Grand Banks Yachts has been building yachts since 1956. In that time, the shipyard has created not only different models, but also entirely new subdivisions. Grand Banks introduced the cruising trawlers and the Downeast express cruiser to the industry, cementing the Malaysian manufactured boats into marine culture.
We’ve always said that the Downeast style of boat would be popular in the Middle East. Stylish, simple and with excellent seakeeping, the category is an evolution of the trawler: tough, comfortable and spacious. The hardy yachts are also fully enclosed, allowing the air-conditioning system to keep occupants cool, calm and collected – something that is essential for boaters who like to head out into the Gulf during the summer months. With the arrival of its new Eastbay 44, or EB44 as it’s more affectionately known, Grand Banks has created yet another, handsome, family-friendly yacht, with its classic styling helping it stand out in the marina.
With the arrival of its Eastbay 44, Grand Banks has created yet another, handsome, family-friendly yacht.
The 48 footer with its two tone blue and white colourway is typical of the Downeast style. Classical, but with a modern twist, it’s a shape that would appeal to those after a relaxing time on the water, rather than water sports enthusiasts. Even so, a substantial swim platform can be found aft, with the deep and wide transom giving it the traditional Downeast look. Entry to the cockpit is via the starboard door and once inside, guests can enjoy seating for four, with broad side decks leading to a spacious foredeck. Large, simple glazing hints to the amount of space inside, and the hull and superstructure have plenty of safety rails and grab handles.
The EB44’s main deck is a lesson in simplicity. To port is a C-shaped sofa and table, with a sink and storage to starboard. It’s a clean look, with soft edges on the numerous wood detailing making the EB44 particularly child friendly. As mentioned, the glazing is almost interrupted, creating a light and bright salon. Skylights forward add to the brightness, with a neat safety rail running the length of the ceiling.
If there’s one thing the EB44 does well, it’s looking after guests out on the water on a weekender. Despite its relatively short LOA, the Grand Banks can pack in the whole family, with three cabins sleeping up to six people. Heading down the main deck stairs leads you into the galley, with the spacious master bedroom with private ensuite forward, a single cabin to port is standard, with the option of a third cabin to starboard for larger families.
|Grand banks eb44 specifications|
|Length on deck:||13.3m’|
|Draft with IPS:||1.03m|
|Standard engine:||Volvo IPS 600|
|Top speed:||32 kn|
|Cruising speed:||29 kn|
|Builder:||Grand Banks Yachts|
Thanks to a its modified deep-V hull, advanced planing surface and wide reversed chines, the EB44 can comfortably handle just about any sea without worry – and certainly wont be troubled in our calm, warm waters. It’s also surprisingly nippy, with a pair of Volvo Penta IPS 600 turbo diesels (rated at 435 mhp) powering her onto a top speed of 32 knots, while cruise speed is just down the speedo at 29 knots. Comfort and power? The Grand Banks EB44 does both, as the shipyard CEO Mark Richards sums up perfectly: “The Eastbay 44 fully delivers the best of both worlds. You’ll experience all the comfort and style you appreciate in a Downeast yacht, but with the legs and cruising speeds to take your adventures farther and faster.”