New Boat: Grand Banks 72 Aleutian SC | Southern Boating — The South& s Largest Boating Magazine

27 Апр 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Grand Banks Aleutian boat

cruiser adds even more volume and fun.


LOA: 72 0

Beam: 19 10

Draft: 5 4

Displacement: 120,000 lbs. (half load)

Power: 2 x Caterpillar C18 ACERT

Top/Cruising Speed: 23.8/18.5 knots

Range: 1,000nm @ 10 knots

Price: Inquire at your Grand Banks

authorized dealer


Grand Banks

Seattle, WA 98199


Stepping aboard the 72SC at Goat Island Marina, we were impressed by the sheer size of the redesigned aft deck. Even with built-in settees and a long, teak dining table for eight, there is still ample room to add more outdoor seating. Headroom is 6 8 beneath the flybridge deck overhead, which was extended to provide more coverage. Add canvas and you’ve effectively doubled your enclosed entertaining space on board. Further wind protection is provided by the Plexiglas doors that close off the generous walkarounds on each side of the boat.

A new, ergonomic spiral stairway, located just outside the saloon doors, leads up to the flybridge above. “Extending the aft deck gave us a lot more room to do that,” David said.

The flybridge deck now has room to mount Jet Skis or kayaks aft of the dinghy, launched by the 1,300-pound Steelhead davit. Lower the toys and you open up even more space for entertaining aloft, served by a wet bar with icemaker and a standard Miele electric grill. Forward is a comfortable seating area and upper helm, shaded by the optional hard top, which sports a small awning extension aft.

Grand Banks Aleutian boat

A second, enclosed stairway leads down to the wheelhouse, which is much the same handsome “inner sanctum” as on the 72RP, although Grand Banks has made a couple of owner-friendly “tweaks”. There now is a second pilothouse door, so both side decks are instantly accessible. (Our test boat had remote docking controls for the Naiad bow and optional stern thruster forward on the Portuguese bridge.) The design team also added a new return to the galley counter, expanding food-preparation space.

The large saloon has a fresh new look thanks to the use of modular furniture instead of the usual nautical built-ins. Our test boat even had a recliner sofa, perfect for kicking back and watching the pop-up flat-screen TV opposite. But while the overall ambiance is more contemporary, the fine furniture-quality woodwork is signature Grand Banks. The builder sources first-grade teak direct, buying whole trees and kiln-drying them for 21 days. “We made a conscious decision to put the higher-quality teak and other materials on board,” said David.

High-end equipment, such as Stidd seats and Sub Zero refrigerator drawers, is an important part of the Grand Banks brand. “It’s all top stuff – not just in the Aleutian series, but on all the boats we build,” he explained, adding that if you start taking quality products out of the boat in the interest of saving cost, at some point it stops being a Grand Banks.

On the lower deck, the hand-crafted teak woodwork and cabinetry provides a rich backdrop for contemporary touches like shoji screens over enlarged port lights, which fill the cabins with diffused light. The fixtures and hardware are substantial throughout, as is typical on a Grand Banks. Each drawer and hanging locker we peeked in closed with a solid “click”.

“More and more owners will work with a dedicated designer to pick the soft goods,” David said. Grand Banks provides owners with a list of recommended design firms, such as A La Mer, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale. The standard lower-deck arrangement for both the 72 Aleutian RP and SC has three staterooms and three heads, but on the 72SC, a fourth stateroom is now an option. Raising the aft deck allowed Grand Banks to move the crew quarters back from amidships to the lazarette area and create a full-beam head for the master suite in its place. Forward, the new floor plan has two starboard-side staterooms instead of one, sharing a head opposite. Pocket doors on the second small stateroom maximize its space, allowing it to be opened up during the day. On our boat, this cabin was configured as study. The fourth stateroom is a VIP with island queen berth and ensuite head in the bow.

The crew accommodations didn’t lose much in the transition – they comprise twin bunks, a small fridge and private head with shower. In fact, this area is fitted out nicely enough to make a great hideaway for older kids. “Probably half of the 72 owners run the boat themselves, and they convert the crew quarters to a room for the grandkids,” David said.

The crew quarters have access to swim step and the engine room. Laid out much the same here as on the 72RP model, the machinery spaces are neatly organized and show a strong predilection toward redundancy and high-end standard equipment (so much so that you have to clamber over some of it to get to the outboard side of the Cats). Headroom is 6 8 , and there’s at least four inches of overhead insulation, including sound-dampening materials, foam and honeycomb. Under way at a fast cruise speed of 1800 rpm, we recorded a quiet 70 decibels in the saloon overhead.

Our test boat’s pilothouse was equipped with a cutting-edge “glass helm” featuring a fully integrated Garmin 5000 Series electronics package. Mounted on the raised helm panel in the wheelhouse were 15-inch GPSMAP 5215 Series chartplotter touch-screen displays – the largest in the Garmin line. Pre-loaded with U.S. charts (in this case), and complete with an optional wireless remote, the plotters can display up to four different functions simultaneously on split-screens. It’s easy to set and change the configurations – for example, chart/sonar/radar/CCTV. As we headed out the channel, everyone gathered around the helm to see what the Garmin system could do.

Out at sea, I went up to the flybridge helm to drive, and was impressed by how well the venturi blocked the breeze. The view was excellent on three sides, and only partially obstructed by the dinghy aft. There are Garmin displays at the upper helm, too, so you can also watch the water aft on the feed from the boat’s optional rear CCTV camera. The 72SC handled like the big boat she is, but at the same time, was exceptionally responsive to the wheel.

Grand Banks hasn’t altered the 72 Aleutian’s modified V-hull, originally designed by the late Tom Fexas, and with good reason. During a run offshore in two-foot swells, we got a taste of the smooth, stable ride it offers, further aided in windy conditions by the ability to balance the boat by transferring fuel independently between the five fuel tanks on board. (A two-fin Naiad roll stabilization system is an option as well.)

Better yet, this long-range cruiser is fast, thanks to that Fexas hull, which is solid fiberglass below the waterline, but incorporates lightweight Airex foam core above it, along with weight-savings materials throughout the interior. With 10 people on board, we recorded an average top speed of 22.85 knots at 2,320 rpm on GPS at wide open throttle, on speed runs made in opposite directions. Grand Banks reports a top end of 23.8 knots at 2,346 rpm in ideal conditions. “You can get up and go, but you can also long-range cruise at ten knots,” David said. “While people are mindful of fuel economy, they like that ability to beat a storm into port.”

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