The largest Grand Banks yacht ever built, the 85 is poised to become one of the most efficient cruisers ever to tackle the open ocean according to GB’s CEO Mark Richards.
With a displacement of around a weight-watchers goal of 89,500 lbs, the GB85 will be considerably lighter than any competitive size boat from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. The essence of the 85’s weight-loss program is undeniably esoteric. “Except for the hull, which is E-glass,” Richards says, “everything—the longitudinals, transversals, bulkheads, everything else—is carbon fibre. In fact, we’re removing so much weight by going this route that when we finally launch the boat this coming December, I have no doubt she’ll be considered truly revolutionary. We plan on weighing her once a week as we continue through the construction process so we can track, control and accurately hit the target weight of 40.6 metric tons.”
Of course, there’s way more to designing a large, “revolutionary” cruising vessel than merely delivering a feathery displacement. Tank testing was completed on the 85’s warped-plane hull form (with a significant amidships deadrise that flattens in increments going aft) at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania and, according to Richards, the results were both gratifying and striking.
“The Grand Banks 60, with a similar hull form, was super-efficient,” says Richards. “But the 85 is even more so, probably due to her extra length—the longer a boat is, the better she’ll run, more or less. But this 85 is amazing, really—at 21 knots there was virtually no wake. Most other vessels of the same type and size would be pulling a tidal wave.” The new boat’s power plant will be as unusual and comparatively impressive as her displacement and her efficiency. For starters, a matched set of 1,000-hp Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350 diesels will inhabit two engine rooms instead of one.
This doubled-up approach, says Richards, will allow for a large garage in between, with plenty of space for a dinghy and water toys. In addition, he says the arrangement will also allow for more elbow room and better access for maintenance and repairs.
Richards is predicting a 30-knot top speed, which will be super impressive with 2000hp. The fuel capacity is specified as a single 10,000 litre tank which at 21 knots should offer a range of around 1,000 nm.
The 85’s interior will likely offer four our six cabin layouts, along with a Skylounge version instead of an open flybridge. A 6.70m beam will guarantee a spacious full-beam master if optioned as well as the main deck with plenty of stretch-out room. What’s a tad different, however, says Richards, is a crew’s quarters that are divided into living and sleeping spaces that afford privacy and laid-back, easy living.
The first 85 to splash in Malaysia has already been sold to an individual who’s owned a veritable parade of Palm Beach yachts over the years.
The immediate destination of the first 85 to splash this coming December will be Auckland, in time for America’s Cup races in 2021.
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