Palm Beach GT50 Open

The builder’s new sportboat is fast, efficient and sexy
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LOA: 54’ / Beam: 14’8” / Draft: 3’11” / Displ: 28,660 lbs. / Fuel: 396 gals. / Water: 132 gals. / Power: (2) 600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800 pod drives

LOA: 54’ / Beam: 14’8” / Draft: 3’11” / Displ: 28,660 lbs. / Fuel: 396 gals. / Water: 132 gals. / Power: (2) 600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800 pod drives

Palm Beach Yachts in February debuted the second iteration of its GT series, the GT50 Open. It joins the builder’s enclosed-salon version—GT50 Salon Express—in the growing Palm Beach model line.

“We’re excited to continue the GT line with such a positive follow-up,” says Mark Richards, Palm Beach Motor Yachts founder and CEO. “Now, boaters in the sunnier parts of the world will enjoy the same performance as the GT50 Salon Express, but in an open layout that heightens the excitement of a day on the water. Adding that open feeling just really makes for a fun ride.”

On deck and below, the GT50 is a departure from Palm Beach’s traditional-looking, Downeast-style interiors. But don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing. On the debut model at the Miami Yacht Show we found a sporty vibe, with blue-and-white, diamond-stitch upholstery around the salon and cockpit decks and darker woods and white countertops below, where there’s an enclosed head and shower, L-shaped galley and two staterooms. Think modern and contemporary.

The Palm Beach GT50 Open sports a graceful sheerline that rises ever so gradually to the flared bow. Aft is generous tumblehome and an expansive swim platform that leads to the cockpit with galley. A sporty radar arch and substantial wraparound windshield enhance the GT50’s good looks.

Tucked deep inside the boat is a pair of 600-hp, six-cylinder Volvo Penta D8 turbo diesels mated to IPS800 pod drives. Paired with the GT50’s extremely slippery hull, this setup should be efficient. According to the builder, this Palm Beach has a fast cruising speed of 35 knots, where it burns 40 gallons per hour. Top speed is 40 knots.

The engines and hull design are only one part of the speed and efficiency story. To keep things light, Palm Beach is building the GT50 Open with high-tech resin infusion processes and utilizing carbon fiber—the deck and cabin structures are 100 percent carbon fiber. As a result, the GT50 Open weighs as much as 6,000 pounds less than similar boats of this type in the market, according to the company.

Because it’s a departure from Palm Beach’s traditional Downeast-style cruisers and flybridge yachts, the GT50 adds even more interest to the builder’s lineup. I suspect it will appeal to those who want to mash the throttles down and let the wind blast through their hair. 

This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue.