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October 25, 2001

Grady-White F-26 Tigercat

Watch the cats and the market take off.

I found very minimal blow-back (spray coming out the front of the tunnel) and only when we were dead into the wind with the engines trimmed all the way down. And what little spray I noticed remained very low, close to the foredeck, never making it up over the windshield into the open enclosure. Rather, any "sneezing" the Grady does exits from the rear of the tunnel (no comments, please). Trim the engines up a bit and the bow sneezing disappears altogether.

Fishing
As you'd expect from Grady-White, every possible consideration is made for fishing ease. Straight from the factory, the Tigercat accommodates 26 rods. Add the optional T-top for a total of 30. The 11-gallon cooler box will keep your thirst slaked while you dip bait from the 45-gallon live well (big enough to hold two full scoops of "chovies" for you West Coast anglers), and load fresh fish into the 60-gallon insulated fish box. If that's not enough room, a 72-gallon insulated fish box, a full 52 inches long, will handle all but the biggest pelagics.

I think the optional fold-down transom seat should be aboard even hard-core fishing versions. Right next to the cutting board, it makes both the ride more comfortable and chopping bait ever so much easier on your back since you can kneel on the seat while you work.

Construction
Like the rest of the Grady line, the Tigercat uses solid fiberglass and polyester resins throughout. The walk-around provides plenty of room to access the bow, and the increased stability of the catamaran hull allowed us to work the anchor in total security even in the roughish seas.

Because of the tunnel, space utilization belowdecks on cats remains enigmatic - how to work around the big bump in the middle of the hull? While you get plenty of room for storage and sleeping, the tunnel on centerline forces some changes from traditional layouts. On the Tigercat, you step down into the fully enclosed shower and head to starboard. An extremely large berth forward provides such massive storage under it that you'll want to evaluate what you put in there so as not to weigh the boat down and make it bow-heavy.
The 53-square-foot cockpit has a toe rail to hook your feet under while gaffing or reviving fish, and the centerline walk-through accesses the large, open transom bracket area, allowing you to reach a rod tip well out beyond the engines when necessary.

Even though the new Grady-White Tigercat has softer, more rounded lines, designer C. Raymond Hunt Associates managed to do one very important thing: Make the Tigercat look unmistakably like a Grady-White. Consequently, Grady has already gotten orders for about 100 boats. And I think all the other catamaran manufacturers will thank Grady for this introduction. Watch the cats and the market take off.