Mission of the 50 Eastbay SX
After 15 years the folks at Grand Banks decided it was time to up-date their 49' (14.9 m) Eastbay and the 50 Eastbay was born. Her exterior styling is in step with the new nautical eye that has evolved over the last decade -- modern but not over-the-top Italian. After all, this is a Downeast yacht, and she certainly keeps those lines, but now in a modified, more modern rendition. Her roots are still in lobster boats, but new infusions of European DNA have muted the angular, workboat lines of the 49's pilothouse.
Huge advancements have been made in propulsion systems since the old 49 was introduced in 1998. The 50 Eastbay SX takes advantage of pod drives and offers as standard power twin Volvo Penta IPS800 systems which develop a total of 600-mhp each, according to the builder. By using jackshafts the builder has been able to optimize the trim and CG of the boat and at the same time take advantage of placing the pods far aft for better performance.
With the new model, the builder is offering five different main salon/pilothouse floor plans, and as many optional accommodation plans as well. Now, consumers can match the layout to their individual boating needs. Boaters with large families might want the 3-cabin version, those wanting to cruise with just another couple can pick one of two double cabin layouts, and so on. All of these changes make the new Eastbay as modern and as performance-oriented as any boat in class with her horsepower.
Built by Grand Banks.
There are a number of Downeast-style boats on the market in this size range, but none have the experience of Grand banks, nor do they have the unique set of attributes that this builder has developed over nearly 50 years in business. These attributes make the both the boat and the ownership experience desirable. ●
Lavish Use of Teak.
Grand Banks literally buys tons of teak each year, probably more than any other builder in recreational boating. As a result of its history it has the best suppliers of a wood that is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. The Grand Banks yard also has the capacity to age and dry its teak before installation, something that is costly, but pays off for the consumer.
C. Raymond Hunt Design.
The design firm that carries the name of the man most responsible for the 24-degree deep-V deadrise hull designed the 50 Eastbay SX. Hunt & Associates is one of the most prestigious go-to design firms for builders wanting to make sure their hulls are as expertly designed as possible for the tasks at hand. In this case it means comfort, speed, strength, and the maximization of the benefits offered by the IPS pod system.●
Interior Layout Choice.
It is no secret that far fewer people are buying new boats in this and every other size range these days. As a result, builders must compete fiercely for every sale, particularly in the rarified atmosphere of $1 million+ yachts. The builder has met that challenge by engineering five different layouts both on deck and below to meet the needs of different lifestyles and applications. By that means the 50 Eastbay SX can appeal to more people.
Because the 50 Eastbay will be used for entertaining and serious day boating, it is important that it have a large cockpit that is versatile. By building in a transom settee and making a table standard, then providing lots of room for fold-up chairs, the cockpit can be used for both al fresco dining and cocktail parties, to say nothing of being a staging area for scuba diving or other water sports. The standard teak deck and retractable awning above is icing on the cake. ●
The standard galley layout has a mezzanine galley which is down a couple of steps from the salon and helm deck. This arrangement maximizes visibility for the captain at the helm, keeps the chef part of the conversation and provides abundant ambient light in the galley. It also keeps the galley counters from direct view both from the salon and outside.
Valuable Standard Equipment.
We are impressed by a number of things that the 50 Eastbay comes with as standard. The following items are often listed as optional by many builders, and some don't offer them at all, standard or optional. A partial list includes: Teak cockpit, retractable cockpit awning, stainless steel pantograph side door at the helm, 6-panel ss sliding aft salon doors to cockpit, hand-crafted cockpit teak table with leaf and twin ss pedestals, etc. See a more complete list below.
The functionality of the Eastbay's options allows individuals to direct the boat to specific applications. Some of these are: hydraulic platform for tender, electric sun roof, side bulwark doors, and a passarelle, among other things.All of this makes the new 50 Eastbay terribly competitive with virtually all of the 50' (15.2 m) express cruisers on the market.
Probably the most important single aspect of the 50 Eastbay SX after her modern exterior Downeast styling, is her propulsion system. The builder has selected the Volvo Penta IPS system with joystick, and this has come, we should add, after several years of experimentation with pods of all sorts.
The forward-facing counter-rotating dual props of the IPS system are generally considered to be the most theoretically-efficient design since the props are cutting into undisturbed water. This is one reason why forward-facing props are used on some large cruise ships. The advantages of a joystick are by this time well known.
30% More Efficient at Best Cruise.
While BoatTEST.com has not tested the 50 Eastbay SX, during the critical transitional period between inboard drives to IPS pod drives several years ago we were able to test a number of models powered both by conventional inboard drives and IPS pods. We found that Volvo Penta's claim of 30% improved fuel-efficiency to be true, and very much on the conservative side in some cases. We found that top speed was also usually enhanced, but this improvement was not always so dramatic in our testing.
Control in a Following Sea.
It is important to remember that pod-drive propulsion systems have an important attribute that is rarely discussed -- they provide better directional control in a following sea. One of the age-old Achilles heels of inboard drives with small rudders is the potential difficulty they can have in an aggressive following sea. With pods the prop thrust can be directed immediately in the desired direction with the full horsepower available from the engines.
on the 50 Eastbay SX is supplied by twin D11 Volvo Penta diesels which the builder says have 600-mhp each. (Metric horsepower is 98.6% of that of standard English horsepower.) The techs at Eastbay report that the boat's top speed with these engines is just under 29 knots at 2350 rpms, and 22.5 knots at 2000 rpms.
An optional power upgrade
is available in the D11s, one which produces 700-mhp, according to Grand Banks. With this power the techs tell us that the 50 Eastbay SX has a top speed of 32.6 knots and a cruising speed of 24.7 knots at 2000 rpm. Again, we have not tested the boat, but are just passing along Eastbay-generated data.
Let There Be Teak
We cannot over emphasize the aspect of teak on the 50 Eastbay. While on many boats in class teak is used sparingly and for maximum impact -- almost as if it was gold, which it nearly is -- aboard the 50 Eastbay SX, inside teak is nearly everywhere. Bulkheads -- including side bulkheads -- all cabinetry, window frames, the helm console, stairs, doors, settee skirts, valances, pull-out drawers and much more, is all teak.
Color and Grain Matched.
Not only is there an immense amount of teak in the interior, but it all matches. This is important because not all teak is the same color. It comes from different trees and different parts of the tree. Some years the trees get lots of rain and others not so much. Not all are grown in the same type of soil. All of these things affect the color of the teak wood. The craftsmen at the Grand Banks factory in Malaysia know how to select teak and stain it so that once it is installed it all works together harmoniously. We have never seen a jarring teak color mismatch on an Eastbay interior.
Important Standard Equipment (Partial List)
●Hinged transom door●Cockpit wet bar●Ocean Air sun screens and blinds●Dual Stidd chairs at the helm, fully adjustable●Teak tables in both the cockpit and salon●Engine room automatic fire suppression system●Delta-T demisters in engine room●Freshwater washdown●Pop-up fender cleats●Bose lifestyle entertainment system●Onan generator with sound shield●Maxwell anchor windlassIn addition to the number of important items of standard equipment there is also the vender brands themselves -- in virtually all cases there are no better products available. We find that in most cases both the brand and the size of the units are what we would spec on our own vessel. In other words, there is no nickel-and-diming on the 50 Eastbay build.
With so many models on the market, how does one narrow down the choices to a brand or two? Most people start with exterior styling, and here the 50 Eastbay SX is as up-to-date as they come. Her propulsion package is state-of-the-art and costly, and this is one reason why the 50 Eastbay will be more expensive than boats powered by conventional inboard systems. As noted above, her remarkable use of teak and not stinting on quality components (which are always the most expensive) also makes this boat premium quality with a price to match.
Not discussed above but obvious in the photos is the up-dated aspect of the interior décor of the 50 Eastbay SX. We think the builder has done a good job of combining the traditional aspects of a yacht of this type with modern design and décor elements to fashion an interior that is both yacht-like and relatively modern.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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