John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.

SEPTEMBER 2011
 
   
Length overall  26' 10"
Beam 9' 6"
Draft 23" (motors up)
Deadrise variable
Weight 5,790 lb Max Power 600 hp
Fuel 202 gal  Water 18 gal
Base Price $161,375

It's not easy to customize Grady-White's new Canyon 271. The reason is that the company has already done most of the job. Grady-White has sophisticated customers, and its design/engineering team listens carefully to them. In this case, those customers asked first for a big-water-ready, 27-foot center-console that would perform efficiently with Yamaha's powerful but light and efficient 4.2-liter V6 four-stroke outboards. The second item on Grady fans' wish list was for an open bow so that anglers could have full 360-degree space to fight powerful fish, but still be comfortable for day cruising.

Two new features speak to that second request. On deck, there's a large, cushioned seat forward of the console that provides lounge seating for two adults, with a 389-quart insulated storage box beneath. That box can hold plenty of fish, but it will be useful to non-angling owners as well, thanks to an ingenious divider that turns it into cavernous dry storage in front, with a still-large cooler for drinks and food behind. The other is a lighted, ventilated in-console head compartment large enough to accommodate a full-size adult and have space left over for storage and easy access to the backside of the helm. Add in an optional T-top carefully designed for storage, lighting and shelter, plus a competent helm and a leanbar/tackle station with livewell. The cockpit holds Grady-White's ingenious fold-down rear seat, plus another livewell and a fishbox in the transom.

Of course, the fundamentals of the Canyon 271 include a proven SeaV2 variable-deadrise hull and a self-bailing cockpit with all storage compartments plumbed overboard. According to company figures, the optimum power choice is a pair of F300s, which provide efficiency of 2 miles per gallon at 30 mph cruise. Add in an optional bow thruster for maneuvering in tight spaces and count on this boat to serve her people well in many ways for many years.Grady-White Boats, Greenville, N.C., 252-752-2111 ; www.gradywhite.com.