In 2017 and 2018, the fiberglass coastal boat market was experiencing the introduction of bigger and bigger center console boats that were highlights of the boat show season. Grady-White was by no means a stranger to this trend (largely created by the evolution of more powerful and reliable outboard engines), and for two years in consultation with partners at Yamaha Outboards had been designing “the industry’s worst-kept secret”– a much larger Grady-White. And while some manufacturers rushed hasty entries in the emerging market for a larger center console, Grady-White spent the time, effort, and resources to refine theirs, and came to market at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show with a 45-foot beauty of a beast, offering the luxury, elegance, and high function-and-family assets that could come only from Grady-White. While refining this model, Grady-White completed the plant expansion that affords increased production and logistical capacity for all models. The 70,000-square foot addition created both more space and efficiency, and many new jobs for people.
Grady-White’s new flagship, the Canyon 456 center console, is incredibly spacious, technically advanced, and more richly appointed than any other outboard sportfishing boat. This fabulous Grady-White is a well-crafted, superbly engineered center console that represents an entirely new level of elegance and sophistication among fiberglass boats of any size, and boasts by far the widest beam in the category. It is also the largest unsinkable boat of its kind. Needless to say, the Canyon 456 press event and introduction was the hit of Miami and generated excitement at all the winter shows and among all Grady-White dealers and customers. The Canyon 456 fit, finish, and detailing are truly a showcase of the way Grady-White builds every boat, with exceptional attention to detail in every part of the process.
Grady-White’s excellence in customer satisfaction was also recognized again in Miami with the company’s 16th CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) Award given by the NMMA. Grady-White continued the company’s unique-in-the-industry-and-category status of garnering the very top recognitions for satisfaction excellence in every third-party study ever conducted in the marine industry.
In March, the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards from the National Association of Manufacturing’s Manufacturing Institute recognized Grady-White leaders for a second time–now including both Kris Carroll (2017 recipient) and Shelley Tubaugh (2018 recipient) as among the nation’s top women in manufacturing.
Last but certainly not least, Grady-White, led by CEO Eddie Smith and a very committed Smith family, continued a very long history of a singular level of support for waterways protection and preservation as well as oyster and gamefish conservation leadership. This effort culminated in June 2018, when Eddie Smith, Chris Smith, and their crew fished the prototype Canyon 456 in the world-renowned Hatteras Marlin Club Invitational Blue Marlin Release Tournament and came in fourth overall with three blue marlin catch-and-release, one for each of the three days of fishing—3 for 3!
Grady wrapped up the incredibly successful 2018 calendar year with model year 2019 innovations, and celebrated the new production area expansion with exciting plans that continue a future of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction in the calendar year 2019.