Grand Banks just announced that it’s consolidating its three brands – Grand Banks, of course, plus Eastbay and Palm Beach Motoryachts – under the umbrella of the GB Marine Group.
They will all be manufactured in Malaysia; Palm Beach moved there from Australia last year to join the other two brands. And they all will use Mark Richards’ V-Warp hull. Richards used it when it launched his first motoryacht, a Palm Beach 28, in 1998, and he’s been incorporating it on Grand Banks and Eastbays ever since Grand Banks bought out Palm Beach in 2014 and put him in charge of the entire company.
I have to admit that I still have a proprietary feeling about Grand Banks, dating back to my much-beloved Grand Banks 36 Classic that I lived on (year-round) in Norwalk, Connecticut, and cruised extensively on the East Coast.
With its full-displacement hull, that boat topped out at 8 knots, on a very good day. Today, the brand-new Grand Banks 54 (see picture at top) displayed at the Newport boat show, tops out at 29 knots, powered by twin 725-hp Volvo diesels with straight shafts. Using the same engines but with Volvo’s IPS950 pod drives, the new 54 tops out at 33 knots.
Richards, a world-champion sailor (he’s won the Sydney-Hobart race a record nine times), believes in the V-Warp hull because it has minimal drag plus maximum lift for offshore performance, seakeeping ability and fuel efficiency.
“Due to the amazing performance characteristics of our V-Warp technology, we have incorporated the same ethos across all the GB Marine Group brands,” Richards said. That decision, he said, “was based on our experience with this platform, and our dedication to build and deliver the highest quality and best performing motoryachts in the industry.”
Grand Banks now builds the 54 plus a 60 and an 85. Eastbay is building a 44 and a 60. And Palm Beach has a 42, 45, 50, 52, 55, and 70, plus the GT50 and GT60.
Grand Banks also announced that even though the factory has been closed for months during the pandemic, the company reported a 300 percent increase in net profit over the previous year. Heine Askaer-Jensen, chairman of the board, said “The pandemic has led to temporary production halts in Malaysia on the one hand, and increased demand for bigger luxury boats on the other.” He said the company produced “commendable performance” and had a healthy order book. Read more: