FEATURE BOAT

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Grady-White’s new flagship - Express 360

Grady-White’s new flagship

The new Grady-White Express 360 is the largest boat the 47-year-old company has ever built. It also is one of the biggest outboard-powered boats on the market, measuring 36 feet, 7 inches on the centerline without the bow pulpit, and with a beam of 13 feet, 3 inches. Power comes from triple 250-hp Yamaha 4-stroke outboards.

“The outboard power gives us the ability to offer faster speed, shallow water draft, foam flotation, and a huge aft berth — and less maintenance,” says Grady-White marketing manager Joey Weller.

The express-style family fishing boat reaches a top speed in excess of 44 mph and has a 29-inch hull draft. “[It] can perform in shallower water than traditional inboards,” says Weller.

The 360 compares favorably with inboard-powered boats in other areas, he says, including price, speed, fuel efficiency, and standard features and amenities. A bow thruster, air conditioning and an 8-kW diesel generator are standard. The boat rides a C. Raymond Hunt Associates-designed Grady-White SeaV2 hull built of 100-percent hand-laid fiberglass.

The helm station has a vertically and horizontally adjustable helm chair, stainless steel steering wheel, power-

assisted hydraulic steering, and Teleflex electronic throttle and shift controls. The electronic controls comprise two levers, with the center engine a “slave” to the port engine. The center engine goes into neutral when the port and starboard engines are split into reverse and forward for docking, and there is an electronic engine synch button. “It makes running triples as easy as running twins,” says Weller.

To starboard of the helm is a slide-out table, and the companionway is to port. There is lounge seating on both the port and starboard sides of the helm area. A hardtop is standard, equipped with a storage net, spreader lights, stereo speakers and 12 rod holders.

The self-draining cockpit has fold-away aft bench seating, a freshwater shower, cockpit bolsters, rigging station with sink, and two refrigerator/freezer boxes with digitally controlled thermostats. These boxes include a 55-quart cooler to port and a 269-quart fishbox at the transom. There’s also a 48-gallon live well to starboard.

“This boat can easily go to the Bahamas and cruise, and not have to worry about ice,” says Weller, who notes that the boxes can be used for keeping provisions or fish.

Weller says he expects many owners to cruise with the Express 360, due to its fuel efficiency and level of amenities. “There’s a lot of features that really can be used for cruising and overnight adventures,” he says. Among the cruising features is a drawer-style refrigerator in the cabin, with a freezer and icemaker in the bottom drawer.

The cabin — with teak and holly sole, teak tambour cabinetry, and a cedar-lined teak hanging locker — is roomy because there is no inboard engine room, according to the builder. The layout calls for a king-size forward berth with privacy curtain, convertible dinette area to starboard with adjustable teak table and seating for four, enclosed head compartment abaft the dinette, and an aft berth with privacy curtain. The galley, to port, is equipped with a drawer refrigerator/freezer, two-burner electric glass stove top, microwave, divided stainless steel sink and Corian countertops.

The cabin is equipped with a 15-inch flat-screen television with DVD player, a stereo system and Sirius satellite radio capability. Satellite radio service is one of the few options available on the 360. An outrigger kit and an additional canvas package also are available.

LOA: 39 feet, 7 inches BEAM: 13 feet, 3 inches HULL DRAFT: 2 feet, 5 inches DISPLACEMENT: 14,550 pounds (without power) HULL TYPE: deep-vee TRANSOM DEADRISE: 21 degrees TANKAGE: 370 gallons fuel, 65 gallons water, 10 gallons waste ENGINE OPTION: triple 250-hp Yamaha4-strokes SPEED: 44 mph top, 31 mph cruise SUGGESTED PRICE: $387,125 CONTACT: Grady-White Boats, Greenville, N.C. Phone: (252) 752-2111. www.gradywhite.com