Grand Banks 54, displacing, but not too much

Designed to sail at low speeds, with a maximum speed of 31 knots. Cruising above all.

by Niccolò Volpati

Many slow down, Grand Banks, on the other hand, accelerates. The goal does not change: cruising at all costs. In order to achieve it, you need to innovate, but without disrupting. The newborn is the GB54, which has had the misfortune to be completed in the midst of Covid emergencies. However, it has remained in good health and has touched the water.

Overseas, there are already seven shipowners owning one, and now it is ready to present itself in Europe.

What has remained unchanged compared to the models produced by Grand Banks? It is solid, as the yard’s tradition demands, robust and stable. It is not made of fiberglass alone, because the deck and superstructure are made of carbon. Rigidity, solidity, but also the will to contain weights. The objective, in fact, is to improve cruising performance. And they seem to have succeeded, since it is a boat of 18 meters with a fly that, when on land, weighs 21,500 kg.

Grand Banks 54

A pair of D11 Volvo 725 hp each makes the standard motorization and the transmission is a traditional shaft line. Thanks to this it is able to reach a top speed of 31 knots, much more than you would expect from a semi-displacement engine. GB54, in fact, is able to offer a wide range of cruising speeds, with different autonomies. At 10 knots, for example, thanks to the 3,400 liters of tank capacity, it can sail for 1,283 miles. At 25 knots of speed, instead, the autonomy is 394 miles. This value, however, allows you to cross the Mediterranean Sea up and down.

In the name of innovation, the shipyard shows that it is not afraid of different types of transmission that are present on the market. Optionally, a torque of IPS 800 is available, featuring an engine block similar to that of the shaft line, yet with 100 horsepower less for each engine. Volvo’s IPS are more efficient than the traditional shaft line, so less power is needed to achieve similar performance. What doesn’t change is the build quality and “marine” qualities.

Grand Banks 54

The hull is built in infusion and the shipyard has recently implemented production automation. In addition, it has a V bow designed to provide good performance both in displacement and planing. The goal is always to crack the wave, rather than jump on it, but it is to crack it at a certain speed (31 knots) without losing stability.

Grand Banks 54

The deck has many details imprinted with comfort and safety in navigation, starting with a floor plan always wide along all the walkways and many good grip points.

Grand Banks 54

The interior offers two layouts. One with two cabins and one with three. The location of the galley also changes, because the three-cabin layout includes the galley on the main deck and, consequently, the owner is located in the bow and the two guests in the middle of the boat.

Grand Banks 54

The layout with two cabins, instead, includes the galley lowered towards the sleeping area, the owner in the middle of the boat and the VIP in the bow. The wood of the fittings is all teak, which comes from sustainable growth plantations. In short, you can enjoy this material that represents the quintessence of “marinity” without even feeling guilty.


Grand Banks
Stuart, FL 34997, USA

Hull Overall length 18.10m • Maximum beam 5.34m • Draft 1.22m • Draft with IPS 0.95m • Displacement (dry) 21,500 kg • Fuel tank 3,400 l • Water tank 1,100 l • Standard engine 2xVolvo D11 725 hp • Optional engine 2xIPS 800

Engines 2xVolvo D11-725 • Power 533 kW (725 hp) • 6 in-line cylinders • Displacement 10.8 liters • Bore&Stroke 123mm x 152 mm • Compression ratio 16.5:1

(Grand Banks 54, displacing, but not too much – – December 2020)