Out of all the GB boats around the world.. this is the best participation you can muster? I know, I know...there is a GB site that most GB owners frequent, but still, this is a very poor representation of of THE Pioneer of all trawler yachts.
ERIC--- As you know, the prototype of American Marine's Grand Banks line was Spray (see photo).* Spray was built in 1962. The design goal stated by American Marine was to create an economical diesel cruiser that could be pushed faster than hull speed if the owner wanted to go a little faster. The marine architect they commissioned for the job, Kenneth Smith, designed a 36', semi-planing hull with a "workboat-inspired" superstructure. He took existing design elements from a number of boats, particularly the smaller commercial fishboats of the day that had a forward helm station, a small forecabin, and where the fishwell and fishing gear would have been, he put an aft cabin.
First two photos are Spray when she was new, color photo is Spray in recent years.* She is currently (I believe) in the US midwest, I think in the Great Lakes area.
A year after Spray was launched American Marine quit their longtime business of making custom boats and concentrated on a new line of production boats based on Spray. The hull configuration was identical to Spray's but the superstructure was changed to reflect suggestions and comments from people who had ridden on Spray, AM's own design staff, and potential customers for this type of boat. The Grand Banks line initially consisted of two sizes, 36' and 42'. Later 32', 46', 48', 49', and 52' models were added.
The boats were made of wood in American Marine's Kowloon yard from 1963 through mid-1973 when production of the Grand Banks 36' and 42' models was switched to fiberglass in their Singapore yard. The other models made the change a little later.
To answer your specific question, Eric, there were certainly recreational boats that used the typical "trawler" design before American Marine. Many of the Washington State and BC forestry and fisheries boats used this same basic layout. But all the older (and exclusively wood) "trawler" type boats I have seen over the years have been custom or one-off boats. While I don't know this for sure, it may be that American Marine was the first to create a production line of this type of boat.
In my opinion, what American Marine and their Grand Banks line is most notable for is the consistent high quality level they brought to this type of production boats.* Plenty of other makes are as well built, and some are better built.* And I think there are designs out there that are more aesthetically pleasing than a GB.* But a lot of the boats from the "Taiwan boom years" of the 70s and 80s had very inconsistent quality within each model type because of the way the boatyards on Taiwan farmed out the work.
WALT--* Most Grand Banks owners have been in boating for a long, long time one way or the other.* So most of them are well-schooled in things like how to secure a fender, how to navigate, how to anchor, etc.* They resolved their twin vs. single questions a long time ago.* So I would venture to say that a "general" type of forum like TF and T&T is not of much interest to them.
There are two Grand Banks owners forums, an independent one which has the greatest participation and a forum sponsored by Grand Banks, Inc. itself.* There used to be only one forum and the story behind why there are now two is too long and gossipy to get into here.
Most of the participation on the GB forums has to do with maintaining, upgrading or fixing the boats.* There are some very experienced and knowledgeable shipwrights, former yard owners, and engine people on the forums and the level of advice one can get there is akin to going to a very experienced boatyard or diesel shop.
I have an upcoming project on our boat that requires some very specific knowledge of how to do it correctly.* So it's nice to ask a question about the proper tools and techniques to use and get answers from someone who not only owned one of the best boatyards in the Puget Sound area, but a yard that specializes in the maintenance, repair, and upgrading of both wood and glass Grand Banks.* Plus he is a person who has done what I want to do countless times on exactly the same kind of boat.* When this fellow gives you woodworking advice, fiberglass repair advice, painting advice, brightwork advice, or advice on virtually every component and system on a GB (or Alaskan, another American Marine line), you can take it to the bank.* If you want to know the composition of the cabin tops on a fiberglass GB, there are people on the forum who not only know but will give you the exact thicknesses of the fiberglass and wood layers.
In addition to the pros there are owners on the GB forum who have restored GBs from almost total dereliction, have complely torn down and rebuilt their Lehman engines, and so on.* And if you need plumbing and head advice, Peggie Hall participates on that forum, too :-)
So there's really no need to look elsewhere for information which is why I suspect there are few GB owners on TF or any other boating forum.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 28th of December 2011 12:33:31 PM