Perfecting the art of yacht-building with Grand Banks, Palm Beach and Volvo Penta03/08/2017
Volvo Penta’s most powerful new engine, the D13-1000 and its counterpart from the company’s Inboard Performance System (IPS) range, the D13-IPS1350, are helping two companies achieve excellence in their latest yachts. The new GB60 by Grand Banks can achieve an unprecedented range of more than 2,000 nautical miles on one tank of fuel; and the PB55 and PB65 by Palm Beach are set to reach new levels of performance – the former of which will be one of the fastest yachts in the world to use Volvo Penta IPS, with its predicted top speed of at least 42 knots.
The two companies share a management team, and are led by chief executive officer, Mark Richards, and managing director, Hank Compton. Grand Banks has its origins in producing heritage-styled, premium cruising vessels; while Palm Beach makes sportier, compact yachts.
“This is a really exciting time with a great future for Grand Banks and Palm Beach,” says Mark Richards. “The combination of our designs and Volvo Penta’s engines, is a very potent mix. Their IPS complements our new products and many of our boats are developed around it. This engine and IPS have taken our boats to a whole new level of performance in the industry that’s never been seen before. They give an awesome performance.”
As a former professional yachtsman, Richards has led the design of the new vessels. Hank Compton says: “Mark and I are both perfectionists, and having great craftsmanship is important for our brands. We have the knowledge and passion to create the best boats, and Volvo Penta is part of that. They have put a lot of research and development into their marine products, and they’re always moving forwards in introducing new technology to the industry. The horsepower-to-weight ratio of their engines is excellent, they’re very reliable, fuel efficient, and aesthetically they look nice.
The new GB60 is a 60ft long-range cruiser that has been designed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Grand Banks Yachts. It takes the company in a new direction in combining classic styling with state-of-the-art performance attributes. When fitted with Volvo Penta’s D13-1000 engine, it will reach speeds of up to 36 knots. At around 10 knots, it will travel more than 2,000 nautical miles on one tank of fuel.
“Volvo Penta’s engines give a lot of bang for the buck, with good torque and great fuel efficiency,” says Compton. “In the GB60, customers will easily be able go from Miami to Boston with hundreds of miles left in the tank.”
The new Palm Beach PB55 and PB65 are a redesign of existing vessels. The new models both have a different layout, a strong and lightweight carbon fiber hull, a change to the fly bridge, and a lower relative center of gravity for increased stability. The PB55 is being produced with the D13-IPS1350; and the PB65 is being produced with both the D13-1000 and the D13-IPS1350.
“Maneuvering and performance with IPS is great,” says Compton. “We currently have a PB55 with Volvo Penta IPS1200 that reaches 42 knots, so we predict that the new PB55 with IPS1350 will easily get up to that speed, if not a little more, which will be an incredible achievement. The PB65 will reach up to 39 knots. The fuel efficiency is also exceptional. It uses about half the amount of fuel that Volvo Penta’s competitors’ engines use. The combination of an efficient engine, the hull shape and the low weight of vessel all bring the total cost of ownership down.”
He adds: “It’s very interesting and exciting to see what these boats are going to do and how the customers will respond. For Grand Banks and Palm Beach, together with Volvo Penta, we are creating something really exciting that’s not been done anywhere else.”
Power on demand
The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure engine market for the first time, and provides higher performance, greater durability and more comfort than ever before. The newly designed engine benefits both the inboard and IPS packages, delivering power for yachts up to 120ft. New and upgraded features on the 13-liter model enable higher top speeds and a maximized cruising range; and the excellent low-end torque gives incredible power on demand.
Volvo Penta IPS is an integrated package from helm to prop. The innovative design of the unit has individually steerable pods with twin forward-facing counter-rotating propellers that sit below the hull for superior grip, exceptional performance and enhance fuel efficiency. The design of both the D13-1000 engine and the corresponding IPS package, provide increased durability and reliability for yachts.
“Grand Banks and Palm Beach have been good customers for many years,” says Gavin Rooney, key account manager for Volvo Penta Oceania. “They’ve been pleased with the engines and IPS systems they’ve used in their previous boats, and were keen to use our new and fastest ever engine.
“In providing full integration from helm to prop, the new D13-IPS1350 will make the PB65 very fast and give it amazing maneuverability, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the boat performs.”
Grand Banks Yachts and Palm Beach Motor Yachts will be at the Sydney International Boat Show, at berths 45, 46 and 47. Volvo Penta will also be at the show, from August 3-7, at berth 179.