Grand Banks 58 Eastbay Flybridge
DECEMBER 2003
 
   
Length overall 58'8"
Beam 17'8"
Draft  5'4"
Displacement  81,000 lb
Fuel Capacity  1,175 gals
Water Capacity  280 gals
Base Price  $1,850,000


(Above) An L-shaped settee with a marble-top arm rest and a teak-and-holly inlaid table grace the main saloon. (below) The lower helm station has a high dash with plenty of room for electronics and a handsome teak wheel.



It was a sparkling early autumn day when I met up with John Shanahan of the Oxford Yacht Agency at the Pintail Resort on the Wye River on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. There at the dock was hull number one of the elegant Grand Banks Eastbay Flybridge 58. Grand Banks has recently renamed its fleet to highlight the fact that their Eastbay line, the more lobster-hull style boats as opposed to the classic trawler design, is Grand Banks built with all the quality and tradition that name has earned over the years.

This is a solid boat from the first glance. The cockpit is a full 9 feet by 14 and a half feet of teak-soled space. Two wide, veranda-like stairs lead up to the entrance to the main saloon, while the curved staircase to the flybridge sweeps up along the port side from there. Molded steps lead up on either side to the 18-inch-wide side decks, providing ready access to the foredeck. From the cockpit forward, the pretty teak toe rail and three-foot-tall stainless-steel railing provide more than ample protection. The welds on these railings are beautifully finished, incidentally. Up on the bow, a business-like stainless-steel double-anchor pulpit is flanked by deep chain lockers with a foot-controlled windlass and raw-water washdowns.

You enter the main saloon through a very solid sliding door that provides a watertight seal. The wide side decks in no way detract from the living space inside, thanks to the broad 17 foot, eight-inch beam. The teak trim and cabinetry here is reminiscent of an exclusive gentleman's clubroom, with the AC/DC distribution panels hidden behind smoked glass cabinet doors and twin comfy chairs flanking a teak entertainment system from which the flat-screen plasma TV rises up like Venus from the half shell. An L-shaped settee with a marble-top arm rest graces the starboard side, in front of which stands a teak-and-holly inlaid folding, adjustable dining/coffee table that compliments the teak-and-holly sole. Forward of this lies the helm station, with its comfortable custom Stidd chair, and a wide chart table to port.

The interior helm station has a high dash with more than enough room for any imaginable electronic displays and a handsome teak wheel. Another watertight sliding door leads handily out onto the starboard side deck. Visibility through the three large, square windshield panes is excellent looking forward.

It's four steps down a teak staircase to the galley, and though it is a "galley down" layout, the windshield serves as a skylight so there's no claustrophobia. This is a U-shaped configuration with gorgeous teak-trimmed marble countertop, deep double-bowl stainless-steel sink, a four-burner propane stove hidden beneath a fold-up section of countertop, and a microwave convection oven built into the beautifully finished cabinet. A large over/under refrigerator/freezer unit, faced in that same paneling, and a trash compactor round out the amenities.

Double pocket doors on the starboard side open up to reveal a comfortable double stateroom with a hanging locker. Head forward up the teak-paneled passageway and you'll find another guest stateroom to port with twin berths flanking a large hanging locker with a louvered door, and a large head to starboard, with more of that marble countertop on the vanity, a big enclosed shower stall with a fold-up teak seat, and a Vacuflush toilet. The teak paneling and cabinetry extend even into this sanctuary.

The master stateroom is all the way forward, with a double island berth on the centerline and yachty teak ceiling boards on either side, a deep hanging locker, and the unique arrangement of a large enclosed shower stall behind a teak paneled door on one side of the entryway and the enclosed head behind another handsome door on the other side. The head features a sumptuous curved-face teak vanity with an expanse of marble top, and another Vacuflush toilet.

It's up in the flybridge that the 58 really shines. Under the protection of a hard top supported by hefty stainless columns, there's a huge L-shaped settee with a yachty teak table fashioned after a hatch grating on a tall ship. An entertainment center to port is rigged to accommodate an optional fridge and icemaker. The upper helm station is centered and there's not only a Stidd chair there, but a matching companion chair to starboard as well. The teak dash was neatly laid out with Raymarine chartplotter and digital readouts and the twin CAT digital controls to monitor the twin 1400 hp 3412 engines. The Twin Disc controls provide simple, responsible one-handed operation. The trolling valves provide below-idle gliding, as even at idle, the big twin Cats moved the boat at a steady seven knots. The teak-rimmed stainless destroyer wheel provided a smooth, responsive ride.

I can't say it's the driest boat in the world, there's not a lot of flare at the bow, and the hefty 81,000 pounds of displacement pushes a lot of water around, the wake was pretty substantial; still, the ride into St. Michaels was pretty impressive. Running with full fuel and water, we did a full 32 knots at wide-open throttle (235 rpm) and a fast cruising speed of 27 knots at 2000 rpm.