Grady-White’s all-new Adventure 218 is a go-anywhere, do-it-all, re-imagined version of the original walkaround cabin design that Grady-White pioneered decades ago. The new 218 is functional and practical for fishing with several friends or cruising by a couple. She’s powered by a 250-hp Yamaha that provides more than enough muscle for this 5,143-lb. (2,333 kg) tested-weight vessel.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||2.7|
|0 to 30||8.2|
|Props||15 X 15.75|
|Load||3 persons; 50 gal. fuel; 50 lb gear|
|Climate||72 deg., 62 humid; wind: 15-20 mph, seas:0|
1 x 250-hp Yamaha V6
1 x 200-hp Yamaha V6
1 x 250-hp Yamaha V6
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Grady-White Adventure 218
Lots of Boat in a Small Package
She’s designed for not only the devoted angler but also families that fish, play, and overnight. Her 8’6” beam provides a walkaround forward deck for working a fish as well as enough interior space in the cabin for two to overnight. The addition of integrated swim platforms and pivoting aft seat backs affords more room for the angler to fight fish while also providing easy access for watersports.
The curved windshield and signature Grady-White sheer line lets everyone know that you’re in a Grady-White and not a Johnny-come-lately wannabe brand. The 218 is the real thing and as her name implies, she is ready to bring a little adventure into the owner’s life.
- Pompanette helm and companion seats
- SeaV2 running surface
- Self-bailing cockpit
- High safety-glass windshield with wiper
- Seating space for 3/sleeping space for 2 in the cabin
- Aerated live well and insulated fish box/ice chest
- Convertible aft jump seat/casting platforms
- Swing-away seat backs for swim platform access
The cabin-forward design of the 218 provides lots of space in the cockpit for fishing or relaxing.
- Walk-around cabin design. Easy and safe bow access for working a fish or handling ground tackle or throwing lines when docking.
- A compact cabin. We are hard-pressed to think of another 21’ boat with a sleeping cabin. It’s ideal for a nap, an escape from foul weather, or maybe a long weekend adventure and sleepover for a couple –or, a single!
- Convertible aft jump seats. These become casting platforms by simply turning the cushion bases upside down.
Unusual swiveling seat backs on the jump seats provide easy access to the swim platforms.
- Swiveling jump seat backrests. The backs swivel to form a pass-through to the swim platforms.
- Premium class Pompanette seats. Super-durable, super-comfortable seating rarely found in smaller boats.
- Large cockpit. The 8’6” beam and cabin-forward design provides lots of fishing and/or lounging space aft.
- Choice of Yamaha outboards. Standard power is a 200-hp V6, but we prefer the 250 V6.
The Grady-White Adventure 218 has a LOA of 23’3”, a beam of 8'6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 19” (48 cm). She has an empty weight of 3,650 lbs. (1,656 kg). Tested weight including fuel and passengers was estimated at 5,143 lbs. (2,333 kg).
With the single 250-hp Yamaha outboard powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 44.8 mph at 5900 rpm. Most economical cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 25.9 mph.
Good MPG. At that speed, the 218 got 3.2 mpg for an estimated range of 288 statute miles while holding back a 10% reserve of the 100-gal (378.5 L) total fuel capacity.
This extended range is a good feature in a boat that’s capable of running many miles offshore in good weather to capture grouper and snapper or maybe troll all day for blackfins and wahoo. She would also be very capable of crossing to the Bahamas in cooperative conditions – thanks to her closed bow. In this regard she is much safer than a 21’ (6.4 m) center console.
Exceptional tracking. Captain Steve reports the SeaV2 hull tracked well in tight turns, with the expected amount of leaning into the corner. The “spinner” on the stainless steel wheel makes rapid maneuvering easy—the kids will like this when the family goes tubing.
Captain Steve reports the 218 planes very quickly—just 2.8 seconds with the single 250-hp Yamaha V6 outboard with a 15 X 15.75 stainless steel Yamaha propeller. He also notes she displays considerable bow rise on takeoff, so operators will want to push her over the hump quickly and then level her off with the trim button for best forward visibility and economical performance.
The Grady-White Adventure 218 functions as well for fishing as a center console thanks to her walkaround cabin design, which provides fishing and line handling space up front as well as a spacious cockpit aft. Note that the hardtop is an option, and one that we recommend for virtually every buyer.
Easy bow access. In a smart touch, the bulwarks narrow as they parallel the walk-around for the cabin, providing added foot space for easy passage. It’s one of many features that shows the engineering and design team have put lots of thought into getting the most out of this boat within her relatively compact (and readily trailerable) size.
The cockpit provides almost 30 square feet of deck space from console seats to transom seats thanks to the 9’4 beam, great for angling as well as simply providing more elbow room with multiple guests aboard.
The two casting platforms on either side of the motor well have treads for sure footing and flip over to become the aft jump seats. This location will provide the most comfortable ride aboard in a bumpy run offshore. Stainless steel grab handles here provide braces when the going gets rough, and there’s a drink holder within easy reach on either side.
The seat backs are fixed in place, acting as knee cushions for casting, while the seat bottoms flip over to reveal the cushioned seats.
The seat backs also swing outward to allow easy access to the twin swim platforms and can be angled to provide backrests for those who want to dangle their feet in the water and relax with a drink.
The command station includes a salty-looking stainless steel wheel with spinner and plenty of open space for multiple large MFDs.
The dark synthetic leather on the dash will cut down windshield glare as far as it goes, and note how the compass is centered in front of the wheel, right where it should be for most effective use when the captain is not navigating by GPS.
The Fusion stereo is just below, and the footrest is a plus on long rides.
A user-friendly feature here is the bi-fold top to the cabin door, which folds up and out of the way for easy entry, eliminating a sure head-bumping spot otherwise.
Bait well and fish box. The jump seats behind the swiveling Pompanettes sit atop an optional 106 qt (100.3 l) aerated baitwell on the port side and a 100 qt. (96 l) insulated fish box or cooler on the starboard side.
Rod Racks: There are 6 under-gunwale rod racks here, with composite guards to keep rods from rattling and scraping.
Gunwale Bolsters and Toe Rails: For anglers who pursue large grouper or muscular species like amberjack and tuna, the bracing provided by the toe rails and the thick padding on the gunwale bolsters will be appreciated.
Cockpit Depth: The 25” cockpit depth means that for most people the padded bolsters will hit them mid-thigh, as well as providing security for kids and pets. This is a detail that sets the 218 Adventure aboard from many boats this length.
Fusion Waterproof Speakers: Note the large Fusion waterproof speakers. There are two adjacent the helm seats two in the cockpit aft.
Anchor davit. An optional stainless steel anchor davit at the bow peak eases anchor-handling chores, and the large storage box here has the depth to handle hundreds of feet of line for offshore anchoring over fishing reefs.
A big plus of the walkaround design is the inset walkway to the bow. Along with the tall bow rails, this makes access to the bow for fishing or anchor handling much safer, even in rolly seas.
Foredeck Hatch: The smoked plexi hatch provides ventilation for the cabin, but dogs down watertight for offshore runs.
Optional hard top. The hard top rides on a heavy-duty powder-coated aluminum frame and includes zip up storage bag, spreader lights and cockpit lights as well as multiple rod holders and mounting bases for optional outriggers.
The top also allows adding cruising canvas in the aftermarket, which will make her a three-season boat.
We recommend that most buyers opt for the hard top, as most boats should have them. Grady has affixed the supports to the cabin side and not to the deck. This detail maximizes side deck width and easy passage toward. For those who like boating rain or shine, we recommend getting the cruising canvas and side curtains.
Aft jump seats. The aft jump seats convert to casting platforms when the cushion bases are flipped upside down, and there’s storage in the boxes underneath. Note the optional ski pylon in the center—it pulls out and extends high enough to clear the outboard for tow sports.
The corner drains indicate another important feature in a boat of this genre—the 218 is self-bailing, great for leaving her at the docks, or on a mooring, overnight as well as for quick washdowns. Note that the scuppers are unobstructed by a grate, which we often see used. These types of drains restrict flow by over half and can be covered by leaves or debris in the cockpit.
The washdown hose is under the stainless cover just to starboard of the pylon.
Swing out backs on jump seats. Note the swing-out backs on the seats, a bit of inventive engineering that shows the design team thinking of the customers. The four-step boarding ladder and stainless grab rails will make it easy for swimmers to get back aboard.
In the compact cabin, there’s enough space for a couple of adults to stretch out and “camp” overnight. Sleeping bags make bedding easy. There’s an optional porta-potty and a shower on deck.
Exploring and Adventure. For those really wanting to use the boat for exploring and adventure, we recommend getting the full cruising canvas in the aftermarket. For those less adventuresome, the cabin more likely will be used as an escape from rain storms, or as a spot for the kids to grab a nap.
Multiple rod tubes tucked into the bow turn this area into storage for lots of rods when not being used for relaxing. The side windows open and are provided with screens, as is the entry door, providing bug-free ventilation for overnights.
Amenities, Extras, and Miscellaneous
Safety glass windshield. The curved glass is high enough so that the operator can look through it when seated, or over it when standing. The single wiper is standard.
SeaV2 hull In the Seav2 hull design the vee continuously sharpens from the 16-degree deadrise at the transom to the bow stem. The deeper vee forward means a softer ride in rough water. Less vee at the transom coupled with wide chines provide faster planing as well as improved stability at rest and when trolling. The reversed chines also help keep down spray at all speeds. At higher speeds, when riding on the aft third of the full in chop, of course, there will be some pounding. Let comfort be your guide.
Grady-Whites are known for being “overbuilt”. Hulls and decks are laid up by hand using knitted and woven fiberglass fabrics. Knitted fiberglass mat and bi- and tri-directional woven fiberglass mat make all sections of the boat strong.
Transoms are built with several layers of Perma Panel laminated together with fiberglass, and a heavy-duty aluminum brace distributes engine torque across the transom. Stringers and bulkheads are all rotproof composite.
No wood is used in the stringers or transom.
Grady-Whites are foamed below the decks, providing insulation, quieter running and buoyancy.
Arched sheer. The arched and flared sheer, another Grady signature, also helps knock down spray and adds freeboard forward, a plus when taking on challenging inlet seas, the flared bow is also an asset.
Shallow draft. With a draft of just 19” (48 cm) the 218 will be comfortable sliding up to a beach to let the family swim or shell, or drifting across a redfish or striper flat to look for a light tackle challenge.
Build This Boat
Ready to order your Grady-White Adventure 218? Here’s a look at some of the options:
Color: Gelcoat choices include classic white as seen on most Grady-Whites as well as Ocean Mist, Celestial Blue, Sea Glass and Coastal Fog. Our personal favorite is the Sea Glass—the pale green of nearshore waters--but to each his own
Power: Options are the Yamaha 200 or 250. You can save a bit of money ordering the 200, but you’ll appreciate the 250 when you have extra friends aboard.
Hardtop: This is a costly option but one that will more than pay for itself in comfort and convenience as well as adding fishability. It’s also a must if you want to enclose the helm area with plexi curtains.
Helm Enclosure: The plexi drop curtains turn the helm area into an enclosed pilothouse, a big plus on chilly or wet days. Effectively, this gives the boat two “cabins” – one below and the helm deck.
Cockpit Fresh Water Shower: This is a must for swimming and diving, also good for a quick washdown at the end of the day when the boat is left in the water. It includes a 10 gal. water tank. (A raw water washdown is part of the standard equipment.)
Command-Elite Helm Chairs: These include a flip-up bolster, a big plus on long offshore runs. There’s also a fore-and-aft slide system — and don’t overlook that embroidered Grady-White logo.
Foredeck Cushions: Added seating up front will be a favorite for fish-spotting at low speeds and a good spot to sit and watch sundown.
Bow Anchor Roller: This makes life a lot easier for the line handler, particularly if it’s you. Add a plow-style anchor and you’re good to go. It also gives you a place to store an anchor — ready to go without having to dig it out of the locker.
Notable Standard Equipment
- Batteries (2) w/battery select switch (1)
- Hydraulic steering
- Hydraulic trim tabs w/indicator & retractor
- Stainless steel through-hull fittings
- Stainless steel boarding ladder
- Stainless steel bow rails
- Swim platforms with SS boarding ladder
- Washdown — pressurized raw water w/hose
The Grady-White Adventure 218 is a true 21’3” (6.48 m) boat because Grady measures its models from bow stem to transom — not including add-ons like bow pulpits or swim platforms, so you in effect get more boat for the money compared to some brands.
She’s right-sized for a young family, a couple or even a single who want to trailer a boat to multiple locations for fishing, watersports or adventure exploring.
The 8'6" (25.9 cm) beam is wider than some boats this length and makes her as wide as most boats up to the 27' (7.31 m) range. Yet, she’s still small enough for easy trailering with mid-size vehicles. And, the Grady-White name on the hull ensures that she’s a good investment, one that will easily be resold should you want to move up to a larger Grady sometime down the road.