In For The Long Haul
The new Endurance 720 Long Range Cruiser by Hampton Yachts delivers big time on safety, comfort, and construction.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
Any builder worth their salt knows that the real story of its success lies in its boats’ design and construction techniques. And on both these critical points, Hampton Yachts hits the mark squarely in the center with the latest addition to its proven Endurance Series, the big-shouldered 720.
Getting some insight and downright appreciation for the Endurance 720 starts way before the excellent set of tooling, one that is painstakingly faired, straight, and is so fastidiously clean as to accept the first gelcoat layer without compromise, is used. It even goes beyond the precise and exhausting attention to detail both in what you can’t see on the construction end and what you can, such as the sumptuous accommodations found throughout, and even in the machinery arrangement and critical and imperative redundant systems in an engine room that can only be described as being as good as it gets.
It all began when visionary boat builder Jeff Chen, himself the product of a generational marine industry family, and U.S. based Capt. Forest Roberts, a hands-on veteran of all things boats and the guiding force behind Ft. Lauderdale’s Anchor Yacht Sales, joined forces on the Endurance Series. “When my family started Formosa Yacht Building Company in 1964, we had the philosophy to build world-class luxury yachts that offered exceptional value within our product lines while maximizing comfort, safety, user-friendliness, technical sophistication, and quality,” he told me in a recent correspondence.
Chen, seeing the need for a yacht that could be highly efficient over a broad range of speeds while at the same time, being able to deliver both comfort and safety to all aboard, something Hampton stands behind not only on this particular vessel, but with all the boats in its offerings, chose renowned marine architect Howard Apollonio to design these boats. “The Endurance series arose from Hampton’s understanding of the reliably popular market for long-range cruising yachts,” Chen also remarked.
Apollonio, having already perfected the hull form over many years with his work on everything
from trawlers to superyachts, and with a particular expertise in hydrodynamics, brought his purpose-driven design to Hampton with extensive tank testing under both calm and rough water conditions.
The result is the split chine, semi-displacement Hampton Hybrid Hull design, and one whose function is to provide high-efficiency along with outstanding sea-kindliness. Covering such important factors as the precise proportioning of the basic hull form, a fine forward waterline, and a design that exceeds the U.S. Coast Guard’s strict adherence to open ocean service stability requirements among many others, the Endurance 720 is a long range cruiser that is ready to fulfill her mandate.
With a steady 20 knots of wind, and having to deal with three-to-four foot cresting waves of a very short duration, along with an occasional ‘big boy’ thrown our way just for fun, my test day saw conditions in the offshore waters of Ft. Lauderdale just right to evaluate her abilities with this kind of seaway.
She performed exceptionally well and I, as did my six other passengers, three of them perspective owners, noted little if any of the usual ‘bucking’ motion while the seas were head on, a total lack of any slamming in the errant big wave and subsequent trough, no squatting aft with a following sea, nor any significant roll while abeam and running with the seas on either port or starboard sides. Assisting in the comfort were the 12-square foot fins of the standard Wesmar Three Term Stabilizer System and a pair of 1,150-hp C-18 Cats. And our speed in all this sloppiness? A steady average fast cruise of 18 knots at 2000 rpm and a respectable 14.7-knot turn of speed at 1750 rpm.
She’s also a very quiet running boat. With Roberts at the wheel, I was able to stroll about, taking in every corner of the Endurance 720, from the sky lounge, to the main deck, to the accommodations below and aft, into the crew quarters.
Working closely with Soundown, the Hampton technicians installed some six inches of the noise-deadening material in the floors along with a lead liner and fiberglass insulation. That also goes for insulating the master stateroom and crew quarters, spaces that are fore and aft of the engine room. The product is also glassed on the top of the prop tunnels, this to cut down on noise from blade turbulence produced at low or high-speed operation. The results were sound levels that went from a mere 62 dB (A) at 1000 rpm to a gentle-on-the-ear 69 dB (A) while at WOT.
On the construction side, the big boat is as tough as they come. Get aboard and you
immediately notice the heavy-duty hardware, rails, and cleats as well as the complete lack or slightest hint of any deck flexing underfoot anywhere. But it’s what you can’t see that is most important.
Once the gelcoat is sprayed into the mold, the next step is to lay in the Coremat—this to prevent any chance of print through sometimes common with woven roving—after which comes the three layers of Kevlar, laid down from the boot stripe line all through the bottom and right up to the very stem; and from there, back some 12-14 feet. The next hand lay up consists of strong, tightly woven Syntex mat. And finally, from the rub rail, and all the way down, the rest of the lay up is solid fiberglass with only the deck and superstructure featuring M80 Divinycell coring.
But for all the qualities that go into her tough and robust build, the Endurance 720 is all wrapped up in the kind of amenities and accommodations spaces that has put Hampton Yachts up on the industry’s radar screen for comfort and luxury as well.
Her no-nonsense, low profile exterior features a Portuguese bridge design and wide-open spaces on the foredeck, including a very comfortable seating area. For ease with docking maneuvers, and besides the helm station, there are four standard exterior control stations, one to either side at the stern—oh, and by the way, there’s a convenient day head out here as well—and on the port and starboard wing stations, all featuring ZF electronic controls. Aft on the main deck is the alfresco dining table with convenient grill and sink area while topsides, accessed via the Skylounge, or from a staircase, also at the stern, is a rear deck large enough for one of the few options on this boat; that being a tender. The other is a water maker. But for that, she’s just about fully found with such standard items as full Garmin electronics package, Intellian HD 6 Sat TV and Dummy Dome, full décor as seen here, 1,800 HD Davit with power turn and lift, plus the ZF JMS joy stick maneuvering system.
Step inside and you are greeted by outstanding accommodations and obvious attention to detail and fit and finish. Accessed via a wide staircase forward and to starboard on the main deck’s interior, and off a stylish hallway and corridor, the Endurance 720 features a four stateroom, five head layout. Whether in the VIP forepeak with its island queen berth and cedar-lined closets, the Mid Guest offering side by side bed easily converted to a single berth courtesy on a convenient insert—both VIP and Mid Guest share a head—the full beam Master with its decorative overhead burl ceiling, walk-in cedar-lined closet, bureau and vanity cabinets, and ensuite head, or the crew quarters aft with upper and lower berths and separate shower and head compartments as well as a full galley, you are going to find exceptional woodwork, fine linens, and the kind of storage areas able to keep you comfortable during extended cruising.
Topsides, the Skylounge, which houses the impressive helm console along with a dining table, comfortable seating area, and head, is sure to be quite the popular gathering place for all aboard while underway or in the dock. A beautifully crafted staircase leads down to the main deck with galley forward, bar to starboard, a formal dining space to port, and aft, the sumptuous main salon.
In the aforementioned engine room, accessed via a large watertight door on the ample swim
platform, or by the convenient staircase in the salon’s aft starboard corner, I found the kind of forethought and common sense design that avoids any knuckle busting, knee slamming, or head knocking when doing any kind of maintenance work and makes getting to all critical machinery, pumps, valves, hoses, switches, and such a downright pleasure. And for safety, as in all Hampton Yachts, the Endurance 720 has plenty of redundant systems. These include a pair of dual Racor 1000FG fuel filters on each engine, a pair of 20-gallon water heaters with heat exchangers, two Kohler gensets at 28- and 15.5kW, two 72-foot Glendinning Cablemasters, a pair of Newmar 50 Amp battery chargers, back up raw water pumps for the A/C system, hydraulic power steering pumps on both engines, two water supplies on each shaft log, and a special selector switch that allows you to tie in all the batteries aboard for 1,900 Amps just in case you need the power for emergency starting.
She’s the kind of long-range cruising boat that definitely has your back. In fact, after my day aboard the Endurance 720, I was totally convinced she is well suited to take care of the rest of your body, and of any one else’s on board, as well. And that includes your all-important peace of mind while underway and away from home for any length of time.
DISPL.: 122,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 2,031 gal.
WATER: 450 gal.
TEST POWER: 2/1,150-hp Caterpillar C-18 diesel inboards
PROPELLERS: Hung Shen D40XP39X5BXEAR1 five blade
TRANSMISSION: ZF 2.571:1
RPM KNOTS GPH dB(A)
1000 9.5 8.8 62
1250 11.2 20.2 66
1500 12.9 36.0 66
1750 14.7 64.0 67
2000 18.0 86.0 68
2300 21.9 116.0 69
Test Conditions: Air temperature: 83F; humidity 85%; seas: 3-4’; load: 800 gal. fuel, 112 gal. water, 7 persons. Speeds are two-way averages measured with Garmin GPS sensor. GPH estimates taken via Caterpillar display. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation. Actual performance will vary and be affected by water and weather conditions, load and conditions of boat, engines, and propellers. Speed will increase as fuel is consumed. All data is illustrative and not warranted.
For more information about the Hampton Endurance 720, or any of the other fine yachts in the entire Hampton line, please visit the company Website at http://www.hamptonyachts.com