Photography by Onne van der Wal
01 February 2024
Grand Banks Yachts has showcased its cruising motor yacht GB54 at the recent boot Düsseldorf trade fair, which concluded in Germany on 28 January 2024.
The GB54, which made its world debut in 2020, represents the vision of world-renowned ocean-racing sailing champion Mark Richards, who was appointed Chief Executive of Grand Banks in 2014.
Over a decade of Richards’ tenure, the company has achieved the rare feat of creating vessels that push the envelope in terms of construction and technology while still proudly embracing its DNA. And the boatbuilder says the GB54 is a perfect example of this philosophy.
Since the first Grand Banks 36 hit the water in 1964, the company has pushed the boundaries in long-range cruising, seeking to encapsulate a yachting lifestyle that blends adventure with onboard luxury.
Grand Banks says the GB54 pays homage to this history, while utilising next-generation design and build techniques developed by Richards and the company’s in-house design and engineering team.
The firm, which builds its boats in Malaysia, says the GB54 has been ergonomically designed to keep the workload of owner-operators to a minimum. At the helm station, one will find the control interface that offers a feeling of power at one’s fingertips. Whether in choose pod or shaft drive, the combination of joystick controls and uninterrupted sightlines help to make easy work of navigating into a tight slip.
Like all Grand Banks models, each GB54 is built to order. To that end, the builder says the are several layout, accommodation and propulsion options for owners to choose from, including galley-up or down, and two- or three-stateroom variations.
And, like all modern Grand Banks models, the GB54 is also built with the company’s proprietary V-Warp technology.
Born out of Mark Richards’ lifetime of ocean-racing experience, V-Warp technology is a design and construction technique that has been employed on all Grand Banks hulls since the launch of the next-generation GB60, splashed in 2017.
Trademarks of a V-Warp hull include a fine entry on the bow, graceful curvature amidships, and a minimal deadrise at the transom, all of which reduce drag while adding buoyancy, stability and lift, allowing the boat to reach planing speeds with minimal energy and effort.
Grand Banks says the V-Warp technology build process uses a combination of vinylester e-glass in the hull, unidirectional and multi-axial carbon fibre in the deck and superstructure, and a ‘perfect resin-to-material ratio’, which increases strength and durability while reducing weight. This boosts efficiency over the long distances that the vessel is designed to undertake.
And finally, each V-Warp hull is fused directly to the bulkheads, the carbon fibre deck, and the superstructure of the vessel. All of this leads to a finished product that is incredibly strong and delivers a soft, quiet ride, and a hull form that reduces drag while adding buoyancy, stability and lift, allowing the boat to reach planing speeds with minimal energy and effort.
“The V-Warp technology is key to creating the next-generation Grand Banks that began with the GB60 in 2017,” says Richards.
“Delivering a long-range cruiser such as the GB54 that is extremely efficient throughout the speed range from eight knots to 34 knots requires this level of technology, innovation and design.”