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Outstanding achievements three times in a row warrant special recognition. When Grand Banks introduced the Eastbay 38 five years ago, it became an instant classic, virtually defining a new genre of fast, traditionally styled luxury cruising yachts. Equally momentous was the more recent introduction of the Eastbay 49, a yacht of more generous proportions and accommodations, capturing again the same successful marriage of classic style and contemporary performance. Now with its Eastbay 43 Express, Grand Banks proves the adage "third time is a charm." She has a second stateroom and a separate shower that the 38-footer lacks, but not the daunting overhead of owning a 49-foot yacht.
And it's not just size; everything about this yacht seems just right. A smooth sheerline sweeping gently from bow to stern accents the graceful proportions of her hull, sleek as a runabout. Her teak trim, raised foredeck, properly angled windshield, and a mast in lieu of a radar arch are all in keeping with her traditional style. There's even a raised ventilation scoop on the foredeck. But played in with these traditional elements are modern amenities, like the transom door and swim platforms, molded-in steps from the cockpit to the side decks, and stainless steel safety rails.
Throughout the interior you'll find traditional features like teak and holly soles, satin-varnished teak bulkheads and cabinets, and stowage lockers galore, including cedar-lined hanging lockers in the master stateroom and the guest cabin. These are seamlessly integrated with indispensable modern conveniences, including a stereo with CD player, microwave oven, range, conventional oven, refrigerator/freezer, stainless stell sink, and Corian counter tops.
Once place where the Eastbay 43 is not traditional is below the waterline. Her modern C. Raymond Hunt deep-V hull has hard chines and carries 19 degrees of deadrise to the transom. Propellor tunnels reduce draft and prop shaft angle and help get the hull up on plane quickly, even without using the trim tabs. With twin 435-hp Caterpillar 3208TA diesel inboards, she should hit a top speed around 30 knots, with easy cruising at about 25 knots. Other engines of similar ratings are available from Caterpillar, Cummins and Yanmar.
George Petrie is a professor of naval architecture
at the University of New Orleans and provides maritime consulting services.
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