Palm Beach has just launched a new GT series of elegant, fuel-efficient, high performance and head-turning yachts. Indeed, take a look at the wraparound windshield, the low profile, the long sheer line and the gorgeous tumblehome that would do a Down East boat proud, all on hull number one of the new Palm Beach GT50 Express. That boat will have its world debut at the Newport International Boat Show, starting Sept. 13, while other models in the series, going up to 70-footer, will follow.
Palm Beach said it developed the GT series after finding a void in the high-performance motor yacht market – a high-end cruiser with a top speed of 40-knots plus and an economical cruising speed in the mid-30-knot range that could easily be driven by an owner-operator.
The initial sea trials were encouraging. Powered by twin 600-hp Volvo IPS800s, the GT50 Express hit a top speed of 42 knots. At a cruising speed of 35 knots, it consumed 40 gph; at 25 knots, the fuel burn was down to 24 knots. The warped hull on Palm Beach yachts proved to be efficient in the new GT50.
“When I started Palm Beach almost 25 years ago, I had one overarching set of objectives: to design and build the best performing, most efficient and beautiful boats on the water,” said Mark Richards, the CEO of Palm Beach Motor Yachts. “The GT50 represents a culmination of Palm Beach, and there’s really nothing out there like it today.”
One of the best sailors in the world, Richards has won the grueling Sydney-Hobart Race a record eight times. He has used that ocean-racing experience in building light-weight, high-tech, low-CG and fuel-efficient boats. The hull of the new GT50 is built with fully infused vinylester cored e-glass construction; the deck and superstructure are built with carbon fiber. The deck and bulkheads are structurally bonded to the hull for strength and rigidity.
The new boat is meant to be easy to run and to maintain. “We designed the systems and built the boat to be turnkey,” Richards said. “We want you to step on board, turn on the engines and go out and enjoy the water.”
The GT50 has large social areas, starting with two L-shaped settees that frame each side of the transom door in the cockpit, opening to a large teak swim platform. The cockpit also has a fridge and ice maker.
The helm deck has an L-shaped settee and straight settee, for entertaining, lounging and dining. In the Express model, a large opening sunroof and Palm Beach’s customary side and aft opening windows all let in a lot of natural light and air. Twin helm seats face the carbon fiber helm station. With the large one-piece windshield, visibility from the helm is excellent.
Below, a master stateroom, with a large en suite head with shower, is forward, and a queen berth is aft. The galley is large. Options for interior woodwork include wenge, teak or ash.
After Newport, the GT50 Express will be displayed at the major East Coast shows. An open version, the GT50 Open, will be introduced at the Düsseldorf show in January. Production is already underway in the Palm Beach factory in Malaysia for a larger GT60, to debut in September, 2019, with a GT70 to follow. “Stay tuned for more,” Richards said.