Our test boat vaulted to 30 mph in 5.1 seconds — remarkable for a hull weighing nearly 6,000 pounds, plus engines, a hardtop, gas and crew. The 500 outboard ponies propelled the 285 to a pleasing top speed of 54 mph.
Grady’s angling heritage emerged nicely on this dual-console. In the starboard quarter, there’s a heavy-duty transom gate for hauling big fish aboard. Nonanglers will see it as a great way to get to the integral swim platform.
Four stainless-steel, flush-mount trolling-rod holders flank the cockpit, and there’s a horizontal three-rod rack under the starboard gunwale.
Grady-White lavished the 285 with a pair of insulated fish boxes — a 135-quart box under the starboard bow seat and a 185-quart box in the transom bulkhead. An optional 32-gallon livewell is housed in the port quarter.
A practical yet unobtrusive anchoring system is standard on the Freedom 285. It includes an anchor roller integrated into the bow, just below the forepeak, with a stainless strike plate to protect the gelcoat. Hidden under the bow hatch is a ramp leading to a Lewmar stainless windlass. The rode is fed into a locker below.
Looking for a comparison? Glacier Bay’s 2740 Renegade ($132,903 with twin Yamaha 150 outboards) is dual-console on a catamaran hull. While it too combines family and fishing features, the 2740’s top speed falls 12 mph short of the Freedom 285’s with its max-rated twin 15o hp engines.
Dual-console models are definitely the hottest saltwater boat category today. With one look at the Grady-White Freedom 285, you’ll quickly know why.
Comparable model: Glacier Bay 2740 Renegade