Sunday, November 29

Grand Banks Building New Flagship 85, a Long-Range Cruiser

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Grand Banks is building its new 85-foot flagship at its factory in Malaysia. The new highly efficient, long-range cruiser is scheduled to be delivered to its new owner by Christmas, in time for him to watch the next America’s Cup in New Zealand next year.

The new 85, with its low profile, long sheerline and gorgeous tumblehome, comes after the successful launch of the Grand Banks 60 and 60 Skylounge models. With its 22-foot beam, the 85 will have lots of wide-open space, inside and out, for comfortable living and on-board entertaining.

Powered by a pair of 1,000-hp Volvo IPS1350 pod drives, the 85 is expected to cruise in the mid-20-knot range. It will have a 2,650-gallon fuel tank. Mark Richards, the CEO of Grand Banks (and its sister company, Palm Beach Motoryachts), says the 85 should have a range of about 1,000 nm at 21 knots.

In a design twist, the two Volvos will be in separate engine rooms, with a large garage for a dinghy and water toys in the middle. The separation will provide better access and more working room to each engine for routine maintenance and repairs.

For an 85-foot boat, the new Grand Banks comes in as a lightweight, with a displacement of just 89,500 pounds. Richards, a world-champion sailor (he’s won the grueling Sydney-Hobart Race a record nine times), has transferred his racing experience to the Grand Banks and Palm Beach building process.

The decks, superstructure, and bulkheads are all built with fully infused carbon fiber to give the boat a low center of gravity and to keep the weight as low as possible. The 85 has Grand Banks’ new warped hull, with a significant deadrise amidships that flattens going aft. The hull, designed by Dovell Naval Architects, gives the boat a highly efficient running attitude across the speed curve; it also produces a boat that leaves behind very little wake.

For the 85, Dovell designed the hull; Richards and the Grand Banks’ design team drew the rest of the boat. Dovell is in Avalon Beach, about 25 miles north of Sydney, Australia, and near the coastal town of Palm Beach, where Richards started Palm Beach Yachts in 1995, when he was just 28 years old. He built his first powerboat, a 38-footer, there in 1999.

The Grand Banks 85 will have the option of a flybridge or a climate-controlled skylounge. The interior offers a full-beam master stateroom with a large double en suite, or a four-cabin layout, plus crew quarters with a separate galley and head for privacy. Read more:










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