January 10th, 2021

The Old and the New Grand Banks – PassageMaker

Classic Grand Banks meets the new in the May/June edition of Passage Maker, recently jumping on board the new Grand Banks GB60 Skylounge and overseeing an 11 year restoration project on a classic GB42. A magnificent comparison between articles, showing how Grand Banks Yachts have slickly transitioned through the decades from classic trawlerstyle yachts to highly efficient long-range cruisers.

When Andrew Parkinson jumps on board the GB60 Skylounge, his first concern was how did Grand Banks overcome the classic enclosed bridge design problem all yacht builders face with the addition of a “box on top” to the standard GB60, but the highly efficient cruiser well surpasses his expectations;

“The reimagined enclosed-bridge version of the Grand Banks 60 delivers much more
than a higher vantage point.”

Parkinson admires her smooth handling and high efficiency, the GB60 Skylounge achieving more than 2,000 miles at 10-knots per hour and burning only 7 gallons per hour. Handling well through the swell too, when rushing back to shore;

“As we began to slice our way through the short frequency 5-foot swell and chop, never once landing hard, my cool was quickly restored with literally the swiftness of 1,600 horses.”

The enclosed bridge on the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge adds extra entertaining space for guests on board and offers ease of access to the bridge, no matter what weather is endured. Weight is kept to a minimum with the deck, cabin-house and enclosed bridge fully-infused with carbon fibre, resulting in a low centre of gravity so you can enjoy stability no matter what speed you’re cruising at.

The May/June edition of Passage Maker then moves on to a legendary review from Jonathan Cooper, telling us of the hefty 11-year restoration of Splinters, a 1968 Grand Banks 42 footer owned by Eric Paulsen. The classic featured separate aft and forward trunk cabins and was an icon for coastal cruisers, the line stopped in 2006 but had more than 1,500 hulls delivered worldwide.

The restoration showcases the timeless foundations of the Grand Banks build from the 1960s in contrast with high-tech electronics and modern features. A large amount of Splinter’s framework suffered from rot and needed repairing, however, her original Lehman 120-hp engines were in great condition, along with her Morse Engine controls which barely had a scratch to their surface after 50 years. Read more about the Splinters restoration story below.

With the GB60 Skylounge feature and this classic restoration story both magnificently featured in the same edition, we’re able to witness the transition Grand Banks Yachts has gone through from the 1960s to now.

From designing classic trawler-style yachts, popularizing the recreational trawler around the world and marking the beginning of what Grand Banks would pride itself on for many years to come, to now developing modern age, highly efficient long-range cruisers which employ high-quality modern technology, materials and expertise.

Modern technology and equipment have these grand vessels performing better than ever before, there are timeless features which have been maintained from the 1960s and will cease to expire but we now have the modern equipment and technology to help preserve aspects of the classic trawler yacht design.

As Jonathan Cooper preferred to state;
“This is not your father’s Grand Banks, and that’s precisely the point.”

Summing up perfectly Grand Banks’ transition through the ages, Grand Banks Yachts aren’t the same as the 1960s, but yachts grow with age as we do and in that, they also adapt to their surroundings. We’ve honed in on classic features from the iconic trawler yacht and incorporated modern features to boost performance, efficiency and deliver a top of the range luxury yacht to our Grand Banks family.