduces elements of onboard comfort not otherwise associated with centre consoles at all, so in some ways it’s inaccurate to think of it as one!

The Canyon 376, previously reviewed in BlueWater issue 104, is now called the 366. It’s still 11.15m long and remains the flagship of the Grady-White fleet. So the 336, at 10.21m in length, is only a metre-odd shorter. What difference a metre makes in a boat this big becomes a good question. Surprisingly perhaps, there’s a lot more to the size difference than a metre in centreline length would suggest. This is a considerably smaller boat all-round. The beam, too, is reduced from 4.01 to 3.53m, and the hull’s dry weight drops from 5829kg to 4173kg. Maximum power drops from a total of up to 1050hp (comprised of up to three 350hp outboards) to 700hp from twin installations of up to 350hp each. Obviously, the necessary investment also drops substantially.

Investment aside, its smaller size makes this model a different proposition in many respects. One thing that doesn’t change is Grady-White’s reliability for crafting exceptional sea boats. Its SeaV2 hull is among the best in the business and while we were outside the Gold Coast Seaway it was hard to discern any difference in performance between the 336 and the larger 366.

The Canyon 336 is a remarkably capable and supremely comfortable boat at sea, and while it inevitably loses a little by comparison to its bigger stablemate, it doesn’t lose much. This is still a Grady-White!

Warm, Dry And Comfortable

A notable option on the 336 is a set of weather curtains each side of the console. These extend to the side deck at an angle and do an amazing job of blocking spray (and the chilly breeze of early winter) from the helm area. Putting the curtains in place, or removing them, takes just moments.

Good helm ergonomics are essential in centre console boats – and in some ways the helm ofthis boat is more akin to a flybridge, albeit without the height advantage of course. In terms of comfort, it leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. The ergonomically designed seating is ultra-comfortable and adapts from a seat to a standing helm by simply flipping the seat cushion up to become a supportive bolster.

The helm area is quite a piece of work; the steering wheel is tilt-adjustable and the switches and motor controls are positioned immediately to hand. There’s a radio console overhead with a neat zip panel aft of it (underneath the hardtop roof) to ensure safety gear is easily accessible. Navigational, fish-finding and engine monitoring electronics are mounted within a lockdown panel for security while not aboard. Believe it or not (if air con is optioned), there are also vents directing warm or cool air to keep you comfortable at the helm.

Typically of Grady-White, the hardtop can accurately be described as being built like the proverbial brick outhouse. I’ve now been offshore in a couple of Canyons for chilly mornings and have very much appreciated the hardtop and clears that Australian agents Game & Leisure Boats habitually fit to their boats.

It’s a little unfair to think of Grady-White Canyon models as centre consoles. The hull design allows very little spray aboard, for a centre console, and any moisture that a contrary wind does put inboard is quite effectively kept away from occupants around the helm.

Serious Gamefishing

Fishing wise, the helm area is backed by a locker unit which looks neat and tidy when all closed up, but becomes a journey of discovery as you open drawers and hatches to find everything from (lockable) tackle stowage to a rigging station, freshwater washdown, a 170-litre plumbed livewell and a secondary 98-litre ice box (which can be optioned either as a second livewell or refrigerator).

Between the lean seat back and the top of the hardtop are racks for 11 rigged fishing outfits. The boat reviewed was optioned with 4.6m radial outriggers fitted ex-factory, and you may notice a radio aerial and Garmin radar dome tucked up there out of the way, too.

More rods or gaffs, tag poles etc can be racked along cockpit sides which, with the considerable help of upholstered bolsters along the interior of the side decks, gain a seal of approval for hands-free support of your legs while moving about the boat or fighting a fish.

The deck has anti-slip tread moulded-in and drains overboard through fittings recessed into the aft corners, and is held high enough above the waterline to properly self-drain. All the deck hardware and the six flush-mount rodholders mounted in the side decks are definitely industrial-grade and top quality. Poking your head underneath reveals the hardware is all through-bolted, as indeed it should be in a serious fishing boat entirely capable of heavy-tackle fishing out beyond the continental shelf.

Grady-White’s 336 Canyon incorporates a fold-away stern lounge set against two separate fish boxes, one of 156 litres and the other of 275 litres, set into the covering board. Refrigeration is available here, too. For night-time fishing endeavours, or perhaps some after-hours social activity, the cockpit features LED lighting.

Swimming and diving are also well catered for. To starboard, beside the transom bulkhead, a transom door gives accesses to a boarding/swim ladder across a small non-slip deck. Both fresh and raw water wash-down is available in the cockpit: raw water from two outlets and freshwater with hot water if required for an outdoors shower.

Fish Or Socialise At The Bow

The upholstered bolsters continue from the cockpit all the way to the bow. I really like the recessed bow rail; a higher rail would get in the way while casting or fighting a fish up here.

The seat atop a stowage locker moulded into the front of the console would be a pleasant place to sit while heading out to the grounds during summer.

Right in the bows, an optional insert completes a raised casting deck that opens up a multitude of fishing options. Alternately, a cushion that comes with it can be combined with the removable cushions for the seat-cum-stowage-lockers on each side, to become part of a sunbathing lounge. There’s also a bow table on the options list which, with the aforementioned upholstery, completes a very sociable area in front of the console. Together with its other qualities, a Grady-White Canyon 336 would work well as a social entertainer somewhere conducive to open-air lounging out on the water.

Twin Power

It was interesting manoeuvring the Canyon 336 around inside the marina before heading offshore for BlueWater’s photo shoot. Twin outboards are nowhere near as manoeuvrable as twin inboards and I’m sure the process would have been far more difficult without a bow thruster. I’d consider a thruster as a necessity rather than listing it among the options.

Once out in the open, however, the outboards did their thing as unobtrusively as only modern 4-stroke outboards can. We had a pair of 350hp, 5.3-litre V8s on the transom … not that you’d know, as they were sooo quiet and vibration-free – until the throttles are opened wide.

On the 11m Canyon 376 reviewed previously, a pair of F350 Yamaha outboards looked diminutive on the transom, but on this 10m hull they looked nicely in proportion; with a fistful of throttle, the 336 exhibited an impressive display of old-fashioned grunt. I’m no water skier, but a pair of skis or wake toys would’ve been dragged out of the water within seconds. A wide-open throttle even encouraged an admittedly muted yet no less recognisable V8 rumble. I loved it!

Thanks in no small part to power-assisted hydraulic steering (standard with Yamaha’s F350s), the Canyon 336 proved easy to handle. I enjoyed driving it very much and people moving up from a smaller boat to a serious one this size can rest assured it’s every bit as easy to handle on the water as a boat half its size.

Retractable hydraulic trim tabs are standard and when used in concert with the outboard’s trim adjustment, they allow the hull’s attitude to be easily fine-tuned. On our pleasant day off the Gold Coast, the speeds this boat could so effortlessly maintain were mighty impressive.

Actually, “mighty impressive” sums up the Grady-White Canyon 336 very well!

Highlights

  • A really well set-up boat intended for serious bluewater fishing.
  • All the functionality of a centre console, without the negative aspects.
  • Outstanding performance from those V8 Yamaha outboards.

Capacities

  • Maximum Rated Power – 700hp
  • Fuel – 1266 litres
  • Fresh Water – 166 litres

General

  • Material – GRP composites
  • Hull Type – centre console mono hull
  • Length – 10.21 metres
  • Beam – 3.53 metres
  • Draft – 0.64 metres
  • Deadrise – 20 degrees (at transom)
  • Weight – 4173kg (hull only)
  • Bridge Clearance – 2.79 metres

Engines

  • Make/model – Yamaha F350 x 2
  • Type – V8 DOHC EFI 4-stroke outboard
  • Rated hp – 350
  • Displacement – 5.33 litres
  • No. cylinders – 8
  • Weight – 360kg
  • Gearbox ratio – 1.73:1

SPECIFICATIONS: Grady-White Canyon 336
Options fitted: Outriggers, T-top, console side curtains, Garmin electronics, bow thruster, 240V conversion, casting deck insert, air conditioning, diesel generator, refrigeration in transom fish box, microwave oven, underwater lights, hot water heater, coloured hull. 

Grady-White Canyon 336 Boat Test

Boat Test Grady-White Canyon 336: CANYON-BOUND
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe
Supplied by: Game & Leisure Boats

This boat test ran in ISSUE 112 of BlueWater magazine – SEPT-OCT 2015

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here