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New Grand Banks has state-of-the-art power

The 41 Heritage EU will be equipped with the new Zeus pod drive system from Cummins MerCruiser Diesel

The 41 Heritage EU will be equipped with the new Zeus pod drive system from Cummins MerCruiser Diesel

Grand Banks Yachts left a void in the lower end of its lineup when it retired its best-selling model, the 42 Heritage, in 2005. The move meant the venerable Seattle-based boatbuilder offered only 46-, 47- and 52-foot Heritage trawlers, but it intends to remedy that by next summer with the introduction of the Grand Banks 41 Heritage EU.

While the new boat will share the Europa styling and lines of other Heritage series trawlers, there’s a notable difference when it comes to propulsion: Grand Banks has chosen to equip it with twin Zeus pod drives by Cummins MerCruiser Diesel of Charleston, S.C. The steerable, tunnel-mounted Zeus drives are connected to a pair of Cummins diesels and promise improved performance and handling and a smaller engine room than traditional inboard/shaft setups.

“Boaters will be amazed and impressed by what we have been able to accomplish in a 41-foot vessel,” says Rob Livingston, president of Grand Banks, in a statement. “With less space required for the engine room, accommodations and living areas are what you would expect from a much larger boat.” The 41EU will have a two-stateroom layout that the company says continues a trend toward more sophisticated, stylish living spaces.

As for performance and handling, Grand Banks says the 41EU should reach top speeds of 25 mph to 28 mph, depending on engine size, and cruising speeds of 16 mph to 18 mph. Standard power is a pair of 375-hp Cummins QSB5.9 diesels fed by a 500-gallon fuel supply. Estimated range, with a 10-percent fuel reserve, is around 775 miles at 14 mph and more than 1,100 miles at hull speed, which is a little more than 9 mph.

The Zeus pod drives are designed to offer increased fuel efficiency, improved high-speed handling, and easier docking. A joystick control aids with close-quarters maneuvering, and a station-keeping feature called SkyHook uses GPS to hold the boat in position. “We have devoted considerable time and research to making the new 41EU a top performer in all respects, from handling and speed and fuel economy to reliability and seaworthiness, style and comfort,” says Livingston. “We were very impressed by the Zeus drive, Cummins’ Quantum engine technology, and their approach to systems integration.”

The boat measures 41 feet, 4.5 inches overall, with a waterline length of 37 feet, 11 inches; a maximum beam of 15 feet, 3 inches; draft of 3 feet; and a displacement of 36,150 pounds. Grand Banks says it tank-tested three possible hull forms in coming up with its modified-vee hull, with a transom deadrise of 17.5 degrees. The company plans to promote the 41 EU at the fall boat shows and will provide more information as the summer 2008 launch date approaches.