The hunt is on: Trophy-size stripers are milling beneath us, but they’re hugging the channel edge in small pods and I’ll need to spot them on the fishfinder before dropping my bait. Many dual consoles have small dash flats and sub-par electronics. But Grady-White kept the angler in mind when it built the 275 Tournament, one of the largest DCs around. Unlike most dual-console boats, the 275 Tournament has a huge dash flat, large enough to house a 12″ fishfinder screen. So instead of peeking at a tiny LCD, I’m looking at a highly detailed picture of the bottom.
The electronics flat is just one example of how well-equipped the 275 Tournament is for fishing. This boat has toerails, coaming bolsters, fresh- and raw-water wash-downs, four rodholders, under-gunwale rodracks, two overboard-draining, insulated fishboxes, and a cutting board. There’s also an optional 32-gallon transom livewell ($520). DC boats usually target families more than fishermen. In fact, the 275 Tournament includes a reclining lounge, console head compartment, cockpit shower, integrated swim ladder, forward seating area, and removable cockpit table. But this boat is no glorified bowrider. The variable-degree deadrise hull can take on serious seas, so even offshore runs are possible. On test day we put plenty of distance under our belts, running more than 25 miles to three different spots in search of stripers. No matter which way we hit the 1′ to 2′ chop we remained dry and comfortable.
The kids want to waterski, the wife wants to cruise, and your father-in-law likes lazing about? Everyone will be happy here-that’s why you want a DC boat, right? And while creature comforts may be the last thing on your mind, family members will like one other feature on the 275 Tournament: the optional sleeper seat ($1,265). Press a button, and the passenger’s side seat reclines into a lounge, which sits flush with the transom bench seat. The thoughtful engineers at Grady-White even mounted a stereo control right next to the lounge, so whatever your quest is-for relaxation or a school of trophy-size fish-the 275 Tournament will make it attainable.