The Boating Forum - GW Sailfish vs Islander

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View Full Version : GW Sailfish vs Islander

Mike Boehler
05-10-2004, 03:05 PM
What's major differences in these two boats? I'm sure there are lots of you who own them. I'm looking at the 26' model. Do either models have stand up enclosed heads? What's your opinions
Also see a 252 Sportfisherman model '92. Any thoughts on that?


05-10-2004, 07:57 PM
the sailfish '04 is a 28' ~30'loa boat with a
nearly 10'beam . The '04 Islander is a 27'~29loa
8'7"beam boat. Both can be set for twins but
the Islander is often set up with a single 250.
I have a 2000 265 Express with t 200OX-66.
25'9" 28'loa 9'7" beam. So far so good!
you can trailer the Islander if you can pull
Check out and to
checkout used late models and save $$$$$$!
Good Luck!
Tight Lines!

Enough Already
05-10-2004, 08:20 PM
Key difference is the beam. The Islander is intended to be a trailerable boat, w/ no special towing width permits required (lighter weight too). Go to the dealer and get a feel for the size difference. Most of the new models are similar in size to the 2 - 4 year old boats. I think the 272 Sailfish became the current 270 Islander. The bigger beam boat feels much larger. If you are going wide beam, check out the 265 Express as well. Not a WA, but a very nice express cruiser look, with a larger cabin than the 282 Sailfish. I've got a 2001 Express and am very happy. After over a year of research, I figured the 2001 with 450 HP of OX66s was the best way to go. Just purchased 2 months ago. The OX66s are the last and best of the 2-stroke technology. I'd let the HPDIs and 4-strokes work out the kinks for a few years before considering. IMHO. Hope it helps.

Great Laker
05-10-2004, 08:59 PM
My list narrowed down to 2 boats, the Islander and Triton 26 w/a. I went with the Islander because even though I could trailer both boats, the Islander required no wide load permits.

The Islander has a stand up enclosed head, and all the usual cabin stuff and about 6 feet of headroom. The Sail fish is a wider cabin but it's a wider boat. The Sail fish also has an Aft Cabin which anytime you can get that is a plus,

They redesigned the Islander's interior in 2003. Did away with the molded helm seat and a few other things.

It's hard to tell by the pictures on the site but it gives you an idea. You need to go look at them in person and start eliminating the boats that don't work for you.

If you don't plan on trailering the boat, the Express or Sailfish are hard to beat.

Good Luck

Good Luck.

Mike Boehler
05-10-2004, 09:12 PM
I've been on Boattrader all day looking at these and I'm buggeyed!
I would have to check again, but I thought I saw both model Grady's in a 26' model.

I can trailer up to 10' and push 10K lbs. or more. I'm unsure of the 2 strokes. As you know, we troll pretty slow here sometimes. If were going after lakers we're down under 2mph. But thats really another discussion.

I like the express, but can't find anyting in my price range. The 265 express is perfect but it seems like its a new model. Not much used out there.

I really appreciate the help here.

your right, I need to get to a Grady dealer and check them out in person.


05-10-2004, 09:39 PM
I have a 2002 GW Sailfish 282 w/twin Yamaha 225 4-strokes. The major difference I have seen between my boat and the Islander is the Sailfish is wider and longer, which gives you more room for an aft berth and placement of items in the cabin. It also means more room at the console, so everything does not look crowded. The downside is that due to the Sailfish's size, it is better kept in a slip rather then having to trailer her. Here in Southern California, since the boats can stay in the water all year, slips make it easier to use the boat.

Great Laker said it best: If you do not plan to trailer the boat, the Sailfish and/or 265 Express are hard to beat.

Good luck on your decision!


05-10-2004, 10:21 PM
The Islander was a 268 and now it is the 270. It is 26'11'' for both (same boat). It has a stand up head and a nice cabin. Lot's of fishing room. I have a 98 model I purchased in 01 and have been very pleased. I have the single 250 and it pushes the boat fine (I am no speed demon -23KT cruise).

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more details.


Great Laker
05-10-2004, 11:06 PM
Welcome to the ever questioning and compromise of the Boat Buying World..... :grin:

Go look at can't get the size down from the pictures. It''ll be alot easier to see it first hand..

Between the 2 and 4's a toss up.....all a matter of preference. The 2 strokes will troll all day and all year long as well...

I ended up with the 150 four strokes because of the stats and specs on the motor, 160 prop shaft horsepower, lighter weight (compared to twin 200's) , less fuel burn, etc,... the twin 150's seems to fit the Islander's weight and size just right. On the Islander, the twin 200's only pushed that boat another 6 mph at WOT. Not enough difference for me considering the extra weight and what not.

05-10-2004, 11:34 PM
Like Weekend Honeymoon said...the 268 Islander is now the 270 and the 272 Sailfish is now the 282 Sailfish. On the older models the V hull use to stop at the swim platform/transom it runs all the way back....and Grady now accounts for that in the loa. I had an Islander and now a Sailfish...they are both great riding boats...aside from the obvious differences the mid-cabin is what I was after...and a little more deck space. The mid-cabin is a great storage thing the Islander lacks...but the Islander has plenty of space for you to create your own storage compartments. One other point...the Islander head is tight if you are decent size...the little bit of extra room in the Sailfish head makes a big difference....when you are looking at them actually step into the head and sit down & close the door....and have your wife try it also....see if you can do what you have to do(not really) without opening the door!!! Your best bet would be to go to a dealer where you can compare them side by side...and when you do try to simulate how you may use the boat....especially with two people in the cabin. Laay down on the v-berths...the one on port side is only about 73" long...the one on starboard is longer. I'm an even 6' and the port berth feels too small for me.

good luck,

Mike Boehler
05-11-2004, 06:16 AM
You guys have certainly shed some light on the confusing aspects. Thanks so much. Talking to actual owners is invaluable. The numbers make more sense now.
How the heck did people pick boats before this board came along? Just way too many options out there.
I like the Islander for what I do. I think the express would be more comfortable but because they aren't in production long, there arent any out there.

I've been looking for something that rivals the Albemarle 268 Express for a while now and I think I found its competition.
Great work guys, can't say enough!


Great Laker
05-11-2004, 07:59 AM
may also want to look at

Type in Grady White on the search option and you'll get 4-5 pages worth.

05-11-2004, 01:24 PM
I have a 1996 268 Islander. Like they said above, the beam is the major difference. I just re-powered with 200 hp HPDIs. Before I pulled the trigger, I spoke with Grady White about getting four stroke engines. They suggested that the 4 stroke engines with 100 or 225 hp would be too heavy. Their new 270 Islander model was changed to increase the stern buoyancy to support the big four stroke engines. They extended the hull to the end of the engine bracket.

I am happy with the 200 twins. I know people who are happy with the 150s. I can tell you that the 200s really fly. Enjoy the hunt for your new boat!

Mike Boehler
05-11-2004, 01:37 PM
Mr. Pat;
Can you tell me what the '96 has for a cockpit height? I wonder if its the same as the new models. I think I read somewhere around 26" at the aft gunnel. Does this sound right?
Your help is really appreciated.


05-11-2004, 06:23 PM
Hey Mike, where is Sharon Springs, NY? You should really try to go to a dealer to compare side by side even if you are only interested in used boats. The three dealers below have a lot on site to look at and all three are suppose to be good. I bought my boat from Boats Inc in Niantic....they have treated me like family ever since I bought from them. They have 90+ slips on their property and about 70 of them are Grady's....lots of Sailfish's(and they have a new one you could climb all over), a number of Islanders(one used one for sale) and a few 26' Expresses. Many of the boat owners out there love to talk about their boats. So if you go take a walk out on the dock and talk to them. I dealt with Joe Sobolewski...a great guy. But if you buy from them negotiate and renegotiate. They always have room to move...I got my best deal from them but it took two weeks to reach an agreement.
Port of Egypt may be closer to you....its out on the north shore of Long Island.

Mike Boehler
05-11-2004, 06:52 PM
I live half way between Utica and Albany. Middle of nowhere!
I'm going to check out your Grady Dealer. I did a dealer search on their site and came up with Alexandria Bay as the closest. Your guy is closer.

I need to take a day and do like you suggest. Climb on board and check it out for myself.

Thanks for the suggestions


05-11-2004, 11:16 PM
Mike, there is actually one a little closer in Norwalk, CT. called Catalano & Sons. But I don't think you will find all the models you want to look at there. ther is also a dealer names Chalk & Sons out around the Thousand Islands...but I doubt they have much to look at...but it might be worth a call.

You have a pretty good haul to Niantic...has to be close to 200mi...or more. Take the Thruway down to I90 and take that over to the Mass Pike...eventually you will want to pick the best route from the Mass Pike to get you to I95 on the south shore of Connecticut .. I think Niantic is exit 72 off I95.

Good Luck,

05-12-2004, 11:52 AM
Mike Boehler - 5/11/2004 12:37 PM

Mr. Pat;
Can you tell me what the '96 has for a cockpit height? I wonder if its the same as the new models. I think I read somewhere around 26" at the aft gunnel. Does this sound right?
Your help is really appreciated.


Mike that sounds right. I can't confirm this because the manual with the specs is on the boat. I will tell you that I can brace my legs very comfortably on the combing pads at the gunnel. :grin:

05-12-2004, 02:19 PM
I have a buddy selling a 2001 Islander powered with a 250 hp yam and kicker moter. The boat only has 120 hours or so and sits on wheels. Lots of electronics. He wants high sixties but would probably take low 60s. Boat's in Florida. Good luck with your search.

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