First Look – Soundings Online

It’s fall boat show season, but this year is different. Very different. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it challenging for companies to produce these events—a number of major shows were cancelled when we went to press—and while a few may get underway, not all boating enthusiasts are comfortable leaving their homeports to walk the docks in another locale. How, then, can those who are hungry for information on new models get their new-boat fix? Boatbuilders, dealers and Soundings have launched virtual boat shows where buyers can safely enjoy walkthroughs from their own homes and helms. Fortunately, there’s a lot to see, including these new models that are scheduled to launch within the next six months. 

1. GRAND BANKS 54 

Like its sisterships, the 60 and 60 Skylounge, the 54 rides on a warped, semi-displacement hull with a wave-slicing forefoot, a form designed to be safe and comfortable in all sea states while still offering great performance. Powered by two 725-hp Volvo Penta D11s, the 54 cruises at 25 knots while burning 57 gph. The hull is built for short trips and long passages. Throttle back to 10 knots and the boat yields a range of 1,200 nautical miles. The Volvo Penta engines were paired with the boat because they offer good low-end torque and low sound and vibration levels for a quieter, pleasant ride. The first hull, which launched this summer, features the standard two-stateroom, galley-down layout. A three-stateroom configuration is available, and it places the galley on the main deck to port, opposite the lower helm station. Interior design is both classic and contemporary, blending a warm color palette and fabrics with the company’s signature teak joinery.

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