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Old 10-28-2023, 01:50 PM   #1
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GB 32 Sedan - Positives and negatives

Hi...I'm considering a GB 32 Sedan for weekending in Long Island Sound. Anyone have any positive or negative feedback? Is insurance hard to get for a 40-50 year old boat? Is it true the diesel engines last 10k hours? Do the fuel tanks have to be replaced at aome point? What does that cost? Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2023, 02:26 PM   #2
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To answer all your questions in one word: the word is YES

Yes, Insurance can be difficult but the boat, in reality, has no value, just get liability. Take the loss if it gets wrecked, sunk or stolen.

Yes, diesel engines will go a minimum of 10,ooo hours if they are taken care of. Some go twice or three times that long.

Yes, fuel tanks will, no doubt need to be replaced at some point in time. If your boat is 40 years old they are WAY past due. In fact, it might be good news. They probably have already been redone.

And finally.. YES, it will be expensive to replace the tanks, for sure more than you paid for the boat.

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Old 10-28-2023, 04:49 PM   #3
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The engine will probably be the least of your concerns. The four major pain points on any older Grand Banks are fuel tanks, electrical systems, deck leaks, and window leaks. Find one on which someone else has already dealt with those things, and as long as you're happy maintaining the brightwork, you'll have a very fine motor cruiser at your service. Otherwise, bringing an older GB back is simple - all it takes is money (or X amount of your time, where X is a very large number).

I say this with an abiding love for Grand Banks: be clear in your mind whether you prefer to go boating or work on boats. A 40+ year old GB is either a project that someone else has done, or it's a project waiting for its next owner. If the latter, it's best suited for the stout of heart.
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Old 10-28-2023, 05:53 PM   #4
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We're on our 4th GB, a 32 after a 42 and two 46's (all in the PNW.) We think that GB's were better built than the majority of Taiwanese trawlers of the same era, but maintenance since probably matters more now. Our boats were always in the 20-30 year age range when we owned them but we never experienced any issues insuring them, nor did we ever have a fuel tank or deck leak. The upkeep is no more or no less than other boats with teak decks and similar amounts of brightwork. Just the wife and myself aboard, totally adequate for cruising for weeks while obviously not as spacious as previous boats. We love the spacious cockpit which is an advantage over the bigger GB's but now we have a ladder to the fly bridge vs. steps. Vee-berth vs. the queen bed in the bigger boats. Obviously tighter in the engine room even though our 32 is a single while the other 3 had twins. All in all, two thumbs up for GB's, good luck!
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Old 10-28-2023, 05:57 PM   #5
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What year GB are you looking at? If it is a wood boat, I would not buy it personally. If it is glass then you should proceed but still with caution. Check the things mentioned above. It probably has a Ford Lehman engine in it and they are almost bulletproof, if taken care of.

The teak decks are a big problem area. They will be screwed down so there are hundreds and hundreds of screws that are all potential leaks. Then the core gets wet and rots. Then you have to rip off the teak decks, not a bad idea anyway. Then cut the glass deck open and remove the rotten core and replace it and put the deck back together but without the teak.

The next big thing is fuel tanks. But if it is a single engine they may be fairly easy to get to. Check them as best as you can. Maybe they have already been replaced, hopefully.

Then there are likely a myriad of leaks around the boat that will need addressing, but they probably are relatively minor issues.

There are always things on a boat that will need fixing, that is just the nature of the beast. Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2023, 10:36 AM   #6
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I love a 32 Sedan. Small enough to get a lot done quick. I replaced all the windows in my 36, took about a month. Many other repairs and upgrades. A 32 would be much simpler.

A 32 is small, but still a fine weekender for two or a small family. I would buy a clean one in a heartbeat.

Yes the decks might leak, and if so the fuel tanks too, but that is not that big a deal to repair. Tanks can be cut out in a weekend. Decks you can remove yourself or hire out. Try to buy a boat kept under cover.

You can dig around in my blog, grandbankschoices, and see what we have done. Just depends on your abilities.
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Old 11-01-2023, 04:44 PM   #7
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I guess I have to chime in here...
with all the horror stories I hear about tanks and decks; our '74 32 has original decks in really good shape and original tanks with no exterior rust. I'm not saying they'll never need replacing but I don't see it in the near future (should I knock wood?). The sliding windows were leaking at the tracks but replacing them was a job that my wife and I handled.
Seems to me it all depends on the amount TLC the boat received from the previous owners. Yes, she does require a lot of maintenance but for us it is a labor of love.
We've owned the boat for about five years now.
We had no trouble getting insurance.
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Old 11-01-2023, 09:10 PM   #8
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Want mine? ….. Just kidding, still love my boat. I was shopping for an entry level trawler, one that wouldn’t break my bank (in case I found out I really don’t like sleeping on the water), one that I could learn trawler systems and do a lot of work myself, one I thought I could handle alone or with minimum help, and one I could get insurance on with no previous ownership of a boat this size. She checked the all the boxes with exception of auto-pilot and updated navigation. I agree with ‘MikeGB32’ on the fuel tanks, still have originals but I keep a close eye on them.

‘Choices’ knows of what he speaks, worth looking at his blog. He is a GB guru and his boat is well maintained, probably top to bottom probably the best 36 Europa out there. He actually looked at mine on the hard last year and has been encouraging me and advising me since. Would I buy again, yes, even after some unexpected shaft, shaft log replacement.

Note: GBs switched from wood to fiberglass in ‘73, insurance will want to know that, required proof from a surveyor.
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Old 11-02-2023, 10:47 AM   #9
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The original tanks in my 1973 GB50 are in great shape. Probably good for another 50 if looked after. At least in my boat it is easy to access and check for rust and leaks on top of the tanks. And I can check for water at the lowest place in the tank system.
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Old 11-03-2023, 11:32 AM   #10
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Be Careful

I agree with everything others have said. Personally I bought a 1981 36 GB Classic, and it was in pretty good (but not perfect) shape. The original owner kept the boat in pristine condition in fresh water conditions for the first 2/3 of its life. Big positive. However the second owner didn't put a dime into her and left it out in the Florida sun to bake for 7 years. Then it was my turn. I am getting the benefit of the first owner's loving care and the benefits of an open checkbook type of owner. However I had to live with the impacts of the second owner's neglect, as evidenced by the sun damage to the exterior and interior teak. It was pretty bad.



The exterior teak just needed it all to be stripped down to the wood (and trust me, there is a ton of exterior teak on a GB) and then I had to put 2 coats of sealer and 10 coats of varnish in order to restore it back to its original condition. As others have said, it was a labor of love and I had a chance to bond with the boat over that 2 month project. Interestingly, I discovered that I enjoy varnishing teak.



The interior teak in the salon was a different matter. Lots of delamination due to sun damage. The damaged teak veneer all had to be replaced and then the whole salon needed to be sanded and varnished. I had that job done for me. Many $$$ later it is now back to where it should be. Again, well worth it because of my love for Grand Banks.


Before I bought the boat the previous owner had the fuel tanks fully inspected and the fuel was polished. I asked my surveyor to give the boat a real once over. I wanted to know everything that was wrong. I fixed 90% of the surveyor's findings myself.

The teak decks surveyed well, but I have the same warnings that everyone else does. You need to watch for damaged bungs. I am in the process of replacing all of them (about a third of them need attention right away). So far there is no signs of water leakage. Another labor of love and another chance to bond with the boat.


Another thing to watch out for (make sure your surveyor looks for this). GB lazarette hatches are known to leak and the underlying plywood rots out. I had that problem fixed. Didn't try to do it myself.



I also replaced my windlass, auto pilot and chartplotters and installed an AIS system (Vesper Cortex). And I installed a really nice dinghy davit system (Dinghy Butler...highly recommended). I had to replace both fresh and salt water pumps, as well as fixing the rotted wooden platforms they sat on. I replaced all of the batteries (5 of them) and replaced the rotted wooden platforms they sat on.


Bottom line for me? Purchase price for the boat was $75k and I put another $75k into her. I am now pretty much done with the big projects. And now I am completely in love with this boat. For me, all of this was worth every penny I spent. I use the boat as an office now and spend as much time as I can on her. Fuel burn is only 1.9 gallons per hour at 7kts, with a single 120HP naturally aspirated Ford Lehman engine. I was told that engine would last 20,000 hours if properly taken care of. I love the simplicity of this boat, especially that workhorse of a power plant that I have.



As others have stated and warned, don't kid yourself. Any boat that is 40 years old is going to need work. Search for one where the previous owners did much of that work so it will minimize what you need to do. Then buy it, continue to fix it up and then don't look back. You will not regret buying a Grand Banks. Just be honest with yourself on what you are getting yourself into. It is far more than the original purchase price of the boat.


Food for thought...
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Old 11-11-2023, 05:53 PM   #11
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Bought our 32, a 1987 six years ago. It had been a cocktail party boat and had 1200 hours on the Lehman 135 Care had been very good except for the external teak and we had to refinish all of it down to bare wood. We put up to 100 hours on it per year and have been in Sault St. Marine, the North Channel, Georgian Bay, and this year got to the Green Bay for the GB Rendezvous. It is a smaller boat, but has enough space when you add in the nice back deck, the fly bridge, and all. Very important factor: except for the flybridge, which on does not absolutely need, the "downstairs" level has only three steps - down to the V-berth, closet, and head. We have a good AC and it is important in this boat. Easy to dock, less expensive marina fees, and a fabulous boat.
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Old 11-14-2023, 12:25 AM   #12
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GBs

Insurance should not be a problem. GBs have good bones. This can’t be said about all older trawlers. Unless totally buggered up you can always restore a GB to close to its original condition. Check out Oxford Yacht Agency’s website to get an idea of what can be done.
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Old 11-15-2023, 10:32 AM   #13
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One more quick point about the 32. It is the exact same as the 36 except it does not have a rear stateroom and head. Only a forward V berth and head. The salon is the exact same size, and if you find one that is a Europa, you get a rear door entrance to that salon, which is far preferable to the 36 side entrance.


If you are interested in seeing a 32 being restored check out the video series that Onne van der Wal put together restoring his Snow Goose, and then taking it south to the Bahamas. I watched that video series over and over again. Great winter Youtubing. But it gives you a real insight into the 32. Great boat


Here is Onne's link to his YouTube series. https://www.youtube.com/@Onnevanderwal
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Old 11-15-2023, 05:19 PM   #14
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32 is the prettiest of all the older GB in my opinion. The two things that drove me to a 36 Classic single screw were engine room space and aft cabin. Having to listen to wave slap while trying to sleep in the V birth is a non starter for us. Engine room space is night and day between the two boats.
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Old 11-15-2023, 06:16 PM   #15
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32 vs 36 GB

Having had both a 32 (past) and 36 Classic (present) the main difference I find other than space is the 36’s ease of handling, especially when single hand. The 32 does not have direct access from either helm to the side decks for docking. This can make docking when alone or with an inexperienced crew interesting. With my 36 Classic I always dock from the lower helm with the starboard side to. This allows me to pull up to the dock, step out the side door, drop a pre-measured spring over a cleat and back down. A lot less stress, especially in tight quarters.

The 32 definitely has a beautiful profile. Aside from being shorter it has a foot less beam and a narrower salon than the 36, but it has a great aft deck for entertaining, diving or fishing. Unfortunately there are not many on the market to choose from.

As mentioned in a previous post, Onne and Tenley van der Wal’s 32 is one of the prettiest ones out there. I had the good fortune to see “Snow Goose” in person a year ago. Onne is extremely talented. Take a look at his blog. Also, check out the website for his photo gallery in Newport. He is an amazing photographer as well. https://vanderwal.com/
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Old 11-15-2023, 10:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatyLeigh View Post
One more quick point about the 32. It is the exact same as the 36 except it does not have a rear stateroom and head. Only a forward V berth and head. The salon is the exact same size, and if you find one that is a Europa, you get a rear door entrance to that salon, which is far preferable to the 36 side entrance.


If you are interested in seeing a 32 being restored check out the video series that Onne van der Wal put together restoring his Snow Goose, and then taking it south to the Bahamas. I watched that video series over and over again. Great winter Youtubing. But it gives you a real insight into the 32. Great boat


Here is Onne's link to his YouTube series. https://www.youtube.com/@Onnevanderwal
Wait, are you saying it is the same hull (hence length and width) as the GB 36 Classic? Isn't it the waterline length that provides the basis for the model name ie., GB 36 vs. GB 32? Very interested and confused.
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Old 11-15-2023, 11:18 PM   #17
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<<Wait, are you saying it is the same hull (hence length and width) as the GB 36 Classic?>> No, Caballero II, you are correct, the 32 GB hull is 4' shorter than the 36 GB, and the beam is less as well.
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Old 11-17-2023, 10:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Caballero II View Post
Wait, are you saying it is the same hull (hence length and width) as the GB 36 Classic? Isn't it the waterline length that provides the basis for the model name ie., GB 36 vs. GB 32? Very interested and confused.
I apologize. No of course it is not the same length. The extra length of the 36 allows for a rear cabin. I also did not know the 32 was a bit narrower. I was in the salon of a 32 and it appeared to me to be the exact same as the 36. Apparantly the salon is narrower.


I still think the 32 is a beautiful boat and well worth consideration.
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Old 11-17-2023, 10:44 AM   #19
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There was a video out there years ago of a repowered 32 hauling ass on plane. Now that's what I want.
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Old 11-17-2023, 02:49 PM   #20
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Haha, there are times I want that too. But then when I think about it, I kind of like the 1.9GPH fuel burn rate that 7 kts gives you.
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