Grady-White introduces the all new Canyon 326!
The introduction of a new boat model, the 32-foot Canyon 326, and the re-engineering of two popular models, the 28-foot Freedom 285 and 33-foot Canyon 336 created a flurry of excitement at Grady-White Boats’ booth at the Miami International Boat Show in February. The all-new Canyon 326 was inspired by the company’s interest in fulfilling the dreams of boat buyers searching for a spacious and well-appointed center console that was as perfectly suited for hauling in a big catch as it was for family cruising and entertainment. Add to that, beautiful lines and a generous amount of standard equipment, and it’s no wonder this boat was named a Boating Industry Top Product for the year.
The Canyon 326, with its sleek style and innovative design, made its debut at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. Many features of this new boat got the attention of the media as well as Grady-White enthusiasts.
Additional buzz was created in Miami around the redesign of two Grady-White favorites, one of their best-selling dual console models, the Freedom 285, and another exceptional center console model, the Canyon 336. Both were enhanced from the bow to the transom with comfort, convenience and the ability to enjoy the day cruising with family or offshore fishing, ranking high in the intent of their design. Upgraded with a diverse array of forward-thinking innovations, conceived by Grady-White’s tenacious engineering team, all three of these boats attracted the attention of the media, dealers and Grady’s dedicated customer base. They were a hit with those seeking high-quality fishing machines that also delivered the wonder of a perfect day on the water with family and friends.
Once again, Grady-White Boats achieved the honor of being recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association for customer satisfaction as they were presented with their 18th consecutive Customer Satisfaction Index award. Going 18 for 18, the company victoriously continued to set the industry precedence for customer satisfaction.
By mid-March the COVID-19 pandemic had taken its place front and center around the world and Grady-White, along with manufacturers of every known world-wide product from boats to paper towels, began to question what the remaining months of 2020 would hold. Gathering with their resourceful and insightful executive team daily, the company focused on taking every measure necessary to protect the safety of their employees and suppliers as they continued working to be able to meet the needs of their dealers and customers. While always known for their generous philanthropy, Grady-White increased their donations during this exceptionally difficult time, assisting numerous non-profit organizations throughout the area to help the community work through the hardships of the pandemic.
While boat shows shuttered, along with all other social gatherings, it didn’t take long for the industry to realize that boating was going to be a popular activity in this new socially-distanced world. Overnight a tremendous surge in demand for boats emerged, the likes the company had not seen in their 60-year plus history. Remaining safe and meeting these expanding needs took skillful, concentrated effort daily. Becoming more flexible than ever, pivoting where they could, the company supported suppliers in ways never imagined – even sending Grady-White team members to their suppliers’ facilities to help them make critical parts needed to complete boats. Through it all Grady-White kept its eye toward continuing to deliver the highest quality boats to an ever-increasing customer base. The company shared their positive message through a video created to keep looking ahead to brighter days.
In the fall, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced that Grady-White’s President, Kris Carroll, would be the first female inducted into the NMMA Hall of Fame, the Association’s highest honor. As the first woman ever to work her way up through the ranks to become president in the boat manufacturing industry, Kris joined other acclaimed hall of famers, including Eddie Smith, Jr., Grady-White Chairman and CEO. Her vision, “Together, Delivering the Ultimate Boating Experience” to customers, while fostering a company culture where everyone “Enjoys coming work on Monday…like they enjoy going home on Fridays,” has kept Grady-White Boats on the successful trajectory that originated with Eddie Smith, Jr. when he purchased the company in 1968.
As the year came to a close, a vaccination was on the horizon, and boat sales continued to escalate. The company forged on, guided by the passionate desire to deliver the highest quality boats to their dealers and customers – lifting their spirits through the coming months, as the world began to slowly emerge from the heavy cloak of the pandemic.
While it proved to be a difficult year, 2020 also served to reinforce Grady-White Boat’s deep held belief in the true value of relationships – with family, friends, co-workers, suppliers, dealers, and customers. Grady-White looked forward to the coming year and all the enjoyment their work would provide for boaters hungry for the best boating experience – living the Grady Life!