We did not have the flybridge fully rigged, so we retreated to the shelter of the pilothouse as we cruised up the coast the next day. Surrounded by the builder’s signature teak finish, and shippy details, my wanderlust — which I ward off on a constant basis — attempted to claw its way to the surface. Two side doors provide cross ventilation and easy access to the deck. The single Stidd helm seat had a commanding view, and the starboard dinette provided an area to lay out a chart and plan our day. I would have liked to see a smaller remote breaker panel for items such as wipers, electronics and navigation lights at each helm for easier access. This would avoid climbing down into the passageway to access the main DC breaker panel to activate these constantly used pieces of equipment. The fully equipped galley is abaft the helm.
The full, optional Garmin electronics suite was perfectly integrated into the 72’s helm. The two 15-inch monitors for the 5215 series were easily viewed and manipulated. Since you can split these screens to show a variety of data, including depth, radar, chart, engine systems, and cameras, everything is right in front of the helmsman. There was additional space for another monitor if you wish to install an onboard PC.
The gentle, easy motion of the 72 reminded me of offshore deliveries on previous Grand Banks models such as the venerable 42, 46 and 49, which also had a speed sweet spot in the mid to upper teens. (Full disclosure: I worked for Grand Banks for several years in the mid ’90s.) At 1,800 rpm or 63 percent of load, we settled into an easy cruising speed of 15 knots in the three-foot swells, while burning 60 gallons per hour. Pushing the throttles forward to 2,000 rpm jumped her up to a speed of 18.5 knots. You can expect a top speed of approximately 23 knots.
If you want to head up Alaska’s Inside Passage, or from Florida to the Virgin Islands, pull the throttles all the way back to 1,200 rpm, put your waypoint in, and enjoy the 10.7-knot cruise speed for the next 1,000 miles. Grand Banks also offers the 1,100-horsepower version of the C18. However, our test engine configuration seemed appropriate for the design.
Once we arrived in Atlantic City, we discovered that about the only option for a decent meal that wasn’t going to break the bank was Hooters. To be honest, my first foray into fried pickles wasn’t completely devoid of a perverse satisfaction. Afterwards, we continued to assault the coverings and protective coatings on the interior, anxious to make the 72 look more and more like a yacht with every rip. Well, that and we were motivated by the desire to not sleep on plastic. Keenan took the full-beam master with the walk-around queen berth. Large ports bring in light to the stateroom. The head with his-and-her sinks and a shower stall are abaft the berth. There is also another entrance into the engine room from this area.
Our test boat featured an optional four-stateroom, threehead arrangement. I took the office/stateroom combo on the starboard side and was more than comfortable. Shoji screens conceal the opening ports with deadlights. As an aside, I would have liked to see a method for securing these in the open position while running. When you’re underway, maybe off watch and taking a nap, you may want to bring in some natural light without these banging around.
An additional guest stateroom is to starboard, featuring twin berths. The larger guest stateroom is forward with an island berth, an en suite head, and great ventilation.
Our final leg to Rowayton was effortless. Keenan easily maneuvered the 72 into her tight slip on the Five Mile River. While jumping down to the floating dock, I looked up toward the imposing bow and realized that this was indeed a little ship. Her looks were timeless, and the attention to detail was what we’ve come to expect from this nearly 55-year-old builder. You package this together with a thoughtfully designed coastal cruiser, and it’s safe to say that this is a worthy addition to the Grand Banks family.
Displ.: 120,000 lb.
Fuel: 2,625 gal.
Water: 250 gal.
Engine Options: 2 x 1,100-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels
Engines Tested: 2 x 1,015-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels
Base Price: Price upon request
Grand Banks Yachts, 206-352-0116; grandbanks.com