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Old 05-15-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
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What Makes Grand Banks Trawlers So Great?

I just started looking at trawlers for sale. I see a lot of 20-30+ year old Grand Banks trawlers selling for sometimes 50-100% more than similar model trawlers. Are they that good? If so, what makes them fetch such a premium?
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:31 PM   #2
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A boat is only as good as the previous owners :-)
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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Go look at the boats (if you know how to do that, and based on the question, I'd guess you're not there yet) and go for a ride in each. Big difference in build quality and other factors. Great, well earned, reputation adds a "halo effect". Plus, they are still in business unlike virtually all the others.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:45 PM   #4
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For staters, outstanding quality of construction, ( and consistency of quality construction ) great resale value, great seaworthiness, outstanding design, excellent craftsmanship throughout over MANY, MANY years - others will jump in here soon - are there other less expensive and dependable trawlers out there - sure - but GB's are, for the most part a classic and they set the standard for others to follow IMHO -
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Don't forget a great advertising program.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:45 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Don't forget a great advertising program.
Ads work especially well when 90% of makers of "similar" boats from back then are out of business.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
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Go look at the boats (if you know how to do that, and based on the question, I'd guess you're not there yet) and go for a ride in each. Big difference in build quality and other factors. Great, well earned, reputation adds a "halo effect". Plus, they are still in business unlike virtually all the others.
Well, they are known to be "wet" hulls (water on the windscreen and over the flybridge) in mildly choppy water, the late 70's and 80's hulls have serious blister issues just like other boats from the far east, they have fuel tank rust problems like the rest, are not efficient, have the standard sharp roll reversal characteristic of semi-displacement hulls, and arguably too much exterior teak. They also have above average but typically dated interior joinery and that all important jaunty salty look. The company shares clsed last week at $0.19 and they are clinging to life with their new sister company Palm Beach Yachts. Others still truly in business include Ocean Alexander and Cheoy Lee.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:25 PM   #8
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Well, they are known to be "wet" hulls (water on the windscreen and over the flybridge) in mildly choppy water, the late 70's and 80's hulls have serious blister issues just like other boats from the far east, they have fuel tank rust problems like the rest, are not efficient, have the standard sharp roll reversal characteristic of semi-displacement hulls, and arguably too much exterior teak. They also have above average but typically dated interior joinery and that all important jaunty salty look. The company shares clsed last week at $0.19 and they are clinging to life with their new sister company Palm Beach Yachts. Others still truly in business include Ocean Alexander and Cheoy Lee.
Doesn't sound like you have actually been on, or at sea on many (any?) of the 80's and 90's GB boats, which are the subject of the OP's question. We've run several, and know people with several more, including charter companies on both coasts.

BTW, you may want to look at OA's history. Not to mention check out some Cheoy Lees of the same era. I happen to quite like both those marques in general, but they are in no way superior, witness how many are still on the water and in what shape those that are.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:38 PM   #9
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I had an interesting conversation with a GB broker recently.

Given it was just his opinion, I still found it to be an honest and frank one.

What he had to say was similar, in a way, to much of that thread some months ago about the GB transition.

He said that while there is still a GB following, the premium GBs still usually sell before they are listed and still bring good money, the market is dwindling.

According to him, GB folks are aging out, their families don't want the boats and the ones who before would be moving up in size are also aging out or looking at other options; newer, roomier and perhaps the option of faster. The new boaters are into the fast sedan style like Sabre, East Bay, Back Cove etc.

He understands my timeline, certainly doesn't need me to pay his mortgage and without actually saying it, made me think about the GB resale market going forward.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:32 PM   #10
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Excuse me while I go bury my head in the sand.

I like a boat that I can work on, modify and alter to my needs. I don't need a laptop to troubleshoot engine or electrical issues.

But mostly it is the choice to get the best built, best value that I can in my budget.

Last weekend there was a rendezvous with nearly 70 boats spanning from 1967 to 2015. I like that longevity.

PS. I may be a little biased.

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Old 05-16-2016, 12:04 AM   #11
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Bob, Love the modification of your GB. Can you tell us how much weight you removed and how the rolling motion has changed (if any) ?

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Old 05-16-2016, 01:00 AM   #12
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Hi tgotch,

I have always felt that GB's have good visual lines, and they tend to handle seas well. And shipwrights seem to reckon they are good to work on.

So a pretty boat, capable of coastal cruising, and not a total maintenance disaster (depending, of course, on what the previous owner did or didnt do...). Hence GBs seem to enjoy a price premium.

Is the premium worth it? You will have to decide, but the market votes with its feet and any decently maintained GB does not stay in the 'for sale' listings for long.

BTW, I am incredibly biased in this thread, but I have enjoyed writing it...

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Old 05-16-2016, 01:01 AM   #13
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Those are telling numbers about Rendezvous - when we attended in '05, there were 120 boats. It was a lot of fun and there were very good learning seminars. Despite the high cost of entry of some of the 70 footers that were there, the folks were very welcoming to my wife and I (and Polar) on our smallest example.

I loved our 32, one of those boats that you can't leave without a backward glance.

Spent hours, nay, days on my knees doing deck maintenance, wasted a holiday doing exterior varnish but did major rewiring and systems upgrades that made me proud. Wood windows were a huge pain, the blisters were superficial and no issue.

She had a nasty sharp roll with her angled Chines (a lot like my present boat) but she could take way worse conditions than we could. I hated the ladder but loved the flying bridge. My version had no teak decks up there nor a teak transom so there were a couple of bullets dodged.

The boat was built like a tank. Everything was finished. No glued mouse fur on the inside walls, no fibreglas seams with jaggers, they only cheaped out on some crap Formica on the instrument panel and the galley counters but that was the only compromise.

She really was a boat you could be proud of, even love. I liked being a GB owner. But I'll never have another, they look like crap if not maintained so there was a lot of self-imposed pressure to add another coat of varnish, replace that plastic deck plate with bronze, gold leaf her name plates, wash wash wash. Every boater (trawler boater) should have one, a single, no thrusters, learn how to handle and own, how to operate a real boat. Then buy something else next time.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:39 AM   #14
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I just started looking at trawlers for sale. I see a lot of 20-30+ year old Grand Banks trawlers selling for sometimes 50-100% more than similar model trawlers. Are they that good? If so, what makes them fetch such a premium?
Premium to what? What are you comparing them to and perhaps we can answer.

I personally think they were "that good". Many people I greatly respect are GB owners and devotees. The old models are about gone with the emphasis on Palm Beach which is better financially for them.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:49 AM   #15
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A boat is only as good as the previous owners :-)


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Old 05-16-2016, 08:56 AM   #16
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They were very well marketed similarly to todays Nordys. They were also beautiful boats when well maintained. Most boats of the time were strongly built as was GB. To this day there is arguable nothing prettier than a well kept GB.


IMO the downside was teak, teak, ladders, narrow salon, plywood on the fly bridge on some. Lack of bow flare is a major downside IMO. Strangely they mostly had low power engines in the beginning in a semi planning hull. Never could figure that out.


Beautiful teak joinery was a hallmark of Asian boats of the time and GB did it well without the overdone carving of some other brands.


Overall nobody ever had to aplolgise for owning a GB. Often imitated but never duplicated as the saying goes.


Are they worth the price? Not in my opinion as I hate teak and more modern designs offer roomier interiors.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob Cofer;
I like a boat that I can work on, modify and alter to my needs. I don't need a laptop to troubleshoot engine or electrical issues.

But mostly it is the choice to get the best built, best value that I can in my budget.
Well said, Bob and sometimes to get what you want, you have to do it yourself.

I really like the GB to East Bay conversion you did.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:28 AM   #18
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We were last in the market in 1994. At that time, we looked at a couple of GB 42s that were priced significantly higher than the C&L 44 we bought. They were narrower by a foot, had wider side decks by 6" on each side, so the cabins were 2 ft narrower. Plumb bow, so the interior length was about the same. Lehman engines, lower hp, smoky, Nicer looking interior joinery, though not better quality, Galley up,

To some, none of those differences are negatives.

After 22 years, we are happy we didn't stretch the budget for the GB 42, as ours has proven to be a very good boat. Many times other boaters have mis-described ours as a GB and we don't take offence.

At resale time, the quality of your maintenance will show through in what you can get for your boat. Looking at the depreciation from what you pay at purchase time, to what you get for it, the GB will depreciate at least as much, perhaps at the same percentage, as its cheaper rivals. You should try asking yourself if it is worth it to you to have the name recognition you will get with a GB, at that extra cost. The rest of it is just the individual boat - does it have what you want in a boat?
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:32 AM   #19
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Panope,

Roughly 900lbs. Rolling motion is about the same. We can continue this conversation on the Transformation Continues topic here: Transformation Continues

Bob
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:55 AM   #20
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Doesn't sound like you have actually been on, or at sea on many (any?) of the 80's and 90's GB boats, which are the subject of the OP's question. We've run several, and know people with several more, including charter companies on both coasts.

BTW, you may want to look at OA's history. Not to mention check out some Cheoy Lees of the same era. I happen to quite like both those marques in general, but they are in no way superior, witness how many are still on the water and in what shape those that are.
I've been "at sea" on the 42, 46 and 47. I looked at many GBs and spoke with many owners in my search for a boat. More recently, a gent who routinely visited our marina with a 47 showed up with a 456 Ocean Alexander. According to him, the GB was wet, slow (for the installed power) and appallingly fuelish. Exterior maintenance was something he didn't want to deal with....and this was on the Great Lakes where the boats are only in the water half the year. He loves the OA, which is a knockout by any standard. You indicated that GB was virtually the last company standing from that era. I pointed out two companies that are in far better shape than GB. You inferred they are lesser marques. Your opinion, but the fact is they are still very much in business....Grand Banks, not so much. By the way, there are scads of ratty GBs sitting in slips, just like any other brand. As stated previously, it depends on the owners. Time was when GB had the status edge and they rode it for all it was worth. Now they're just old boats that require a lot of extra maintenance. The shine is fading and savvy buyers know it. Efficiency and ease of ownership trump perceived value. By the way, I've always contended that an older GB with stupidly oversized engines would be great candidates for a repower when the prices drop far enough. Getting close.
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