About Grady White Yachts
Glenn “Bud” Grady was a boat-builder. Don White was a businessman and entrepreneur. And both men loved boats. So together they decided to design and build strong coastal Carolina wooden boats “tougher than they had to be.” That business partnership, G&W Boats, soon became Grady-White Boats in Greenville, North Carolina in 1959.
Plank-By-Plank, The Construction Of Grady-White Boats
Using local craftsmen, Grady-White built small recreational boats in the handcrafted tradition of larger Carolina sportfishing boats on the market. These clinker-construction boats, built in the classic style using overlapping planks, was a labor-intensive process that incorporated steam-bent white oak wood frames.
Grady-White first built two wooden lapstrake models - the Pamlico, a 16-foot runabout, and the Hatteras, a 17-foot version. The first of these flared bows, lapstrake-sided, brass nut-and-bolt fastened models were delivered in 1960. They were built tough enough to weather rough coastal waves and conditions.
Through the Years With Grady-White
During the next nine years, the boating industry began to make more fiberglass boats. But Grady and White had not changed from their wood construction process. By 1968, the team talked of selling their company.
At the same time, Eddie Smith wanted to be an entrepreneur and use his interest as a recreational sportsman. With the help of his father, Edward C. (George) Smith, Sr., in the form of financial backing, the 26-year-old Smith decided to try to buy Grady-White Boats. With an education from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the University of North Carolina, his father offered to help to buy Grady-White Boats in 1968.
Under new leadership, the business had a resurgence and continued to grow with the help of Wiley Barnes Corbett, initially as executive vice president and general manager. Corbett improved engineering and manufacturing systems and was later named president of Grady-White.
In 1972, Grady-White began construction on a new 50,000 square-foot fiberglass boat manufacturing plant with a price tag of $6 million. Corbett retired in 1993. Growth continued and the company expanded with an additional 70,000-square foot in 2018.
Smith continues to run Grady-White as owner and chief executive officer.
Grady-White Notes and Notables
Grady-White is known for a continuously variable vee SeaV² hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates. The unique hull is engineered with a moderate deadrise at the stern with an increasing deadrise to the bow. The characteristics of less vee at the transom, wide chines, and two strakes make for a stable, smooth ride with exceptional righting force. This design leaves three bow wakes.
Grady-Whites built after 2014 include a monitoring application for use on smart devices. The app includes all owner’s manual information with audio-visual operations for engine startup, shutdown, emergency procedures, alarms, manuals, electrical systems, generator functions, load management, and troubleshooting tips.
The Grady-White company continues to promote maritime education, fisheries conservation, and waterway management.
Grady-White catalogs from the wooden-boat era in the 1960s to today are available online, many with detailed specifications, downloadable on the company’s website.
Patented Technology and Trademarks Are Integral to Grady-Whites
- Patented cockpit step folds down and up and locks into place when stowed in the gunwale area. The step is standard on the Canyon 306 and Freedom 307 and optional on many other models.
- Patent-pending interior integrated sliding rod racks were introduced in 2018.
- Patented three-position sliding and tilting companion seats were added in 2014.
- Trademarked AirView AV2 hardtop enclosure were designed in 2013, the AV2 integrated hardtop in 2015, and the AV2 T-top in 2018.
- Patented electronically controlled convertible lounge seat and seat assembly were added in 2006.
- Patented aft fold-down bench seat assembly included in 2003.
Award-Winning President at Grady-White
- 2020 - Kris Carroll, president of Grady-White Boats, was inducted into the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Hall of Fame. She began her career with the company as a production control clerk in 1975 and next worked as a clerk in engineering. Carroll became vice president of engineering and vice president of manufacturing in 1989. Named president in 1993, she is described as the first woman to come through the ranks to serve as president in the boat manufacturing company.
- 2018 - The Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturing recognized Grady-White for the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead Awards
- 2017 - Grady-White awarded the STEP Ahead Award and recognized Kris Carroll and Shelley Tubaugh named as top women in manufacturing.
- 2003 - Eddie Smith was named to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Hall of Fame for contributions to the formation of NMMA, boatbuilding, and fisheries conservation.
- The Grady-White SeaV² hull performance continues to garner top honors in eight J.D. Power and Associates Marine Studies.
Notable Notes and Company Awards For Grady-White
- 2001 - Grady- White wins first of nine JD Power and Associates top rankings for customer satisfaction.
- 2001 - The Grady-White Express 330 was named Boat of the Year by Boating Magazine.
- The 1990s - Independent Marine Matrix Studies listed Grady-White with top levels of customer satisfaction.
Some of the Top Grady-White Models
Grady-White Center Consoles
- Fisherman 180
- Fisherman 216
- Fisherman 236
- Fisherman 257
- Canyon 271
- Canyon 306
- Canyon 326
- Canyon 336
- Canyon 376
- Canyon 456
Grady-White Coastal Explorer
- Grady-White Coastal Explorer 251 (251 CE)
Grady-White Dual Consoles
- Freedom 215
- Freedom 235
- Freedom 255
- Freedom 275
- Freedom 285
- Freedom 307
- Freedom 325
- Freedom 335
- Freedom 375
Grady-White Express Cabins
Grady-White Walkaround Cabins