Reviewed by Richard Crowder
It was 1959 when Glen Grady and Don White built their first small wood lapstrake flared-bow boat in Greenville, NC. Over fifty years later, Grady-White offers twenty-five models of center consoles, dual consoles, walkarounds, and express cabins to over thirty-six feet in length.
The Sportsman 180 Center Console is the smallest in the Grady-White line-up but is built using the same principles as its bigger brethren. For example, it utilizes Grady-White’s exclusive SeaV² variable deadrise hull design where the “vee” shape of the hull bottom continuously sharpens from the transom to the bow stem. It is 100% hand laid fibreglass in the hull and deck with a non-skid fibreglass inner liner with a self-bailing cockpit with two cockpit drains. Its hull voids are injected with closed cell polyurethane foam making it not only unsinkable, but allowing it to have level upright flotation even when filled with its rated weight capacity. All deck hardware is through-bolted 316 grade stainless steel, as are the two low profile bow rails. The rub rail is high density PVC with a stainless steel insert.
Forward is an anchor/storage locker immediately above a raised casting platform which houses an 84 litre insulated fish box (or additional storage area) with an overboard drain. The center console with high plexiglass windscreen with surrounding stainless steel grab rail has a forward facing bench seat with padded backrest. Under this seat is a 43 litre insulated icebox with overboard drain which may be optionally fitted with an insulated raw water livewell. The console also contains an accessory 12-volt outlet, cellular phone holder, stainless steel steering wheel, lockable storage compartment, a footrest, and lots of room for mounting navigation electronics. Four rod holders are in the gunnels and four horizontal rod storage racks are under the side coamings.
A raised bench seat with a padded reversible back serves the helm as well as the cockpit. Two aft seats complete the cockpit. A bimini top with storage boot is standard. Optionally add a swim platform with ladder, ski pylon, raw water washdown, or freshwater shower as desired.
|Length:||17' 10"||5.43 m|
|Draft:||1' 3"||38.1 cm|
|Dry weight:||2150 lbs||975 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||60 US gals||227 l|