Drawing Board: 2018 Grand Banks Skylounge 60

Grand Banks Skylounge 60

Grand Banks Skylounge 60

During a test of the Grand Banks 60 in Australia, I noticed that the most popular spot aboard was neither the salon nor the cockpit. The place where passengers wanted to be was in the area surrounding the lower helm, and rightfully so. With a 30-plus-knot top end and handling that could make some center console builders blush, you wanted to be near the helm in case the opportunity to drive came up.

Having heard the news that Hull No. 1 of the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge is underway and set to be finished this summer, I suspect there will be a favorite spot aboard this model, too. The enclosed bridge will likely be a popular choice among owners who cruise long distances, in all four seasons.

When I first saw the 60 I noted how sleek the boat looked, especially in profile; indeed, there are shades of Palm Beach Yachts (Grand Banks’ sister brand) in its DNA. Swapping the open flybridge for the enclosed bridge doesn’t diminish that effect at all (not an easy feat).

“The proportions of the design are very important to us,” says CEO of Grand Banks, Mark Richards. “We’re not in the business of designing ugly boats, so we spent a lot of time ensuring the Skylounge looks like it belongs on the 60.”

The bridge is constructed from infused carbon fiber, which should keep the boat’s weight and center of gravity low.

What’s my favorite thing about the Skylounge 60? You can quickly hop off the settee for your turn at the wheel—if it ever becomes available, that is.