Grand Banks Legacy - part II

American Marine opened the yard in Singapore in 1969, for a period of time both yards were operating. The Hong Kong yard stopped production in 1975.

Through the 60s and 70s, Tony Fleming served as the technical director. While there, Tony helped introduce the highly respected Alaskan series of raised pilothouse yachts (late 60's till early 70's), designed by Arthur DeFever and Robert Doris. Production ceased in 1975 when the Hong Kong Yard closed and American Marine switched to fiberglass contruction. (footnote: American Marine made the switch to fiberglass construcion without notifying dealers or any of their customores with boats in the production queue).

American Marine, known for slow and economical boats, ventured into a line of much faster sport fishing boats. In 1971 they designed and built a hot and luxurious express cruiser called the Laguna that was a harbinger of the "less-teak-is-better" movement. There were two models; a 33-footer and an 38-footer. A few years later the economy staggered and interest rates reached into double digits, business expansion faltered and the Laguna production ceased. Around 175 Laguna's were launched, and they are often available on the resale market.

Although the 36-footer was the first vessel launched under the Grand Banks trademark in Hong Kong, American Marine quickly added a very popular 32-footer. Nearly 900 32-foot Grand Banks were produced during a long production run. The largest selling of the traditional Grand Banks designs has been the Grand Banks 42, the "right size" vessel. The GB42 combines good seakeeping capability witht well-considered deck lay-out, roomy interior accommodations and exceptional fuel economy displacement speeds. Nearly 1600 42-foot Grand Banks were produced.

In addition to the Grand Banks models, American Marine built some larger and very succesful boats. The whole GB range from 32- till 66 foot is now called the Heritage series. In 1993 American Marine introduced the 38-foot Eastbay, a fast Ray Hunt-designed yacht powered with a pair of powerful Caterpillar diesels. In 2001, many Grand Banks owners were ready to step up to a larger and more luxurious vessel, but weren't prepared to sacrifice quality. The launch of the Aleutian-series (64-, 65-, and 72 foot) of raised pilothouse yachts deliverd with a new level of style and sophistication -along with the seaworthiness boaters have come to expect from a Grand Banks.

American Marine opened the Malaysia Yard in 1993. The lease at the location in Singapore was coming to an end and it was a challenge to find equivalent, water front space in Singore plus it was getting very difficult to find Singaporeans to work in a boat building factory. Moving to Malaysia helped solve both problems. In 1998 American Marine completely closed the Singapore Yard and by 1999 they changed the company name to Grand Banks!

« Terug 23 april 2020

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