The new, striking Palm Beach GT50 Open, with its low lines, long sheer and elegant tumblehome, will make its U.S. debut at the Miami Yacht Show, running from Feb. 14 through 18. It comes on the heels of the successful introduction of the Palm Beach GT50 Salon Express, which was named Best New Powerboat at the Newport International Boat Show last September; the judges said the beautiful, fast and light new Palm Beach yacht was just plan “sexy.”
Palm Beach developed the new GT series after it found a void in the high-performance market – a luxurious cruiser with a 40-knot top speed, and an economical cruising speed, that could be easily owned and maintained by an owner-operator. The new GT50 Open checks all those boxes.
Powered by twin 600-hp Volvo IPS800 pod drives, the new GT50 has a top speed of 42 knots and an easy cruising speed of 35 knots. And it’s fuel-efficient enough to have a bluewater cruiser’s range; at 10 knots, range is 862 nm; at 25 knots, 413 nm, and at a flat-out 42.5 knots, 272 nm, according to figures from its initial sea trial.
“We’re excited to continue the GT line with such a positive follow-up,” says Mark Richards, the founder and CEO of Palm Beach Motor Yachts. “Boaters in the sunnier parts of the world will enjoy the same performance as the GT50 Salon Express, but in an open layout that heightens the excitement of a day on the water. Adding that open feeling just really makes a fun ride.”
Richards, one of the best sailors in the world (he just won the grueling Sydney-Hobart race a record nine times), has instilled his high-performance ethos into the Palm Beach line, using high-tech materials with a low center-of-gravity design to create fast, strong and fuel-efficient yachts.
The Palm Beach hull is laid up with fully infused vinylester cored e-glass construction, with a carbon fiber deck and superstructure. The bulkheads and deck are bonded to the hull structurally for strength and rigidity.
All the systems on the new GT are designed to be user-friendly. “A GT50 Open continues the philosophy of the GT line,” Richards says, “with simple systems and turn-key operation. Simply step on board, turn on the engine and go.”
The GT50 open is a two-stateroom, one-head design below, with the helm deck designed as the major social and entertainment center. A carbon-fiber windshield wraps around the front. A portable sun awning can provide shelter aft when it’s deployed. The forward-raked radar arch implies speed and movement.
On deck, there’s an L-shaped settee to port with a dining table and a straight settee to starboard. The helm is forward to starboard, with helm and companion seats; another pair of forward-facing companion seats is on the port side. Aft, a fridge and ice maker are in the cockpit. Below, the master stateroom is forward with a large en suite head and shower; the guest stateroom aft has a queen-sized berth. The large galley is down.
“The GT line is meant to offer a yacht that will help continue to set us apart in terms of performance, efficiency and easy ownership, all in one beautiful package,” Richards said.
To develop the line further, the Palm Beach factory in Malaysia is working on a GT60 that will be introduced later this year, with a GT70 to follow.
Specs: LOA: 54’0”; Beam: 14’8”; Draft: 3’1”; Disp.: 28,660 lbs.; Fuel: 396 gals.; Water: 132 gals.; Power: 2×600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800 pod drives.