The Grady-White Express 330 is equipped as a very capable bluewater fishing boat but, it also includes many amenities that make for family comfort when fish are not on the agenda. The galley features a microwave oven, Corian countertop, two burner cooktop and an Isotherm refrigerator/freezer, while the stand-up head includes a shower and VacuFlush toilet.
- 12,000 BTU air conditioning
- Aft double berth and forward Vee berth
- Flatscreen 28'' LED TV with DVD player
- Port side galley with sink, light and
Corian cutting board
- Teak and holly sole
- 56-quart (53 L) port helm seat cooler
- 254-quart (240.4 L) aft insulated fishbox with lights and OB drain
- Starboard 45-gallon (170.3 L) insulated raw water livewell with light
- Command Elite horizontally & vertically adjustable contoured helm chair
- Fold-away aft bench seat with cushion
|Deadrise/Transom||20 degrees (SeaV2® progression)|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||7.7 sec.|
|Props||Yamaha Saltwater Series XL 17x161/4|
|Load||2 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||48 deg., 45 humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: light|
2 x 350-hp Yamaha 4-stroke (no longer an option)
2 x 300-hp Yamaha 4.2L Yamaha 4-stroke
2 x 425-hp Yamaha 45.6L Yamaha 4-stroke
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Designed to offer hardcore anglers all the equipment and security needed far offshore on long trips. The Express 330 also has the same attributes to make cruising comfortable for one or two couples. By offering two different horsepower outboard options, boaters can pick the right rig for their intended application.
By rigging the boat with many important amenities as standard equipment, the boat is ready for a serious fishing expedition or a long-range cruise, right from the showroom floor. For that reason, we suspect the buyers of the Express 330 are about 50/50 serious anglers/veteran cruising couples. By having a standard generator, A/C, and water heater, in addition to full galley appliances, the boat provides the comfort necessary to keep the whole family happy.
C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the naval architects responsible for all Grady-White hulls for over the last 20 years, designed the boat’s variable-degree V-bottom hull. The boat's substantial freeboard, crowned foredeck and high windshield extending to the standard hardtop, ensures seaworthiness even in snotty offshore conditions.
A 3 to 4 Season Boat.
The Express 330 is also available with an enclosed hardtop with a high, rounded windshield and tall side glass windows to create a water-tight pilothouse enclosed on three sides to keep the elements at bay. An aft curtain, along with an optional A/C system at the helm can turn the Express 330 into a 4-season vessel. Even the standard hardtop and windshield provide excellent coverage.
There are comfortable sleeping accommodations for four people -- two in the V-berth forward and two in the crawl-in mid-cabin under the helm deck. This makes the boat comfortable for two couples or a small family.
We tested the Express 330 with a pair of Yamaha 350 4-strokes (no longer an available option on this boat) which produced a top speed of just over 44 knots. For best economy, we backed the throttles down to 3500, and that produced a cruise speed of 23.2 knots and a fuel burn of 21.5 gph. This would allow the Express 330 to continue on for nearly 14 hours and 322 nautical miles while still keeping a 10% level of fuel held back in reserve.
She handles extremely well and is very responsive to the helm. Everything about her handling tells of an offshore capable boat. Crossing wakes shows no hint of pounding at anything under full power. She keeps spray low and wide so the ride remains dry.
Her SeaV2 hull tracks well through the light chop on our test day. No matter how aggressive we got with the wheel she showed no sign of chine walking. At cruise, she’ll come around 360-degrees in 15 seconds and only lose 3 to 4 knots while doing so.
On acceleration, she shows very little bow rise, so the visibility was unaffected. Coming off plane, she’ll remain at a fairly level attitude, so again, no interruption of visibility.
Full Features Inspection
At the stern.
A massive 254-quart (240.4 L) insulated fishbox is neatly fitted into the transom. Situated just below the box is a standard foldaway bench seat that deploys when the cockpit is used to entertain.
Even better for entertaining is the optional port and starboard side mounted bench seat that makes the cockpit into a comfortable cruising boat. In this mode, the optional foldaway seats nestle in their respective bulwarks. A jumbo-sized transom door is located to starboard, opens out as it should, and leads to the boat's swim platform and integrated boarding ladder. The 80 sq. ft. (7.4 sq. m) cockpit is well laid-out for fishing, diving or sunset dock parties.
At the stern is a feature that we’ve come to expect on any fishing boat and that is the fold-out aft bench seat. It’s an important feature when entertaining or just riding out to the fishing grounds. Just underneath is a feature that every boat in this class should have. Right in the deck is a hatch leading to a “mechanical room”. This is where the generator, the seacocks, raw water pumps, filters and bilge pumps are located.
Fishing Make-Ready Consoles.
Forward in the cockpit, on the port side, is a rigging station with a sink and storage space for tackle in the locker below. This workstation can be reconfigured to provide a large electric grill up top and a stainless fridge below. This is a good option for entertaining. Directly across to the starboard side is another console that houses the Express 330's 45-gallon (170.3 L) raw water livewell with light, overboard drain, and full-column distribution inlet.
The Helm Deck Seating.
A major factor of the boat's appeal is the raised bridge deck and the standard hardtop above. By centering the helm station, the space opens up to convertible companion seating on either side of the captain’s seat. Because the helm deck is raised two steps the captain has better visibility than would otherwise be the case, and there is more headroom in the mid-cabin below.
Located on the port side is a traditional seat for one that easily converts into a mini-lounger. This location also provides access to the companionway’s folding doors and the cabin below. Under the seat is a 56-quart (53 L) cooler. When the port side seat was reconfigured, it allowed easier passage through to the cabin entrance and more luxurious seat cushions throughout the helm and all seating areas.
To the starboard side of the helm are a pair of seats that are configured to face each other. Knees will likely come together in this manner so it’s also likely that one person will sit sideways, an equally comfortable position thanks to the side bolsters. As with the port seat, a fold-away filler comes up to convert into a lounger.
Grady-White made some significant changes to the helm for this model year. The most important was moving the digital Yamaha panel from the top of the helm down to the lower helm. In its previous position, it could not be seen well with the instrument pod in the raised position. The windows have all been raised to provide more visibility. To either side of the compass, two storage nooks have been added, where the gauges previously were, and both have 12V power plugs.
The helm’s centralized instrument pod provides the pilot with excellent sightlines all around from the plush captain’s chair. This Command Elite seat adjusts both horizontally and vertically. It has flip-up armrests and a bolster pad for increased comfort when standing or leaning. Because the seat can be moved aft, the captain has plenty of room to face aft when a fish is on.
The Express 330 now comes available with a full upgraded control system thanks to the Yamaha Helm Master EX system. It includes…
- Digital Electric Steering – It begins with a new digital electric steering system. Now that this has gone digital, it was easy for Yamaha to add features like Joystick steering and an autopilot tied into the GPS so that the boat will automatically follow selected waypoints, and even several waypoints built into a route.
- Electronic Key System – The ignitions have new start/stops that are activated with a floating key fob. If the key fob isn’t near the ignitions, the engines won’t start. It can be overridden with a code, but for all intents and purposes, the fob needs to be near the helm.
- Full Maneuverability Package – This is an optional feature that Grady offers on the 330. The joystick provides the improved maneuverability at the dock, no surprise there. However, additional features include Stay Point that will hold position and heading, Drift Point that holds the heading but not position, and Fish Point that allows us to set the bow or the stern to hold position while the opposite is allowed to swing with the wind or tide.
The joystick also has +/- buttons so we can adjust the thrust while maneuvering on the joystick. This isn’t a remarkable feature as all joysticks have adjustable power, but what is remarkable is that others only have a hi/low setting. This unit, however, allows adjustment through five individual power settings for extremely precise maneuverability.
The Helm Master joystick has many new features, including three station keeping modes and five power adjustments
- Control Binnacle – The digital engine controls are upgraded to include the usual individual trim buttons. But there’s also a new Cruise Assist feature. On the left throttle (the primary with single lever control), there’s not only the trim button but also a +/- button that will adjust the speed so we can dial in a more precise speed setting without gently tweaking the sticks.
Another slick idea is Grady-White’s electromechanically operated electronics enclosure. This motorized dash console motors up to reveal all the boat's flat-panel monitors and electronic engine gauges, and closes to keep them secure and dry at the marina. As an option, the helm can be equipped with a 12,000 BTU air conditioning unit.
The cabin below sleeps five in three compartments, has a dining table, galley and head. The galley has a microwave oven, two-burner electric glass stovetop, stainless-steel sink and refrigerator. The Corian countertop is attractive, durable, can be used as a cutting board and has a slightly raised fiddle.
The fully-molded cabin liner adds to the boat’s structural rigidity, is easy to clean and is accented with standard teak and holly flooring. There is also an enclosed head compartment with vanity sink and hot water shower with a standard 6-gallon (22.7 L) water heater plumbed to a 44-gallon (166.6 L) freshwater tank. The entire cabin is cooled by a standard 12,000 BTU air conditioning system which is powered by a 5 kW diesel generator that comes standard on the Express 330.
Options to Consider
Obviously the most repeated word in this report is the word "standard." Nevertheless, boaters being the breed that they are, Grady-White has created some options for even more demanding consumers. Here are a few –
Colored Hull Sides. Grady-White offers seven colors in gel coat- Grady-White, Celestial Blue, Coastal Fog Blue, Ocean Mist Blue, Sand, Sea Glass, Sea Port Blue- and two in paint- Cape Gray, Harbor Blue. The builder uses different mediums to maximize the gloss and longevity of the color.
Enclosed Helm Option. Grady-White's optional hardtop features two vertical side windows both port and starboard that stretch from the deck to the hardtop. These, together with a drop curtain aft, can make this boat a three or four-season vessel. Other aspects of this option include a painted aluminum frame, tri-colored LED lights and integrated hand holds along the sides.
Helm Deck A/C. 12,000 BTUs.
Bow Thruster. For those not opting for the Yamaha Helm Master EX with Full Maneuverability, this is a good alternative.
Fishbox Freezer/Refrigerator. This can come in handy for both keen meat anglers or cruising folks off on an adventure.
- Side Cockpit Bench Seats. A primary activity of most boaters we know aboard their vessels is entertaining. In a boat such as the Express 330, the primary entertaining area is the cockpit. While men don't mind sitting on the gunwales, most women we know don't like it, and seats are safer for everyone. For that reason, we applaud Grady-White for making foldaway side seating available as an option both port and starboard. It does not hinder fishing one bit, but when the boat is used for entertaining, the ladies can be comfortably seated.
We think that there is a sizable group of boaters who want to go cruising offshore – to places like the Bahamas, Greek Isles, Dalmatian Coast, or Georgian Bay – in a boat that looks salty and seaworthy and not like a big sportboat on steroids festooned with bling and tail fins. For these folks, the Grady-White Express 330 should be considered. She is certainly seaworthy, is classically salty looking, and has range.
For big game anglers moving up or coming down from expensive to operate convertibles, a vessel such the Express 330 should fill the bill in many ways. With a range of 321 nautical miles at best cruise – or better, depending on the engines – the Grady-White Express 330 can make it out to the canyons, troll all day, and come home at night on a single tank of fuel.
Grady-White continues to be popular with serious anglers as it provides them with a tough, bluewater platform. The increased comfort of the Express 330 cabin coupled with the builder's strong attention to details makes this boat a serious option for those who don’t want to sacrifice family fun when seeking a boat that can do it all.