Grand Banks Eastbay 46 FB
The story behind the first Grand Banks Eastbay 46 FB is an interesting one. The owner’s last boat was named Lucerne, and she was a beautiful, dawdling trawler-type boat with tons of onboard space. That is until one day a deranged ex-con fresh out of jail and high as a kite broke onboard, trashed Lucerne, and unloaded a flare gun in her saloon, effectively sending her to that big lake in the sky.
The owner shopped around for a bit but said he always knew in his heart he wanted a Grand Banks, but this time one that was a bit smaller, a bit easier to handle, and that had more speed. That much he certainly got.
On our test runs on the glassy surface of Lake Michigan the Eastbay 46 FB topped out at an even 30 knots, with a fast cruise hovering in the 24- to 26-knot range depending on how hard you want to push her. She accelerated through her rpm scale like a sportboat, and though to be honest my test boat rode slightly bow high for my tastes, that was no problem at all once the trim tabs were engaged.
Lake Michigan that day was as flat as, well, a lake, so we needed to create our own turbulence to get a feel for how she might handle a pounding in a rough sea. So I zipped her around in pleasingly tight loops and figure 8s until I created my own little tempest. Then I gunned her through the whole mess a few times aiming for larger and larger launch pads trying to get her either to creak or just more generally blow the landing. She refused.
The boat has twin 600-horsepower Cummins QSC 8.3 pods that rest in a spacious engine room. The owner is quite fond of the space, and says of it: “You can get around and reach everything pretty readily.” By which he means not only the engines, but the twin Racor fuel filters and 10-kW Cummins generator as well. He also likes that, because of the pod configuration, the engine room sits farther aft on the boat than on a straight shaft build. The most useful effect of this design choice is that it creates a large in-sole stowage space forward of the engine room—a happy little creation for owners who intend to go on longer cruises. This boat had a sight tube installed in the area as a redundancy measure for checking the fuel tanks.
The boat’s interior is highly elegant. The accommodations deck in particular is covered in high-gloss teak and has a definitive old-school nautical style that is as handsome as it is tranquil. The forepeak master isn’t huge, but it’s certainly large enough for two, and has a big cedar closet to starboard and lots of other stowage compartments scattered about wherever they can fit.
The en suite head featured a shower with 6 feet 4 inches of headroom and a seat so the owner’s wife can easily shave her legs.
Moving aft through the deck, you come upon my favorite detail in the area, teak pocket doors gracefully slide aside to reveal a cabin that can act as a guest stateroom, den, or office. An L-shaped settee can convert to a berth, and a desk in the corner makes this space a more than suitable spot to get some last minute weekend work squared away so you can head into the office on Monday morning with your ducks in a row.
Grand Banks, 206-352-0116; www.grandbanks.com
: 42,000 lb.
: 500 gal.
: 150 gal.
: 2/600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3s w/ Zeus pods
: about $1,200,000
: 10-kW Cummins
: Dual Zeus stainless steel M4s
*Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.