Because I’d sea trialed the Grand Banks 60 out in Australia some while back, I was quite interested in taking a look at the new Skylounge version of the boat—the 60SL—at the Ft. Lauderdale boat show. And when I stopped by, I immediately noticed that the SL, like her predecessor, was long and sleek—you might even say lithe-looking—as she sparkled there in the sun, temporarily hemmed in by docks, finger piers and bulkheads, and overrun with sightseers itching to check out the second new yacht from Grand Banks to redefine and modernize the old, iconic, long-standing brand.
Which was kinda odd, actually. I mean, I was not at the time, nor have I ever been, a big fan of skylounges. For my money, they often look like unwieldy, sometimes even unsightly, add-ons and, what’s more, they almost always set me to wondering crustily: Why the heck would you cover up a perfectly fine flybridge with windows and fiberglass walls, when you could stick with top-down-convertible ambiance and great, 360-degree visibility?
This particular skylounge seemed pretty nice, however. So, I buttonholed Hank Compton, the COO of Grand Banks’ new service facility just a few miles north in Stuart, Florida, and asked him, “How come?”
“Most skylounges look boxy and slab-sided in my opinion,” he began. “They look like afterthoughts, at least to me. And we knew that, in order to blend an enclosed bridge into the profile of the 60, which is a rather low and sleek thing as you can see, we had to do a few subtle things.”