The Grady-White Freedom 285 is a dual-console boat designed to provide the comfort a family wants and still be a solid fishing platform when asked to serve in that capacity. With her SeaV2 deep-V design, she delivers a comfortable ride in offshore conditions, and she has a self-bailing cockpit and wood free composite hull construction.The Freedom 285 comes with a host of features that are often optional on other boats including a windlass, a hardtop, a stereo with Bluetooth, a table and pressure freshwater.
The Freedom 285’s versatility is on full display in the 65-square foot (19.8 sq. m) cockpit. Aft to starboard, there’s gated passage to the combination engine mounting bracket/swim platform, which has a four-step stainless steel boarding ladder and space to walk around in front of the motors. A hatch in the passageway opens a locker for the battery switches.
In the center of the stern there is a 185-quart (175.1 L) insulated fishbox with a 32-gallon (121 L) livewell to port. The raw water livewell has a full column inlet plenum, a cutting board hatch and a light. There are coaming panels all along the gunwales with rod racks and toerails down low. For relaxing, a bench seat that could accommodate two comfortably folds out of the stern.
Forward Seating Area
Moving forward, at first glance, the back-to-back seat to port looks like the traditional foldout model. It’s actually an electro-mechanical model. Push a button, and the bottom cushion extends aft, creating a chaise-style lounge seat that will become a coveted spot. There’s storage outboard in gunwale trays fore and aft of the seat and a fold-down footrest on the front of the base. The stereo control is also outboard.
Helm Seat and Wet Bar
The Freedom 285 comes standard with electromechanically adjustable helm bench seat with flip-up bolster and integrated aft facing deluxe wet bar with Corian countertop, fire extinguisher holder, sink, and three storage drawers.
wet bar has a fire extinguisher holder, a sink under a hinged top, a storage drawer, and trash compartments. Owners can go a step further and add a refrigerator in the base of the wet bar and a grill up top.
The Freedom 285’s helm is straightforward and efficient. The steering wheel is positioned so that a companion can join the captain if the boat has the doublewide helm seat. The trim tab switches with LED indicators are just abaft the shift/throttle controls. We’d like to see them forward on the electronics flat, so the driver can just reach ahead with his throttling hand to adjust the boat’s attitude. An angled flat section of the dash has space for optional electronics. Up top, a black panel includes the compass, accessory switches, and engine monitoring screens.
Stepping into the passageway to the bow, we found a locking compartment with dedicated storage for four tackle boxes in the helm console. Forward of that is a larger locker with a light. Opposite, the aft starboard corner of the port console opens into the passageway to make it easy to step into the private head compartment. The Freedom 285's head compartment comes standard with a Marine head with macerator, mirror, shelf, and teak and holly sole. To upgrade the facilities, owners can choose among different head options from a pump-out portable model to electric or macerator versions with 10-gallon (38 L) holding tanks.
The Freedom 285’s standard hardtop comes well-equipped with three zippered storage compartments, red, white, and blue LED lights, and two speakers in lieu of a pair at the helm. A rugged painted aluminum frame supports the top, which can be painted on the underside to match the hull if an owner chooses to pay for the upgrade.
Transition from the cockpit to the spacious bow is easy, thanks to the opening center section of the stainless steel framed windshield. Below, a folding door can be used to close off the passageway, which lets owners who live in colder climates extend their season.
The bow has comfortably reclined backrests, full wraparound bolsters, and removable bottom cushions. An optional filler cushion is available. Rails are recessed below deck level. There are cup holders in deck, and the cleats are pull-up models. A removable table that can also be used in the cockpit secures in place to create a booth where the kids can enjoy lunch.
The bow bottom cushions can be removed for fishing or to access storage below. To port, there’s open storage beneath a hinged hatch that opens on a gas strut. The 135-quart (128 L) insulated fishbox that drains overboard is to starboard. In the bow, the windlass is beneath a hatch in the foredeck, and there’s access to the rode and chain via another lower hatch.
Power and Performance
We haven’t tested the Freedom 285, but Grady-White has. With twin Yamaha 250-hp 4-stroke outboards, the boat weighed 9,534 lbs. (4,325 kg) and turned 15 1/2” x 17” (39.4 cm x 43.2 cm) stainless-steel propellers. According to Grady-White, she hit a top speed of 51.5 mph (44.8 knots) at 6000 rpm. Best cruise came at 3500 rpm where the boat ran 30.0 mph (26.1 knots) and burned 16.4 gph (62.1 lph), according to the builder. Stepping up to twin 300-hp Yamahas with 15 1/4” x 19” (38.7 cm x 48.3 cm) three-blade stainless steel props, the boat weighed the same and hit a top speed of 55.1 mph (47.9 knots) at 6000 rpm, says the company. Best cruise was at 3400 rpm where the boat ran 30.3 mph (26.4 knots) and burned 16.0 gph (60.6 lph), which gave the Freedom 285 a range of 342 statute miles, according to Grady-White.
Grady-White uses a C. Raymond Hunt Associates design that calls the SeaV2 hull on all its boats. It’s a continuously variable V-shaped design that utilizes variable deadrise measurements throughout the bottom. Its deadrise sharpens from 20-degrees at the transom to about 30-degrees amidships and a steeper entry at the bow.
Grady-White builds the Freedom 285 with all hand-laid materials and no wood. Stringers are molded from fiberglass and composites, filled with foam and encapsulated in resin and fiberglass. The composite transom on each new boat is reinforced with a solid aluminum transom-angle brace to distribute torque loads.
$208,050 with twin 250-hp Yamaha F250 4-stroke outboards.
When done well, a dual-console boat could be the closest thing to an aquatic SUV and the Grady-White Freedom 285 is done well. With fore and aft fishboxes, a livewell and other fishing features, she’s every bit the serious fishing boat. For cruising, features like the power-adjustable port side lounge, movable table and private head compartment offer everything a family needs to enjoy the water. Perhaps most important is Grady-White’s aftermarket customer service and its integrity. It’s hard to put a value on those two details, but, in the end, they count for a lot.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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