The world balances on sets of tradeoffs: good looking versus smart, fast but comfortable, fun or serious. But what if you could embrace both opposites and have it all? Palm Beach Motor Yachts must have asked themselves this question when they designed the new Palm Beach GT50. First in the series that will purportedly include 60- and 70-foot models, the new GT50 does away with tradeoffs that are really just compromises, which nobody wants to make. Have a look for yourself in this quick First Look Video...
Palm Beach designs have always led the field with lightweight but strong construction processes, which help with fuel efficiency. The GT50’s hull is infused vinylester cored with e-glass, a sandwich construction that is embraced by numerous builders. The departure from the norm comes in the deck and superstructure that are fully infused 100 percent carbon fiber to keep the center of gravity low. Added strength comes from bulkheads that are structurally bonded to the hull to increase rigidity and enhance performance in rough conditions.
Pair this sophisticated lightweight build (just under 29,000 pounds dry) with twin 600 HP Volvo Penta D8 diesels connected to IPS800 pod drives and the ride becomes electric. A 35-knot cruise burns a combined 40 gallons of fuel per hour—not too shabby. If you want to kick it up to wide-open-throttle, expect a blistering 42 knots that will get you home in time for dinner or at least get you noticed by those you pass. For greater distances, you can slow to 25 knots and burn just 24 gph, which equates to roughly 1.3 miles per gallon.
The modified V-hull slices through the waves wasting precious little energy and then opens up to an ample 14’ 8” beam. Leaning toward the downeast aesthetic, the design is curvy and sleek, a little retro and at the same time completely contemporary. A generous tumblehome combines with an appealing sheer line that heads up toward the flared bow. It’s the kind of design that catches the eye and makes it linger.
Topped by a single-piece warp-around tinted windshield, the GT50 has the air of an old school racing convertible. On the Express version, the glass tapers back to a rounded finish while on the Open model (based on the same hull), it terminates in a sharper angle aft that then seems to lead right into the forward-leaning arch.
The deck of the GT50 is meant to accommodate many in comfort and style whether at anchor or under way. Twin settees (L-shaped to port and straight to starboard) face each other over an optional table. Additional corner seating is in the cockpit on either side of the transom door that leads out to a generously proportioned swim platform. Engine access is below the cockpit sole while a refrigerator and icemaker combine to create an outdoor service galley so nobody needs to go below to freshen their beverage.
The helm is a carbon tableau just ahead of the captain’s seat—a bench on the bottom with individual seat backs and headrests. A single multi-function display and a Volvo engine screen are tucked under the rounded hood that cuts down on windshield glare. The wheel is offset to port with the throttles just to the right. This puts the companion seat outboard and that may make for some awkward shuffling about if the companion wants to get out while the captain is driving.
To port is another double companion seat and overhead is the Palm Beach signature sunroof. Combine this with opening aft windows and the Express has all the breezy ambience of the Open but adds a bit of protection from the elements at the same time.
In case you think the on-deck amenities are all that this glamour puss has to offer, check out the interior below. Two staterooms separated by an L-shaped galley share a head with an enclosed shower. The master is forward with a large centerline bed that has drawer storage below and a hatch above for ventilation. The aft cabin has a queen-sized berth down low on the sole and will be perfect for occasional guests or kids.
To port, the galley has ample solid-surface countertops for two people to prepare meals simultaneously while the overhead hatch vents heat and cooking odors. Because the galley is only four steps down from the salon and helm, the chef will never feel isolated as he turns out proper party fare.
The contemporary interior finishes are offered in wenge, teak or ash wood and light surfaces including the headliner abound to brighten this living space. Double stitched fabrics and chrome accents put a modern spin on a retro feel. With 132 gallons of water no one will feel like they’re on a camping weekend and with nearly 400 gallons of fuel, that weekend can take place a fair distance away from home port so the limits on where you wander are few.
With 35 years of boatbuilding experience under their belts and a continuing passion for design, the folks at Palm Beach Motor Yachts have dialed in a lovely merger of two opposites. The new GT50 is contemporary yet timeless, sophisticated and simple, and lightweight but strong. It’s time to toss out compromising limitations because let’s face it—tradeoffs suck.
See Palm Beach Motor Yachts GT50 listings , or learn more by visiting our Palm Beach Motor Yachts brand page.