Author : Barry Tyler
That’s a big call for what is in effect a semi-custom production boat but nonetheless it only takes a few moments aboard to appreciate the fact that this boat stands out in a crowd – any crowd. Manufactured at Hampton Yachts’ base just out of Shanghai, China, and marketed here in Australia by Gold Coast-based Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales (LSCS), the world unveiling of the model at the recent Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was seemingly the catalyst for a surge of interest from boaters in search of a genuine cruising boat with refinements which take it above the ilk of a rank and file ‘passagemaker’.
Stepping aboard, for me it was one of those boats where you asked yourself, “Where the hell do I start?”, for every feature or facet invited you to partake, come in and sit down! Very classy first and foremost, for me it was also very much the seriousness of the specification on the outside, and on the inside, the wonderful use of wood. Hampton Yachts presents it as an art form in fact, for every (cherry) wood feature was a unique statement in itself.
The philosophy of this particular model very much centres round the ideal of luxury long-range cruising and one only had to take a walk through the engine room to appreciate that this boat had the credentials to get you there – and back again! The engine room, entered either from the large bulkhead door adjacent to the teak-covered boarding platform, or through the crew quarters at the rear – was in fact an ‘apartment’ all on its own, if you included the crew quarters too.
For the crew or indeed another couple or perhaps even children whom you wish to leave to their own devices, there was accommodation for two in Pullman-style berths in a separate room, plus there was a separate shower cubicle and head either side of the aft entry stairs off the boarding platform. Also down in this aft ‘apartment’ was a utility room which housed the air-conditioning, the spare parts inventory and the fishing tackle and rod storage locker. As well, back here there was additional refrigeration, the AC control panels, the battery isolating switch bank and two 60A Newmar battery chargers. All this, yet it was still most habitable and certainly very well presented!
An Engineer’s Delight
A ship-style bulkhead door led through into the well-insulated engine room proper. With 2-metre-plus headroom and plenty of access room around the ‘other’ side of the engines, pride of place in this room was of course the two 18.1-litre, inline 6-cylinder, twin turbo-charged Caterpillar C-18 ACERT diesel engines, de-rated incidentally down from the ‘pleasure’ rating to the ‘continuous running’ 873hp versions. Coupled to these were ZF 500-1A (1.97:1 ratio) gearboxes which ran through conventional shaft drive to the 40” x 39” Hung Shen, Class 1, 4-blade bronze propellers.
This well lit and air-conditioned engine room was a veritable engineer’s delight for also included here were items such as not one but two Cummins Onan gensets (22.5 & 13.5kW), two Victron Energy 24V/5000W/120A inverter/chargers, 34kW of Marine Air chilled water air-conditioning, an Idromar 130L/h automatic desalinator, a Reverso oil pump-out system, Seafire fire protection, CCTV cameras, a rather clever fuel transfer system that ran via manifolds on return lines from the engine, and of course the battery bank between the two engines, that consisted of eight 112Ah house and two 200Ah engine, Northstar AGM batteries.
An integral facet of the room also were the two ABT Trac hydraulic stabilisers and the fuel tankage which included three tanks across the front engine bulkhead and two wing tanks. Add the two further tanks in the aft lazaretto and the Endurance surely lived up to its name with a cruising-appropriate fuel payload of 11,400 litres. Cohabitating with these tanks in the aft lazaretto was a (four) dive-bottle stand, a Bauer dive-bottle recharger, oil storage racks, emergency steering, the air/water bait freezer compressor and a small compressor for inflating fenders and/or the second (inflatable) tender.
While the mechanical specification was impressive, so too was the specification level of the ‘hardware’ about ‘Arabesque’. Solid albeit lift-out pulpit hoops on the boarding platform, generous-sized hawse holes recessed into the aft coamings, and equally solid bollards and mooring cleats recessed into the aft hull corners and along the bulwarks – were all equal to the occasion.
It was more of the same up on the bow too, for ahead of the two love seats which were innovatively recessed into the front of the Portuguese bridge, was an elevated rather robust Muir HR4000 windlass which raised and lowered the two stainless steel plough anchors permanently mounted on the bowsprit fairlead. Interestingly, this windlass was part of a hydraulics package which included the two stabilisers and the bow and stern thrusters as well.
Redundancy Systems Galore
The other most illuminating aspect of the Endurance’s mechanical ‘package’ was the number of redundancy systems in place, surely the mark of a bonafide ‘passagemaker’. Yes you would expect duplication on items like the electronics, the steering, the gensets and of course the batteries, but the rather fastidious owner has doubled up with dual/dual engine filters, two ST7002 autopilots with dual drive motors, rudder feedbacks and fluxgate compasses, two PTO-driven pumps for the hydraulic system, and twin hard-plumbed and wired Headhunter Excalibur pumps for the freshwater, the black and grey water and the saltwater deck-wash. Steering was addressed accordingly, although in this case the two engine-driven Eaton Vickers hydraulic pumps for the two rams and two manual overrides, were all standard-issue.
The Hampton Endurance 750 is all about lifestyle and certainly the aft cockpit and the upper flybridge level accentuated this point. At night-time especially, seated at the aft cockpit lounge and (solid cherrywood) table setting, looking out over the transom feature that was majestically lit by Aqualuma underwater lights – it was a sight and a sensation to behold. Up on the flybridge level it was more of the same and it didn’t really matter whether it was day or night, underway or moored in a bay, for this level covered all bases.
The aft ‘working’ area was large enough to house the 4.7 metre ‘Quinnie tinnie’ and the 1500kg Steelhead davit and still leave plenty of room to move about, yet forward of this and enveloped by the overhead hardtop and Strata-glass side and front clears – there was still heaps of room for guests to enjoy the moment seated at the L-shaped lounge setting. Or, to watch the chef as he/she cooks up a feast on the ‘Rolls Royce’ of cooking apparatus, the full Gaggenau outdoor BBQ & steamer galley. I would hate to think what that little feature alone would have set the owner back!
What was perhaps more of a surprise up on this level though, was the very serious nature of the helm. Traditionally, you might expect the absolute basics in an area prone to salt-spray, wind and rain but here I noted items such as auto pilot, bow and stern thruster remotes, two Raymarine E140W screens, engine management instrumentation, VHF, stereo, not one but two Todd skipper’s chairs, and yes, even air-conditioning.
Formal Yet ‘Warm’ Interior
The real living, the formal side if you like, was definitely on the ‘inside’, for the Endurance exuded grace, charm, sophistication and importantly an inviting warmth – in every respect. The gloss-finish cherry woodwork throughout was just sublime, yet it blended contrastingly well with the plush padded wall and ceiling panels, the ornate ceiling features, the folding blinds and the innovation with features such as the cocktail cabinet in the saloon and the companionway stairway and wall and roof features that were such an awesome ‘statement’.
While it looked so good, it was practical also, as this saloon was conducive to either ‘mix and mingling’ or intimate formal dining, such was the spacious ‘spread-out’ nature of the rear lower level of this room. Special features I noted included the wine chiller facility, the 24V/12V power points, the remote central vacuum cleaning system, the iPod stations/chargers, the icemaker within the entertainment module, and, I must make mention also of the folding formal dining table with its impressive burl inserts – just spectacular!
Moving forward and two steps up from this and you were into the business side of ‘Arabesque’ – the galley, yet more formal dining in this instance beside rather than behind the skipper, and the most comprehensive helm station. The galley, in effect well aft of the skipper, was what could only be described as serious, for it featured a Meile refrigerator, freezer, ice-maker and induction 5 burner cook-top. Also, there was a dishwasher and trash compactor to complement the granite benches and copious cupboard and drawer storage provision.
The least emotive point one could make about the helm station was – it was entirely appropriate to a long-range ‘passagemaker’ situation. Seated on one of two Pompanette helm chairs, the skipper had at his disposal every conceivable piece of apparatus commensurate with cruising, including four interfaced Raymarine E140W screens, auto pilot, radar, bow and stern thrusters, the AIS Class B identification system for vessel movements, a Flir night-vision camera, CCTV onboard cameras, the ITIM onboard management system and either side of him, access to the side walkways through impressive cantilevering pilothouse doors.
Accommodation below decks was more of the same grandiose but non-imposing presentation. Layout was your typical queen-size VIP cabin in the bow, twin-single accommodation off to the side of the companionway, and an amidships stupendous-sized full-beam master stateroom befitting royalty. With television, DVD stereo, iPod stations, ventilation hatches, good lighting and plenty of wood in all rooms, there was no class distinction anywhere in these three rooms!
Other special features included cedar-lined wardrobes, feature ceilings, strip lighting and concealed storage provision, but really it was the master stateroom with its shutter-style side-window alcoves, marble-lined ensuite to starboard and vanity setting and then cedar-lined walk-in wardrobe to portside – which more than anywhere else aboard this Endurance, typified what this boat was all about.
With all the wood content, all the redundancy peripherals plus of course the high level of specification of its mechanical inventory, there was a temptation to conclude that the Endurance would have been a very heavy boat. Not so, well certainly not in the context of a nearly 23-metre ocean-going vessel, for the hand-laid solid fibreglass hull with Knytex vinylester resin for the first five layers of hull lay-up, two layers of Kevlar from chine to chine and the three layers of Kevlar in the forward collision zone – all contributed to a most respectable all-up ‘dry’ weight of 50.5 tonnes.
This in turn equated to equally respectable performance attributes, for the hybrid hull (as LSCS described it) cruised nicely at 9-11 knots yet when the question was asked of it, it leaped to a top speed of 19 knots at the maximum 2250rpm. Range as expected was appropriate to a vessel of this ilk also, for calculated with an 11,000-litre fuel load; at 7 knots you would travel 6517 nautical miles. At 8.5 knots the figure was 3339NM, at 9.3 knots it was 2842NM, and even at the full gas-guzzling, wide-open-throttle speed of 19 knots, the range was still a respectable 653NM.
After spending just a day aboard the Hampton Yachts Endurance 750 Pilothouse, I found myself whole-heartedly endorsing the claims of those who suggested this boat was a mini superyacht – for it embraced the ideology in every way. The best this respected manufacturer had to offer, Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales had then taken the concept one step further by including for peace of mind, local content when it came to warranty-attracting and/or implicating ‘compatible’ items such as soft furnishings, BBQ, white goods, electronics, the tenders, the engine commissioning and the 24/7 worldwide warranty LSCS offers. The best part about it all too was the realisation most of the above items are all as standard, for it is only discretionary ‘personal-choice’ features such as the tenders, the Gaggenau outdoor galley, the davit and the electronics, galley and refrigeration upgrades – that added the extra dollars to the equation. Value for money? This owner is irrevocably convinced it is!
- Boat Design Name: Endurance 750 PH
- Year Launched: 2010
- Designer: Howard Apolloino
- Interior Designer: Identity Interiors Australia
- Builder: Hampton Yachts
- LOA: 22.75 metres
- LWL: 20.03 metres
- Beam: 5.69 metres
- Draft: 1.52 metres
- Displacement: 50,450kg (DRY)
- Max Speed: 19 knots
- Cruise Speed: 10
- Construction: Composite GRP
- Fuel Cap: 11,400 litres
- Water Cap: 1893 litres
- Engines Make: Twin 873HP Caterpillar C-18 ACERT
- Base Price of Boat: $3.85M AUD Inc GST
- Price As Tested: $4.25M AUD Inc GST