Moran’s modified-V running surface (with semicircular prop pockets) did a nice little balancing act, too. Average top speed was a rousing, un-trawlerish 32.1 mph in seas measuring one foot or less. But then, at close to hull speed (approximately 11.4 mph, or 10 knots), the 59 produced a .88-mpg running efficiency, a figure that generates a range of more than 1,000 miles. “Versatile boat,” I noted to Crouch at one point, “what with speed and economy on the docket.”
Getting situated at Key Largo’s Ocean Reef Club at high noon went pretty slickly. We did a starboard-side tie-up that was both fast and facile thanks to big props, an excellent view of the stern through the saloon from the lower station, a Side-Power electric bow thruster, and, for effortless deck checking, optional Freeman wing doors in the wheelhouse. Once we got our lines tweaked, Crouch and I hit the last lick of the day: a tour of the 59’s teaky, three-stateroom, three-head interior.
Elegance and practicality were the watchwords. On the lower deck, the 59’s full-beam master offers a large island berth and an en suite head with separate shower stall. While the look is understated, the emphasis on stowage isn’t—I counted 22 cabinets, drawers, and hanging lockers in the master alone. The forepeak VIP was darn near as sumptuous and, in between, the third stateroom/office, with nearby dayhead and stairwell, made for efficient traffic flow. The finish throughout seemed good, although I’m no fan of the plastic cabinetry latches. Stout? Presumably, but unworthy of a prestigious marque.
The 59’s wheelhouse, galley/dinette area, and saloon occupy the main deck, and the ambiance here was slightly different from your Grand Banks of yore. Features like finely crafted joinery and teak-and-holly soles were familiar, but the big flush-fit windows and LCD TV powering out of the starboard credenza were new. And the overhead pass-through hatch between the galley and the flying bridge was cool!
Crouch and I finished up later that afternoon, and in keeping with the natural beauty that had highlighted the whole day, a couple of palm trees framed the test boat when I turned to take one last look. The vision was fetchingly traditional, of course, but a little deceiving.
Given her top-end sparkle, state-of-the-art design, and cruise-comfy, condo-esque layout, the Grand Banks 59 Aleutian RP is an absolutely modern trawler. In fact, given her trendy personality, you might even say she qualifies as New Age!
Grand Banks Yachts (206) 352-0116. www.grandbanks.com.
Gear on Board >> Tough Cookie
With an anodized-aluminum finish and a waterproof case, our Grand Banks 59’s Lofrans Falkon windlass is darn near bulletproof. There’s plenty of pulling power in the 1,500-watt electric motor, the band-type brake nicely governs the chain during freefall, and there’s no maintenance typically required inside the unit. Periodic freshwater rinses should keep things working smoothly.
Imtra (508) 995-7000. www.imtra.com.
Spotlight on | No-Hassle Elegance
Our Grand Banks had teak decks applied by Teak Decking Systems (TDS) using methods that are increasingly popular.
Traditional teaks decks are laid using individual planks, screws, teak plugs, and two-part polysulfide caulking. They look like a million bucks for a while, but eventually the caulking breaks down, in some cases causing leaks and water intrusion.
TDS is a different animal. After taking on-site measurements, deck templates, and photography of a vessel, employees loft fiberglass-backed panels of teak decking at the company’s location in Sarasota, Florida, then ship the panels out for positioning and installation via a modest allotment of screws, a clamping apparatus, or in our test boat’s case, vacuum bagging. What results is a gorgeous teak deck with virtually no pain-in-the-neck screws.
Depending on complexity, the thickness of the teak, and other factors, installation on a new vessel (or an old one with old decking removed and substrates prepared) is roughly $150 to $170 per square foot.
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