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Grady satisfied the fishermen and day cruisers in this boat loving family

by Grady-White 27 Apr 2022 17:32 UTC

Chris Shields had a lot to think about when he set out to purchase the family's fourth Grady-White. He wanted to be able to safely fish with his 75-year-old father, therefore offshore reliability and stability were top of mind.

Equally important was spending time cruising with his wife, Leigh, mother, Mildred, and four-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Ann, around their vacation home on Tiki Island in Galveston, Texas. With a dual console vs. center console family debate taking place, Chris had a list of features that would suit everyone. The Canyon 306 easily satisfied each and every desire - and more.

The Shields family's love of Grady-White boats began around 1988 when Chris and his dad attended a Houston boat show. There, they met Eddie Smith, owner of Grady-White Boats. That interaction made a real impression on Chris, who was just graduating from high school.

"He was so open and personable," recalls Chris. "He took the time to show us the boat and its many features. Even at a young age, I was acutely aware of the quality of the boats Grady-White made."

Their first Grady, a Fisherman 204, was a superb boat and did everything they wanted it to do. Chris credits that boat and the time he spent fishing and hunting with his dad, as well as summers with his mom, dad, and sister at their house on the water in Galveston, Texas, with keeping him out of trouble when he was growing up. Today, they continue boating around Tiki Island and the Galveston area where they each have weekend homes and enjoy raising their children much like they were raised. A highlight for Elizabeth Ann is going to see the dolphins swim near the port of Galveston.

Through the years, they had a few other Gradys. The second was the same model and similar to their first, but with new features and electronics. Then in 2019, Chris decided to purchase a larger boat, the Fisherman 236. Because of a new business venture, Chris and his dad had not gotten to fish as much as they'd wanted, but after purchasing the 236 they had lots of opportunities.

In Chris' words, "We fished the heck out of that boat!" One of Chris' most memorable moments was on that boat fishing with his dad. "We were about 50 miles offshore, and Dad caught his largest snapper (16 lbs.), and I caught my first Cobia (50 lbs.)," recalls Chris. "It was a fun, safe, and successful trip, full of priceless memories."

Recently, the desire to give his dad a little more offshore fishing stability led Chris back to the dealership. He was surprised to find that even in the short time since he bought the 236, Grady-White had added many new standard features to their already great boats.

Ultimately, after looking at a few different models, he chose the Canyon 306 for the wide 10 half foot beam, cockpit side door, and Gemlux® outriggers - just to name a few of the features that sold Chris and his wife on the 306. Soon after taking delivery, he and his dad went on an inaugural voyage and were thrilled at the amazing ride - even in the chop at 30 miles per hour! Now that the weather is warming up, the Shields men are getting familiar with all the great features of the new boat.

"The electronics, Helm Master™, and the windlass system will take a little time to learn - but I'm loving it!" said Chris who notes, "Life is short! Spend time with family!" That's just what they intend to do with this new Grady. Fish, play, make the most of every day and, of course, keep Elizabeth Ann out of trouble!

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