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Old 05-13-2015, 10:14 PM   #1
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Pros and Cons of a Grand Banks 42

Husband and I are "planning" on buying a Grand Banks.

I'd like to get a better understanding of why the Grand Banks is a good choice for a liveaboard and WHY it might NOT be a good choice.

Our goal is a floating condo that's good for evening cruises and down the coastal adventures.

We're trading from a sailboat to a powerboat, especially a trawler to liveaboard for space.

Appreciate ALL your efforts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:01 PM   #2
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I posted what's below in reply to your other post, so in case you are looking at this thread and not that one....

The one thing I would add to what's below regarding liveaboards is that in my opinion, the GB42 is not the ideal boat for this. Despite the length, it has an "old fashioned" layout inside and is not as roomy as one might expect. However, if one does not need a lot of space for living on a boat it would do just fine.

GB pros--- Very well made boat (most of them), a lot of people like the aesthetics of them. Good visibility from the main cabin. Quality wood and hardware throughout. Great cabinet work. Solid boat. Very maneuverable in single or twin engine configurations. Nice flying bridge if one is into those. Fairly low freeboard which makes boarding and stepping ashore easy for almost anyone. Great coastal cruiser.

GB cons--- Very slow unless you get a newer one with big engines. Fairly high maintenance boat, particularly the exterior. Wet boat in sloppy water (not much flare to the bow). Has the semi-planing hull "snap back" roll in rough water or beam seas that a lot of people don't like. As the boat ages the teak deck tends to require more maintenance. If it has not been kept up it can take a major effort and/or dollars to resuscitate it. Taller people need to duck every time they enter or leave the main cabin unless one gets a Europa model. Windows, particularly the opening ones, need overhauling every so often. Not rocket science to do but it is a job to remove the frame, track, etc. and then put it back together. Not designed to be an open ocean cruiser. People have done it, of course, but there are far better designs for this kind of boating.


Here's the other post....

Well, the first thing you should do is sign up on the Grand Banks owners forum Grand Banks Owner's Resources and ask your question there. There are a lot of active participants on that forum including former boatyard owners and shipwrights who collectively know more about GBs than God.

If it's a woody there are about a zillion things to make sure a surveyor checks, and you need a surveyor who thoroughly understands wood boats.

If it's a fiberglass boat, the condition is a lot easier to judge, but you still want a surveyor to judge it. With a glass GB,the important things are the condition of the decks and subdeck, the window frames, tracks, seals, sills and glass. Also the condition of the exterior teak and, even more important, its bedding. Same thing with the butt, scarf, and lap joints in the cap and hand rails.

Look for signs of leaks in the overheads of all the cabins and in the tops of the recesses below the main deck, like where the berths are. If the flying bridge deck is leaking or the teak landing pad on the aft cabin top, this can admit water through the overhead because of the seams and plugs and the twenty million holes drilled into the subdecks for the screws that hold the teak planks down.

Major things to check with the teak decks are the integrity of the seams-- they should not be pulling away from either side of the grooves (this can be hard to see at a glance sometimes). Wet the decks down and see where the wet spots are as the deck dries out. Wet spots on one or both side of a seam indicate a separation.

Check the presence and condition of the deck plugs if the boat has a screwed-down deck (all but the newer GBs do). Missing or broken plugs can admit moisture under the planks, although it's not nearly as bad a problem as separating deck seams.

The other stuff--- engines, generator, electrical, fuel, fresh water, sanitation, propane, anchor windlass, and so on are pretty much the same as any other boat as they all use the same kinds of components.

GBs are not low-maintenance boats. Even the glass ones have a rainforest of wood on them, from the exterior teak trim to the construction of the bulkheads, cabin soles, doors, etc. I tend to think of a fiberglass GB as a wood boat with a fiberglass shell.

Our PNW boat is a fiberglass GB36 and we've had it for over 17 years so far. It's a lotta, lotta work to keep up with it. Ours is kept outside because we use the boat year round and going up to stay on a boat that's in a boathouse is not particularly appealing. If we kept it in a boathouse our cosmetic maintenance would be greatly reduced.

So if you want a low-maintenance boat, one that you can use-and-forget, a GB is not what you want.

Finally, unless you get amazingly lucky, $75 grand is going to get you a pretty crappy GB42, particularly in fiberglass. Not saying they're not out there, but it most certainly would not be a boat I'd want to mess with. If your budget was $150,000 to $300,000 I'd say you were in ballpark for a decent one if you were willing to settle for a pretty old one at the bottom of that price range.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMH89 View Post
Husband and I are "planning" on buying a Grand Banks.

I'd like to get a better understanding of why the Grand Banks is a good choice for a liveaboard and WHY it might NOT be a good choice.

Our goal is a floating condo that's good for evening cruises and down the coastal adventures.

We're trading from a sailboat to a powerboat, especially a trawler to liveaboard for space.

Appreciate ALL your efforts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks
If someone had once put that question to me - i.e. the pros and cons of owning a GB 42, I would have said there is only one con, the money to buy, and the rest are pros.

However, now I've been boating in a CHB 34 trawler/sedan style boat 13 years…well, as Marin has the GB36 version…like he says…with a but…

But…they would still probably be a very good choice for what you have described, however, unless you really, seriously, will be taking folk other then close family overnighting a lot…definitely go for the sedan, (now called Europa), style version of that size. I can confirm, the rear cockpit space, and indoor/outdoor living it affords are really worth having.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:09 AM   #4
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In addition to Marin:
Con: the Classic has no covered decks. The cockpit is not covered and a weird space. The flying bridge is covered but a long strange path to carry a tray of drinks. The outdoor space is poor except the flying bridge. You have to enter the cabin past the helm on the starboard side. No built in helm seat. Lots of maintenance (teak decks?). The sedan has its main cabin in the bow. No cover over the main cabin entrance on the Classic - wet.

Pro: nice wide walk-around decks; solid construction, good looks, pretty good resale.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:38 AM   #5
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The decision between the traditional aft cabin version and the Europa is critical. You are trading a large open stateroom for outside space. When we were looking for a boat 17 years ago there were few of the Europas available and those that were were available so we did not buy a Grand Banks.

Compare the Grand Banks 42 with the Nordic / American Tug 42. Depending on the model year you may find the additional teak on the Grand Banks something you do not wish to deal with.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:00 AM   #6
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Greetings,
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:17 AM   #7
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Con, most older classics have a double and a single bed in the aft cabin. The boss prefers a queen.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:20 AM   #8
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Europa

Many of the previous points on the attributes of the europa are spot on. For us (especially my 6' 4" frame) the "smooth" transition around the vessel without multiple doors and steps (only up to bridge and down to sleeping quarters), the wonderful protected cockpit outdoor area and galley up were the big items. We will move aboard full time in August after my retirement and do the Great Loop over the next two years.
We looked at heritage GBs, Ocean Alexanders, Carver MYs, Sabre downeasts, SeaRay sedan bridges, Cruisers MYs, among others in our search and this where all the trade offs ended for us.
Good luck, enjoy the hunt!
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:55 AM   #9
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We just bought our 46 europa a year ago. We just came off of the puget sound gb rendezvous . There were over 80 gb's there of various models and eras. Owners are very passionate about these vessels. We like the 46 europa for its openness, ease of movement, size of master cabin, separation of guest cabin from master, size and access to bridge( stair vs ladder). The classic version gets a larger master but you lose the cockpit. A trade off you need to figure out. There were over 1500 42's built, so the re sale market is quite full of available choices. We love our choice. Good luck in the search
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #10
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Con, most older classics have a double and a single bed in the aft cabin. The boss prefers a queen.
The GB36 we chartered had the double-single setup in the aft cabin. The boat we bought has a queen. There are advantages to both styles. Sometimes we wish we had the other arrangement, sometimes we like what we've got.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:17 PM   #11
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Great info! I know the maintenance is a big concern. What other boats should we look at? Appreciate all the feedback!
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:07 PM   #12
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Great info! I know the maintenance is a big concern. What other boats should we look at?
Since you're on the west coast I would look very hard at Tollycraft. Designed and manufactured in the PNW they are extremely well made and have a great reputation.

Art, a member of this forum, has one in the SFO bay area, and I'm sure he would be happy to chime in or correspond directly with you with his own views on the brand. I believe there is also a very good Tollycraft owners forum as well that could be a great source of information.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:49 PM   #13
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Too expensive.
Giving up living space for side decks on a livaboard is rediculous IMO.
Most have two big heavy engines that take up space and their weight could be used for household equipment .. not engines. Not so on the single engine but they are not numerous. All the outside teak isn't desirable.

I'd look for an inexpensive boat w lots of room. Also many livaboards go vertical so a stout cabin structure to support lots of additional weight would or may help. Insulation could be a big asset further north and being water tight or close sounds good to me.

And to find out more walking the docks talking to livaboards who have "been there done that" will produce information that a contemplator would miss.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:53 PM   #14
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I do not have a GB but our CHB Europa, similar to the GB 46' gives us a nice balance of entertainment space and potential live aboard room. My wife says no to any boat that has limited windows in the living space. The tri-cabin design tends to require a lot of up and down, does not have covered decks and requires all of your guests to walk through your sleeping cabin to and from the aft part of the boat. Another deal breaker for my wife is the down galley some have. I think GB's are beautiful and when I walk on them they tend to be incredibly well built! Good luck in your search!
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:17 PM   #15
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The tri-cabin design .... requires all of your guests to walk through your sleeping cabin to and from the aft part of the boat.
Not true. We-- us and our guests---get to the aft end of our tri-cabin GB by going out the main cabin door and walking back on the wide side deck to the stern or to go up to the flying bridge.

On the newer version of our model, or on all of the larger models, 42' on up, the tri-cabin boats have a door on each side of the main cabin, one forward beside the helm and one farther aft on the other side. Whether there is one main cabin door or two, there is never any need to enter the aft stateroom at all to get to the aft end of the boat.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:18 AM   #16
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Great info! I know the maintenance is a big concern. What other boats should we look at? Appreciate all the feedback!

Can't recommend specific brands or models, but I can suggest you first enumerate features you must have, features you'd like to have, features you really do not want... and then go find boats to match.

"Features" might include things like master stateroom configuration, number of staterooms (and how good secondary staterooms are), number of heads, shaded outdoor areas, flying bridge (or not), teak (or not), etc.

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Old 05-15-2015, 07:37 AM   #17
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Great info! I know the maintenance is a big concern. What other boats should we look at? Appreciate all the feedback!
Check out the aft cabin DeFevers. Many happy owners.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:45 AM   #18
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The tri-cabin design tends to require a lot of up and down, does not have covered decks and requires all of your guests to walk through your sleeping cabin to and from the aft part of the boat!
Ditto what Marin says. Whether an aft cabin design like GB, Tollycraft, DeFever or many others one basically enters at the salon.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:24 AM   #19
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Regarding the Europa/aft cabin debate ,there is of course a third option, that is the sundecker. The Island Gypsy 44 is a good example of this style.

While the sundecker retains the superior aft cabin master suite layout, it also provides for an extended aft entertaining area similar in size to that of the Europa, albeit with a couple of access steps from the main cabin

The obvious down side to this style is the relatively high profile of the boat and the vertical ladder set up to access the transom.Still, worth a look, the aft cabin is enormous compared to a Europa style front berth set up.

What will become obvious to you as look further into different set ups is there is no best boat, it's all a compromise as to what suites your requirements verses what your are prepared to live with to get that.

Good hunting
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:06 AM   #20
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Why aren't sundeck boats being discussed?
I would think living space aboard would be priority #1.
Also old IO boats would have a built in space savings advantage. Of course very few are inclined to get anywhere near the IO for maintenance issues but a V drive would have the same advantage.
Also boats like the Manatee have so much space inside looking at "normal" boats would seem to at least a small extent pointless.

I can't escape the notion that a much more suitable boat for living aboard that a "normal" boat would be the direction taken.

However most that live aboard usually find the situation choosing the boat like one's anchor on the bow was what came w the boat. Or they found the boat for super cheap due to some odd reason that wouldn't affect a liveaboard .. like one engine of a twin bad. And then there's the house sitting type of livaboards but the OP is contemplating choosing the boat for the purpose.

Then there is the liveaboard that never moves his boat other than being towed to some other spot. And anchoring out.

But it looks like from reading this thread that this situation will be more like primarily having a cruising boat that the owners just happen to live on the boat. Sorta like some on TF that are always cruising so obviously they live aboard.

I would be looking for basically a specialized boat. But there's no talk of it here and most people that live on a boat seem to be on what I'd call normal boats.

My previous post shows that I've spent too much time in Alaska where a liveaboard can be an old skiff w a tarp over it and an electric heater inside. Some of the hippie type livaboard boats in AK are amazing.

The OP says "floating condo that's good for evening cruises and down the coastal adventures." Seems to me a sundeck, Manatee or something similar would be far more appropriate than a GB. And I like GBs. Some people live on sailboats and that seems just this side of nuts to me but the people like sailboats and don't think of anything else. But I'd be surf'in Yacht World for (as FF puts it) a "roomeran" (sp?).
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