When Grand Banks acquired Palm Beach, the luxury Australian builder, two years ago, it named Mark Richards, the Palm Beach president, and world-class sailor, to run the two companies. Richards, in turn, promised to build high-quality, high-tech cruising boats under the proud Grand Banks brand. The gorgeous new 44 Eastbay SX with IPS 600 pod drives is the direct result of that effort. The 44 Eastbay, with its low profile, long sweeping shear and gentle tumblehome, has softer lines and more curves than the traditional Grand Banks. It somehow manages to keep its Downeast heritage yet looks like one of the most modern boats on the planet.
Entering the boat from the large teak swim platform, the cockpit has an L-shaped settee and aft-facing bench. In the salon, the aft and side windows open for a fresh-air environment. The galley to starboard boasts beautiful quartz countertops. A large U-shaped settee with hi-low table is to port. The helm, with two 16-inch Volvo displays, is wrapped in leather. The master stateroom is forward, then there’s a guest stateroom with twin berths and one with a single berth; you can also opt for two staterooms plus a utility room. They’re all finished in teak; fit and finish is excellent. The Grand Banks 44 Eastbay SX has two heads with showers.