Fast When It Has to Be…
How can a long-range yacht also display fleetness of foot? Grand Banks takes advantage of the efficiency of a modified-V hull across a wide range of speeds combined with the fuel economy of modern electronically controlled diesels. At displacement speed, the hull demands very little power, and the Caterpillar C18 engines ( 855 hp is standard, 1015- and 1150-hp versions optional) sip fuel like a miser nursing a drink past happy hour.
Displacement speed is necessary for long trips, but why go slow if you don’t have to? Crack open the throttles and the 65RP will accelerate smoothly into planing mode, according to Grand Banks. We haven’t tested the boat, so we have to take their word for it. The company says standard power will push the boat to 22.3 knots max, 18.5 cruise. With the 1150-hp Cats GB says she'll WOT at 25.5 kts and cruise at, 20 kts.
The Genius of Fexas
Tom Fexas was a master at drawing low-resistance hulls. He believed in keeping the chine above the waterline, because he felt that the knuckle in the hull lines would add way too much resistance if below the waterline. As the boat rolled, the chine would immerse and add stability; as the hull accelerated, it would add lift due to the force of water coming off the bottom, and also deflect that water away from the hull to minimize spray. But most of the time the chine would live in air, not in the water.
In the Aleutian 65 RP, Fexas added a second, lower chine to add more lift, and propeller tunnels to reduce both draft and shaft angle, and increase propulsion efficiency. If you look closely at the Aleutian’s hull lines, you’ll see a resemblance to fast boats of 50 or 60 years ago – they were Fexas’s inspiration for many of the boats he drew.
At low speed, the chines and hard bilges of the modified-V hull dampen roll, making the boat more comfortable for long ocean passages. A keel improves tracking and protects the running gear. Naiad stabilizers are optional, and we recommend them if you’re planning on bluewater expeditions, as hull shape will take you just so far. When the sea gets rambunctious you’ll appreciate mechanical help. Old-time powerboat cruisers would drag paravanes from booms as stabilizers, a simple but awkward set-up. Go with the modern Naiads. Some displacement boats have both.
Room For Everybody
There’s more to a boat than its hull, and the 65 RP provides room for the whole gang in three staterooms. The standard layout fits three staterooms with three en suite heads onto the lower deck; the master is amidships, a VIP cabin forward with a island berth, and a twin cabin in-between. (You can have an office here instead.) Crew’s quarters for two hands are aft of the engine room, well-separated from the owner and guests. A yacht like this takes some degree of maintenance, if only to keep everything clean; you’ll probably want to hire a crew, and bunking them away from you and your guests will keep all parties happier.
The Main Deck
On the upper deck, you’ll find a big saloon/dining area, large U-shaped galley and a pilothouse that would make an admiral happy. We think the small dinette adjacent to the helm will be where guests congregate. There’s plenty of lounging space on the flying bridge, too; access is through either a stairway from the main helm (safer in rough weather) and a stairwell from the aft deck. On the upper deck there’s room for a RIB or hard tender, and a 1,300-lb davit to handle it.
Standards and Options
Aboard a boat like the 65 RP, there aren’t a lot of options: At this price point, builders typically include everything necessary. Grand Banks installs a hydraulic bow thruster and a hydraulic windlass, both of which we prefer to electric in almost any size yacht. A Seagull IV water purification system should provide peace of mind in less salubrious ports; isolation transformers will protect from out-of-spec shore power. An Onan 21.5-kw genset is also standard. There’s a washer and dryer. Even china dishes and Oneida flatware is included; just bring food, drink and clothes and you’re ready to go.
Options to Consider
There are a few options we’d like you to consider: We already mentioned the stabilizers, but we’d also spring for a hydraulic stern thruster. This is a big, heavy yacht, and we want as many control options as possible, particularly in a marina with a strong cross-curent. We’d go for a fiberglass hardtop vs. the radar arch/soft top that’s standard, and add the Zodiac Yachtline 380 tender with its 40-hp outboard. And while we’d steer clear of the optional teak decking on the exterior, we’d replace the standard carpet in the saloon and cabins with a teak-and-maple sole because it adds class to the yacht.
Need you ask? We love this boat, and as soon as we cash out our Ponzi scheme we might buy one for ourselves. In the meantime, if you have the means and are ready to invest in a major cruising yacht, the Grand Banks 65 Aleutian RP is one you should certainly look at. It combines long range with a decent turn of speed for coastal cruising, and comes from one of the premier names in yacht building. There are not many of these boats on the used boat market. That is a good sign. It means that the people who have them are hanging on to them and when you go to sell yours, chances are you won't have much competition, so you should get a better price than otherwise.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!