Grady-White Canyon 376 Boat Test

More of a centre cabin than a centre console, the Grady-White 376 enables easy walk-around fishing access to the entire boat along with an exceptionally dry and smooth ride offshore. With an air-conditioned helm and a downstairs cabin providing creature comforts, Warren Steptoe considers it perhaps the most impressive boat of this size he’s ever tested.

Grady-White Canyon 376 Boat Test

Boat Test Grady-White Canyon 376 : THE GENTLE GIANT
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe

This boat test ran in ISSUE 104 of BlueWater magazine – JULY-AUG 2014

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

Last year, when BlueWater reviewed the Grady-White Express 360, I was very impressed indeed by what was perhaps the very best 10 metre seaboat I’d ever ridden in. It’s not like that test was conducted in idyllic sea conditions either. With lumpy seas over a substantial swell, it was quite a real world experience for a bluewater sportfishing boat.

The Canyon 376 is Grady-White’s latest offering, and is essentially a centre console configuration built over the same hull. As it turned out, we were to face very similar sea conditions off South Stradbroke Island to those encountered on the day the Express 360 was reviewed.

As expected, the new boat proved every bit as impressive as its stablemate. If I had any concerns that hindsight might be providing a rosy view of the Express 360, the Canyon 376 very quickly dispelled them. Wow, what a boat! I’ve had much rougher rides offshore in plenty of boats three metres longer than the 376; that and an odd drenching when the bows sliced deeply. But the Canyon 376 had none of those big bangs and bumps.

Superb Hull Design

Grady-White are pretty expansive about their SeaV2 hull design and while we’ve come to expect no less from every boatbuilder’s marketing wordsmiths, indeed few deliver like this hull. I’ve tested quite a few Grady-Whites now, ranging from their smallest 5.4-metre hull up to this one, their largest at 11.5 metres. Every one of those was right up there among the very best hulls for their size that I’ve been offshore in.

Grady-Whites are exclusively factory rigged with 4-stroke outboard engines.Hull design and fuel tank placement are taken in to account to ensure even weight distribution. This helps to maintain a balanced attitude at sea regardless of fuel load. This boat also had a formidable pair of 350hp V8 Yamaha outboards mounted on its transom.

The SeaV2 hull is simply a variable deadrise design with the deadrise angle continually steepening from the transom towards the bows. The SeaV2 hull in this boat has 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom, steepening to 30 degrees amidships, and keeps right on tucking in to very fine bows. While Grady-White don’t specify the deadrise angle at the bows, if you look at our images of the Canyon 376 at sea, it’s clear that it’s very fine indeed.

Of course, steep deadrise angles have been around forever, with many of the old so-called ‘deep vee’hulls delivering a soft ride at the cost of a propensity to ‘flop’ from side to side while drifting or at rest.

Grady-White Advantage

This is where the economies of scale deliver a real advantage to a boatyard producing as many boats as Grady-White. Due to the high demand for their boasts, they boast excellent research and developmentresources, as well as world-leading facilities, including tank testing to fine-tune designs. For customers, the end result is the kind of outstanding hull performance we see on the 376.

Steep and even variable deadrise angles are relatively easy things to achieve. But it’s the ability to blend them with chine and strake designs to effectively deflect spray as well as maintain stability at rest that makes all the difference.

I suggest arranging a sea trial so you can see for yourself what all this means in the real world. Grady-White boats are distributed in Australia by Graham McCloy of Game & Leisure Boats. Their location at the Runaway Bay Marina is just a few minutes from the Gold Coast Seaway and the open ocean.

Cabin/Console

Centre consoles aren’t a popular choice for many offshore anglers in Australia. With little to hide behind, you might expect a wet and windy ride on a day like the one we took the Canyon 376 over the Seaway, but not so much as a drop of spray blew aboard this vessel.

Although it has a central console and offers unhindered access along each side, it seems wrong to regard the 376 in the same light as others within the centre console category. The central cabin of the 376 is enormous and delivers shelter and the comforts of a cabin when needed.

The deck of the Canyon 376 is flat from bow to stern, and the sidedecks from the cockpit to the bow are more than high enough to ensure a great deal of security while moving around the boat. Although the boat’s fully moulded side might ordinarily compromise on leg support, the thick, upholstered bolster around the deck periphery goes a long way towards solving this.

The considerable deck length of this boat easily allows four or more anglers to fish from the side at the same time, a considerable advantage if your fishing styles include casting, deepwater jigging or fishing on the drift.

Smart Cabin Features

The cabin/console contains more than 5.5 square metres of floor space and has a double bed which can be quickly converted to a lounge by lowering a curving seat back. Other features include a hot/cold water shower and a VacuFlush toilet in a curtained off bathroom, while the galley comes complete with Corian benchtops, a large sink, microwave oven and stainless steel fridge. Against the forward wall as you enter down cherry wood steps there’s an easy access electrical and control systems locker, as well as a rod rack.

While in the double bed, your feet extend into a space below the cockpit, which frees up a lot of cabin space and allows the bathroom every advantage from the sheer size of the 11.5-metre hull and its four-metre beam.

The console’s command centre offers good shelter while travelling at speed. It’s enclosed in armoured glass and sheltered from the sun by a nicely styled hardtop. Constructed of aluminium finished in Imron –a paint used for super heavy-duty applications in the transport and aviation industries –the hardtop supports are so well crafted you need to tap them with a fingernail to determine if they are indeed metal. This boat also had a pair of 4.5-metre outriggers mounted on the hardtop.

The dash area provides ample space for a serious navigation and fish finding electronics suite, and features a hefty tilt-adjustable, stainless steel steering wheel. This boat was fitted with Yamaha’s excellent twin binnacle control box (Yamaha 350s use a fly-by-wire control system eliminating the need for the gear and throttle control cabling that caused so much hassle in the past). However, I wonder why it didn’t have Yamaha’s even better Helm Master control box. With a joystick control, this brilliant system has revolutionised tight confine manoeuvring with twin and triple outboard motor installations.

Air-Conditioned Shelter

To complete the already surprisingly effective shelter offered by the Canyon 376’s cabin/console, this boat also had a pair of clear curtains, which slotted in place each side of the seating and extended to the sides of the boat. Held in place by snap locks on bungee cords, it took only a few seconds to fit them in place or clear them out of the way to free access along the sidedeck. The curtains also helped the air-conditioning to control the climate in the helm area.

The cabin/console is air-conditioned by a 6000 BTU unit powered by a 4kW diesel generator hidden beneath a hatch in the cockpit. This was circulated from a pair of vents in the cabin top, directing air flow towards the triple-seating arrangement. Power for the microwave, a 1300W grill tucked away in the aft end of the seating module and a 22-litre water heater also came from the gen set.

Along with the comfortable accommodation downstairs, the seating module is very much the centre of this boat –and like every other fitting onboard, it’s massive. There are three seats across behind the wheel and these are a work of art with flip over cushions that convert them to a highly supportive leaning bolster. Behind them, a pipe ‘rocket launcher’ rod rack holds six rigged outfits, in addition to those along the cockpit sides.

Fishing And Relaxing

The rocket launcher has a fold down rigging station in the centre above the hatch, which conceals the griller. There’s also a livewell on the starboard side of the grill and an insulated compartment to port that could be used as a fridge or a freezer. However, a lengthy 275-litre fishbox mounted in the aft bulkhead was in fact refrigerated in the boat reviewed.

A three-seater lounge was also stowed flat against the transom bulkhead to free cockpit space when not in use, with the transom door leading out onto the engine deck to starboard. Raw water wash down hoses are provided in the cockpit and in the bows, with freshwater wash down in the cockpit only.

Forward of the cabin/console the flat deck extends all the way to the centre of the bow deck, with a raised area on each side. These raised sections contain a pair of 250-litre stowage compartments and can be fitted with clip-on cushions to create a bow lounge. A motorised table can also be optioned in the bows to transform it into a social area when not fishing.

Anchoring duties are taken care of by a power anchor winch, with switches at the helm and in the bows to control it.

Powerful Ride

Back inside the Seaway, on calmer water we opened the throttles to discover the Canyon 376’s twin V8 outboards quickly wound it up to 75 km/h at 6000rpm. The official top speed is 40.2 knots, which we achieved easily. Cruising at 3500rpm we were travelling at 19kt and using 80Lt/h. That’s pretty fuel-efficient cruising for a boat of this size, and a definite bonus of outboard power.

Back in the marina the bow thruster and twin binnacle control helped a great deal while shuffling back into a berth in Runaway Bay Marina. Yamaha’s Helm Master control would have made this even easier. I then took a few minutes at the dock to closely examine the finish of the hull and its fittings.

I wasn’t disappointed. The ’glass work is immaculate and the timber highlights neat, while the deck hardware is massive and through-bolted where necessary. This final appraisal completed what was a very favourable impression overall.

Highlights

  • Central cabin with benefits of a centre ‘console’ boat.
  • Outstanding ride and handling offshore.
  • Top-quality fittings throughout.
  • Fast, fuel-efficient cruising.
  • Designed by people who fish, for people who fish.

Capacities

  • Maximum Rated Power: 1050hp
  • Maximum Engine Weight: N/S twin or triple installation
  • Fuel: 1590 litres
  • Fresh Water: 204 litres
  • Holding Tank: 38 litres

General

  • Material: GRP laminates
  • Hull Type: SeaV2 variable deadrise mono hull
  • Configuration: centre cabin/console
  • Length: 11.15m (11.96m LOA)
  • Beam: 4.01m
  • Draft: 0.74m
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees (at transom)
  • Weight: 5829kg (hull only)

Engines

  • Make/model: 2 x Yamaha F350A
  • Type: 4-stroke outboard motor
  • Rated hp: 350
  • Displacement: 5.33 litres
  • No of cylinders: 8
  • Weight: 370kg
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.73:1
  • Propeller/s used for test: Yamaha Saltwater Series, 16.25-inch diameter x 15-inch pitch

SPECIFICATIONS: Grady-White Canyon 376
Options fitted: 6000 BTU, air-conditioning, 4.6-metre outriggers, 4kW gen set, 1300W grill, 240V AC electrical conversion, microwave, 23-litre hot water system. 

Grady-White Canyon 376 Boat Test

Boat Test Grady-White Canyon 376 : THE GENTLE GIANT
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe
Supplied by: Game & Leisure Boats

This boat test ran in ISSUE 104 of BlueWater magazine –  JULY-AUG 2014

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