If there’s one thing Singapore-based Grand Banks Yachts knows how to do, it’s turn heads. The company has been doing exactly that since launching its first yacht—the elegant, 12-metre diesel-powered Spray—in 1963, and it continues to turn heads today on the strength of eye-popping designs like its brilliant GB85.
Introduced at the Cannes Yachting Festival earlier this year, the Grand Banks 85 is a nod to the company’s storied past with an elegant, classic profile that clearly echoes its 12-metre ancestor. But it’s also very much a glimpse into the future with its computer-assisted design. That it spans a 60-year heritage of luxury yachting with such ease and grace is remarkable and demands a closer look.
Stretching a full 26.58 metres in overall length and riding on a generous 6.75-metre beam, there’s a lot of boat here, as evidenced by its massive 49,000-kilogram displacement, gigantic 10,000-litre fuel capacity, and huge 1,000-litre holding tank. Peek under the hood, and you’ll be staring at twin Volvo Penta IPS 1350s churning out 1,000 ponies apiece, which can be upgraded to twin MAN diesel V8s of 1,300 horsepower apiece turning V-drives if you really want to get there in a hurry. Dial the throttle back to cruising speed, and the GB85 has more than enough range to travel from Vancouver to Hawaii or manage transatlantic crossings from eastern Canada to Europe.
A big part of that performance capability lies in the GB85’s V-Warp hull technology, which tends to slice through seas rather than pound over them. The unique design of the hull provides a flatter running attitude for a soft ride and tremendous fuel efficiency.What’s more, it does this in extraordinary comfort. The three-deck GB85 comes in either flybridge or skylounge configurations to suit buyer tastes,the open flybridge being unbeatable in warmer climates, and the closed-in skylounge offering far greater comfort in cooler environments. In either case, Grand Banks offers a range of accommodation configurations for every type of owner.
In its typical layout, the GB85 equally emphasizes indoor and outdoor living, as evidenced by the cockpit with its wide dining table at the transom, served by an al fresco galley area along the salon bulkhead. With only two stainless steel verticals supporting the overhead hard top, the GB85 provides unobstructed views in every direction but straight ahead, making the cockpit ideal for enjoying morning coffee, midday meals or evening cocktails.
Step inside, and the salon offers a large conversation area aft, with a U-shaped settee opposite a large sofa. Huge side and aft windows flood the space with natural light without affecting the comfortable, snug atmosphere.
Forward and up a step, a formal dining area is conveniently positioned back-to-back to a spacious galley appointed with professional-grade appliancesOpposite the dining area, internal stairs lead to the upper flybridge or sky lounge.
While the upper helm station isn’t always the top spot to unwind on a yacht, the GB8 has, with plenty of comfy spots for guests to enjoy time together. That’s particularly true for buyers of the skylounge version of this yacht, which can be closed for comfort on cool days and opened to let the breeze flow through in beautiful weather. But buyers who opt the open flybridge version still enjoy the protection of a sturdy hardtop overhead. Both versions also provide an aft cockpit up top, featuring an additional settee and a high-low table for dining. It’s also possible to configure the space with a wet bar to the port side, with electric cooktops, a fridge, and an ice maker.
Befitting a yacht of this calibre, the GB85 delivers opulent comfort belowdecks thanks to its standard three-stateroom layout, with a spacious full-beam owner’s suite amidships. It features a king-sized bed, a flanking settee, and plenty of storage space, including numerous drawers and a walk-in hanging locker. Natural light illuminates the space through large hull-side privacy windows. The ensuite arrangement features his and hers sinks, and a spacious shower.
Forward, a spacious twin cabin sits to the starboard side of the yacht facing the head, while a luxurious VIP stateroom is in the bow. There’s also separate crew accommodation aft of the owner’s suite, accessed through its own dedicated passageway.
Head turner? You bet. Grand Banks pulls out all the stops with its stunning GB85, revealing a capable long-range explorer with every imaginable comfort onboard.