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Old 08-30-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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Some general questions from a GB n00b

Hello all,
I'm in the very early stages of looking for a new floating home. I have a few general questions about the GB 36 and 42 classic models. When did they stop making them? What were the most reliable engines? What kind of range could they offer at full displacement speeds?

Ideally, I'd like to get something sturdy and economical enough to get me to say... Bermuda. That's about 650 miles of open ocean from New York. I don't get the impression that these are the boats for the job, but then, I'm pretty ignorant about the subject.

That's where you guys come in! Thanks!!
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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First of all, join the Grand Banks owners association Grand Banks Owner's Resources and ask your questions there. There are very few GB owners on this forum, and most of them participate in the GB owners forum, too. There are people on that forum with decades of experience with these boats, including the former owner of a yard that specializes in the repair, maintenance, upgrading, and restoration of GBs and people who have owned GBs for decades, some of whom restored their boats from something almost ready for the scrapyard.

We have one of the first batch of fiberglass GB36s ever made. Our boat was made in late 1973. One slip away from us is the last GB36 ever made, and it was made in the very early 2000s.

The GB42 went out of production in the mid or later 2000s.

The original molds for the GB36 and the GB42 wore out in the mid-1980s so they made new molds for both boats. The boats from these molds appeared in 1988, at least for the GB36.

American Marine took advantage of this to make both boats a wee bit longer, a wee bit wider, and significantly taller. What this means is that the post-1988 boats have more user space inside and more headroom. The forward head in our boat, for example, is the size of a phone booth. In the post-88 GB36 (we used to charter a '91 boat so have experienced the later boat) the forward head is larger and even accommodates a curtain-shower.

Grand Banks are NOT open ocean boats. Yes, they can be taken across open water if the conditions are nice. But they are a bit top-heavy with regards to dealing with big seas and waves, their windows are WAY too big for holding up in anything real rough with lots of water coming aboard, and their semi-planing hulls are not the most stable in the world for rough ocean conditions.

Grand Banks are considered, and were designed to be, coastal cruisers. That is one reason why they are more popular in the Pacific Northwest than any other part of North America. With 1,000-plus miles of protected and fairly protected water between Puget Sound and Glacier Bay in SE Alaska, they are, in many people's eyes, the perfect boat for this region.

But an open-water boat they area not unless one is able to restrict travel to days when the sea conditions are mild.

For open water work, a displacement boat is far more suitable. So Krogens, Nordhavns (expensive) and other such designs come to mind.

With regards to range, it all depends on what kind of engines one has, how many, and how fast one wants to cruise. We have two engines that at the rpm we use drive the boat about 8 knots and burn about 5 gph total. We carry 400 gallons of fuel. So that's 80 hours of run time. So that's a theoretical range of 640 nautical miles.

But that's never what happens in real life. Wind, current, startup, warmup, slow running in harbors and whatnot all conspire to reduce that range considerably, particularly up here where tidal currents area typically 3 to 5 knots and farther north in the islands can get up to 10 to 15 knots locally.

In a newer GB42 with the typical Cat engine installation of a pair of 400+ hp engines, fuel consumption at 9 knots will be some 6 of 7 gph, and at 15 or 16 knots will be as much as 25 gph.

But the bottom line as far as I'm concerned, is if your primary objective is to run hundreds of miles in open ocean in a slow boat that can't outrun the weather and the risk of getting caught out in rough seas is very real, a Grand Banks is not the boat you want.

Below are a couple of photos I took of our old '73 boat up in the islands.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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I'm gonna second Marin's suggestion on a Krogen. More specifically a KK42👍. Need I mention "Dauntless"??



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Old 08-30-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Marin,
Thank you for all of that information! It confirms a lot of my suspicions and assumptions. I'm new to the whole full time cruising thing, so where I'll actually be going is still under consideration. I do know that the vast majority of my destinations will be near coastal, with a healthy smattering of ICW and canals. I guess I just want the opportunity to make a bigger water trip when the mood took me. I think this is called 'Nordhavn Syndrome.' Right?

I do love the full displacement boats, the KKs etc... It's just a matter of figuring out how I'd be able to afford one... haha
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
First of all, join the Grand Banks owners association Grand Banks Owner's Resources and ask your questions there. There are very few GB owners on this forum, and most of them participate in the GB owners forum, too. There are people on that forum with decades of experience with these boats, including the former owner of a yard that specializes in the repair, maintenance, upgrading, and restoration of GBs and people who have owned GBs for decades, some of whom restored their boats from something almost ready for the scrapyard.

We have one of the first batch of fiberglass GB36s ever made. Our boat was made in late 1973. One slip away from us is the last GB36 ever made, and it was made in the very early 2000s.

The GB42 went out of production in the mid or later 2000s.

The original molds for the GB36 and the GB42 wore out in the mid-1980s so they made new molds for both boats. The boats from these molds appeared in 1988, at least for the GB36.

American Marine took advantage of this to make both boats a wee bit longer, a wee bit wider, and significantly taller. What this means is that the post-1988 boats have more user space inside and more headroom. The forward head in our boat, for example, is the size of a phone booth. In the post-88 GB36 (we used to charter a '91 boat so have experienced the later boat) the forward head is larger and even accommodates a curtain-shower.

Grand Banks are NOT open ocean boats. Yes, they can be taken across open water if the conditions are nice. But they are a bit top-heavy with regards to dealing with big seas and waves, their windows are WAY too big for holding up in anything real rough with lots of water coming aboard, and their semi-planing hulls are not the most stable in the world for rough ocean conditions.

Grand Banks are considered, and were designed to be, coastal cruisers. That is one reason why they are more popular in the Pacific Northwest than any other part of North America. With 1,000-plus miles of protected and fairly protected water between Puget Sound and Glacier Bay in SE Alaska, they are, in many people's eyes, the perfect boat for this region.

But an open-water boat they area not unless one is able to restrict travel to days when the sea conditions are mild.

For open water work, a displacement boat is far more suitable. So Krogens, Nordhavns (expensive) and other such designs come to mind.

With regards to range, it all depends on what kind of engines one has, how many, and how fast one wants to cruise. We have two engines that at the rpm we use drive the boat about 8 knots and burn about 5 gph total. We carry 400 gallons of fuel. So that's 80 hours of run time. So that's a theoretical range of 640 nautical miles.

But that's never what happens in real life. Wind, current, startup, warmup, slow running in harbors and whatnot all conspire to reduce that range considerably, particularly up here where tidal currents area typically 3 to 5 knots and farther north in the islands can get up to 10 to 15 knots locally.

In a newer GB42 with the typical Cat engine installation of a pair of 400+ hp engines, fuel consumption at 9 knots will be some 6 of 7 gph, and at 15 or 16 knots will be as much as 25 gph.

But the bottom line as far as I'm concerned, is if your primary objective is to run hundreds of miles in open ocean in a slow boat that can't outrun the weather and the risk of getting caught out in rough seas is very real, a Grand Banks is not the boat you want.

Below are a couple of photos I took of our old '73 boat up in the islands.
Very nice GB 36 !
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wayfarer View Post
Thanks Marin,
I'm new to the whole full time cruising thing, so where I'll actually be going is still under consideration. I do know that the vast majority of my destinations will be near coastal, with a healthy smattering of ICW and canals. I guess I just want the opportunity to make a bigger water trip when the mood took me.

In the Caribbean, you can get to lots of places by island hopping in decent weather windows. IOW, you can make a solid argument (if you want to) for not over-buying.

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Old 09-21-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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I agree with Ranger on this below, I think adding Bermuda into the equation things drastically change the mission, thus costs. Might be cheaper to just fly there and enjoy the island and use say a 36 GB for ICW, Bahamas, Key's, etc.
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
In the Caribbean, you can get to lots of places by island hopping in decent weather windows. IOW, you can make a solid argument (if you want to) for not over-buying.

-Chris
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:29 PM   #8
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I agree with Ranger on this below, I think adding Bermuda into the equation things drastically change the mission, thus costs. Might be cheaper to just fly there and enjoy the island and use say a 36 GB for ICW, Bahamas, Key's, etc.
Definitely. Bermuda was a bit of an arbitrary point, really. I was one of the many people in the Nordhavn fan club when I first arrived here. Visions of ocean crossings and circumnavigation danced through my head. At this point, I'd rather gunkhole my way down the coast at a leisurely pace, and have a nice cozy spot to stop every night. After a year or so of doing research here and other places, It seems I don't really need anything more than a sturdy coastal cruiser.
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