The Grand Banks 60 Skylounge is a versatile yacht that combines many attributes to meet the needs of today’s serious cruising couple. Grand Banks paid close attention to the hull shape of the GB60 and the company tells us they have seen efficient cruising at a range of speeds, a seakindly, stable hull, and good top-end speed. Add in to that a high level of attention to detail in interior finishes, sound and vibration attenuation, and the result is a yacht that should be warmly received by Grand Banks aficionados and long distance cruisers.
- Semi-displacement warped hull
- Classic Grand Banks profile
- Three-stateroom layout
- Skylounge with companion seating
- Optional main deck layouts
- Spacious engine room
- Quiet operation through custom sound attenuation system
- Boat deck with AB Alumina 12 ALX RIB dinghy and davit launch/retrieval system
- Skylounge dayhead for safety and convenience
|Length Overall||65' 4'' / 19.9 m|
28,750 kg (displacement)
Currently no test numbers
2 x 900-hp Volvo Penta D13 shaft
2 x 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200
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Contents of Report
The Grand Banks 60 Skylounge is a three-stateroom motoryacht designed for offshore and coastal cruising in a classical Grand Banks vessel. That means in a boat that on the exterior not only looks like a trawler but looks like the design that virtually created the offshore cruising category of power yachts that started in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
The new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge should appeal to people who appreciate an interior swathed in fine teak joinery with a satin finish. Powered with 900-hp diesels, she offers long range at cruising speeds. But thanks to her unique hull design and lightweight construction with extensive use of carbon fiber, but she can also achieve greater speeds with efficiency throughout the speed curve.
Hull Design and Construction
The hull has a chine flat that runs the full length from stem to stern, but otherwise has no appendages or strakes. The running surface curves gently from a very sharp entry forward to a very low transom deadrise.
The hull is vacuum-infused with E-glass and vinyl ester and epoxy resin and uses carbon fiber in structural areas for added strength with lightweight and multi-axial glass fabric. She is cored with Corecell and Airex foam.
The deck and everything above it are constructed of Corecel-cored carbon fiber and infused with vinyl ester resin, something that is unusual above the hull. The result of this design is a low center of gravity that, combined with a 19’2” (5.84 m) beam, enhances the stability of the boat in a seaway.
Swim Platform. The Grand Banks 60 Skylounge has a swim platform aft with removable safety rail. Built into the transom on the starboard half is an aft-facing al fresco galley console with electric grill and a stainless steel sink with pop-up faucet. The lid that covers this galley workspace is mounted on stainless steel hinges and has a gas-assist ram to hold the lid up during cooking.
These days more and more builders are making use of the swim platform to add extra utility to boats without a commensurate increase in cost. We like the concept.
Classic Details. There’s a stainless flagstaff receiver on centerline that receives a varnished teak flag pole. The transom can be finished with varnished teak. The swim platform and the cockpit covering boards may also be covered in optional teak, at the owner’s discretion.
Both the cockpit and the main salon and galley are subject to different layouts to suit the needs of any owner. Shown on these pages in the layout drawings is one layout possibility, and in the pictures, another. The basic difference is that in the drawings, the galley is placed forward in the house, and the salon is aft with facing loveseats to starboard.
In the pictures of the vessel shown here, the galley is aft and the salon is forward. Other layouts might also be possible, and consumers should speak with Grand Banks personnel in order to determine what is possible.
A Note About Teak. Grand Banks continues to purchase all of its own teak through sustainable sources. This teak is then naturally bleached in the sun at the Grand Banks factory to allow for a more uniform and blended look.
The cockpit on the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge is entered from the swim platform through the starboard side transom gate, which opens inward. At each aft corner on the covering board is a large stainless steel pull-up cleat. There’s a solid fiberglass transom door to starboard that allows entry to the cockpit. Boarding doors in the bulwarks to either or both sides are an available option and one that we recommend.
The flying bridge deck overhangs much of the cockpit and is supported by large stainless tubes angled at an attractive forward rake. The overhead has nine LED lights recessed into it, as well as a pair of stereo speakers. LED spotlights overlook the swim platform. The side rails on the covering board begin forward of this overhead support, making to the side deck on each side safer when going forward.
Across the transom is a settee that seats four at a varnished teak dining table on a single stainless pedestal. The cockpit sole is decked in teak, and a hatch on centerline, with a lift-and-lock latch, allows access to the engine room and spacious lazarette. On either side of the cockpit are lockers where the bulwarks are wide aft, though the bulwarks narrow going forward as they approach the side deck entry to port and starboard.
At the forward end of the cockpit is an optional molded-in wet bar console with drawers and lockers to port in the aft bulkhead, with a landscape-aspect picture window above it. The door to the salon is offset to starboard, and on the starboard side is an L-shaped settee with a portrait-aspect window above.
Button Her Up. Regular readers know that we like long overhangs above cockpits on boats of this type because it permits the cockpit to be enclosed in isinglass, thus creating a three-season living space. Its enclosure is also welcome on a rainy summer afternoon when kids need a place to play, or in the cool of an evening for a pleasant cocktail venue. Essentially, it doubles the salon space for very little money.
Entering the salon from the cockpit, there’s a step up. As noted above, the salon can be aft, as in the drawing above, or the galley can be aft, as in the pictures.
The side windows are power-actuated to drop into their frames, bringing in the sea breeze on pleasant days. The overhang of the flying bridge helps shade the side decks and shelter the salon window. The overhead is composed of vinyl panels backed in foam, with teak trim. The salon is carpeted in sisal in the pictures shown here.
Whether the galley is forward or aft, it has a teak sole and a U-shaped Silestone counter. Either way, the entire galley has a low profile and is understated by design, to preserve lines of sight throughout the main deck.
Under-counter refrigeration is in three units, two dedicated Isotherm refrigerators, and one Isotherm freezer. Even the pot-scrubber gets a view, thanks to a sink positioned at the port, outboard end of the galley, facing a large window. There’s an electric induction cooktop on the forward side and a drawer refrigerator. Drawers are all soft close, with positive locks.
Stairs and Side-Deck Access
To starboard, opposite the galley, is a single step that leads to a side door to the side deck. This step is also the bottom landing for the stairs to the skylounge. After two curving steps, the custom open-riser staircase begins going above.
The stairs are built on a single stringer that’s welded, tubular, polished stainless steel. Teak treads cover welded stainless steel steps. A beefy wrapped stainless railing rises vertically from the inboard end of the first step to protect those who climb them. The wood trim that frames this staircase is noteworthy as it curves about the overhead opening for the stairs, and is integrated into the overhead trim of the salon. Likewise, the open-riser design of the stairs maximizes lines of sight through the large windows and makes the space appear larger.
The Skylounge is another gathering place and should see plenty of use for an offshore yacht such as the Grand Banks 60. The entry point is the stairs on the starboard side. The helm station is forward, with a helm seat on centerline and a companion seat to starboard, between the helm seat and the stairs. In the port aft corner is an L-shaped settee with a dining table.
Power windows to port, starboard, and aft, allow the crew to ventilate the space by natural means. Forward, on the port side is a solid-surface-topped credenza that can be used as a sideboard when entertaining, or a navigation table when exploring new cruising grounds. In the aft starboard corner, the lines of sight are limited by a day-head compartment. The day head is an excellent safety and convenience feature since the crew need not attempt to traverse the stairs while the boat is in a sloppy seaway. Note, on future models, the forward bulkhead of the day head will be built at an angle to improve the line of sight aft.
The helm instrumentation is situated in a raised molded pod with a varnished wood-rimmed wheel with a steel hub and spokes. A pair of large multifunction displays are on the panel of the helm pod, which is topped with a varnished teak brow. There’s a compass on centerline atop the pod.
On the horizontal section of the helm dash are the bow and stern thruster controls, a dedicated autopilot control head, windshield wiper control, dedicated engine-monitoring displays, rocker switches to control electrical systems, joystick control for the remote spotlight, and the throttle and shift binnacle.
Abaft the skylounge on the upper deck is a boat deck, accessible from the skylounge through a door offset to starboard. Outside, on the aft side of the skylounge bulkhead are additional built-in cabinets with countertops, designed to take advantage of the space the boat deck will have when the tender is deployed. And lounge chairs or even a folding dining table and chairs can be arrayed on the upper deck to take in the view.
Three steps down the companionway from the salon is a passageway forward. Lower-deck accommodations have a sole finished with sisal carpet.
The owner’s stateroom on the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge is set on the port side forward of amidships. The king-size berth is athwartships with the head outboard. Combining the skylight with an overhead hatch, a portlight, and a hullside window, the natural light is captured from many angles.
This master has one of the largest hanging lockers we have seen in class.
The master has numerous lockers and drawers throughout, including stowage beneath the king-size island berth and hanging locker space. All cabin doors are teak with flat panels and polished chrome locksets. The cabinet joinery is teak faced with raised teak panels. The overhead is composed of vinyl panels with foamed backs for vibration and sound attenuation and removable with a fast-mount system. The head is located forward.
The master head is accessible only from this stateroom and has Silestone countertops in Tigris Sand. The separate shower has a glass door, a solid teak floor over a Whale sump box, and a handheld mixer. The Tecma Silence Plus toilet has a freshwater flush through a macerator. Lockers both in the vanity and above offer stowage for toiletries.
The island berth in the bow stateroom has access to each side with a step up. The grain-match teak finish in the overhead is an excellent detail. The lockers all around offer stowage, and there’s a hanging locker aft and to port. Slim portlights add natural light, while an overhead hatch provides ventilation and egress too. The overhead has LED lights and a flatscreen TV can be mounted on the aft bulkhead. Fiddled shelves stow odds and ends and also have mounted individual reading lights.
The door to the head compartment shared by the forward guest stateroom in the bow and the third stateroom. The head is finished in white with teak trim and has a basin sink and lockers to stow supplies and toiletries, and has a separate shower compartment. A large section of the forward bulkhead has a mirror and there’s a separate standup shower with bench aft. Overhead hatches aid in lighting, ventilation, and egress.
To starboard is a double guest stateroom with a pair of twin berths arrayed perpendicularly. The first berth is fore and aft and situated atop a cabinet with lockers beneath. It’s a cozy spot, with an opening portlight outboard. Aft and down a step is the second berth, situated athwartships with a locker at its head. This is a clever layout and one that eliminated bunk beds or Pullmans which we often see in a third stateroom in this size boat.
The engine room is entered through a hatch in the cockpit sole on centerline, where one is in a mechanical space. There’s a watertight door at the forward end that grants access to the engine room itself. Because of the wide beam, the engines are spaced a bit further apart than we often see in this size boat, and there is access all around for maintenance checks and inspection. The engine room and mechanical spaces have a custom sound insulation system to attenuate noise and improve onboard comfort.
Other Onboard Mechanical Equipment Includes:
• Full-beam fiberglass fuel tank with 1,532 gallon (5,800 L) capacity
• Polyethylene water tanks, totaling 290.6 gallon (1,100 L) capacity
• Fischer Panda 25 kW inverter generator
• Hypro fly-by-wire hydraulic steering
• Teignbridge struts
• Seagull IV X-1 F water purification system
• Custom marine engine exhaust with gas/water separator
• Engine room fire suppression system
• Bow thruster
• Zipwake interceptor trim tabs
• 50-amp shore power with Glendinning Cablemaster and 50’ cable
Notable Options Include:
• Dynamic positioning system for use with Volvo Penta IPS ($15,580)
• Passerelle ($34,450)
• Teak decking to side steps ($8,640)
• Stern thruster
• Seakeeper SK9 gyro stabilizer ($93,500)
• Sidepower Vector fin stabilizers ($92,000)
• Victron Energy solar panels on Flybridge hardtop ($9,000)
• Underwater lights ($3,500)
• Additional Smart TV for guest stateroom ($4,500)
• KVH satellite TV system ($13,000)
• Wine cooler with 23 bottle capacity ($3,500)
• Painted hullsides ($75,000)
• Garmin Electronics package ($55,000)
While we have not yet tested the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge, the builder has done some testing of the Grand Banks 60 Flybridge model on its own and shared the results. The Grand Banks 60 has a LOA of 65’4” (19.91 m), a beam of 19’2” (5.84 m), a draft of 4’7” (1.40 m) with shafts, and a dry displacement of 61,730 lbs. (28,000 kg).
Powered by a pair of a pair of 900-hp Volvo D13 diesels linked to Twin Disc MGX 5095A marine transmissions and straight conventional shafts, the boat had a top speed of 31 knots at 2350 rpm, according to Grand Banks. At a cruising speed of 25 knots achieved by a 2020 rpm engine speed, she burned 60 gph for a range of 574 nautical miles, with a 10% reserve on the 1,530-gallon (5,792 L) fuel capacity.
Displacement-Speed Range. When the boat is slowed to 10 knots and 920 rpm, she burns 8 gph for a range of 1,721 nautical miles, with a 10% fuel reserve, says the Grand Banks techs.
Grand Banks also tested the Grand Banks 60 Flybridge with the 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200, and in that configuration, the boat has a draft of 3’11” (1.19 m). She achieved a top speed of 36 knots at 2350 rpm. At a cruising speed of 30 knots at 2060 rpm, the boat burned 60 gph for a range of 688.5 nautical miles with a 10% reserve on the 1,530-gallon (5,792 L) fuel capacity. When the boat ran at 10 knots and 820 rpm, burning 6 gph, the range was 2,295 nautical miles with a 10% reserve, according to the company.
Base Price for Flybridge: $3,570,000
Base Price for Skylounge: $3,820,000
• One year coverage bow to stern on all components and parts
• Five years coverage on the hull and deck
• Five years coverage on osmotic blister protection
Depending on the application of the yacht, we think that some cruising yachts could stand to benefit from taking a close look at the lessons learned from the running surfaces of sailboats. Grand Banks Yachts’ CEO Mark Richards understands sailboat running surfaces, and the benefits of a low-drag design that doesn’t seem to present a “hump” to get on plane, and also cruises efficiently at slow speeds. He was building his warped-hull designs at Palm Beach Motor Yachts when Grand Banks became interested enough in the company, and Richards, to make him an offer to join ranks.
The Grand Banks 60 was the first model to come out of the builder since Richards took the reins, with the launch of the 60 Flybridge in May 2017. This 60 Skylounge version is the next step. We like what we see, and it doesn’t take much of a stretch to envision the new glory days of this iconic brand.