New Grand Banks GB60 Sneak Peak
Grand Banks has announced it is introducing the GB60 Skylounge late in the summer of 2018, building on the 2017 launch of the company’s GB60 Open Flybridge. The new model will offer cruisers the ability to operate the boat from an enclosed upper-deck pilothouse, providing nearly 360-degree views while sheltering the crew from unpleasant temperatures, wind, and rain in climate-controlled comfort. At the same time, a dedicated pilothouse means more available space below as it eliminates the need for a lower helm station.
Skylounge Adds Utility
Those looking to cruise long distances will appreciate the Skylounge, which adds another table and settee abaft the Stidd helm and companion seats. A top-deck dayhead should minimize time on the stairs while underway and the open boat deck aft will ship a 13’9” (4.2 m) tender with the Steelhead davit.
The enclosed pilothouse has been designed to work with the lines of the GB60, in more ways than one, since the boat’s entire deck and the superstructure above it, including the Skylounge, consist of PVC foam core and SAN Corecell sandwiched between skins of stitched multi-axial carbon fiber, fully infused with vinylester and epoxy resins. Grand Banks says this creates lightweight component strength while preserving the boat’s low center of gravity to preserve performance.
The main deck on the GB60 Skylounge will have a forward galley to port with the stairs to the upper deck opposite. There will be a salon sitting area with facing settees to starboard and an L-shaped lounge with dining table to port.
Belowdecks is a three-stateroom layout with a master to port with an athwartships king-size berth and private head. The forward VIP will share the second head with the third guest stateroom. There’s a crew berth area as well.
The standard twin 800-horsepower Volvo D13 diesels are expected to provide a top speed of 31 knots with a 25-knot cruising speed at 2020 rpm, according to Grand Banks. The builder also projects a 2,000-mile range at 10 knots, and says the GB60 Skylounge will be efficient throughout the entire speed curve. Optional power is a pair of 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200s. Base price for the GB60 Skylounge is north of $3 million.
The new GB60 Skylounge model will not be available until late summer, so we haven’t tested or inspected her. Nevertheless, we like what we see in the images and specs presented here. She has a 19’2” (5.84 m) beam, which is unusual for a cruising boat of this size and type, which not only adds interior room, but also enhances stability in a seaway.
Other important aspects of the boat include the skylounge day head, something that is unusual on any boat smaller than an 80’ (24 m) motoryacht, and her 1,530 gallon (5,500 L) fuel capacity which puts her squarely in the realm of a long-range cruiser at displacement speeds.
Consumers are given a choice of propulsion between twin Volvo Penta 800-hp D13s and twin 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS pods. This will be the big decision buyers will have to make, trading off the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.
We look forward to testing this boat in order to answer those, and other, questions.