The Palm Beach 70 looks like a giant lobster boat and is available with straight shaft inboards or Volvo Penta’s IPS pod drives. Because she’s a custom boat, there’s a choice of belowdecks layouts. Built by Grand Banks, she combines old-world craftsmanship and modern systems on a boat that offers strong performance.
- Choice of layouts
- Plenty of shimmering teak
- Polished stainless-steel hardware
- Choice of hull color polished to perfection
- Tender garage
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||7.7 seconds|
|0 to 30||9.2 seconds (0 to 20)|
|Load||5 persons, 1/5 fuel, 3/8 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||98 deg., 75 humid; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: 0|
2 x 1000-hp D-13 shaft
2 x 1000-hp Volvo Penta IPS1350
2 x 1000-hp Volvo Penta D13 Shaft
By Capt. Martin Frobisher
An owner who buys the Palm Beach 70 to keep her in the docks as a place to enjoy cocktails would be doing the boat and himself a disservice. This is a luxuriously appointed performance yacht that lends itself equally well to being a fun day boat or weekend-getaway cruiser. She wants to get out and run.
She’s available in a variety of configurations — one owner ordered a single-stateroom layout — above and belowdecks. Our test model had three staterooms, a comfortable salon and spacious cockpit and flybridge.
- Semi-displacement hull with shallow aft deadrise and sharp entry provide maximum efficiency
- Available with IPS or inboards
- High-tech layout saves weight and adds strength
- Twin Disc joystick connects engines and thrusters for improved maneuvering
- Second helm station in cockpit
- Well laid-out engine room
- Large cockpit for entertaining
The Upper Helm. On a boat of this size, it’s easiest to start with the flybridge and work our way down, so that’s what we’ll do. Forward, the upper helm has a 15” multifunction display in the center of the compact dash. To starboard are the digital controls and the Twin Disc joystick that combines the thrusters and the shifting, giving the captain total control for docking. Down low to starboard are the VHF radio and Volvo Penta engine screens. Working outboard from the steering wheel, to port are the Humphree stabilizer controls, the Flir camera system, the Muir windlass switches, the Garmin autopilot and the Twin Disc thruster controls. The flybridge has three helm seats that swivel, slide fore and aft, and have adjustable height. Each also has a fold-out cupholder.
Triple Stidd seats can be adjusted in numerous ways for individual comfort.
The Flybridge. Abaft the upper helm, the flybridge has a lounge that wraps to starboard around a table. We measured the height of the lounge at 16” (40.64 cm) off the deck, which felt low to our test captain. He would have liked it to have been at least 3” (7.62 cm) higher. Still, the craftsmanship on the table was outstanding. Headroom on the flybridge is 6’9” (2.06 m) and the deck is arched slightly to improve water drainage. Continuing aft to port there’s an entertainment center with a sink and grille beneath a cover and storage drawers. Press a switch at the helm to lower the radar mast, which reduces 21’2” (6.45 m) bridge clearance by 6’4” (1.93 m). A hatch to port closes the access to the flybridge stairs.
The Cockpit. A stainless-steel and canvas overhead provides shade over the entirety of the Palm Beach 70’s cockpit that measures 14’ (4.27 m) at its widest and 10’ (3.05 m) from the salon entry to the front of the table. Headroom is 7’8” (2.34 m), the aft cockpit lounge is 6’2” (1. 88 m) wide, and the table just ahead of it is 6’6” x 2’11” (1.98 m x .89 m). Forward to starboard are a smaller lounge and another table. In short, the cockpit and table have plenty of space for entertaining. Forward of the flybridge stairs to port, the cockpit wet bar has an icemaker and the fold-away second helm station. In the starboard side of the bar adjacent to the salon entry is a small refrigerator.
Cockpit Storage An in-deck hatch to starboard opens to access the autopilot hydraulics and while the port hatch reveals water maker that produces 75 gph (283.91 lph) and 1,800 gallons (6,813.74 liters) per day. Outboard on each side in the rear of the cockpit are two gunwale compartments. There’s also a central deck hatch that accesses the front of the tender compartment. The entire center section of the cockpit raises on two hydraulic struts to reveal storage for a 10’ (3.05 m)-long tender.
The Stern. Twin passageways that close with sliding gates lead aft to the Palm Beach 70’s swim platform, which measures 3’11” (1.17 m) fore to aft and extends the full beam. Removable stainless-steel safety rails can be inserted into sockets around the perimeter of the platform and there are two 6” (15.24 cm)-long flip-up cleats on the outboard corners.
The Bow. It’s an easy transition from the swim platform to the bow on the Palm Beach 70’s 22” (55.88 cm)-wide side passageways. There are four 13” (35.56 cm) cleats per side and the stainless rails run from the start of the side passages all the way to the bow. A sun pad snaps in place on the foredeck and in the bow, there’s a recessed wraparound lounge with seating for a few people. In the foredeck, the Muir windlass and foot controls are exposed to the elements full-time rather than tucked away in an anchor locker. The anchor and chain pay out via a stainless-steel chute in the bow and there are cleats on each side.
The Salon. After a quick trip back to the cockpit on the side walkways, we enter the salon through bi-folding doors. To port are a J-shaped lounge and table that slides out and raises and lowers electrically. To starboard are individual lounges and a small footrest. The overhead is finished in varnished Burmese teak and upholstery with recessed courtesy lighting. Forward in the salon are a couple of bar stools to port. To starboard, a TV retracts into the aft side of the helm seat structure, and nearby there’s wine chiller. With the push of a button, windows aft on each side of the salon entry and outboard of the helm and galley open to merge the interior and outdoors.
The Lower Helm. Forward to starboard, there’s a fixed seat that measures 4’11” (1.50 m) across. The helm has dual Garmin MFDs in a vertical section forward of the centrally position steering wheel. The digital shift and throttle and joystick controls are to starboard. Working outboard to port from the steering wheel, there’s a digital compass, the control for the Seakeeper gyroscopit stabilizer and the Flir camera controls on the upper level. Down low are the Garmin autopilot and the Twin Disc thruster controls. Accessory switches are in a single row beneath the steering wheel.
Positioned beneath the steering wheel, the accessory switches are all clearly labeled and they illuminate when activated.
The Galley. Across from the helm to port, the galley has a stovetop and oven forward. Outboard to port is a single stainless-steel sink and on the aft side are refrigerator/freezer drawers and a dishwasher. There’s dedicated storage for silverware, espresso cops and dishes plus open space beneath the oven.
Master Stateroom. Stairs between the galley and lower helm lead to the belowdecks area. The main distribution panel is on the inboard side of the helm at the top of the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, the passageway to all the cabins is a straightforward single shot all the way to the VIP quarters in the bow. The entry to the master stateroom is to port and the berth is positioned across the beam with the headboard to port. Our test boat had a TV in the master with a closet aft and storage drawers under the berth. The en suite head is forward with his and her sinks outboard, a separate shower stall and a toilet.
VIP Quarters. Just ahead, the bow stateroom has a berth on the centerline with the headboard basically at the forward bulkhead. There are steps up on each side to access the berth with storage shelves outboard. Aft to port is a hanging locker and to starboard is the en suite head with a single sink, shower stall, and a toilet.
Guest cabin and Laundry. Working aft from the bow, there’s a linen closet across from the master stateroom entry and just aft is a laundry room with separate washer and dryer. Aft to starboard is a guest cabin with two berths set longitudinally. There’s a hanging locker outboard to port and forward is access to the head that is also the day head. It also has a separate shower stall with a folding glass door, plus a single sink and porcelain toilet.
The Engine Room. A hatch in the cockpit deck just abaft the salon entry provides access to the Palm Beach 70’s engine compartment. The twin 1000-hp Volvo Penta inboards are bolted on heavy-duty mounts that are bolted through the 5.5” (13.97 cm) wide stringers. Abaft the transmissions, we noticed oil-cooled Seatorque shaft seals. Above on the aft compartment bulkhead are the oil fills for the system and the battery charging systems. Palm Beach positions all of the accessories that need routine maintenance in the center to facilitate the process. All of the sea strainers are easy to get to for cleaning and through-hulls are in easy reach and clearly labeled. For example, the Racor fuel-water separators are on the forward bulkhead with a sight tube for the fuel tank in between. Kudos to the manufacturer for providing passage all the way around the motors. Forward of the motors, our test boat had the optional Seakeeper 9 gyroscopic stabilizer and just ahead of that are twin Fisher Panda 15 kW generators that are set up to operate in an on-demand system. One generator handles the majority of the demand and when it maxes out, the second one kicks in.
The Numbers. The Palm Beach 70 measures 74’4” (22.84 m) long with a 19’2” (5.85 m) beam and she draws 3’7” (1.1 m). Empty weight is listed at 70,500 lbs. (31,978 kg) and with five people, 336 gallons (1,271.90 liters) of fuel and test equipment on board, we had a test weight of 74,349 pounds (33,724.14 kg). The boat rides on a semi-displacement bottom that has a fine entry and flattens to a shallow deadrise aft. Running in calm conditions, we wound up the motors to 2400 rpm and hit 31 knots. Best cruise was at 1750 rpm where the boat ran 20.3 knots mph and burned 38.5 gph. That gave us 0.5 nmpg and a range of 753.9 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 1,585-gallon (5,999.88 liter) fuel capacity in reserve. At 630 rpm, the boat ran 7.3 knots mph and burned 2.7 gph, which resulted in 2.7 nmpg. At 1000 rpm, she ran 10.4 knots and burned 9.4 gph, producing a nmpg rating of 1.1. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 7.7 seconds and ran through 20 mph in 9.2 seconds.
Construction Except for the wakes from our photo boat, there were no waves to be found on test day. It was flat calm, which was a bummer because we were looking forward to seeing how the boat runs given our experience with the brand. The PB 70 has a Category A rating for Europe and is built with foam coring in the bottom and hullsides and cabin in the deck. Everything is resin-infused for the best saturation and strength.
Base Price with twin Volvo Penta IPS1350s is $4.2 million.
The Palm Beach 70 has hints of Downeast Styling, but wouldn’t make most people think “lobster boat.” She’s just too pretty for that. Compared to the Italian builder Mochi Craft, we think Palm Beach pulls it off just a little better in terms of styling. The flybridge is huge and the power salon windows do a great job of bringing the outdoors in.
Even though most of the Palm Beach 70s have been ordered with pod drives for their improved maneuverability, the upgrade to the 1000-hp Volvo Penta inboards with the Twin Disc joystick that links control with the thrusters makes the boat quite maneuverable around the docks and the extra power gives the boat a top end that exceeds 30 knots. That gives the boat the speed for a quick getaway for a night or two or for a destination that’s farther away, drop the speed down to 15 knots and her range extends to about 1000 miles. Add the hideaway storage for the tender and the Palm Beach 70 is ready to be a fun dayboat to take friends out for a cruise along the coast or a performance cruiser ready for a weekend adventure.