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Grady White Bimini 306 Review

Performance
On our way out to the reef off Islamorada in the Florida Keys, we ran into the 2-foot close-set chop at about 20 degrees. The 20-knot breeze had little effect on us as the spray blew out away from the hull, and the boat rushed by before it had a chance to wet us. The Bimini qualifies as one of those boats that doesn’t want you to be overly prudent. It prefers that you trim it correctly and let it run rather than going too slowly. The Bimini’s attitude seems to be, “I’ll take care of the ride – you take care of the fishing.”
Loafing along at 35.7 mph at 4,000 rpm, the twin Yamaha 250 EFIs burned 24.8 total gph, according to the Yamaha gauge. A faster 41.4 mph (4,500 rpm) used 36 gph. When I was able to find some calm water, the Bimini charged ahead at a 50-mph top-end turning 5,300 rpm and impressed me as smooth, substantial-feeling and totally responsive. Trim is not overly sensitive, but when you lower the bow, any chop you may have been feeling just disappears. Interestingly, the 306 seems to like to lift its upwind side a bit in a strong beam wind. You can certainly trim it back level, but since I always trim up the windward side in a beam sea to smooth the ride and handle the spray better, this “automated” feature impressed me.
At lure-trolling speeds I found a solid white prop wash on centerline but very little surface turbulence trailing aft from the hull. Most single outboards idle too fast to troll live baits, but surprisingly, one engine in gear offered the perfect speed for live-baiting without any need to bump it in and out of gear – almost like having trolling valves. The Bimini 306 drifts in my preferred fashion, with a stern quarter to the wind, and is steerable without using power.
At the end of the day, the wind shifted and picked up. With the 3- to 4-foot seas close on the port bow, we raced home at 35 mph on a Rolls-smooth ride. Down-sea, the Bimini handles with hands-off control.

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