By admin ~ February 3rd, 2012. Filed under: New Boats.
Ready to Go:
Grand Banks delivers a new flagship, the 76 Aleutian RP
By L.J. Wallace, Jr.
Make no mistake; despite its sensuous luxury and international reputation as the best of what a trawler yacht can be, the new flagship of the Grand Banks fleet is NOT a vessel for globe-girdling wannabes. It offers everything anyone needs to traverse oceans comfortably and safelybut the owners and crew can do it with panache. Again, make no mistake; it takes a lot for any boat builder to remain atop the desirability ladder for more than 50 years, but Grand Banks has done that and more. It has kept up with design and construction technology and consistently offered its customers exactly what they wanted in flair, styling, comfort, amenities, speed, reputation and status.
Not that many years ago, Grand Banks built trawler yachts that operated at displacement speeds only. Society has moved on, moves faster and our need for instant gratification has altered the paradigm for speed afloat. This 76-footer, with the maximum optional 1,724-hp CAT C32 ACERT power package, can hit more than 31 knots. However, the standard power of C18 ACERTs rated at 1,015-hp still tops out at 23.8 knots and cruises at 18.5 while burning a modest 35.8 gallons per hour. These figures were developed based on a half-load of fuel and 16 passengers. Imagine what it’s capable of with a light load and skeleton crew!
While speed is certainly important, I expect that those attracted to such vessels consider range as equally crucial. At that cruise, the Grand Banks 76 Aleutian RP offers a range of 652 nautical miles (based on 90 percent of usable fuel capacity.) Drop your speed down to true displacement speed—say, 10.5 knots—and your range jumps to more than 1,200 nm. And at just over 7 knots, you can boost that to almost 2,000 nm. That can get you to a whole host of remote anchorages.
LOA: 77′ 6″
BEAM: 19′ 19″
DRAFT: 5′ 4″
DISPLACEMENT: 104,000 lb. (dry)
FUEL CAPACITY: 2,845 gal.
STANDARD POWER: Twin 1,105-hp CAT
C18 ACERT diesels
OPTIONAL MAX POWER: Twin 1,724-hp
CAT C32 ACERT diesels
SLEEPS: 6 to 8 guests plus 2 crew
MAX RANGE: 1,973 n.m.
@ 7.5 Kt. (w/ std. CATs)
TOP SPEED: 23.8 Kt.
@ 2,346 rpm (w/ std. CATs)
30 Kt. @ 2,485 rpm (w/ opt. CAT’s)
CRUISE SPEED: 18.5 Kt
@2,000 rpm (w/ std. CATs)
22.9 Kt. @ 2,000 rpm (w/ opt. CAT’s)
As for the interior, there are numerous choices. The standard layout consists of four staterooms: a master with an athwartship king bed; a VIP cabin in the forepeak; and two side-by-side single berth cabins. Optionally, you can request a three-cabin layout. Both configurations include crew quarters for two, hidden beneath the cockpit with a separate entrance to the quarters and the engine compartment. Those who have succeeded, but not yet retired, might opt for the office cabin in lieu of one of the guest doubles. Having worked as crew in Europe, rest assured that by European standards, these crew quarters are opulent for a 76-footer. The space includes over/under single berths, head with shower and a washer and dryer.
Moving to the main deck, the extended pilothouse provides a larger-than-average saloon area able to accommodate a formal dining room consisting of six occasional chairs surrounding a teak-inlaid table. Or, you can choose a banquette-style dining table that seats four in the forward port corner of the saloon and four on occasional chairs on the facing side. An optional wine cooler can be placed mere steps away in the wet bar unit. One layout also provides a day head amidships to starboard in the saloon.
The galley comes in two configurations depending on whether you choose the three- or four-cabin layout. The difference is truly minimal, with the galley island curving in on the forward end in the three-stateroom layout, and being straight with the fourth. Additionally, the three-stateroom layout boasts a C-shaped dinette table and seating that is missing from the other layout. Aft of the dining room, the saloon sports a pair of facing straight settees that remind me of a stretch limo with a teak-inlaid coffee table between. The aft deck will be where most people will want to dine with its larger table and seating for more guests. Of course, that doesn’t even take into account the better vistas being alfresco provides. The substantial overhang will protect you in all but the most inclement conditions.
Moving all the way aft, twin stairwells descend down to the swim platform, affording you secure passage to the boat’s stern as well as a comfortable place to land your tender when coming and going. The aft deck offers hatch access to the crew quarters beneath, which in turn also has direct access into the engine compartment. The engine room is just shy of full-standing headroom as a concession to the overall sleek profile of the 76. However, all routine maintenance points can be found on centerline within easy reach. Such maintenance items include quick disconnects for the oil-change system, fresh water outlet and easy access to the sea strainers and batteries. Side decks afford passage to the Portuguese bridge around the pilothouse and ultimately, the foredeck. Mirror-image settees on either side of the centerline gangway to the foredeck hide copious storage and are topped with comfortable sunpads for your lounging pleasure. And everywhere you might stroll on any deck, there’s handsome but aggressive non-skid.
Next, climb the starboard-side stairs from the galley to access the flybridge where you’ll discover Stidd helm and companion seats and a pair of L-shaped settees. A break between the settees leads to the boat deck where you can carry your tender that readily launches with a sturdy electro-hydraulic 1,300-pound davit.
As you would expect from a company with Grand Banks’ longevity and reputation, the construction, materials and finish in this 76 Aleutian RP (and all GBs for that matter) rank second to none. From the outside in, Grand Banks prevents osmotic blistering in layers. From an epoxy resin barrier coat to a Hydrex-resin skin coat beneath the gelcoat, you’ll never need to worry about water intruding into the laminate, while the hull consists of solid, hand-laid fiberglass below the waterline and cross-linked PVC coring above. And very important for those who venture into uncharted waters, the full-length keel extends below the running gear for added protection.
Grand Banks doesn’t offer stabilizers as standard equipment. However, the company offers at least five different stabilizer systems as options, along with a stern thruster to augment the bow thruster if you feel the need. In fact, the standard equipment list runs to two-and-a-half pages while the options occupy barely a half page. That speaks well for any builder!
So if you dream of exploring remote spots but have reached a point in your life where you are no longer willing to sacrifice your comfort or style, the Grand Banks 76 Aleutian RP represents the near ultimate solution to your dilemma.