by Steve Lague

Grand Banks had its beginnings in 1956 building yachts but it was a decision eight years later to commission a naval architect to design them a diesel-powered cruising boat with humble, workman-like lines that changed the direction of the company.
Within 12 months of taking delivery of their new boat the owners decided to stop building yachts and concentrate on producing the first line of boats that would come to be known as Grand Banks.
Today, it has become an iconic design recognised around the world as it continues to embrace its efficient, tough cruiser pedigree, albeit updated for today’s more demanding buyer.
This week, Grand Banks will display its latest addition to the Heritage series, the 54EU, at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show that starts on Thursday.
The largest of the Grand Banks Heritage fleet, the 54EU uses the same highly-acclaimed hull as the 53 Aleutian RP.
With its covered side decks and cockpit that enable the doors and windows to be opened even in rainy conditions and provided much needed shade and protection from the sun’s glare in the heat of summer it has proven to be the most popular version of the builder’s Heritage series.
The standard three stateroom layout offers exceptional living and storage space on the lower deck as well as the option of adding crew quarters if needed. The full beam master suite amidships includes an east-west-facing queen bed, ample hanging space and an ensuite.

The guest stateroom and third cabin, which has two single bunks, share a second bathroom.
On the main deck you will find an expansive saloon with two comfortable settees allowing guests to enjoy the view while seated.
There also is a covered cockpit, dinette and galley and a spacious helm area complete with captain and navigation seats. The lower helm has two side doors which allow quick access while docking and provide a cooling cross ventilation when anchored.
The flybridge is huge and features two helm chairs, plus a forward-facing bench seat as well as an L-shaped settee. There also is room to house a tender or for a sun bed for those lazy days when you just want to enjoy the conditions.
There is also a built-in table and chairs on the bow, just in front of the windscreen, which would be a fantastic spot to sit and relax at anchor, providing it was not too windy.
The Grand Banks 54EU is powered by twin in-line six-cylinder 715hp turbo-charged Cummins diesel engines that have it cruising at just over 17knots.
For the first time in Australia, Grand Banks will share the on-water display at Sanctuary Cove with the Australian Palm Beach brand, acquired by Grand Banks last year. Palm Beach will display PB45 and PB55 models.
gb 54 masterstateroom

SPECIFICATIONS
Length Overall: 16.55m
Beam: 5.41m
Draft: 1.54m
Height (to mast top): 7.88m
Displacement: 37.8 tonnes
Engines: Cummins QSM-11 715hp diesel
Max speed: 20.7 knots @ 2530rpm
Cruise speed: 17.2 knots @ 2,300rpm
Water Capacity: 1022 litres
Fuel Capacity: 5678 litres