Fishing without a mainsail
A tradition will only stand the test of time if it can reinvent itself to some extent if it can somehow manage to remain faithful to its underlying principles and stay instantly recognizable. This is a fact of which they’re well aware at Grand Banks, a yard founded to build fisherman’s craft. The yard has proven itself extremely capable of rethinking the cornerstone of its philosophy with the reworked, new-look GB 47 Heritage EU.
The model’s naval project, entrusted to none other than prestigious designers Sparkman & Stephens, features a semi-planing very deep-V hull that widens out towards the stern and will deliver great performance both at the low speeds typical of the yard’s mainstay fisherman’s craft and at the 20-24 knots a cruising yacht can offer. The stern ends in a platform that adds further to the craft’s length and towards the bow there’s a smaller keel. All of this has made it possible to rid the new GB 47 Heritage EU of the small stabilizing mainsail that until now has characterized the Grand Banks’ Heritage series.
This is big news in terms of the yard’s identity. However, such changes should never be too radical and so innovations must be introduced very gradually indeed. In fact, as one enters the living area of the GB 47 Heritage EU one is instantly reassured that the choice of the new hull hasn’t led to a complete rethink of the boat. The interiors, penned by American firm A-La Mer, are exactly what we’ve come to expect from a Grand Banks: teak, elegant, awash with sophisticated details, bright thanks to the large square windows that line the whole of the fibreglass superstructure.
The large L-shaped sofa to port is served by an open-out telescoping table which can be lowered to convert the sofa into a double bed. A staircase between the teak galley (a little further forward to port) and the bridge, leads below to the sleeping quarters. These consist of a twin cabins plus a large owner’s stateroom. There is lots of stowage space in the owner’s cabin in the drawers at the front end of the bed and in various units plus two very large closets. There are also two bathrooms, the first and smaller is to port of the stairs while the second, larger one is en suite in the owner’s stateroom and has a large shower box. Everything aboard is designed to induce a feeling of leisure and relaxation. Once again, however, this is achieved without reneging on Grand Banks’ strong maritime tradition. For instance, there is no forward sun pad up on deck (even though there would have been plenty of space for it). Space is further created through the installation of a small extended bow fairlead with twin tracks for the steel anchor. The exteriors are dominated to all intents and purposes by the large flying bridge which covers the entire cockpit and which is divided equally between the practical – the tender and its crane – and the relaxing on two large sun pads. This is further confirmation of this model’s twin soul and its brilliance at being both the perfect boat for avid fishermen and for their less than avid families. The fly is accessed via steps toport of the cockpit which also raises up to provide access to the engine room. The engine room is home to twin 507 hp Caterpillar engines which, thanks to the new semi-planing hull, give the new GB 47 a spanking 24-knot top speed. Or a cruising speed of 20 knots and a range of 420 miles.
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After sailing to Catalina and back Leslie told me she would like to change our honeymoon plans, she wants to sail the boat from Bodega down to Catalina Island and hit a few ports on the trip. I guess she really enjoyed it!
Thanks so much for all you did, you and the work you did made this purchase doable.
- Jay Holman