Palm Beach, an Aussie builder with a reputation for classic, highly finished, high-tech, carbon-fiber yachts, had just introduced two low, lean 50-footers that, from what I’d heard, pushed the company’s style well beyond classicism and straight into the realm of raciness. The enclosed version was called the GT50 Express and the open version was called—you guessed it—the GT50 Open.
I checked out the Open first. Belowdecks, the interior was a straightforward affair, finely finished in teak, maple and wenge. Up forward, a cabin offered a large rectangular berth, lots of stowage, a Lewmar hatch overhead and an adjoining head with a separate shower stall. At the rear, there was a mid-cabin with another large, rectangular berth behind a bulkhead with an open entry. And in between, at the foot of the companionway, was a bright, airy galley-down.
The main deck was also straightforward. Beyond a salon with opposed lounges, there was a raised helm area with a starboard steering station and two sumptuously upholstered chairs, duplicates of the two passenger seats to port. The carbon fiber dashboard at the helm was comprehensible at a glance and the essentials-only arrangement included little more than a Garmin MFD, a Zipwake monitor, a Hepworth Marine wiper rheostat and an Electronic Vessel Control module from Volvo Penta as well as both binnacle and joystick-type engine controls.