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Introduced for the 2015 model year, Grady-White's new 191 CE Coastal Explorer is the second in a growing family of hybrid boats that perform a multitude of family functions in coastal waterways.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
Multi-mission, shallow draft craft are all the rage these days and go by many names: bay boats, utility boats, hybrids, crossovers, etc. But with its new Coastal Explorer series, the good folks at Grady-White may have just invented a new species, the Coastal Explorer.
Joining its bigger sister the 251 CE that was introduced last season, the new 191 CE is an entry-level boat that is far from ordinary. Since she sports Grady's proven over-engineered Outer Banks lineage, the 191 CE is built tough like her sibling, but she's just 5-1/2 feet shorter. The mission of the Coastal Explorer boats is to be true to their namesake, to go just about anywhere and do just about anything you and your family have on the coastal waterway agenda. The layout of the 191 CE is utilitarian, but is not lacking the requisite creature comforts to keep you and your crew comfy during a full day out on the water. The leaning post features a removable backrest that will provide excellent support when going from one end of the bay to the other. The aft jump seats offer thick cushions and optional plug-in backrests. The center console is just the right size to offer dry stowage down under, plus a full array of engine instrumentation, including a cool looking aircraft-style vertical dash compass, along with enough room to mount your fave combo GPS chartplotter/echo sounder.
Standard fishing features on this Grady include four flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales; a second quartet of vertical rodholders that flank either side of the console in split pairs; an insulated 149-quart cooler with overboard drain and an anchor locker set under the elevated forward casting deck; and a 48-quart cooler positioned under the aft casting deck can be converted into an optional 12-gallon livewell. The self-bailing cockpit offers 20 inches of internal depth and like all Gradys, is self-bailing via two aft scuppers whether underway or at rest. There's an additional 70-quart insulated cooler below the forward console bench seat and for fishing finatics, this too can be converted into an optional 17-1/2-gallon recirculating livewell. There's more dry stowage for your gear under each aft jump seat, accessed via flush deck hatches.

The SeaV2 hull design on the 191 CE will tame just about any afternoon chop you'll encounter on open water and will do it in style. This is a good-looking Carolina girl with the typical raised sheer line and generous bow flare forward that tapers back aft with graceful curves. Standard power on this rig is Yamaha's proven F150 four-stroke, which has been one of their most popular outboards since its introduction. It's performance, reliability and durability in both single and twin configurations has truly been phenomenal, so it was a natural choice to power the Grady 191 CE. Spinning an 18-inch pitch Reliance 3-blade stainless steel prop, the 191 CE will hit 46.5 mph at wide open throttle, which depending on your load will be roughly 6,000 rpm. Optimum cruise occurs at 3,800 revs, where this Grady will hit 26.8 mph on the GPS at 6.1 gph, for a net of 4.43 mpg. If you need to connect to a hot bite on the other side of the bay, spooling it up to 4,500 revs will generate 33.8 mph at 8.8 gph, for 3.86 mpg. If the wind picks up and you need to throttle back a bit, dropping the rpms to 3,500 revolutions will produce 24.1 mph at only 5.3 gph, for a bottom line of 4.54 mpg. No matter what your speed in the preferred 3,500- 4,500-rpm cruising band, this Grady's great fuel economy will take you a long way between fill-ups with its 52-gallon fuel tank. If you have a need for more speed, you can upgrade the powerplant to Yamaha's new 2.8L F200, which will offer a top speed over 51 mph.

Notable standard equipment on the 191 CE includes an 1100-gph auto bilge pump; 316 grade low profile stainless steel bow rail, stern rail, console grab rail and deck hardware; blue LED cockpit lights; stainless steel through-hull fittings; a port corner boarding ladder; battery on/off switch; and much more. If you want to get creative, there are dozens of optional features including converting either of the forward or aft console coolers into livewells; plug-in seat back cushions fore and aft; a bow table package with forward insert and cushions; Bimini top; a half-dozen hull colors; hydraulic steering; a ski-tow pole; marine stereo; freshwater and raw water washdown systems, among other choices.

Like all Gradys from the largest to the smallest, the 191 CE is built to handle big water, even if you never leave the back bays, and features top-shelf 100% hand-laid fiberglass hulls and decks, level foam flotation, backed by a five-year hull warranty.