From fishing boat to ultimate cruiser: Grand Banks 42 (12.7 m) – Classic Boat


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Grand Banks 42
Grand Banks 42 in an archive photo

Unmistakable in lines and style, the Grand Banks 42 is not just a great Classic Boat. It is a true boating icon spread all over the world. In fact, in the early 1960s, the Grand Banks 42 was born and immediately became what we would call an
“instant classic”
, making an immediate bearer of a revolution, an incredible success. Adopting canons derived from fishing boats, trawlers combine elegance and pragmatism on hulls with impeccable marine qualities, making this segment famous throughout the seas.

Grand Banks 42

Born from the marriage of U.S. design and some excellent craftsmanship found in Hong Kong shipyards, this 12.7 meters Was, for years, An example of functionality and safety at sea. A unique hull in terms of its habitability, seaworthiness and open-air living solutions, it was the subject of several attempts at imitation by various shipyards, enduring for decades, however, thanks to its unmistakable class and the pragmatism of its construction, which granted nothing to aesthetic superficiality at the expense of comfort.

Grand Banks 42

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Grand Banks 42 – Spaces on board

An extremely rational and elegant boat, the Grand Banks 42 is distinguished first and foremost by its lines, characterized by an almost straight bow and large central volumes, where fine, comfortable interiors are carved out. The hull then, elegant in its forward overhangs, is defined by a solid V-shaped hull with excellent seakeeping, a quality that has undoubtedly contributed to the success of the entire design.

Among the various interior layout solutions proposed by the shipyard, certainly the most popular in Italy was the one with a V-shaped forward cabin, separate toilet room, two-door saloon and dinette that could be converted into an extra berth. In the salon, opposite the wheelhouse, is the galley area, complete with refrigerator, oven and ample stowage. Proceeding aft instead, a drop-down access leads instead to the master cabin, which is located under the aft deckhouse, complete with two large and comfortable berths at the side. Here, a toilet room could have been complete with a shower or, optionally, a seating tub. Always this cabin then, could be connected directly with the cockpit, thus offering two distinct entrances. Overall, the interiors all turn out to be of excellent finish, born from the meeting of mass production and craftsmanship attention, making for an excellent combination.

Moving to the deck, in addition to the bow and cockpit spaces, the Grand Banks 42 actually features a sizable Fly, capable of comfortably accommodating between 5 and 8 people. A pulley arm is also operable from this, intended for handling and boarding weights, such as the tender, which often finds accommodation above the deckhouse above the owner’s cabin, otherwise usable as a sundeck. A useful and innovative detail for the segment, of direct inspiration from fishing boats, to which precisely the Grand Banks 42, as a trawler, draws inspiration.

Read our Classic Boats articles! Here are the legendary Baglietto Elba, Riva 25 Sport Fisherman and Boston Whaler Outrage 21



Originally, the construction of these hulls was done in wooden, mahogany planking. With the advent of the 1970s, however, aided by the growing popularity of fiberglass, the shipyard espouses innovation, translating the design toward precisely more modern serial production, close to concepts such as functionality and ease of maintenance.

However, the new fiberglass construction does not imply any reduction in quality, which in fact remains very high. The skill of the shipyard remains an important factor here, for this transition in fact manages to keep the charm of the segment intact, and thus integrates the elegance of the Grand Banks, which continue to depopulate in every sea, so much so that, to this day, one often encounters many of them, even in excellent condition.

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Technical Specs

Length Over All (LOA) 12.74 m
Baglio Massimo 4.14 m
Maximum Immersion 1.27 m
No-load displacement 15,419 kg
Original Maximum Motorization 2x Ford 2704 E 120 hp
Original Maximum Speed (1950 rpm) 9 kn
Economical Cruise Speed (1500 rpm) 8 kn
Fuel Tank 600 lt
Fresh Water Tank 1000 lt


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