A tactical look with a direct mission: raise marlin and serve as a test platform for Grander Custom Tackle. This clear purpose is evident in every aspect of Grander, hull no. 61 from Jarrett Bay Boatworks. The eye-catching walkaround will be based out of the British Virgin Islands, where she will chase billfish – and it won’t take long for her to live up to her name with a thousand-pounder in the spread.
As the Grander team puts it: “This is a billfish-targeted boat design. It isn’t even fair to simply call this a fishing boat. Grander is the ideal marlin machine.”
If Grander doesn’t turn your head on the fishing grounds or while walking the docks, you’ve clearly missed the clean lines of the walkaround design and the stunning Alexseal metallic paint job. A close look in bright sunlight shows the boat’s true beauty and reveals a slight difference between the Steel Gray color on her hull and that of the Stardust Silver found on the superstructure and decks — both colors must be seen in person to truly appreciate them. The pitch-black painted Pipewelders framing contrasts beautifully against the custom teak decks, coaming boards and high-gloss toe rail found throughout the deck. The faux-teak transom completes the package and tastefully highlights the Grander Tackle logo. The boat’s militaristic look was intentional, and she will stand out among the rest of the custom fleet. The Grander team explains: “The color scheme was chosen to be eye-catching and powerful. It is intended to go against the norm with a shock factor.”
Grander’s walkaround design creates a functional fishing platform capable of chasing any target species. Pull a spread for marlin, fly a kite for sailfish or deep-drop for swordfish — she has the potential to do everything, and do it all extremely well. The bow features two bucket seats as well as a pair of livewells, each capable of holding a handful of live baits. The setup would find itself quite handy while kite-fishing with a crew working one of the kites from the bow. A second livewell in the transom can be converted to hold five tuna tubes. A Release Marine fighting chair complements the rest of the teak throughout the cockpit and contrasts nicely against the upholstery on both the bridge and mezzanine seating. Below the mezzanine cushions is a large icebox for drinks and snacks, fed directly by the Eskimo ice maker tucked within the backrest of the mezzanine. Two freezers sit in the step directly below the mezzanine seating and provide the ideal location to keep mackerel or rigged ballyhoo.
Jarrett Bay used every available space in the cockpit for storage, including the stairs from the cockpit to the bridge and above the mezzanine seating. Gaff storage is craftily tucked in long tubes within the third step on the port side of the mezzanine for easy access when a fish is on the leader. A giant pair of fish boxes flank either side of the fighting chair within the cockpit sole.
The tower above the bridge offers the captain a perfect perch for added visibility. A Release helm chair sits aft of an actuated dash that rises to display a full Garmin electronics array. Two additional seating options were built into the tower: a forward-facing bench seat directly in front of the helm pod and an aft-facing jump seat for someone to watch the spread. Two hydraulic outriggers deploy at the touch of a button, and two teaser reels are located directly overhead.
The express-style bridge on Grander provides both form and function. The portside helm sits in front of two Release helm chairs. The actuated dash reveals a full electronics suite with a pair of Garmin 8215 displays, as well as the displays for the Caterpillar engines, autopilot, a pair of radios and a FLIR night-vision system. The joystick for the Caterpillar Three60 system sits to port of the helm pod. The entire starboard-side of the bridge is a beautiful bench seat, augmented by an aft-facing jump seat with a backrest. A second bench sits forward to port of the helm and hides additional freezer storage.
Accessed through two hatches on the bridge, the large Caterpillar 1,136 hp C18s with ACERT technology take up a majority of the engine room. As expected, the engine room is finished flawlessly, and the rigging and wiring are perfect wherever the eye goes. “We put everything in here that you would expect to find on a 60-footer,” explained Grander’s engineer, who oversaw the entire build process. While space is tight, I had no problems accessing all the necessary switches, valves or filters below. He added, “You’ll also notice that everything on board Grander has double redundancy.”
A Seakeeper 5 gyrostabilizer sat aft on the centerline, a nice addition when fishing in rough seas. The larger 21.5 kW Cat generator — needed to power the Seakeeper — is on the starboard-side just forward of the engines. A Sea Recovery watermaker sat in the same location on the port side.
The boat’s accommodations below serve the primary purpose of tackle storage in addition to minimal, yet purposeful amenities. Everything from 20-pound light-tackle gear to large 130-pound-class reels has its place within a cabinet, under a bunk or in a closet. The owner desired the ambience of a gentleman’s smoking lounge in the accommodations below, made possible by both the two-tone interior color as well as the thick button-top cushions finished in a dark-gray leather on the V-berth. A compact but capable galley occupies the starboard-side and includes the essentials. Don’t expect to find a lot of food in the cabinets: Open a drawer and you’ll find a pair of Shimano Stella reels mounted perfectly within. Storage for heavy-tackle rods and the LP electric reels sits below the forward V-berth. Cabinets on the port side open to reveal an abundance of tackle-box storage in addition to rod lockers with a wet hanging locker. A well-appointed head aft to port is finished in Stardust Silver and includes an eye-catching black toilet.
Grander stepped out quickly and reached her cruising speed of 30 knots in short order. At this speed, Grander turns 1,600 rpm and burns 58 gph. She accelerated smoothly into the upper rpm ranges, and on the pins, reached 45 knots at 2,350 rpm while burning 118 gph. Although we didn’t have a chance to run her through the inlet, she handled with extreme responsiveness, and I have no doubt she will perform flawlessly in less than ideal conditions offshore given her Jarrett Bay lineage.
Where Grander truly excelled was in reverse: Her hull design allowed the stern to lift slightly, and it didn’t dig in while pushing in reverse at nearly 8 knots. Working from port to starboard as if chasing a greyhounding blue marlin, the boat backed down faster than most could reel.
The Caterpillar Three60 joystick system moved the 46-footer effortlessly. Designed for close-quarter maneuvering, the system is integrated with both the engines and the oversize bow thruster to assist the captain when docking.
A Mission to Accomplish
Stepping off Grander, I was struck by the extreme versatility she offered. Thanks to the walkaround design with fishing-focused attention to detail, she has the ability to do well in any fishery one would desire. Ramsey reflects on the build by saying: “Just like all our custom boats that have come before her, Grander is this owner’s interpretation of the perfect boat. We couldn’t be happier with how she turned out, and the response from everyone who has seen her has been overwhelming.” You can add my name to that list of positive responses; I’m just ready to see her in action on the marlin grounds.