Harbor Pilot Commends Boat's Exceptional Ride
Walter Gautier is no stranger to rough waters. Having graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy and now working as a harbor pilot and ship master, he's seen his share of ugly days on the water. When he went in search of a boat for his family to cruise around the often-rough waters of the Gulf Coast, he first considered purchasing a bay boat or a dual console model. Not being a big fishing family, he never considered a center console - that is until Darcy Burcaw at MarineMax Pensacola coaxed him into climbing aboard a Grady-White Canyon 271. Walter already knew of Grady-White's reputation for delivering a superior riding boat, so when he experienced how great the sight lines were from the helm and saw the quality fit and finish, along with creature comforts like plush seating, he was sold!
Boating has long been a way of life for the entire Gautier family. Walter's wife, Lanee, grew up around her father's shrimp boats and his daughter, Isabelle, and son, Noah, both have raced sailboats competitively. The children's boat adventures led Lanee to get her own small boat, so she could be on the water when Isabelle and Noah were training. "Lanee's boat—because it's not a Grady-White—will beat your teeth out," said Walter. "Having experienced such a poor riding boat, getting one that rode well and could handle the waves and chop was really important to me."
The 271 has performed beyond his expectations, slicing through waves, sometimes as high as six feet, effortlessly. Not long after he bought the boat, Walter unexpectedly got a Sunday off of work. While the current was running against the wind and the waves were pretty big in the channel, Walter and his family were able to hop on the boat and head out. They were anchored up and enjoying the sun just 20 minutes after leaving the dock. "This boat is just so dry and comfortable," Walter says. "It rides even better than I imagined, and there aren't many angles where you even get spray."
Comfortable seating is one of the many features the Gautier family likes about the 271-especially the versatile bow where you can put the table up for entertaining or lower it and add the cushions to create a sun pad when friends tag along.
Since they've owned the Grady, they've discovered another feature Walter never thought he'd use - the Helm Master® EX. "Being an experienced boater, I didn't see myself using it that much, but it was on the boat when I bought it," he said. "I quickly found the beauty of this feature. Not only does it make operating the boat easier, it's also safer, providing good control without having to maneuver the throttles back and forth." This added feature is what leads to a favorite memory of Walter's. For a short period of time, they didn't have the boat on the lift. That meant every time they went out, they had to take the boat on and off the trailer at the boat ramp. One day, when Isabelle was about 17, they were returning to the ramp, and Isabelle said, "Let me put the boat on the trailer". Walter quickly showed her how to operate the Helm Master joystick and then got off the boat to get the trailer. Much to the surprise of a group of men sitting on the Yacht Club balcony, Isabelle flawlessly put the boat on the trailer. A few nights later, Walter was at the club for dinner and one of the men asked, "Who was driving that boat the other day?" After Walter told him it was his daughter, the man replied, "She put it right on there!" Walter just smiled, and said "That's my girl," never revealing that she did it with the aid of the Helm Master®. Walter and his family are now solid Grady Fans, enjoying the peace of mind a great boat gives its owners.