27 July 2018
While developing its next model, Palm Beach identified a void in the refined high-performance marketplace—and the stunning new GT50 was born. The design philosophy was to create a visually elegant cruiser capable of 40-plus knots, with an economic cruise speed in the mid-30-knot range, and all in a yacht that was simple to operate and easy to own.
The first Palm Beach GT50 Express is scheduled to make its debut in September at the Newport International Boat Show. A GT50 Open will quickly follow, and is set for display at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show in January 2019.
Initial sea trials hit the company’s precise target top-speed projection of 42 knots and a cruising speed of 35 knots with a pair 600-horsepower Volvo IPS 800s. Moreover, at 35 knots the fuel consumption was only 40 gallons per hour (151 litres per hour). At 25 knots the GT50 sipped a measly 24 gallons per hour (90 litres per hour) or 1.3 miles to the gallon. These impressive figures make the Palm Beach GT50 one of the most efficient yachts available today.
“When I started Palm Beach almost 25 years ago, I had one over-arching set of objectives: to design and build the best-performing, most efficient and most beautiful yachts on the water,” said Mark Richards, Palm Beach Motor Yachts founder and CEO. “The GT50 represents a culmination of the best of Palm Beach, and there’s really nothing out there like it today.”
The GT Series incorporates Palm Beach’s unique hull design that results in less resistance to achieve plane while keeping the bow in the water. Each yacht slices through the water and avoids wasting energy to get up on top of the water.
A hyper-focus on lightweight, strong construction helps to ensure the GT50’s efficiency. The hull is a fully infused vinylester cored e-glass construction that is complemented by a fully infused, 100% carbon fibre deck and superstructure. The deck and bulkheads are structurally bonded to the hull for increased strength and rigidity, forming a semi-monococque shell that produces a far stronger result.
Another specific goal of the GT50 is to embrace simplicity and ensure owners are spending more time on the water. “We designed the systems and built the yacht to be turn-key,” Richards said.
“We want you to step on board, turn on the engines and go out and enjoy the water. That’s what yachting is all about.”
Palm Beach gave significant attention to the GT50’s outdoor spaces in order to comfortably accommodate large groups of guests while underway. Two L-shaped settees in the cockpit flank a transom door to the large teak swim platform. The helm deck is ideally suited for al fresco dining or lounging while underway, with an L-shaped settee and a straight settee. For the Express model, a large opening sunroof and Palm Beach’s customary side and aft opening windows provide an open-air atmosphere for an incredible on-the-water experience.
An additional refrigerator and an icemaker in the cockpit complement the full-service galley below. Twin helm seats serve the carbon fibre helm station, and the single-piece windscreen creates an unobstructed line of sight that is more like a high-performance car than a yacht. Side decks are designed to seamlessly join the cockpit to allow for easy access forward.
Below, the attention to detail continues with contemporary finishes blended into a timeless elegance. Timber options include wenge, teak or ash. Broad selections of designer double-stitched fabrics are wrapped around a spacious forward master stateroom, huge head with shower, large galley and a queen-sized berth aft. Engine access is below the cockpit.
After Newport, the GT50 will attend the Norwalk, Annapolis and Ft. Lauderdale boat shows. Production is currently underway for the GT60 that will make its debut in September of 2019. Performance projections of the 60 are calling for a 50-knot top-end, marking a true industry game-changer. A GT70 will follow the 60’s introduction.
“Stay tuned for more,” Richards said. “Ultimately we plan to be the most efficient performance cruiser in our niche.”