Grand Banks 42 Survey Report

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We spoke to Jonathan J. Howe of Nautical Services Group in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and here’s what he had to say about the Grand Banks 42.

“The woodwork on the inside of the boats in particular is very, very, high quality joinerywork. The layouts are well executed as far as the galley and the staterooms—they’re pretty fine-tuned as to how they’ve laid them out. The engine room is generally very accessible and so the equipment is installed in a very good manner.”

“I used to deliver these boats here, there, and everywhere, and I’m very impressed with their seakindliness with and without stabilizers and the hulls track very well.”

“I’d probably recommend either the small engines that came with the old ones—they had Ford Lehmans in the old ones or small Caterpillars. You can get bigger horsepower but you’re burning a lot more fuel for not much more speed. So if I were buying one of these I would probably look for one that has the naturally aspirated 3208 Caterpillars, those are the low-horsepower ones—they’re 210 horsepower each. Having said that, there is a place for the Caterpillar 3208 with 375 horsepower, for instance.  Either you want to cruise faster—up to 17 knots—and don’t care about fuel burn or range or you want to have the choice of being a trawler or a fast trawler.”

“The fuel tanks were mild steel and there was a tendency for water to leak easily through the deck-fill fittings, which were right above the tank, onto the top of the tank. And the tanks were not slanted or built in any fashion to encourage water to fall off the tops of them, so water would puddle there and start rusting. Any Grand Banks that’s 15 years old, you have to look very carefully at the tanks. There’s not a lot of access to do that, so you have to make a concerted effort to crawl all around the outboard side of the engines with a good flashlight and try to see the back of the tanks where the exhaust hoses run, and also the tops of the tanks where the fills are located—the fills and vent hoses.”

“The other issue on a lot of these boats is worn teak decks. Over the years if somebody cleaned them regularly with a two-part cleaner or aggressively with detergents, the teak gets to the point where the fasteners are exposed and the teak bungs that cover the fasteners are gone. So you have stainless steel screws that you’re staring at and you still have some thickness left in the teak, but they get rather unsightly. The newer ones have glued-down decks where the caulking groove is filled up and there are very few fasteners going through the teak so it’s much less of an issue. I guess they started doing that ten years ago. Just look at the decks carefully, there are some cases where the subdeck gets soft, especially around the lazarette hatches and sometimes up on the flybridge where they’re exposed to the weather. And there are methods for prolonging the teak if they haven’t gotten to that point, and that’s basically to use a mild detergent, not a two-part cleaner, and a soft brush across the grain.”

“On some of the older Grand Banks 42s, a lot of the window frames are made out of teak. So you have to make sure you keep them painted. Look for any soft spots, especially around the windshield. The metal tracks on the sliding windows need to be kept clean and flushed out with fresh water. The felt gets all disconnected from the track, and replacing the tracks is a rather formidable job.”

— Jason Y. Wood

Nautical Services Group, 954-557-7563.