Sea Trials

13 Dec

Hemingway at the wheelFunctional By Design

The Hampton 680 Endurance LRC is a well-balanced and efficient cruising boat.

By Ken Kreisler

With the Hampton 680LRC you can truly have your cake and eat it too...all in comfort, safety, and style.

With the Hampton 680LRC you can truly have your cake and eat it too…all in comfort, safety, and style.

Hold this thought by celebrated basketball coach John Wooden: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

I don’t think it was by coincidence that by the time I caught up with the new Hampton Endurance 680 LRC, for Long Range Cruiser, she was already on a tight schedule. I mean if you are considering a boat with this kind of profile, being designed and built to do some serious cruising, then it is completely understandable it is not the kind of boat meant to be sitting at the dock. And if her owner is like many of the other Hampton owners I’ve interviewed over the years, I suspect her home port time will be quite limited. It was already something I was experiencing in trying to shoe horn my way on board for whatever time I could manage.

Whether on an extended trip or a weekend getaway, the salon offers an intimate setting for the owners and their guests.

Whether on an extended trip or a weekend getaway, the salon offers an intimate setting for the owners and their guests.

The newest boat in the Endurance model line-up had already made an appearance at last year’s Ft. Lauderdale show—including move in and break down prep time, and the detailing and clean up from all the dock traffic; the pre-show aerial photo shoot, along with an interior shoot later that same day, was being coordinated along with the final sea trial for her pair of C18, 873-hp Caterpillar engines conducted by Caterpillar technicians; and oh yes, her owner was champing at the bit to get his hands on the wheel of his new boat.

Back to the coach’s thought. There I was, sitting at the large dining table located just to port of the starboard lower station and talking to Anchor Yachts’ Forest Roberts, who heads up the Lauderdale-based Hampton dealership and plays an instrumental part in company owner Jeff Chen’s boat building planning and layout as well.

Comfort abounds everywhere aboard as typified by the master suite.

Comfort abounds everywhere aboard as typified by the master suite.

The Endurance 680 LRC is designed by Howard Apollonio [See sidebar: Design Insight with Howard Apollonio.] and to that end, the hull’s resin infused laminate schedule; the first three utilizing vinylester resins and glass with the following two being chine-to-chine Kevlar, is built to, well, endure.

As Roberts and I discussed some other construction matters—the boat’s solid bottom rises some six inches above the water line; that the collision zone, from the anchor bow area to 12 feet aft under water and then out to both port and starboard another 12 feet, also has three Kevlar layers; and the engine beds are all stainless steel reinforced, glassed in, and then capped with another stainless steel mounting plate—I noticed a little something about the way the legs of the stools at the nearby port side island galley were being held in place. The two front ones fit neatly and securely into a cut out thus anchoring them to the island.

“They’ll never slide or tip over while she’s underway or in a sea. Simple solution,” said Roberts.

The fully found galley will be able to supply the kind of meals ranging from a simple snack to a sumptuous dining experience.

The fully found galley will be able to supply the kind of meals ranging from a simple snack to a sumptuous dining experience.

And that was just the first of the many minor details I found aboard. There was a unique latch on the door of the full size refrigerator, designed to keep the door closed in a pitching sea. There are screens on the easy-to-swing pantograph doors. I particularly took note of the electrically operated and custom fit designer blinds on the usual out-of-reach forward windows; making cutting any harsh sunlight effortless. I found drains on the bridge deck, seamlessly connected to overfills so as to prevent any water pooling topsides. And the engine room air intakes are located on the inboard sides of the exterior’s wide walkways, so designed to significantly cut down on salty mist incursion.

To my eye, all these simple solutions were indicative of a more than meaningful attention to detail and one signifying that if they were being addressed so practically, then the big items would most certainly stand out. And they do.

It’s easy to extol Hampton’s craftsmanship on the 680’s interior, what with the perfectly matching African Makore cherry with its flawless, high gloss finish. The accommodations layout includes a very comfortable and fully finished off crew quarters—one that could easily double as a private space for the kids or grandkids of owner/operators—a four stateroom, four head configuration, with all quarters having more than ample storage areas, perfect for those long trips out. The satellite tv, watermaker, and tender are the only options.

As found everywhere aboard the 680, creature comforts abound int the enclosed pilothouse.

As found everywhere aboard the 680, creature comforts abound in the enclosed pilothouse.

Topsides, the spacious enclosed bridge deck, with dining and seating area has almost 20 feet of open space from the back of the house, while the main deck cockpit has its own alfresco table and seating. In addition, there is a most useful and well-placed day head out here. Put that all together with her Portuguese bridge and a salty profile, and this boat says, let’s go.

But it was in her Sound Down insulated and air-conditioned engine room, that I could truly appreciate the builder’s attention not only to detail, but to safety as well.

“Redundancy and back up is one of the keys to our building philosophy,” said Roberts. “We want and need our owners to feel and be safe while underway.”

Easy to work in with plenty of room to get at all critical maintenance areas, this engine room is typical of Hampton's attention to every detail.

Easy to work in with plenty of working space to get at all critical maintenance areas, this engine room is typical of Hampton’s attention to every detail.

To that end, in addition to a working captain’s or hands-on owner’s dream space, what with all the room to work on any part of the mains, gensets, pumps, or any other critical maintenance or service area, I found the kind of back-up systems that would indeed, instill the safety factor.

There are two sea water air conditioning systems with two AC circulation pumps. I found a pair of fresh water Headhunter pumps, one ac and a back-up 24-volt dc unit. Two power steering pumps, and a pair of heavy-duty pumps from the PTO on the transmissions can drive the Wesmar 3-Term, nine square foot fins as well as both 33-hp, bow and stern thrusters. The automatic oil change system services the mains, the 23- and 15-kW Kohler gensets, and both transmissions. There are eight, 115 Amp AGM marine batteries in boxes for the house system, a pair of 200 Amp, boxed AGM starting batteries per engine, and a 100 Amp heavy-duty battery, also boxed, for each genset. Then there is a pair of shore power isolation transformers with ISO boost, two 75-foot Glendenning Cablemasters, and a 4-kW inverter as well. Couple that with that sturdy, no-nonsense construction and the 680 Endurance more than lives up to her name.

With new owner Ted Lange at the wheel, the 680 Endurance drew smiles and nods of approval from all those aboard during the sea trial.

“One important thing for me was to drive the boat head on into a sea of some size, just like those four footers out there, and avoid the pounding we experienced on many of our other boats,” he said.

To Lange’s delight, the boat was very responsive with no pounding. In addition, and with the stabilizers activated, she was quite comfortable when he put the boat sideways in the trough of the waves with no way on. He also steered her in following and quartering seas and in both situations, she responded very well. “The rudders are large enough to steer the boat without any difficulty,” he said. “I was quite pleased with the sea trial and at no time, experienced any negative attributes.”

Analyzing her numbers also proved on the positive side, especially with the ability to trawl along at 8.4 knots and a stingy total fuel burn of some 8gph. Doing the math based on her 2,000 gallons of fuel, and at 1000 rpm, one can expect a range of near 2,416sm/2,100nm with about 250 hours of running time. “On the performance side, the 680 is all there,” remarked Roberts. “You can get the kind of economy and range you want from her as well as being able to get up and go should the weather or conditions warrant it.”

If you put all the little things aboard Hampton’s 680 Endurance LRC together, the result is one well-built, well-designed vessel with the kind of layout, appropriate balance between power and efficiency, luxurious accommodations, and cruising abilities to make her light up your radar screen should your next boat fit her profile. Hampton Yachts, (949) 673-6300


Howard ALong respected as one of the industry’s most talented and capable marine architects, Howard Apollonio’s track record speaks for itself: Design engineer and naval architect for the marine division of Sikorsky Aircraft; project engineer for Jacuzzi Brothers; Chief Naval Architect for Teledyne; Naval Architect for Marine Construction & Design Company; U.S. Navy Engineering Manager for Uniflite; Owner & Principal Design Engineer for Apollonio & Associates; President, NA, PE, Apollonio Naval Architects.

KK: What criteria do you use when approaching a project?

HA: I try to identify what the key issues are for the buyer and/or the market in which the boat is to function and compete.

KK: When did you first consider designing for Hampton?

HA: Hampton Yachts’ Seattle dealer approached me in 2004 in regards to refining a 58-footer ready for production.

KK: How did you match the most efficient power requirements for use on the 680?

HA: It depends on understanding the mission or intent of the user. On the 680, weight and performance estimate cycles were done to identify power and speed combinations to suit the hull’s potential. The Cat C18’s, at commercial rating, were chosen for their efficiency when operated at or below 1800 rpm.

KK: Hampton is known for, among other notable attributes, taking maximum advantage of space both inside and out. Given the finite space aboard the 680, for example, how does your design achieve this?

HA: The Endurance Series are like two boats in one; a most seaworthy, efficient passagemaker combined with a no-compromised yacht possessing generous living spaces. The roominess is the result of designer, builder, and dealer teamwork with care taken to provide generous headroom, walking/visual space, step heights, diverse sightlines, and passageway widths and logical traffic patterns. In addition, colors, mirrors, lighting, both natural and artificial, all help to enhance the spaciousness. Finally, Anchor Yachts’ Sandy Roberts’ sophisticated décor provides a positive counterpoint to Hampton’s fine woodwork and detailing.

OWNER PROFILE: Mr. & Mrs. Lange Get What They Wanted…And Needed.

MM Lange3Ted Lange and his wife are veteran boaters and have put some 50 years in their many wakes. “We’ve had everything from 51-footers up to a 151,” Lange said, beaming that new owner smile as we met in the engine room of his new boat. “At this stage in our lives, being in our mid-70’s, we wanted a boat we could handle by ourselves. We liked all we had heard and read about the Hampton boats and decided to have a closer look. The size, interior arrangement, and equipment were just what we were looking for. We were very impressed.”

Lange also mentioned the input Roberts had with the factory. “Forest has had input on some suggested improvements with the factory in China and I think they have taken most of those as they certainly show up in the operation of the boat.”

The Lange’s will be spending the winter in the Bahamas aboard their new Endurance 680.


TEST CONDITIONS: Speeds were measured by GPS off of Ft. Lauderdale in 3-4 foot seas with 10-15 knots of wind, with full fuel and water, and six people on board. Fuel consumption was calculated by the electronic engine monitoring system.


800          4                   4
1000        8.4                     8
1200        10.6              14
1400        11.7              22
1600        12.3              38
1800        14.0              52
2000        16.0              64
2100        17.1              82
2200        19.2              90

LOA: 68’0”
LWL: 64’8”
BEAM: 18’8”
DRAFT: 5’2”
DISPL.: 110,000 lbs.
WATER: 400 gal.
FUEL: 2,000 gal.
DEADRISE: 9 degrees at transom
ENGINES TESTED: 2 x 873-hp Caterpillar C18 diesels


Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Sea Trials



2 responses to “Sea Trials

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