The new 191 CE is the second boat in Grady-White's new "Coastal Explorer" Series. She’s basically a center console but when we drill down to the details we see that she’s much more than what she appears. This is a "crossover" boat that not only has good looks, but functionality that takes her from a hard-core fishing platform to a family sportboat, with nothing more to facilitate the transition than a hose and cushion placement. She’s also got two other things going for her... a higher level of fit-and-finish, and the C. Raymond Hunt & Associates-designed "SeaV2" hull.
- 42-quart aft insulated cooler
- 64-quart cooler under forward console seat
- 149-quart forward insulated fishbox with ob drain
- Aft swim ladder
- 4 vertical rod storage holders forward
- port and starboard aft bench seats with cushions
- Helm lean bar with footrest and removable backrest
- Pop-up flush mount cleats
- Stainless steel through-hull fittings
|Length Overall||19' 4'' / 5.89 m|
Currently no test numbers
1 x 150-hp Yamaha 4-stroke
1 x 200-hp Yamaha 4-stroke
Single-purpose boats just aren’t making waves anymore. Everyone wants to be able to do more with their prized purchases and rightfully so. Having a boat that can multitask means that it’s not just dad who gets to reap the benefits when he takes his buddies out fishing. It’s now more of an opportunity to spend quality time with the family, but still being able to catch dinner once in a while, too. Such is the benefit of a boat like the 191 CE.
Being a center console, fishing comes easily to her. There are no carpeted decks or Ultraleather upholstery so she cleans up with little more than a hosing off. In fact, Grady-White will even include the raw water washdown in the purchase of the boat if so desired.
When it comes time for the family, pull the cushions out of the garage or dock box, add some chaise seatbacks and presto, a family sportboat is revealed. As icing on the cake, she’s easily trailerable, or a breeze to store in the marina’s rack room. Even more enticing is to bring her along on vacation to the distant lake house. So let’s see how it all comes together.
Dual Casting Decks.
Elevated decks both fore and aft add the ability to fish while casting lines far and wide. Put out a spread with the lines or throw out the cast net. We also like that there are steps to both sides of the forward platform, making the day so much easier on the knees.
Forward Vertical Rod Storage.
To both sides of the forward console seats are vertical rod holders, allowing for convenient storage while underway.
A large compartment in the bow makes a great spot to store the catch while also being able to keep it iced down.
Two are optional, which makes sense as not everyone will be into heavy fishing. Choose from either a 17.5-gallon (66 L) livewell placed under the forward console seat or a 12-gallon (45 L) livewell under the aft casting deck… or both.
Optional Trolling Motor Setup.
With the 191 CE, fishermen aren’t just limited to wetting a line outside the inlets. With a 14” (40 cm) hull draft, this boat loves skinny water too. That’s where having her pre-rigged for a trolling motor comes in handy.
Cushions for the bow platform are optional and can be added or removed in a snap…literally.
Removable Seat Backs.
There are two areas that are sure to add to the family comfort level... the bow and stern. In both areas, optional seatbacks can be inserted into sockets, making the bow into chaise lounges and the stern into jumpseats, both with welcome levels of comfort.
Forward Console Seat.
Not a surprise on any center console. This one comes standard with an insulated cooler under the seat.
Aft Reboarding Ladder.
Whether the optional ski tow pylon is chosen or not, it’s a sure thing that time will be spent in the water as much as on the water. Reboarding is as easy as unfolding the concealed reboarding ladder, and it can be done from in the water just as easily as on the boat.
Sea V2 Hull
We’d be remiss if we didn’t have a discussion of the Sea V2 hull design. It was designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates with a continually changing deadrise as the bottom configuration transitions forward. In this case, it starts at 16-degrees at the transom and increases from there as the eye moves forward.
A Key Design Factor
With boats that are designed for open water fishing work, there is typically a deeper V at the transom. This helps them launch off those offshore waves so much better. But none of this is necessary with the 191 CE. By foregoing the deeper V, Grady-White was able to create a boat that is more suited for boating in protected or coastal locations. With the flatter bottom, she can also be more stable at rest, a critical factor to a fishing boat with elevated casting decks. With less surface area below the waterline, she will also be faster and more fuel efficient at the same time.
Family-Friendly by Design
Aside from having family-friendly amenities, which we’ll get to in a moment, the boat is more stable and she is automatically going to be more comfortable for the whole family who may not be ready for deep-V rock and roll. Her low deadrise gives her shoal draft making her easy to beach, and ideal for anglers in skinny water.
A Softer Side
The hull design saves the deeper V for the bow, providing a sharp entry that easily cuts through chop and short waves, creating a smooth ride and little to no pounding, depending on speed and conditions of course. If the speed can be picked up, then her wide bow flare keeps spray out and away from the boat, providing a dry ride. The strakes also contribute to that dry ride acting as deflectors once the boat is on top.
Staying on Track
One added advantage of the Sea V2 hull design is her ability to track straighter in following or quartering waves. This may not be as critical a component in a coastal boat, as opposed to an offshore performer, but nonetheless, waves occur inshore as well and having a boat that can handle them better goes a long way towards removing fatigue from the day’s endeavors.
We haven’t tested this model as yet, but Grady-White had and has shared their numbers with us. She’s offered with a 150 or 200-hp Yamaha 4-stroke.
With the 150
, Grady-White’s test team reached a top speed of 46.5 mph while burning 16.4 gph. With her 52-gallon (197 L) fuel capacity that translates into a range of 133 statute miles. Best cruise was measured at 26.8 mph while burning 6.1 gph. That speed increased the range to just over 207 statute miles.
With the 200
, she topped out at 51.6 mph with a 20.5 gph fuel burn. That meant she could keep going for 118 miles. Best cruise was at 28 mph with a 5.7 gph fuel burn for a range of 231.5 statute miles.
So with the larger engine, she’ll go faster, but 15 miles shorter for distance. It’s at cruise that the larger engine shines. Since it’s not working as hard as the 150, the 200 goes faster while burning less fuel and going farther by 24.5 miles.
Again, these are numbers provided by the builder and we have not validated them.
The helm is to the port side of the console and the standard steering is no-feedback mechanical but hydraulic tilt steering is an option. Yamaha engines are the order of the day and as such there are two digital displays providing the engine data. An aircraft-style compass is standard and there’s open space to the right side for mounting a small navigation or fishfinder display.
The helm seat is a bench style leaning post and quite comfortable. There’s a molded footrest, a cross bar between the seat supports, and a flip-down footrest for even more comfort.
So now we come to the features inspection of our Grady-White 191 CE. As there’s so much to this boat, the most efficient way to conduct a tour is by function. We’ll start with fishing.
There are two elevated casting decks
, one forward and one aft. The beauty of the forward deck is that there are two steps to either side of the bow to access the elevated deck. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a little detail that several builders seem to discount as non-essential.
Now picture the scene. A fisherman is on the foredeck, catches a fish and steps off the deck to remove the hook and deposit the fish in the fishbox under the deck. Then goes to the livewell for another bait, steps up to the deck and casts out. Then hooks another and steps down to load it into the fishbox again. Then steps back up and… repeat ad nauseum. Sure, standing on the deck in a boat show and stepping up onto the elevated platform may not seem much, but do it all day and it gets old real quick. Those little steps turn into a godsend at the end of the day.
A neat little addition to the bow casting deck
is a filler table that is on a pneumatic pedestal. In the lowered position it extends the area of the forward casting deck significantly. Of course it’s a heavy-duty table with considerable heft, so not to worry about the portliest of fishing buddies standing on it. The main part of the deck measures 4’3” (1.29 m) front to rear. Continuing to the end of the extension we are at 6’3” (1.9 m). Adding the non-skid seat ahead of the console gives us 7’ (2.1 m). Across, the deck measures 6’ (1.8 m).
Under the deck is storage. And Grady-White put a bit of clever engineering into the compartment. It’s an insulated hold measuring 149 quarts (141 L) that shares additional space with the anchor, complete with anchor keeper. There’s a notch in the side of the hatch (an RTM hatch by the way) to allow the rode to run through. From there it secures to the side pull-up cleat. And just like that we’re switching from drift fishing to bottom fishing.
To the stern is another casting deck
, allowing plenty of room to move about. Additional storage is underneath along with the center cooler/livewell space. High points to Grady-White for making the side storage consist of removable bins. This makes for a much more functional use of space than simply leaving the area under the hatches wide open. Things get lost when the boat starts bouncing around, plus it also allows for clever storage of the batteries and other essential components critical to the stern of the boat.
Cool Idea… or Not.
It won’t do to have a livewell in only one section of the boat so Grady-White allows for an option to add two, one forward and one aft. At the bow, the forward console seat comes standard with a 70-quart (66 L) cooler underneath that can be swapped out for a 17.5-gallon (66) livewell. (And here it becomes interesting that coolers are measured in quarts and livewells are measured in gallons… what a country!). At the stern there’s an option for a second livewell, this time 12-gallon (45 L) in lieu of a 48-quart (45 L) cooler (See!).
The helm seat has a removable seatback
, so we can sit while facing aft and watch the lines. The helm is still easily accessible so it’s still a simple matter to reach one hand over the seat to continue steering. This is a likely scenario when trolling.
Rod Storage is Hardly a Concern.
There are four vertical rod holders at the bow, two to either side of the forward console seat. Another four are mounted to the caprails. Two more support the helm seatback making a total of 10.
So after a day of fishing on Saturday, a simple hose down resets the 191 CE from fishing and allows a few incidentals to be added for a conversion to the family activities… and no one will be the wiser.
Cushions are the first option
that serves the family well. In the stern, they’re standard… in the bow, optional. With the bow option, they’ll turn the entire foredeck area into the staple of any family boat… the sun pad. This is the place to relax and get some sun, whether the 191 CE is underway or not. Time and again, whenever we’re on center consoles, the bulk of the gathering is on one of these forward sun pads.
However, Grady-White Adds Another Bit of Comfort to the Bow.
Optional seatbacks are available that make the side seats at the bow into forward-facing chaise lounges. The seatbacks are sold in sets of two, and Grady-White correctly designed them to be interchangeable between this bow location and the sides of the aft platform to form jump seats. We’d still get two pairs so all can be used at the same time.
Getting ready for the day and bringing all the gear aboard is also a simple matter. A 72-quart (68 L) carry-on cooler has dedicated storage under the helm leaning post. Load it up at home with the food and drinks, and just bring it all right aboard.
That additional platform at the bow now reverts to a bow table and it’s accessible from the forward console seat and the three locations across the bow cushions over the foredeck. Simply loosening two knurled nuts for the two sections of the pneumatic pedestal easily raises it.
A couple more options to consider
include the ski tow pylon. A freshwater shower for cleaning the feet off before going from the beach to the boat is a great idea and it’s connected to a 10-gallon (37.9 L) tank. And of course there’s the stereo with four speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. There's also an optional T-top which adds four additional rod holders.
Aside from the amenities, aside from the comfort level, and aside from the hull design, there’s a definite feel about being onboard that speaks of a boat that typically carries a higher price tag. Quality components can be seen throughout and they definitely make a difference with the ability of the boat to have lasting power that make it a piece of life that can be handed down through the generations.
All hardware onboard is stainless steel, and all is 316-grade alloy, which maintains a high level of nickel to better resist staining. It’s double polished and double passivated, making it unreactive by coating the surface with a thin inert layer. This is how the shine is maintained for a longer period.
All hatches are RTM
or Resin Transfer Molded so they have a finished look both from the outside and the inside. All are supported by stainless steel gas-assist struts that are fastened with bolts hidden under backing plates from above, and cap nuts from below.
is all flush-mounted. The non-skid is all formed from a raised diamond pattern that is easier to clean than others that have a recessed pattern that traps dirt and debris. And Grady-White knows that the entire length of the caprails are going to be used for stepping aboard and all are treated with a grit type non-skid.
Finally, a little feature that’s not lost on us but few will notice… all drink holders and rod holders are designed with drains and hoses that channel condensation and collected water away and onto the self-draining deck.
As Shakespeare once said, though she’s small she’s mighty, and this is a phrase that applies to the Grady-White 191 CE. She’s a well-built coastal explorer, hence the “CE” moniker and we think she fits the role well. She seamlessly transitions from fishing to family fun, and yes we know that’s a well worn phrase, but here it definitely applies. She’s riding on a well-designed hull with a boat load of features. And although she isn’t packaged with a trailer, she’s easily trailerable, and any dealer can add one to the order.