This year marks 25 years since the introduction of the venerable Eastbay series by Grand Banks.
In February of 1993, the first Eastbay made its debut at the Miami International Boat Show. Dick Loh of Grand Banks, along with his son Rick, originally conceived the 38 as a yacht for Grand Banks owners to trade down to and easily manage. That certainly happened—and a whole lot more! The 38 helped create an entirely new Downeast-style production market around the world that continues today.
The 40 Flybridge and 40 Sedan quickly followed in the 38’s footsteps. Although the 40 enjoyed initial success, the company felt that the cockpit was too small and decided to replace the 40 with an Eastbay 43, which became quite popular.
Building on this momentum, Ed Roberts, the company’s VP of sales and marketing at the time, began working with C. Raymond & Associates to create the immensely popular Eastbay 49 Express in 1996. Nothing else like it existed at the time, except as a one-off, custom-built yacht. A very engaged Eastbay owner came forward and worked with the company on hull number one and, after the first boat hit the water, there was no looking back.
In fact, at the 1997 Miami International Boat Show, the company took orders for 14 new 49s. Grand Banks built 100 of the models over the next 14 years, and the boat was a beast in rough conditions thanks to its low center of gravity. The generous length-to-beam ratio provided a serious level of comfort, too. Today, the 49 remains popular on the previously-owned market. Additional new models soon followed from 39 to 58 feet. Stay tuned as we highlight some of these over the next few months.
Today, the new Eastbay 44 continues to fly the flag and has proven itself to be another popular model. The deep-V hull allows for a lot of volume below, which includes two staterooms, two heads and a third single-berth cabin that can also serve as additional stowage. The ride provides that same predictable and easy Eastbay motion that has defined this brand for decades.
To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, is organizing an Eastbay Owners Rendezvous, June 9-10, 2018. If you have any questions or would like to attend, please contact John Urban at email@example.com.