The 2005 retirement of the venerable 42 Heritage left a major void in the Grand Banks model line. The classic 42 was a tough act to follow, but with the introduction of the 41 Heritage EU, Grand Banks has outdone itself. Though she's the shortest in the Heritage lineup, she's long on features, including the new Zeus Propulsion System from Cummins Marine Diesel and a totally new hull form designed to make the most of the state-of-the-art drive train.
Mounted beneath the hull, twin propulsion pods each drive a pair of counter-rotating, rear-facing propellers. Recessed in two tunnels near the stern, the Zeus pods react in response to the helm so that full thrust is effective in executing a turn. At slow speeds they can turn independent of one another; a fly-by-wire control system steers the pods in response to joystick control, giving the boat exceptional maneuverability while eliminating the need for a bow thruster. Interfaced with GPS info, Zeus even offers automated station-keeping: The boat stays at a fixed location and heading.
But the big advantage of Zeus is its better performance and efficiency compared to a conventional angled shaft inboard drive. Twin Cummins QSB5.9 diesels are offered in ratings ranging from 330 to 480 hp. Relatively modest power for a 41-footer weighing some 36,000 pounds at half load, these engines are expected to deliver cruise speeds of 14 to 16 knots and top speeds in the 22- to 24-knot range. More important in this era of high fuel prices, she has an estimated range of 975 nautical miles at 8 knots and 675 nautical miles at 12 knots on her standard fuel capacity of 500 gallons, with a ten-percent reserve.
To get the most out of the new drive system, Grand Banks exhaustively tank-tested three different modified-V hull forms, finally settling on a shape with a 17.5-degree deadrise at the transom that offered an optimum balance of efficiency at both high and low speeds. And to keep the hull in proper trim, the Zeus drives are equipped with integral trim tabs mounted in the slipstream of the props, for maximum effectiveness.
As for exterior styling, the 41 is unmistakably Grand Banks, albeit with some subtle nuances (like her flying bridge profile) that offer a bit more of a contemporary look. Her interior layout is open, continuing the company's recent trend that favors a more sophisticated air. And most assuredly, the workmanship will be vintage Grand Banks.
For more information on Grand Banks, including contact information, click here.
This article originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.