Grady-White’s new 191 Coastal Explorer punches above its weight. This new boat from the storied North Carolina boatbuilder is broad for its length, meaning roomy enough for eight people on a picnic, but the proprietary SeaV2 hull, the principles of which govern the shape of this boat’s bottom as much as they do the shape of larger bluewater Grady-White hulls that ply far offshore fishing grounds, lets it ride soft and dry in snotty conditions that would send many larger boats home. The classic Carolina style is functional with a raised sheer to deal with breakers and a broad flare to knock down spray. Even so, a shallow draft makes the 191 CE ideal for inshore fishing, especially with its trolling motor that’s fitted on the pad at the bow and wired to the internal harness. Yamaha’s F150 outboard engine is a perfect match for useful speed, load-carrying power, fuel efficiency and durability. So gear up and head out across that large open bay or sound, and then sneak up into the fishiest little creeks you can find. The 191 CE can handle just about anything an inshore angler can cast at it.
The Grady-White design team scores an A-plus, not just for a great boat but also for execution in creating a versatile multipurpose boat. Head out at dawn to fish flats, inlets and nearshore reefs. Fish and cast-net bait from the broad bow platform. Fit the insulated compartment under the console’s forward seat to become a 16-gallon livewell for the net’s catch and fit the 10.5-gallon compartment at the transom to become a release well. A 72-quart cooler under the helm’s leaning post can ice down a catch destined for dinner on the shore-side grill. The cavernous bow locker holds plenty of gear and conceals a fully functional anchor locker.
Fishing done, you can return to port for a late-morning washdown. Snap on the bow and stern cushions, fit lounge backrests on the bow or the stern jump seats, add the picnic table in front of the console seat, place the ski tow bar at the transom, and refill the big cooler with sandwiches. Don’t forget to inflate the tube and get your song playlist in order. Now the 191 CE is ready for lunch, an afternoon of tow sports, and, well, coastal exploring of myriad varieties. What more could a water-loving family ask for?
*Classy-looking Carolina raised sheer and bow flare
*Generous beam and the SeaV2 hull make it both roomy and seaworthy.
*Versatile interior makes it fishy and family-friendly.
*Easy on fuel when on the water or trailered behind a tow vehicle on the road.
How We Tested
Engine: Single 150 hp Yamaha four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/14¼” x 18″ Reliance SDS 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$58,700 (base with single Yamaha F150)
Grady-White Greenville, North Carolina; 252-752-2111; gradywhite.com