Grew 239 AC Exterior sideAn express cruiser with hidden performance.
By Doug Dawson
The 23-foot Grew 239 AC is what could be called a small express cruiser. Its eight-foot, six-inch beam moves it out of the ranks of the eight-foot beam "mini-cruiser" into the wider "cruiser" category. Appropriate to the "cruiser" label, it features an in cabin galley, a private head, a V berth, a mid-cabin and a separate dinette. All ACF Grew boats are built in Penetanguishene, Ontario, on the site where the company has been turning out models for over 100 years as Canada's oldest and largest manufacturer of pleasure powerboats.


The 239 AC is a new model that Grew engineered, developed and introduced in 1984. Sea trials on the 239 AC were conducted on Georgian Bay off Beausoleil Island near Penetanguishene, aboard a test boat powered by a 260 Mercruiser Stern-drive. When I first took the wheel and accelerated up to 3,000 rpm, I found the boat quite sensitive to the trim tabs. I spent a little more time acquainting myself with the boat's reaction to tab adjustment and realized that the tabs are especially large and I had been over-compensating.


In addition, the helm seat elevates you well above the water, giving you the sensation of more movement than would a low runabout. Once the tabs were properly set, the boat continued to plane at 2,800 rpm. I repeatedly slowed the boat back to an idle, then accelerated to 3,000 rpm and, once on a plane, pulled it back to 2,800 rpm. This test and the rest of the trials were run without further trim tab adjustment.
The test boat was run with a full tank of fuel and only myself aboard. The top rpm was 4,500, which read 37 mph on the boat's speedo. I thought it was faster because at full speed the photo boat, a 21-foot Scorpion with a 260 engine, slowly pulled away from the 239 AC. As it happens, the Mercruiser test evaluation center measures the top speed of the 239 AC at 42.9 mph at 4,775 rpm. This unexpected show of speed turns a relatively conservative looking express cruiser into a performance cruiser.


Grew 239 AC Interior Saloon Although most 239 AC’s have been sold with 260-hp stern-drives, this boat should perform almost as well with a lighter 230-hp engine. The smaller power option would save you money both at the time of the initial purchase and at the gas pump. In tight turns at 3,000 rpm the boat stayed on a plane and negotiated tight figure eights without dropping off. Throughout the trials and photo runs, I found the boat quiet at all speeds.
This is due partially to the insulation of the solid engine compartment bulkhead and the snap-in carpet, as well as to Grew's solid construction. There was no insulation under the decks. The forward deck is laid out like most cruisers of this size, with a teak bow pulpit and a sweeping full-length bow and side rail. The Grew 239 AC adds two teak handrails that run up the forward slope of the cabin, which make it easier and safer to move from the forward deck up to the cabin roof or to the side deck. A large, translucent hatch offers an alternative route to the forward deck.


At the corner of the cockpit is a six-inch rise in the cockpit coaming, which deflects any water running down the side deck and increases the depth of the cockpit for safety. The test boat was equipped with an optional teak swim platform, but a sculptured fiberglass platform from Grew's Chris –Craft Scorpion line has been introduced for 1985. These molded platforms completely hides the out drive and trim tabs, and eliminates platform legs. The horizontal surface of the platform is closer to the water than the conventional teak platform.


To keep the glass platform from looking too stark, Grew has added four teak slats that also serve as a nonskid surface. It took a boat manufacturer from mosquito country to put the mooring cleats outside the cockpit cover, finally eliminating cut-outs in the canvas for dock-lines. The cleats are secured to the angle of the coaming, below the curtain snaps just above the gunwale molding.
The cockpit is wrapped with vinyl covered padded bolsters that match the helm seat and aft lounge. The wraparound aft lounge is large enough to seat three or four adults. Lifting the bottom cushions reveals a large stowage compartment. Raising the hinged backrest, you find the convertible and camper tops neatly tucked away under the back coaming.


The cockpit floor is fiberglass for easy cleaning; its carpet snaps out to dry. The forward end of the cockpit has two large raised areas. One, under the helm seat, provides height for the mid-cabin. The other, on the port side, provides deck storage for lines and fenders.
The advantage of having the cockpit floor running flat between the two separate raised areas is that you don't have to climb over the mid-cabin compartment every time you enter and leave the cabin. The double helm seat and the single companion seat, both mounted on pedestal legs, adjust fore-and-aft and swivel. Only the helm seat has a comfortably positioned foot rest.


Grew 239 AC Kitchen and Exterior The dash is neatly arranged in three tiers. The lower tier houses the switches with their fuses. When I turned on the ignition switch, all the plastic toggle switches glowed. When an individual accessory was turned on, its toggle switch lit up brightly. Molded to the forward side of the dash is a curved spot to flush-mount a compass. Around the helm, your electronics technician will find lots of spaces, vertical and horizontal, in which to mount radio stereo and other gadgets.


An abundance of sea rails prevents loose items from falling off. The conventional skiff windshield is high enough to see through without ducking around the wiper motor, but not too high for me to stand and see over. The companionway is positioned slightly off-center to port, affording a little more space for areas along the cabin's starboard side. The bi-fold cabin door is solid Burmese teak with two full-length black Plexiglas windows.
The three-piece folding teak hatch provides plenty of headroom. The interior of the cabin is decorated with light beige vinyl wall covering, light beige and brown striped upholstery and a light brown carpet. The beiges are trimmed with teak. Two full-length side windows, 10 inches high in slightly tinted glass, brighten the small cabin.


The dinette is not in the V berth, as in many boats this size. Though relatively small it is a totally separate face-to-face unit. It quickly converts to sleep one 69- inch adult with lots of elbow room, or two very small adults with no elbow room. Storage in the dinette area is offered under the two seats, in a full-length shelf outboard and also in a hanging locker, which is topped with a small storage shelf.
The V berth boasts sleeping room for two six-footers. Along both sides are shelves with padded backrests. The galley is compact, as it must be for a 23- footer, but offers all the necessities. The sink is deeper than most. The flush-mounted standard alcohol stove occupies most of the counter top. When the stove is not in use, its stainless steel lid provides a working surface for preparing cold meals. Presumably one resorts to the dinette table as a preparation surface for hot meals. A cabinet runs outboard along the length of the counter top. Below the counter is the icebox or optional fridge and three wooden drawers. The private head is a true stand-up and- move-around compartment. Grew also believes in the standard marine toilet that pumps to a separate holding tank.


A sink with fixtures is neatly installed in a small counter. A smoked mirror backsplash reflects the vanity; an ample, square mirror is on the forward bulkhead. The compartment is complete with holders for soap, paper, toothbrush and towel. On the aft bulkhead is a vanity storage area. Though windowless, the head is well lit. Light brown carpet extends in from the cabin, but under the bowl Formica is thoughtfully installed for easy cleaning. The only concession the head makes to the boat's small size is the absence of a shower.
The mid-cabin is the roomiest I've seen on a 23-footer, but it can't be compared with those offered on 25- and 26- footers. Not intended for a six-foot, three-inch person like myself, it's a great spot for a couple of children. It is well-ventilated with two screened windows, and quite private with drapes on the windows and another across the cabin doorway. Shelves are installed in the headboard; there is also a hanging locker.


A comfortable, two-piece mattress covers the entire mid-cabin. The engine is tucked below the two center hatches of the cockpit. The forward hatch lifts out and the aft one then slides forward for access to the engine compartment and the entire top of the motor---,-you don't have to touch or move any part of the lounge. For a major motor project, the aft lounge easily lifts off the back deck with no tools required. It is simply held in position with two one-inch-high mahogany blocks.
The engine compartment is quite deep and a full 15 inches longer than the V8 engine. A solid bulkhead is built up a foot above the bottom of the boat, with a hole positioned in the top for running wiring forward. The fuel tank lays tight to the hull under the mid-cabin. There is plenty of storage on both sides of the engine, even with factory-installed items like battery and blower, power trim and tilt, and so on.


There is no insulation on the underside of the hatches or deck, or on the hull sides. But, as I previously noted, it is still a quiet boat. In all, the Grew 239 AC is a roomy, well-considered mid-cabin express cruiser with the high speed of a performance boat.


Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s December 1984 Issue.

Doug Dawson owns Doug Dawson Yacht Sales. He is an experienced member of the marine industry and a past president of the Ontario Marina Operators Association.

Photo Captions: Right, the engine is accessible through two hatches aft of the helm station, without moving or touching any part of the lounge. The Grew 239 AC’s berth center, can sleep two six footers, and the compact galley offers all the necessities. A sculptured fiberglass swim platform from ACF Grew;s Chris-Craft Scorpion line has been introduced for 1985 on the 239 AC.


Specifications:
Center line: 23ft 5in
Beam: 8ft 6in
Cockpit length: 8ft
Height: 8ft 8in
(Keel to top of windshield )
Weight: 4,450lbs
(With 260-hp Engine)
Tankage:
Fuel: 75gal
Fresh water: 12gal
Holding: 15gal
Test boat price (1985): $42,200

 

 

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.