Trawler Forum

Trawler Forum (
-   Monk (
-   -   Grand Banks vs. Monk (

Island Trader 05-19-2010 05:25 AM

Grand Banks vs. Monk
Being a newbie to the trawler scene but not boating.

This question is for general information only...not which is better or worse, need to get some pros and cons from people out there that own these fine boats.

It seems like the 36' boat is what will fill our needs and price range, so fire away.


sunchaser 05-19-2010 07:51 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Three groups of questions:

Are you looking for a project boat? Are you a "good" mechanic, electrician*and shipwright?

So what is your tight price range? 36' MV can range from $10,000 to $450,000. A Monk 36 can range from $80,000 to close to $300,000

Are you an experienced boater? If you are a savvy shopper and a good negotiator you can get a lot more boat for the money than if you are inexperienced or an impulse buyer.

Steve 05-19-2010 08:31 AM

Grand Banks vs. Monk
I am very happy with the 2003 Monk 36 I bought in Nov. 2008. All the Monk 36's I have seen are built with fiberglass decks which was very important to me in my selection process.*
** The Monk 36 (possibly except for a couple of special builds)*is built with a single engine, a pro in my opinion but a con to some.*
If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.
Steve W.

-- Edited by Steve on Wednesday 19th of May 2010 09:35:41 AM

Marin 05-19-2010 09:59 AM

Grand Banks vs. Monk
Grand Banks are good boats, well built for the most part. Until 1973 the GB36 was made of wood. In mid-1973 the line was switched to fiberglass although the wood and fiberglass models looked virtually identical until 1988 when they changed the molds. GB36s can be had with one or two engines, although two are more common.

A wood GB36 can run you from free to perhaps $90,000 for a perfect one. A more typical price range for a decent GB36 woody is perhaps $60k-80k.

A fiberglass GB36 can run from perhaps $70k for an old, somewhat neglected one to $300k for one of the last ones made in near-perfect condition.

If your budget dictates a GB36 made before the later 1990s, be prepared for a lot of exterior teak trim that needs periodic work to keep it looking good. The older the boat, the more trim there will be. Our '73 GB36 has a rainforest of exterior teak on it. We like the look and rather enjoy working on it--- sort of a woodworking hobby--- but a lot of people don't like to mess with it. Removing the trim or painting it lowers the resale value of the boat.

The last batch of GB36s made, the so-called GB36 "Lite," were made with hardly any exterior teak. The caprail is teak, but the handrails and grabrails are stainless and there is no cabin-side trim. This was not done because buyers didn't want or like the look of teak but as a last-ditch effort to keep the price of the GB36 competitive. The boat was simplified in other ways, too. It didn't work and the line was discontinued for good after only a few of the "Lite" models were made.

With the exception of a few special orders, all GBs were made with teak decks. On the woodies the teak is laid over a wood subdeck, on the fiberglass boats the teak is laid over a fiberglass-plywood-fiberglass subdeck "sandwich." While teak is a superior deck surface to anything else in terms of traction, wet or dry, and it is a major contributor to the "character" of a GB, a teak deck can be a major headache if it's not been properly taken care of.

Our boat still has its original teak deck, which is now 37 years old. It's in pretty good shape despite previous owners sanding it too much. We had it regrooved and reseamed not long after acquiring the boat and so today it takes no real maintenance other than periodic washing with salt water and Lemon Joy. But a teak deck that's been abused or neglected can be a major and expensive pain. Replacing a teak deck on a GB36 cost between $20,000 and $30,000 in 1999 when we looked into it--- given the cost of good teak and the rising cost of labor I'm sure it's much more today.

You can replace a bad teak deck with a fiberglass deck--- the teak is removed, the subdeck is prepared, one to three layers of fiberglass is applied followed by a non-skid surface. I've seen this done on several boats near us in our marina, in particular a beautiful owner-done job on an Island Gypsy on our dock. In most of these cases it probably increased the resale value of the boat.

This is typically not the case when it comes to a GB. While replacing the teak deck results in a solid, maintenance-free deck if it's done right, it also lowers the resale value of the boat as evidenced by what's happened to the prices of the occasional GB with a fiberglass replacement deck that's come through the large and very active GB dealer in our marina. In some cases the boat wouldn't sell until the price was lowered by the same amount it would cost to install a new teak deck.

So you pick your poison with a GB with a bad deck surface. You repair or replace the teak or you remove the teak and risk getting less for the boat when you sell it. There are a few GB buyers who like the idea of a fiberglass deck but according to our local GB broker these buyers are extremely rare. Most people who want a GB want the character of the boat "intact" and the teak deck is a big part of that. It's why almost all new GBs are still delivered with a teak deck, although these days they are glued down, not screwed down, which helps a lot.

There are four configurations of GB36 to pick from. To use GB's own nomenclature and in the order of their popularity, they are the Classic, the Europa, the Motoryacht, and the Sedan.

The "Classic," aka tri-cabin, is what we have.* It and the similar Motoryacht are the only GB36 configurations that have two heads.* In the post-1988 models, the forward head was made large enough to double as a shower stall.* The aft head always had a shower but in the pre-1988 models the forward head is only large enough for a toilet and sink.

The next most common configuration is the "Europa," which has no aft cabin, a longer forecabin and main cabin, and a boat deck that overhangs the side decks and aft deck. The aft deck is often enclosed with clear curtains.

The "Sedan" is a Europa without the boat deck overhang, and the "Motoryacht" is a tri-cabin with a full-width aft cabin. I suppose this last could also be considered a "sundeck" although the aft cabin top is lower than on the boats more commonly called "sundecks."

In our rainy, damp climate, the Europa configuration is the best in my and just about everyone else's opinion.* The covered and enclosable aft deck lets you be outside without being outside on those rainy or windy days (which is pretty much all of them up here).* However, the tri-cabin brings the benefit of two staterooms and two heads which can be of great benefit if you boat with guests or kids.* The Motoryacht with its full-width aft cabin is not very popular here as it can make it difficult to get onto a dock.* The character of the docks up here is such that you pretty much have to put someone onto them as you arrive.* The* Motoryacht also can present challenges to launching and retreiving a dinghy.* In a GB36, the additional width gained by the full-width aft cabin is not worth giving up a complete walk-around deck for, but that's just my opinion.

The Sedan models are very rare and so far as I can tell, for good reason. You don't have the benefit of the separate aft cabin and you don't have the benefit of the covered aft deck.* All you have is a boat with a forward stateroom and big main salon.* So if you have guests you have to make up a berth at night in the main cabin and then take it apart the next morning.* I have heard this configuration is popular with sport fishermen but a GB is about the last boat I'd pick for fishing.* So I can understand why you almost never see a GB sedan, and the few that have come through the dealership in our marina have taken forever--- years sometimes--- to sell, while all the other configurations were selling quite quickly.

Most older GB36s were built with Ford Lehman engines. Initially they used the FL120. Later boats had the FL135. The Lehman is a reliable but very outdated, very inefficient engine by today's standards. Parts are still easy to get and there are plenty of shops that still know how to work on them.* Most Lehman engines are fitted with Borg Warner Velvet Drive transmissions.* They are okay but they aren't great and can be a source of problems.* Later GB36s tend to have Cummins engines in them, which are considerably more efficient, smoother, and quieter than the Lehmans. And there are probably examples out there with factory-installed John Deere and perhaps other more modern makes, too.* I don't know if they ever put Cat engines in a GB36 at the factory.* They did in the GB42, but I don't know about the smaller boat.

Typical cruise speed of a GB36 with one or two Lehmans is about 8 knots. They'll go faster but there's not much point. Fuel burn with an FL120 is about 2.5 gph per engine at a cruise speed of 7.5 to 8 knots.* If you run a single engine boat (Lehman) hard enough to go 8 knots you'll probably burn about 3-4 gph.* The newer engine types burn less.

The primary advantage you get with a GB is consistency of build quality. As opposed to* some of the so-called "Taiwan Trawlers" (GB36s were made of wood in Kowloon and fiberglass in Singapore) which can have a wide range of build quality because of the methods used by the yards in Taiwan.* This is more typical of boats made in the 70s and 80s.* I expect the current boats made in Taiwan are much more consistent in their quality.

American Marine (the parent company that made Grand Banks boats) built their boats with a high degree of consistency. Every GB is pretty much the same in terms of quality as every other GB. That's not to say a neglected GB won't be a piece of crap, but they all started out as very high quality boats and that helps them hold up physically and value-wise for more years than is typical of this type of boat.

Most GBs other than the very newest ones have wood windows.* By which I mean frame, sill, etc.* Like almost all boats with every type of window, all windows seem to develop leaks eventually, and the GB is no exception.* Fortunately, the GB windows are very easy to overhaul if one has the time and minimal skill required.* Otherwise.... well, a few years ago the local shipwright who works on the very large GB charter fleet in our marina told me that he charged a flat $1,000 to completely rebuild a GB window, including new glass.* Given that there are 18 windows on a GB36 tri-cabin you can understand the motivation my wife and I had to learn to overhaul them ourselves.

While we have rebuilt almost all the windows on our boat none of them were overhauled because they were leaking. Surprisingly, we've not had any window leaks on our boat--- the windows were redone because frames needed re-sealing and finishing, window tracks needed relacing, glass needed replacing, etc.* It's not something that has to be done on a regular basis--- we rebuilt our first window 12 years ago and today it's no different than the day we finished the rebuild.

But all in all, a good boat. * We've had ours for 12 years now and we continue to use it year round. That said, I would not recommend a Grand Banks to someone getting into this kind of boating unless they have a very large budget or a lot of time and skill to work on a boat. * Other than a fairly new one--- say from the late 1990s on, a GB tends to be a fair amount of work.* There are other makes that cost considerably less, are as well if not better designed, and will require far less effort to keep up. The only thing in my opinion that the GB name gets you is a very high build quality.* But there are other makes that aren't far off GB's standard.* If you want a turn-key boat--- you come down, get on, start it, take your cruise, come home, turn it off, hose it down and go home and do this year after year--- a Grand Banks would be a real disappointment to you, I think.

I don't know anything about the Monk. But based on your brief description in your initial post, I would say something other than a GB would perhaps suit you better.

While I am not a particular fan of the GB--- I believe a pilothouse design (Krogen, Fleming, De Fever, Victory Tug, etc.) is a far more useful and versatile layout--- there obviousy are a lot of people who think a GB is the best thing since sliced bread.* If you want to learn more about GBs you might consider joining (it's free) the Grand Banks Owners Association at* There are some extremely knowledgable GB owners on that forum like Bob Lowe and, like this forum, there are categories where you can post questions and start discussions.* There is also a very user-friendly search function for the forum archives.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 19th of May 2010 05:12:58 PM

Island Trader 05-20-2010 06:04 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk

sunchaser wrote:

Three groups of questions:

Are you looking for a project boat? Are you a "good" mechanic, electrician*and shipwright?

So what is your tight price range? 36' MV can range from $10,000 to $450,000. A Monk 36 can range from $80,000 to close to $300,000

Are you an experienced boater? If you are a savvy shopper and a good negotiator you can get a lot more boat for the money than if you are inexperienced or an impulse buyer.


My apologies for not being a little more specific in what I wanted.* I should have given a little backround and then maybe the question would of made more sense.

To answer your I am not looking for a project boat.* I am a good mechanic, electirician and shipwright.

My price range is 199k or less.

Yes experience boater. Last major trip was in our Alura 30'. Left Milwaukee Wi. with my wife and 2 dogs and 30 days later ended up in Sarasota FL.* Never went a ground and had zero mechanical issues.

Savy shopper, yes. After 10 years of owning the Alura, sold it for 3k less than what I paid for it (not counting add on's* but who counts that anyway

We live in Fl. that being said the boat I am looking for is to do the Great Loop (not all at one time).* We want to get out of the heat in the summer months.* The boat can be wintered up north for a year or two.* I really am not looking for something that is a lot of maintenance.* Not a bleach bottle either.

Marin...thank you for your run down on the Banks, and your recomendations...I now know that the banks is not the boat for me.

Steve you said you like your boat and I will PM you and ask a few more questions.

General question for all:* I have found in the past when boat shopping to narrow it down to just a few makes, because then you can become an expert on the brands and know what to look for.

I just think for us a 36' would be the easiest and least expensive to run, maybe up to a 42'....I do like Pilot house boats...but you can't always get what you want.* I mean if the cash was there I would go get me a Nordhavn.

Hope this puts my question into a better light....GB out, now maybe compare Monk to a Krogen.

Does this program have a spell check?


JD 05-20-2010 06:24 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Have you considered the newer Mainship 34t?* 2005-2009 models. Or if you need to have two cabins the 350/390* 1999 - 2005*models.

You can get the 34*under 200k or the 350/390 under $150*and have a fairly care free boat with all of the goodies needed to be comfortable.* Yes it could be considered a*bleach bottle but at some point no teak can be a good thing.

There is an active Mainship blog and there is a nice 390 in the St. Pete market that is for sale by the owner.* He has had the boat since new and is getting up in years so it has become difficult for him to get around on the boat.*

The above is for information only I am not connected with the owner in any way. Just know of the boat.

Island Trader 05-20-2010 06:32 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
I have thought about Mainship.* I just am not sure of resale value any more.*

I think in this particular case, I just need something that is a little bit more salty looking.

I mean I rode Harleys for years, and I mean before they became the yuppie thing.* So design still holds a soft spot in my heart.

But thanks for the suggestion.

artwork 05-20-2010 07:29 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
"I mean I rode Harleys for years, and I mean before they became the yuppie thing.*"

Oh, that explains being a good mechanic and electrician.* just kidding-*a little

sunchaser 05-20-2010 08:36 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
In your price range a Monk 36, very new, is attainable. They're well setup for live aboards. For fun, look at the Nordic Tug 37. As an investment, they are hard to beat. I agree with you on Mainships.

Marin 05-20-2010 10:27 AM

Grand Banks vs. Monk
I suggest you approach selecting a trawler the way you would a computer. Figure out what applications you want to run, then find out which computer will best run them.

So for now, forget about boat brands. First define everything you want to do with a trawler. How many people to you want or need to accommodate? How often will you have guests?* Will there be kids, grandkids, friends' kids involved?* Where are you going to cruise? Do you want to live aboard full time? What kind of galley do you want, electric or propane? How many heads do you need? Is the climate where you''re going to boat conducive to spending time outside or is it rainy more often than not? How is your mobility, and how do you expect it to be in the future? (In other words, how adept are you at climbing stairs or ladders?) What are the docks like in the area(s) you anticiapte cruising? Is easy deck access (low freeboard) or a full walkaround deck (or both) important or not?* Will you ever be single-handing the boat?* (This can help define the ease of deck and dock access.)* How much time will you have to get from Point A to Point B? Will you need a relatively fast boat or will a slow boat suit you okay? Are you going to spend most of your nights at docks in marinas and the like, or are you going to be anchoring out most of the time? (This will help determine the boat's electrical needs, like a generator.)* How often will you be using the boat's dinghy?* Will you ever have to launch it by yourself?* (This determines how easy it needs to be to launch it unless you elect to tow it.)

And on and on and on.

Once you have asked and answered every question you can think of, the answers will largely define what sort of boat you're after.

On top of this, of course, is what sort of boat you like from an aesthetic aspect. Not much point in getting a boat that meets all your requirements but has a design that, to you, sort of sucks. I see a lot of boats in our marina that would fill our requirements, but I look at them and think, "What the hell was the designer thinking? And who in their right mind would buy such an ugly thing?" Actually, I find myself saying that a lot--- I have very specific aesthetic requirements and most production boat brands don't some anywhere near meeting them. In fact there are only four that do.

I am willing to sacrifice some functionality or objective-requirement-meeting for aesthetics. Other people don't seem to care what the boat looks like as long as it meets their objective requirements. For example, they will happily buy what to me is a staggeringly ugly boat that is staggeringly ugly because it has a ton of interior space. But I think it's important that you like whatever boat you choose on a gut level or you'll never be happy with it no matter how well it meets your objective requirements.

One last thing.* You said in a previous post, ".... maybe up to a 42'."* A piece of boat buying advice I first saw as a little kid in a story in Boy's Life magazine a long, long time ago and never forgotten is..... "Buy the smallest boat you can afford."* This was given by the main character in the story to another fellow who wanted to buy a boat but knew nothing about them.

What this means is that for x-amount of dollars, the smaller a boat you buy, the better shape it will be in, or the newer it will be, which usually amounts to the same thing.* If you have x-amount of dollars and buy the biggest boat you can find for that amount, it will be older or in worse condition than the smaller boat.

This does NOT mean to buy a boat that is too small for your requirements.* Which is why it's important to define all your requirements very carefully and very objectively.* If you find that a 42' boat better meets your boating requirements, then get a 42' boat.* But if you find that a 36' boat, or even a 32' boat, meets your boating requirements, spending your x-amount of dollars on a boat that size will almost always get you a boat in better shape, needs less work, etc. than if you spend that same x-dollars on a larger boat.

Soon after we bought our GB36 we both began wishing we'd bought a GB42 or, even better in our minds, a GB46.* Since we have to walk past the GB dealer's dock every time we go to our boat, it was easy to convince ourselves that bigger was better.* At one point we came very close to trading up to a GB46. Today, having lived with a GB36 for twelve years now, we would not want a boat one inch longer unless money was absolutely no factor whatsoever in which case we'd buy a Fleming.* The GB36 has proved perfect for our needs in the waters that we cruise in.* We have learned that neither of us wants the additional work of maintaining one inch more of boat.* (If we could afford a Fleming we could afford to have someone else maintain it.)

So it can be beneficial to keep that rule in mind---- Buy the smallest boat you can afford.

-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 20th of May 2010 11:58:40 AM

RT Firefly 05-20-2010 10:49 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Mr. Marin,
** THAT should be s sticky!

Marin 05-20-2010 11:00 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk

As usual, I added some stuff after I first posted it. So you might not feel the same way if you re-read it

RT Firefly 05-20-2010 12:44 PM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Mr. Marin,
** Just skimmed and didn't catch your additions.* Still looks good.

Island Trader 05-20-2010 02:09 PM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Are Monk Trawlers still in business?

I can't locate a web site?

RT Firefly 05-20-2010 02:46 PM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Hiya IT,
** I "think" Monks used to be made in Nova Scotia, Canada.* You Might be able to get in touch with the Nova Scotia Boat builders Association.**and check if my memory is as bad as I don't remeber it was????

sunchaser 05-20-2010 04:01 PM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
The Monk 36 last production run was indeed eastern Canada. The last economic crisis shut them down - late 08 or early 09 as I recall. I've seen several of the Canada boats and view the build quality as top notch.

Nordic32 05-22-2010 08:06 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
If I may chime in with an opinion on the 'perfect trawler', maybe take a look at the Transpacific Eagle 40.
We've been boating for 8 yrs. and have worked our way up from a Seasport Pilot 27 (too small) to a twin gas Tolly 30' (nice layout, lots of outside space but twin gas .... but when oil hit $150./barrel we had to let her go.) From the gas Tolly, we went to a Nordic Tug 32. Single economical diesel, which is now a must and a pilothouse, which is now another must. Lovely boat which we spent up to 2 weeks on cruising the Pacific Northwest. The Nordic 32 had decent indoor comfort, and fuel economy but had a lack of outdoor living space. The cockpit was barely able to accomodate 2 chairs and a small table and forget 2 guys halibut fishing. From the Nordic, we again learned of our wants and desires and began research for the next (I know, I'm addicted) sea going trawler. The Transpac Eagle 40 came in with all that we were looking for. It has a single Cummins 220hp diesel, cruises at 8knts with 3.5-4 gph fuel burn, has nice high bulwarks full walk around side decks, a "huge" back cockpit, big roomy salon with proper height windows to see out of when seated, nice big and roomy warm pilothouse with forward facing table, great all round visability, two exit doors for ease of docking, island queen, separate shower etc. This boat fit the bill perfectly and we've been very happy owners for the past year with 4 trips so far under the keel.
If you know what your looking for in a trawler, take a look at the Eagle40 and see what she has to offer.

Disclaimer- due to a downturn in my business, we've decided to put our Eagle40 up for sale. This in no way refects a problem with the Eagle brand of vessel, just our own personal circumstance.

Island Trader 05-23-2010 05:50 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
Looks like a nice set up.

The one thing I know we need out of a boat. 2 state rooms and 2 heads.

We have way to many friends and family that like to come and boat with us for a few days...and we enjoy that also.

I know that narrows things down but like Marin said smallest and newest boat in the price range and that makes sense.

Egregious 06-02-2010 11:42 AM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
I don't claim to be an expert, but...

I've chartered many types of GB.* Europa 36 several times, the sundeck layout several times, the "classic" trunk layout on a 46 and 42 several times.* I've also chartered a Jefferson 47 and a Lagoon power cat.** Having said that, I've also searched for a while now for a trawler for myself and my wife.* We looked at Jefferson, Albin, Marine Trader, DeFever, and Monk, all in the 36-44 foot range.* Aside from the Jefferson, which doesn't seem to be in the same class as the others, they all seem pretty similar.* Built in Taiwan, powered by Lehman 135 etc.

I might get flamed for this, but I think that aside from its good looks and sturdy construction, you're paying a premium for the name.* Yes the GB might have a higher quality layup, yes the fit and finish is very, very good.* But I think a Monk or a DeFever is very close to that, and look almost as cool, and might be better in some categories like dryness of ride and no Teak decks (I consider this better).

We chose the Monk btw because the quality was there, the layout inside was better for us, and of course it was much cheaper (than GB).* If the previous owner took good care of them then all the ones I mentioned are good serviceable trawlers, except for the Jefferson which had great layout but seemed to be not too sturdy in construction.

My $.02

Baker 06-02-2010 12:19 PM

RE: Grand Banks vs. Monk
I will echo the Mainship 350/390...our deamboat within reason. A dream because they are still beyond our price range. Of all of the Mainships, this one has held it's value very well. I have not seen their prices tumble with the recent economic downturn....although I was kinda hoping they would. 90% of them are a single although you will see twins every now and then. *The stling is decent enough...looks good to me. *And no exterior teak. *BUT, they are not the build quality of GBs. *But, I have said this and I will say it again....FACTORY SUPPORT!!!...something lacking on almost anything Tawainese much less any other offshore make. *I can call Mainship and get a weird is that???!!! *Anyway, I am not a fanboy of Mainship but just don't think the should be categorically eliminated when looking for a good value in a trawler.

I will also agree Egregrious in his opinion of GB..but there is a reason for this. *They have a particular is a classic style....a 1980 model looks basically the same as a 2000 model. *So a a buyer can buy with the comfort of knowing GB is not gonna "outdate" his boat with a style change. *This is the same with many Hatterases and why they hold their value....a Porsche 911 and why it holds it's value. *Everybody knows what a Porsche 911 looks like. *Everybody knows what a GB looks like. *That is what you are paying for...Classic styling that will never go out of style....a 1980 boat that looks exactly like a boat 20 years newer. *Another of our dreamboats is ANY GB Europa. *Quite possibly one of the prettiest pleasure boats ever built...up to the 46. *The 52, while a BADASS boat, doesn't share the same proportion as the smaller ones.

I do believe the Monks have always been regarded as very decent boats. *I don't know much about them other than that. *I just wish they made a sedan/europa.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012