The Grand Banks Europa 46 is a solid coastal cruiser with a semi-displacement, fiberglass hull with faux wood planking and a plumb bow. The boat is hard chined but doesn’t pound. She has a bit of a quick snap, unlike the slow roll of a sailboat, but is comfortable in anything but the messiest of head seas.
The GB46 burns about 5.5 gallons per hour at 10 knots so her 630 gallons of fuel provide a 600 nautical mile range. Her top speed is 18-19 knots but you can watch the fuel gages sink and money fly out of your wallet with her 52,000 pounds (wet weight) up on a plane.
The engine access is good via the cockpit sole that opens into a very well organized utility room that is plumbed for a possible future washer/dryer combo. This space leads to the engine room with twin 420 hp Caterpillar 3126TA diesels with good access all around and easy to reach sea strainers and through-hulls. Another access hatch is near the inside helm which is ideal for periodic visual engine checks under way.
On our test boat, the utility room housed a 9 kW genset, an eighteen gallon hot water heater and an H20 Sea Recovery watermaker. This area also housed battery banks – that’s starting batteries as well as two completely redundant house banks totaling 2,000 amp hours.
From the ample swimstep, teak decks run through the cockpit and forward to just short of the bow. Teak caprails with stainless stanchions provide plenty of handholds and access to the decks is via a transom door from the swimstep and an opening in the rail on both port and starboard.
A couple steps up from the cockpit is the flybridge which has plenty of room for two helm seats, a complete console of instruments, an L-shaped settee and table on starboard, a straight settee on port, and space for the dinghy; and a lift. So the flybridge, which extends aft over the cockpit and also covers the walk-around decks, provides not only shade below but a large platform above to entertain eight comfortably. It’s a favorite place to lounge on a summer afternoon and you certainly can’t beat the view.
But the 360 degree view isn’t bad from the inside either. The saloon, with 6’ 3” headroom, is surrounded by large windows that let in air and lots of natural light. Both the L-shaped settee to port and the straight one to starboard were made extra wide for luxurious lounging. A folding, high-low table flanks the port settee.
Forward on port is the L-shaped galley with an acre of counter space. There is plenty of drop-down storage outboard overhead and forward under the windshield. Across from the galley on starboard is the inside helm station with a bench seat and an ice maker below.
Three steps down are two staterooms and two heads.
The master is forward with a large island berth and storage below and on either side. There is also easy access to the anchor locker. The head and sink are on port and the separate shower compartment is to starboard and also has a door to the guest cabin with its twin beds separated by a locker. The layout makes for a perfect couple’s boat and the occasional guest.
Specifications for Grand Banks Europa 46:
LOA 47’ 1”
LWL 44’ 10”
Beam 14’ 9”
Draft 4’ 5”
Displacement 43,000 lbs
Water 300 gallons
Fuel 630 gallons