Grand Banks 54
Hot on the heels of the GB 60, the new 54 is a cruiser decked out with Grand Banks woodwork inside and a massive flybridge.
Grand Banks applied the same formula it created for their successful 60 to the newly launched 54. Leaning heavily on lightweight, strong composite and carbon fiber materials and a semi-displacement hull capable of higher speeds, the company has created a well-appointed cruising yacht that can put a serious amount of water behind it on a single load of fuel. And that’s exactly what Grand Banks owners want.
“My goal has been to build the most efficient powerboat in the business,” says Grand Banks CEO Mark Richards. “One of the key components of that is the hull form. The magic is the combination of that hull shape and composite construction to take the weight out.”
Powered by twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels, the 54 can cruise at 25 knots burning 57 gph and top out at 31 knots, according to the builder. Drop the speed down to 20 knots and you can expect a fuel burn of around 19 gph for a range of 461 nautical miles. The optional Volvo Penta IPS pod drives should increase the fuel efficiency by another 25 to 30 percent.
Gallery: Grand Banks 54
To achieve a soft ride and high cruising speeds that sip fuel, the company used infused carbon fiber throughout the vessel that reduces weight from bulkheads and decks to the engine room liner and even the furniture. This results in a low center of gravity, which improves seakeeping ability and efficiency. To keep the boat stiff with no creaking, the company uses vacuum infusion to seal everything together. With only 8 degrees of deadrise, the boat is nearly flat aft then warps into a fine entry forward. Such a sharp entry and stable aft should allow her to run well in a head sea. And the planking pattern on the hull gives the boat the classic Grand Banks look.
The accommodations also echo the Grand Banks tradition of exquisite woodwork, ample storage and a clever use of space. The 54 is offered in two configurations: a galley up, three stateroom, two head layout and a galley down, two stateroom, two head arrangement. The company says it offers many customization options for owners looking to create their ideal vessel. With hatches above, natural light floods the staterooms. Guests in the salon will enjoy the two large couches, retractable TV and teak dining table. The lower helm station offers a wide bench for two and a door to quickly access the side decks. This is but one of many design elements that make the 54 a very user-friendly vessel for couples or small crews.
The cockpit includes a wet bar with sink, forward-facing seating and a massive storage space in the lazarette. The teak steps leading to the large flybridge offer more storage. The flybridge, which is my favorite space on this yacht, extends all the way to the transom, providing a ton of space for everyone to enjoy the view. You’ll find a davit and cradle for the tender, L-shaped seating with a table, two Stidd helm chairs, refrigerated drink space, electric grill and clear sightlines in all directions. The helm offers a dash on centerline with room for large MFDs, and the ubiquitous wooden wheel with the Grand Banks logo in the hub rounds out the classic look of this super functional space.
“Walk through the boat and you see there really is no compromise,” Richards says. “The reaction has been fantastic. Couple that with the performance, fuel burn and range, and it’s a home run.”
Richards is biased, of course, but I tend to agree with him. The GB54 could prove to be the perfect platform for cruisers looking to toss the lines and not come back for a few weeks.
Grand Banks 54 Specifications:
Displ. (dry): 47,400 lbs.
Fuel: 898 gal.
Water: 290 gal.
Standard Power: 2/725-hp Volvo Penta D11
Optional Power: Volvo Penta IPS 800