The Grady-White Canyon 456 isnâ€™t the biggest mega-center-console on the sea, but it is one of the best built and equipped. Itâ€™s not unusual to see a boatbuilder stretch a line of boats, adding a longer keel and maybe spreading the beam to get more deck space between the gunwales, but the trouble with that technique is there are unforeseen consequences of simply blowing out the hull like a Âmaster bedroom expansion.
Grady-Whiteâ€™s plan for this boat was thoughtful and thoroughly vetted by the serious fishing and cruising experience of its design team, engineers, executives and outside consultants. And it showed on our test day, when the patented SeaV2 hull took us smoothly far offshore for swordfish. Together, they infused the deck and Âcabin Âbelow with extreme passenger comfort and style that is planned into the shape and cut of every bulkhead, cabinet and ceiling panel.
This genius is most subtle yet important in the cabin below. Imagine a spacious cabin under the helm that will sleep two in a large berth converted from the elegant in-laid sapele wood dinette table. A space like that must be about 9 feet wide and built to support cabinetry without head-cracking overhead beams while Âretaining the ability to hold everything firmly in place as the boat speeds through seas at up to 58 mph. Grady-Whiteâ€™s design employs molded-in bulkheads and supports for galley, head and berth structures that also stiffen the cabin and the hull. Overhead, beams are concave, stiffening the ceiling while providing channels for the soft, recessed LED lighting. The entire design is so natural that you might describe it as organic.
After reviewing the generous galley and ample-size bathroom with a roomy shower (that has clever vertical rod-holder storage built in), our next stop was the helm station. There, three 17-inch Garmin displays are each capable of providing chart plotting, sonar imaging, engine and systems data, and C-Zone digital switching to coordinate the AC/DC systems. For the most used electrical mechanisms like navigation lights and bilge pumps, there are tactile on/off buttons too.
There is Yamahaâ€™s Helm Master joystick control as well, and the steering is buttery-smooth thanks to a new first from Yamaha: electronic steering. Turning the helm offers digital input to the hydraulic steering mechanisms, and magnetic feedback gives the skipper comfortable resistance to turn the four 425 hp engines smoothly with control, precise enough that this 45-foot vessel handles like a Lexus. Given the aggressive nature of the propulsion system behind the 456, this proves critical. Further, as we deep-dropped swordfish baits 1,500 feet, the Helm Master system kept us on station with Yamahaâ€™s Drift Point.
Four electronically controlled contoured bucket seats installed on a solid-fiberglass leaning-post structure are separated by foldaway armrests. Each have flip-up bolsters, and beneath the seats are fold-down footrests â€” another clever design point that lets each helmsman decide whether to sit or stand independently of the others. Because the crew capacity on the Canyon 456 is high, so is the cooler capacity with an electric refrigerator on the starboard-side of the mezzanine seating and a refrigerated ice box on the transom, flanked by two livewells. Thereâ€™s a surprise hideaway electric grill above the starboard fridge.
Gradyâ€™s AV2 hardtop design is also organic in nature, with curved, tempered glass and power sliding windows nested in its superstructure, and an electrically extending overhead shade to cover the cockpit aft.
Aft-facing seats behind the helm seats can comfortably accommodate three passengers, and tackle storage beneath the seats keep gear organized. The optional rod-storage station in the center of the cockpit held six rods, and with those we lost count of the total rod storage when we hit 50 between the gunwales, hardtop, and lockable stowage under the gunwales and below deck to complement the array.
Shoppers hunting for direct comparisons will find a fleet of 40-plus-foot-long center-consoles on the market, but we found none that match the Grady in length, beam and standard features. Evergladesâ€™ narrower 435 ($1,085,715 with quad ÂYamaha 425s) makes Gradyâ€™s standard teak treatment and refrigerated compartments optional. The HCB Siesta 42 breaks a cool $1 million with quad 425s too, but it is 2 feet narrower and 3 feet shorter than the Grady.
The coup de gras in the anglersâ€™ cockpit on the Canyon would have to be the 24-inch Garmin on the transom â€” centered facing the crew, offering them a clear view of what the captain sees on the command deck.
Grady-Whiteâ€™s engineers kept the sun seekers in mind too, adding a large forward lounge atop the cabinâ€™s ceiling, and wraparound lounges surround the flared gunwales to the forepeak. Cocktail tables are split with a walkway beneath to give crew access to the windlass, if needed.
You can go bigger if you want a longer center-console, but youâ€™d be hard-pressed to get a bolder, more capable center-console than the Canyon 456.
Price: $1,400,000 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Quad 425 hp XTO Offshore Yamaha V-8 outboards
Drive/Prop: XTO OS 16 3/8″ x 21″
Gear Ratio: 1.79:1
Fuel Load: 420 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 500 lb
Grady-White – Greenville, North Carolina; 252-752-2111; gradywhite.com