Following the successful initial sea trial of the first Grand Banks 85, the company has finalised the interior details of this pioneering long-distance cruiser. As one would expect from a yacht in this category, each GB85 will be built to suit the individual needs of her owner, based on the model’s ergonomic open-plan platform. Yet every GB85 will reflect the company’s relentless pursuit of perfection, a 65-year legacy of delivering world-renowned craftsmanship and a timeless interior fit-out designed to withstand a saltwater environment.
Like all new Grand Banks models, the GB85 benefits from the infinite knowledge gained from building cruising designs for nearly seven decades and delivering more than 7,000 yachts. Whether it’s a focus on maximising storage, allowing an abundance of fresh air flow, or ensuring comfort both at sea and at anchor, there is not a detail on the GB85 that has been ignored.
A beam of 22 feet allows Grand Banks to offer a range of internal configurations and amenities for guests and crew. For long-distance cruising, special attention was given to both sociability and privacy. “First, we focused on what makes a superior long-distance cruiser while underway for long legs,” said CEO Mark Richards. “This means understanding the rhythm that occurs while on passage, and creating various spaces where you can separate from others off-watch. Some people onboard are focused on running the boat, others are relaxing, and others may be sleeping. This approach ticks a lot of boxes in how the design comes together.”
The next objective is to focus on comfort when at anchor or at the dock. Grand Banks ensures one mission is not compromised for the sake of the other. Decks are arranged for outdoor dining and entertaining. And a supremely comfortable lounge seating area in the main salon optimises space between the main deck and aft deck, by using the full beam of the vessel in a configuration that is both open and intimate. 360° sight lines are a Grand Banks hallmark, and the expansive windows combined with and an electrically opening aft window allow guests to view their surroundings from almost any position within the GB85’s main salon or dining area. The Grand Banks team appreciates that a morning anchorage is much more memorable if you can open windows and enjoy the fresh air, sights, and scents of your destination. Although hull No. 1 features the Skylounge version, the GB85 is also available in an Open Bridge configuration which offers a lower helm area forward.
The Skylounge version places the galley all the way forward just abaft the windshield, providing the cook with an incredible view over the horizon. The arrangement allows for a superior use of space and utilisation while underway or entertaining at the dock. An internal dining area featuring customised, handcrafted furnishings is located between the galley and main saloon.
The additional Skylounge salon rivals the main deck salon area of many 60-footers and essentially offers a second, separate lounging area. While the adults are enjoying a lively dinner and conversation below, kids can relax in the upper lounge, complete with additional refrigeration and pantry stowage. The elevated helm area is forward and comfortably accommodates four adults seated while underway. The starboard helm position and lowering side and aft windows offer terrific sight-lines. Overhead, an expansive electric opening sunroof further transforms the space with an open feel comparable to the open flybridge configuration.
Belowdecks is where the full benefit of the 22-foot beam is realised. “We recognise that we have potential GB85 clients who are true owner-operators,” said Richards. “Yet some might want the occasional crew so we ensured we have very comfortable crew accommodations that can also be enjoyed as another area for kids or the in-laws.” At present, the GB85 offers two distinct crew accommodation layouts that look to be the envy of the industry.
The master stateroom is positioned to maximise the full beam and the end result rivals even the finest suites in any luxury hotel. The king-size bed is positioned to allow a view to the anchorage from the pillow-top. A lounge area is the ideal perch for a morning cup of coffee and a good book as you plan out your next destination, and hull #1 even houses a custom retractable hide for her owners’ piano keyboard. The three-quarter beam master head has two vanities and a large shower that benefits from another port within the space, while being connected to the robe on the portside. As one would expect, locker and drawer stowage are abundant.
Aft of the midship houses the crew accommodations, accessible via both the cockpit and transom/lazarette, spanning the full beam of the yacht. Grand Banks has gone to tremendous lengths to take the GB85’s crew accommodations to a new level for a yacht of this size, and expects the spaces to be the envy of the industry. The configurations allow options for multiple berths in separate rooms, either single or double, with a full-size head and galley, or the option for a single stateroom with walk-around queen berth complete with hanging lockers, and a larger galley.
Grand Banks’ designers will work with each client to fine-tune the space to suit their individual needs. Yet, based on initial interest, many are recognising the fundamentals are already in place and have primarily focused on customising hard and soft goods. A generous hard- and soft-good allowance is provided, along with a professional interior design team. Whatever options are chosen, the standard handcrafted, meticulously finished joinery and woodwork is beyond compare. Grains are selected and precisely book-matched in Grand world-renowned woodworking facility, and blended with fabrics to create a timeless yet contemporary visual package.
“Our approach is to build beautifully finished interiors with a timeless feel that will give generations of owners pride of ownership,” says Richards. “And there are so many different trends from builders today, that to us appear to be moving boats farther away from aesthetically appealing, beautiful pieces of art. I’m not saying they’re wrong and we’re right. We are just building boats for a clientele that still appreciates classic design, with a warmth and beauty true to traditional nautical style. And performance that will blow you away!”
The GB85 concept originated from the company’s, and Mark’s passion to deliver the most fuel-efficient long-range cruiser of its size on the water. The remarkable cruising efficiency the company saw on the GB85’s initial sea trial confirms that the inconvenience and hassle of stopping for fuel constantly is a thing of the past. This is a long range cruiser with legs, able to be owner-operated with ease, and built with the state-of-the-art materials and construction methods. The GB85’s entire deck and superstructure is built using 100% carbon fibre, vacuum infused with vinylester resin, to ensure that the gold standard combination of strength, weight reduction, and durability is realised on every vessel. “To cruise at 21 knots for 900 – 1,000 nautical miles in supreme comfort, without needing to refuel, was the target for this design. We’re extremely proud of the team’s achievement here, and are excited to show the world what this incredible new yacht can do.” summarised Richards.
Stay tuned as Grand Banks continues to reveal details throughout the fit-out of this remarkable vessel, and prepares for official sea trials in the coming months.