A luxurious and fast mahogany speedboat
By Howard Meyerson

It took eight months to build and a big pile of mahogany, but the craftsmen at Grand-Craft in Holland managed to complete a new prototype, the 25 Super Sport, just in time for its Florida debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last November.

The $279,000 mahogany powerboat, with its triple-planked bottom and 430-horsepower Ilmor V8 engine, is Grand Craft’s newest offering. The West Michigan company specializes in fine, hand-built mahogany boats.

“There’s no rushing it, not the way we build them” explains Jeff Cavanaugh, Grand-Craft’s owner. “I got it done the day before I left (for Florida).”

The hand-built 25-foot Super Sport seats eight and goes 50 miles per hour. It’s high-performance hull makes for smooth handling.

Grand-Craft is renowned for retro wood runabouts, boats built by cold-molding quarter-inch mahogany planks that are laminated with epoxy for strength. It is a process that saves weight compared with traditional wood or fiberglass construction. Once the molded hull is sanded smooth and stained, it is sealed with 17-20 coats of varnish, resulting in a deep luster that turns heads in every port.

“It will go 50 miles per hour out of the box,” Cavanaugh said. “Our customers come from all over the board. They want something new and reliable, turn-key fun and something with a warranty. They’re going to keep them. People will them to their heirs.

The 25 Super Sport was designed to fill a “performance” niche in the Grand-Craft lineup, according to Cavanaugh. It is a faster and heavier-built runabout that will accommodate eight passengers. It comes trimmed with bronze and stainless steel hardware, embellishments that don’t appear on the company’s less expensive 20-foot and 22-foot Grand Sport boats. A Grand-Craft can cost from $140,000-$1.6 million.

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