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Editor’s Report

New Grand Banks GB60 Sneak Peak

Grand Banks GB60 profile
The Grand Banks GB60 Skylounge adds enclosed interior space to the flying bridge.

Grand Banks has announced it is introducing the GB60 Skylounge late in the summer of 2018, building on the 2017 launch of the company’s GB60 Open Flybridge. The new model will offer cruisers the ability to operate the boat from an enclosed upper-deck pilothouse, providing nearly 360-degree views while sheltering the crew from unpleasant temperatures, wind, and rain in climate-controlled comfort. At the same time, a dedicated pilothouse means more available space below as it eliminates the need for a lower helm station.

Grand Banks GB60 deck plan
Grand Banks says the L-shaped settee of the Skylounge can be a pilot berth for long passages.

Skylounge Adds Utility

Those looking to cruise long distances will appreciate the Skylounge, which adds another table and settee abaft the Stidd helm and companion seats. A top-deck dayhead should minimize time on the stairs while underway and the open boat deck aft will ship a 13’9” (4.2 m) tender with the Steelhead davit.

Grand Banks GB60 helm chairs
This image shows the pilothouse interior with Stidd helm and companion seats, a settee with table, and stairs down to the main deck.

The enclosed pilothouse has been designed to work with the lines of the GB60, in more ways than one, since the boat’s entire deck and the superstructure above it, including the Skylounge, consist of PVC foam core and SAN Corecell sandwiched between skins of stitched multi-axial carbon fiber, fully infused with vinylester and epoxy resins. Grand Banks says this creates lightweight component strength while preserving the boat’s low center of gravity to preserve performance.

Grand Banks GB60 sky lounge
The GB60 Skylounge accommodates the stairs to the flying bridge with some of the space used by the lower helm on the GB60 Open Flybridge.

The main deck on the GB60 Skylounge will have a forward galley to port with the stairs to the upper deck opposite. There will be a salon sitting area with facing settees to starboard and an L-shaped lounge with dining table to port.

Grand Banks GB60 main deck
While the Skylounge model has changed the GB60 on the main deck and above, the lower deck is the same as the Open Flybridge.

Belowdecks is a three-stateroom layout with a master to port with an athwartships king-size berth and private head. The forward VIP will share the second head with the third guest stateroom. There’s a crew berth area as well.

Grand Banks GB60 open layout
The GB60 Skylounge is based on the Open Flybridge version, which was introduced in 2017.

The standard twin 800-horsepower Volvo D13 diesels are expected to provide a top speed of 31 knots with a 25-knot cruising speed at 2020 rpm, according to Grand Banks. The builder also projects a 2,000-mile range at 10 knots, and says the GB60 Skylounge will be efficient throughout the entire speed curve. Optional power is a pair of 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200s. Base price for the GB60 Skylounge is north of $3 million.

Observations

The new GB60 Skylounge model will not be available until late summer, so we haven’t tested or inspected her. Nevertheless, we like what we see in the images and specs presented here. She has a 19’2” (5.84 m) beam, which is unusual for a cruising boat of this size and type, which not only adds interior room, but also enhances stability in a seaway.

Other important aspects of the boat include the skylounge day head, something that is unusual on any boat smaller than an 80’ (24 m) motoryacht, and her 1,530 gallon (5,500 L) fuel capacity which puts her squarely in the realm of a long-range cruiser at displacement speeds.

Consumers are given a choice of propulsion between twin Volvo Penta 800-hp D13s and twin 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS pods. This will be the big decision buyers will have to make, trading off the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.

We look forward to testing this boat in order to answer those, and other, questions.