New Grand Banks 60 Skylounge Sets Benchmark

Only 8 months have passed since the debut of the highly acclaimed Grand Banks 60, and during that time Grand Banks has developed the latest evolution of the model: the new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge. The first in the series is being commissioned in the Pacific Northwest for an experienced cruiser and will cruise out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

We realize that adding vertical structure on any design presents aesthetic challenges. Keeping this in mind, Grand Banks CEO Mark Richards and the GB engineering team spent an inordinate amount of time ensuring that the enclosed bridge did not blemish the 60’s profile. In the past, Grand Banks has built only a few custom-ordered enclosed bridge models, mainly an Aleutian 72 and two Grand Banks 66’s. Although these are capable cruisers and indeed have each logged many miles, they were one-off designs and used existing tooling from other models to complete the enclosed bridge. The new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge, however, was engineered as an entirely new model with individual tooling for the enclosed bridge area that was designed to complement the 60’s profile rather than appear like a last-minute add-on.

Helm station in the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge

Grand Banks 60 SL’s upper helm station

Initial viewers have commented on the brilliance of the Skylounge space itself. The L-shaped settee, day-head, twin Stidd seats and refrigerator create an entirely separate social area. The space could easily serve as a stateroom for a captain, an onboard office tucked away from the rest of the ship, or a second salon to get away from the kids. All of this is finished in golden teak to the trademark Grand Banks standard.

We admit some longtime Grand Banks salesmen initially had some reservations about the Skylounge, fearing it would enclose the helmsman and guests too much and not allow them to take advantage of nice weather. These doubts were quickly assuaged when they saw the expansive side windows that lower and the two overhead hatches and aft door that open up. The breezes flow into the area similar to a bridge model.

The staircase from the upper helm leads to a landing at the starboard door to make access to sidedecks seamless. With a remote docking station in the cockpit, close quarter maneuvering is further simplified. The absence of a ladder to the bridge also increases usable space in the cockpit.

In order to adhere to the Grand Banks philosophy of building lighter, stronger and thus more efficient cruising boats, the entire deck, cabin house and Skylounge are fully infused using the highest quality carbon fiber available. A fully-cored structure is employed using PVC foam core and SAN Corecell in areas of specific application, sandwiched between skins of stitched multi-axial carbon fiber, bonded with vinylester and epoxy resins and supported by infused composite panels in a robust grid system—all working together for durability, strength and reliability in punishing open-water conditions.

Grand Banks 60 SkyloungeThe standard twin 900-horsepower Volvo D13 diesels provide a top speed of 31 knots, with a 25-knot cruising speed at 2,020 rpm. Pull the throttles back to 10 knots for a 2,000-mile range. Unlike other yachts, particularly traditional semi-displacement hulls that require fuel and horsepower to push the after sections onto a plane, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge’s semi-displacement warped hull is efficient throughout the entire speed curve.

The new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge will debut at the Newport International Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island, on September 13, 2018. Afterward, she’ll work her way down the East Coast to participate in several fall boat shows. Plans also include a side trip from the Chesapeake to Bermuda

If you would like to arrange for a sea trial of the new Grand Banks 60 Skylounge and see first-hand how we’re redefining long-range cruising, please email hollyp@grandbanks.com.