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What’s the Brokerage Market for the Grand Banks Eastbay 49?

Clute Ely, Boatworks Yacht Sales ;

“It truly is an incredible boat relative to what its capabilities are versus price. Honestly I don’t think any other boat competes with it, at least not successfully. There was nobody else able to do in [1996] what that 49 was doing. I honestly don’t believe it’s close since it just offered just so much more to the consumer. About the only knock on it people like to throw is that it’s wet in some sea states. I’ve seen it wet but I didn’t think it was extraordinarily wet at all. And it was such an incredible sea boat that you are commonly more comfortable operating the boat in the rough weather without it having any effect on your speed. Guys just operated them casually because it’s going through the water so nicely they’re unaware of the sea state. The 49 was one of the first boats able to successfully carry that kind of length-to-beam ratio and that had a huge impact. So not only was it an incredible sea boat, but it was able to provide a huge level of comfort while still being an attractive boat. With what they were trying to do with the cabins below it was almost an exaggerated length in the bow. The foredeck is architecturally a little out of proportion, but in the end it came off as being kind of sexy because it’s ridiculously long, and it never really caused a lot of problems for sightlines for the consumer. That length-to-beam ratio was really pushing the envelope at the time and ended up letting it have just so much more in the way of volume and the feeling of space and openness. Also the boat’s very square—the center of gravity is fantastic and gives it the ability to handle a rough sea. And for a couple handling a boat on their own it’s a really large boat that people can handle comfortably handle—the physical aspect of docking the boat when it’s just a husband-and-wife team. I think that also lends itself to a lot of longevity part of the reason so many owners stuck with it is because it is such a good boat to handle both in weather or around the docks. It’s got a very solid reputation.”

Michael Beers, McMichael Yacht Sales ;

“I imagine you could fill up a couple pages of the magazine just talking about the Eastbay 49—without a doubt one of the most archetypal boats of its era. It’s highly recognizable and anyone that has paid any attention to this sector of boats or has an affinity for this kind of boat knows the Eastbay 49. It’s a great listing to have and now that the earlier models are going for under $500K or even under $400K all of a sudden it’s a boat that personally I feel is a little more accessible to a few more buyers. Where I usually begin the conversation with clients is the fact that of course this is a very well-made boat but it’s a big boat and it will eat $10 grand for breakfast. So you absolutely cannot just look at purchase price when evaluating these boats—you have to really look at what previous owners have done and what needs to be done and be very realistic with yourself and your broker. And brokers need to be very realistic with their clients about what it’s going to cost to get work done on the boat. As far as what’s on the market there’s such a wide range of options and conditions you really can look at one boat with the same engines and about the same hours priced close to $300 grand and one that’s priced at $500 grand on up. The early boats almost all had the Caterpillar 3196s and they had some well-documented aftercooler issues. It’s just a question of Have the engines been rebuilt? and Have they had the 1,000-hour service?Does it have the second-generation aftercoolers or the third-generation aftercoolers? When I’m talking to a client about that I usually encourage them to include a trusted mechanic in the conversation. If you’re buying a boat that has 3196s and it hasn’t had the 1,000-hour service you could end up with a bill on that service that’s north of $30 grand so that alone really moves the market. The cosmetics on the Eastbay 49 in particular are important: If you put a boat on the market that has a drooping headliner, peeling varnish, and missing bungs in the teak you’re going to have a very difficult time selling it, especially in this market. There are some good options out there that are priced more aggressively if there are no boats on the market and no one to compete with it would be a different story but the competition under $500K for these boats the market really prefers the boats that do not have teak on the side decks and the foredeck for the obvious reasons: Both were fastened and bunged, and there are long-term issues there, so the low-maintenance option for a nonskid side deck and nonskid foredeck with a little teak to dress up the aft cockpit looks good and seems to be what the market prefers. Every once in a while you get the boats that of been upgraded with the newer CAT C-12s and those are the boats that are probably going to stay north of $500K for quite a while. A 2003 in Connecticut sold very recently sold (not our listing) that was I believe one of the earliest boats with the C-12s in a very clean boat. It sold for north of $500K and if it had 3196s it probably would have sold for under $400K.”

Julee Jackson, Grand Banks ,

“The market is very strong right now. Really nice boats are becoming a little more difficult to find and we’ve had quite a lot of sales this past year or two. Price is generally more negotiable. If the boat is kept in pristine condition, it will sell very quickly and there are a lot of people who are willing to pay more so they don’t have to put a boat in repair and go through updating it or making certain the hull is painted; that there is adequate wax on the boat; that the interior is clean; and the engine room is detailed—just a lot of variables that go into really making a boat stand out. Once you acquire that boat it really is to your benefit to keep the to keep those high standards up because you will realize more money for that boat when it’s your turn to sell. When the Eastbay 49 was introduced in 1996, it was quite a phenomenon really: It was a large very seaworthy boat and it had an incredible amount of popularity in the next 15 years or more.That 49 seems to hit all the right chords with people: It was Down East styling, it was Grand Banks quality, it’s a fast boat, it’s a great sea boat. It just had so many pluses going for it that they built well over 100 of them and the ride on them is extremely good. They’re all Ray Hunt hulls and they come out of the water quite nicely, and settle into a very nice cruise speed. We’re seeing better prices for these boats this year than we’ve actually seen recently. While I wouldn’t say it’s a seller’s market it certainly is much more balanced now than it was in the past, certainly after the recession. Boats generally will be on the market for six months or less, and if you have an interest in a boat don’t wait. A buyer should not wait until months from now thinking the price will come down, because someone will come along and buy that boat. One that I have listed in Michigan has a single stateroom that’s just really phenomenal and works quite well for a couple as well as that would have occasional overnight guests. It’s really quite open in the saloon area, as opposed to having designated areas with bulkheads. We’re also seeing people who are coming out of some sportfish that have that have decided that they finished with their fishing days and they want to do a little more cruising.”

Step aboard a Grand Banks 49 Eastbay with more photos here

Read our Used Boat Review of the Grand Banks 49 Eastbay 49 on