World famous sailboat racer Mark Richards presides over Grand Banks as CEO these days. His time in raceboats has prompted Grand Banks to design an efficient hull for their new open flybridge cruiser, the Grand Banks 60.
- Three staterooms
- Twin 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS 1200
- Open Flybridge
2 x 900-hp Volvo D13 shafts
by Capt. Peter d’Anjou
The Grand Banks 60's mission is to be the most efficient cruiser in its class. She is a true blue water long-range cruiser that is ideal for passage-making and easily handled by two people. New construction techniques in carbon fiber create a stable boat with a low center of gravity that can take on rough seas and do it in style.
- Carbon-fiber and epoxy resin superstructure
- Burmese teak joinery
- Stidd helm chairs
- 30+ knot speed
- 1,286 nm range @ 10 knots and 11.5 gph
The semi-displacement hull was tank-tested in Australia and the report back, according to Grand Banks, was that it was the best performing monohull under 100' the facility had ever tested. The engine and tankage are carefully placed to keep the entire waterline length in the water. The low center of gravity and the 19’2” (5.85 m) beam add to her stability. The tankage is a single full-beam 1,530 gallon (5,800 L) saddle tank sitting ahead of the engines. While the superstructure is lightweight carbon-fiber, the joinery is Burmese teak, sometimes with veneers in certain places to keep the weight down.
The stability and ride from this design is such that options like SeaKeeper Gyro stabilizers and Vector stabilizer fins are available, but not deemed necessary.
The exterior profile still speaks of the Grand Banks heritage, particularly with the planking lines down the hull. The design’s efficiency and speed goals meant that weight was a consideration, so the company’s new standard of resin-infused carbon fiber construction above the waterline resulted in a very low center of gravity and inherent form stability at all speeds. Below the waterline, the hull is resin-infused e-glass with a Gurit closed cell foam core. The use of carbon fiber has multiple advantages in strength, rigidity, weight, and performance.
We’ll start at the flying bridge helm. Two ultra-leather upholstered seats are fully adjustable and include flip footrests. The helm console is a center-mounted pod style. The upper panel includes two 17” (43.18 cm) displays. To the left is a Garmin tri-data display, and to the right is a forward looking infra-red camera controller. The compass is top center. Below and left are the two bow thruster sticks, the Zipwake trim controller, spotlight remote, electrical rockers including the horn, the 7” (17.78 cm) Garmin engine display, the IPS joystick, the digital engine controls, and the windlass control.
Below are the engine start/stops and the VHF. The wood wheel is beautifully finished and includes the Grand Banks logo in the hub. To the left is the Fusion stereo and an accessory plug.
Stairs from the aft deck to the flying bridge are to the starboard side with storage drawers in each of the lower steps. This upper deck is a large gathering space.
Aft is a boat deck holding an 11’4” (3.45 m) RIB that can be launched with the 1,000-lb. (454 kg) capacity crane. Forward is a 73” (185.42 cm) x 53” (134.62 cm) sun pad with storage underneath. We’d like to see some rails to the sides of the pad.
The gathering takes place at an L-shaped settee wrapping around a solid wood table on a fixed pedestal. It’s gloss-finished with an intricate logo inlay, all under the hardtop 6’7” (2.01 m) overhead.
Across, the refreshment center includes a long Silestone counter with a stainless-steel sink. Storage is beneath with dedicated stemware holders and then there’s a refrigerator. All decking is natural teak. Now let’s head back down to the aft deck.
The 16’ x 5 1/2’ (4.88m x 1.68m) aft deck consists of a center-mounted bench seat just ahead of the transom. It sits behind a gloss-finished and 6’3” x 3’ (1.91m x .91m) expandable golden teak table.
The refreshment center has an undermount sink in the Silestone countertop. Storage beneath includes sorters for the logo’d stemware. Alongside is an icemaker and freezer drawer.
Storage is in the 21” (53.34 cm) high bulwarks. Support rails are 32” (81.28 cm) above the teak deck. And all this is protected by the extended flying bridge deck a full 7’8” (2.34m) overhead and fully fitted with LED lighting.
A starboard side door, not a gate, leads to the swim platform. The door is quite substantial, and includes a latch at the bottom that’s a bit hard to reach. We’d like to see either a magnetic latch or a higher-positioned one.
Down a 14” (35.56 cm) step, the 6’ (1.83m) platform is covered in teak. Staple rails line the trailing edge and can accommodate accessories such as a grill or bait table.
At the transom, a hatch lifts to reveal an electric grill. An optional sink would go alongside. The adjacent hatches lead to deep storage. Support struts hold the hatches open.
Now let’s move forward along the side decks and inspect the operational aspects on the bow.
As we make our way to the bow, side decks are 20” (50.80 cm) wide. There’s a 13” (33.02 cm) midship cleat. To the inboard side, there’s venting for the engine room in a position to reduce salt spray. Protection overhead comes out 2’2” (.66 m).
There’s a gate integrated into the rail over an outward-opening bulwarks door. The bulwarks come up 20” (50.80 cm), and rails top out at 32” (81.28 cm). Further forward are 3, 8” (20.32 cm) steps and there’s a waste pumpout and diesel fill. At the top, the rails top out at 27” (68.58 cm) over another 13” (33.02 cm) cleat. A 13” (33.02 cm) cleat is broad on the bow, and then we come to a 7” (17.78 cm) elevated platform supporting the ground tackle.
Fully forward there is a recessed Muir windlass leading out to a stainless anchor roller supporting the 77 lb. (35 kg) Ultra plow anchor on a stainless swivel. 12" (30.48 cm) cleats lead to chocks that blend into the varnished caprails. Just behind there’s a hatch leading to compartmentalized storage for the all-chain rode.
Now let’s go aft and check out the engine room before moving inside.
We can’t help but notice the thoughtful touches start with a convenient grab rail fixed to the underside of the hatch. At the aft end of the compartment, there are battery chargers and a power converter providing clean electrical from shore power as well as taking full advantage of solar panels on the hardtop.
Overall, this is a large space even with the optional water maker. To the forward bulkhead there are battery switches to both sides with sea strainers below. The watertight door to the engine room is 5” (12.70 cm) thick. Let’s head inside.
To both sides of the entrance, there are main engine and generator batteries, and not only are they well-labeled, they’re dated. A freshwater washdown is just alongside the port batteries. The engines are Volvo Penta’s IPS1200s built around the D13 block. They’re supported by vibration-absorbing mounts atop the thick, gloss-painted stringers.
The engines are connected to the IPS pods by long jackshafts allowing the pods to be mounted well aft for better efficiency and, of course, ideal weight distribution. Notice how sound protection built into the hatch cover above is a consideration.
Entering the Cabin
As we move to the salon, we enter through a 77” x 27” (195.58 x 68.58 cm) sliding door, with a 9” (22.86 cm) step. Inside, we see a lot of golden Burmese teak with a satin finish. Large surrounding windows let in plenty of natural light. The average overhead height is 6’9“ (2.06 m).
We’ll start with the galley located aft, between the two main deck gathering areas. We appreciate that the aft window opens on an electric actuator. Forward, the cabinetry is surrounded by Silestone. Storage includes dedicated sorters. There’s a dishwasher drawer, and then still more storage.
Aft are refrigerated drawers and a convection oven. Overhead is storage, but because of the generous 7’5” (2.26 m) overhead height here, it’s far too high to be usable.But Grand Banks thought of that, and made it all drop down to more convenient heights. The Silestone counters include an undermount stainless sink and a four-burner induction cooktop. In the corner is a trash receptacle.
Gatherings start at the L-shaped settee behind a gloss-finished golden teak table on an electrical adjustable-height pedestal. It slides out on angled brackets to ease entry and egress. Directly across is a three-seat sofa. A 48” (121.92 cm) TV is on an electric lift just behind. Drawer storage is below.
We like that there’s a lengthy teak grabrail running through the 6’9” (2.06 m) padded overhead. And notice that this is a dropped ceiling. Air handling vents run along the perimeter to evenly control the temperature in the room.
Just ahead of the salon is a two-person bench seat allowing guests to enjoy the same elevated view as the captain at the helm. Storage is underneath. It includes solid wood armrests, and forward is a wood trimmed skylight to the lower deck surrounded by leather.
Below are the wiper controls, side power control panel, a 7” (17.58 cm) Garmin display that integrates with the Volvo Penta engines, a multi-data display, and windlass control. Back to the left, we have the thruster sticks, a Flir control panel, the Zipwake tab panel, spotlight control, the ignitions, electrical switches including for the salon windows and horn. To the far right are the IPS joystick and digital engine controls. The wheel again is gloss varnished wood.
Visibility is through three 38” (96.52 cm) high windshields. The side ones are 42” (106.68 cm) wide while the center is 49" (124.46 cm) wide.
The companionway to the accommodations level is center mounted and the four steps have raised nonskid strips and courtesy lighting. The Grand Banks 60 is offered in a three-cabin version or with an additional cabin located just behind the existing guest cabin to starboard, both layouts with two heads.
We’ll start with the master to port.
This stateroom takes advantage of the skylight we saw above next to the helm. The berth is mounted athwartships with hullside windows just behind. It measures 85” (215.90 cm) by 75” (190.50 cm). Overhead height runs from 6’6” to 6’9” (1.98 m to 2.06 m).
A 48” (121.92 cm) TV is at the foot of the berth. A corner cabinet is below a large mirror. A walk-in closet includes hanging, shelf, and cabinet storage. More storage is under the berth and alongside. An overhead hatch includes a screen and blackout shade.
The ensuite is forward, fully featured and well-lit from an overhead hatch and hullside window. Teak decking extends into the enclosed glass-door shower.
Now let’s move to the VIP at the bow. This is outfitted with a 79” x 59” (200.66 x 149.86 cm) island berth accessible from both sides. Light comes in from fixed ports and an overhead hatch. There’s an upholstered headboard and storage to the sides of the stateroom, under the berth and in a hanging locker. And there’s an impressive piece of curved wood over the berth contoured to follow the raised cabin trunk. A 32” (81.28 cm) TV is to the aft bulkhead.
The shared head is laid out with many of the same features as the master ensuite.
There’s a single 75” (190.50 cm) long berth with a width running from 36” (91.44 cm) at the head tapering down to 26” (66.04 cm) at the foot. Storage is underneath. Headroom is an astonishing 7 ½’ (2.32 m). A hanging locker is provided.
Aft is the optional fourth cabin, down 10” (25.40 cm) and 13” (33.02 cm) steps. There’s lower headroom here ranging from 5’3” to 4’9” (1.60 m to 1.45 m).This cabin has a 77” (195.58 cm) x 27” (68.58 cm) berth with storage below. This space contains battery switches and the main electrical breakers.
Choice of engines and running gear based on customer requirements.
A washer dryer is standard equipment concealed behind paneling in the guest stateroom.
- $3.6 million
Optional Equipment to Consider
- Skylounge ($250,000)
- Aft cabin (fourth stateroom) ($200,000)
- The Volvo Penta 1200 engines ($125,000)
- Teak-faced carbon-fiber backed transom ($14,950)
- Passerelle ($34,450)
Captain Steve’s big takeaway was how quiet the Grand Banks 60 is underway, and he’s not talking about low engine noise. We’re talking about no creaking, no rattling, etc. It all speaks of a solidly built boat.
This is certainly a beautiful yacht and because it is luxurious we sometimes have to remind ourselves it is 65’4” (19.9 m). She combines speed and efficiency well per her mission, and she also handles and rides supremely.
This is an owner-operator’s yacht, and she’s everything a cruiser should be, in an updated and modern yacht that still manages to retain the classic DNA and high-quality build that made the Grand Banks brand so iconic.
As comfortable as this yacht is to be on, she’s even more impressive out on the water. If Grand Banks’ aim was to renew elite brand recognition with this yacht, then we believe they have succeeded in grand style.