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Old 12-15-2003
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Hi, Again,

After visiting a handful of boats, and having a few surveyed, and after many hours of discussion with cruisers either in person or on the internet, I have finally begun to narrow down my search. For reasons of cost, I want to pay under $40,000. Hopefully, the additional cost of the refit for long-distance cruising will be less than half of that.

Given that price range, I want a wide-bodied, shoal-draft sloop with an attractive, wood interior in the 37-foot range. I''ve been cautioned that some popular boats of this very general description are not suited to long-distance cruising because of poor sailing characteristics, especially going to weather poorly.

This morning, my broker suggested an aft cockpit Endeavour 37. It fits my general requirements, but has anyone got opinions about this boat as a live-aboard cruiser?

Chas
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

flicker,

I''m not very familiar with the Endeavour 37, but one boat I think you should consider in your price range is the Hunter 37 Cutter. The boat has a 5''1" draft, all the numbers are respectful on her,she has a nice layout below,and she boasts a PHRF of 155 compared to the 189 the Endeavour is rated at.You should be able to buy one in good condition within your price range.I believe the Hunter 37 Cutter is one of Hunters better designs. Good luck!
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

My mother owned an Endeavour 37 and I got to spend a fair amount of time aboard. It is not what I would even vaguely call an offshore cruiser. If ever there was a boat that was poorly "suited to long-distance cruising because of poor sailing characteristics, especially going to weather poorly" it would be the Endeavour 37. I have never experienced a boat with a more uncomfortable motion in a seaway. They were under canvassed in moderate or less wind but were not even able to stand up to their comparatively small sail plan for their drag in a breeze. Pushed hard they really wear you down and will wipe out in larger gusts.

Build quality was quite poor on these boats. While the glass work was Ok but not great, most other aspects of the build quaility were way below mediocre. To be frank, the Hunter 30 that she later owned was a real step up in build quality over the E37.At least the systems were well thought out and installed in accordance with the standards of the day.

Hardware tended to be undersized for the sail plan and so required pretty beefy crew to sail one. Between the undersized winches and high friction blocks, as a fit 20 something year old racer, trimming sails on that boat would grind me down faster than the 40 plus foot race boat that I typically sailed on in those days.

Mom did try to live aboard and cruise Atlantic coast and the Bahamas in hers before moving on after less than two years. I don''t understand why these boat have seemed to have developed a cult following but they were miserable boats as new and they are now 20 some odd years old. They are the poster child why by any objective standard, wide body, shoal draft boats typically are considered to make miserable cruisers.

Respectfully,
Jeff

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Old 12-16-2003
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

I’d like to offer a different view from Jeff’s and perhaps in the process point to the realities of a search like the one Chas is conducting vs. the way we tend to discuss boat choices on this (and most other) BB’s.

Let’s review Chas’ criteria: He and his wife want a boat that will a) be a home for an extended period, that’s spacious (their term, in a sidebar conversation) and livable; b) that he can take with his wife thru-out the Caribbean and perhaps further, that’s seaworthy to that extent and suitable for his intended cruising grounds; and c) that won’t cost him more than $40K, preferably less.

Folks, he’s not going to end up with a Shannon or even a Bristol, if he sticks to his requirements. Instead, he’s going to buy a 12,000# - 16000# + or -, dated design which was probably built as a price boat at the time and now features outdated build characteristics. (Or he’s going to buy some owner-completed boat that, in the end, isn’t lots bigger and will likely have other issues). He can get a smaller, better built boat, he can get a faster boat, he can pay more money…but in the end he will own a compromise choice because he’s asking for the toughest of marriages: long-term cruising, boat as home, and low-cost.

Looking at Jeff’s criticisms of the E37, I can put them in two camps: the inherent qualities of the design and the boat as built vs. how the boat is equipped and set up. I find it relevant to point out that, if we drive a ’67 VW Bug today, we probably will pretty much have a ’67 Bug driving experience. OTOH given the wide selection of E37’s out there (or Gulfstar 37’s or Hunter 37’s or…), it’s reasonable to expect we can choose a boat that has been upgraded over the years…because owners break or wear out their gear, because owners want the benefits of newer technologies, and…well, because owners want their boats to be nicer and most of us can’t just go buy a new boat. Sailing an E37 today could well be a different kind of experience than it would have been several decades ago, unlike driving a ’67 Bug. Today’s E37/G37/H37 might have self-tailing winches, a nice windlass, decent canvas and cushions in the cockpit, a feathering prop, and well made sails, all of which are going to shape our impression – today – of what that boat is like to sail and cruise. This is a major trap I see us all falling into when discussing older boats as tho’ they are fixed entities (perhaps at least in our own memories from the past) and so we assume they are unable to stay current in some meaningful ways.

Are E37’s bad sea boats? Uncomfortable? I remember a Canadian couple on an E37 arriving in St. Georges shortly after we did, both our boats having crossed from Florida this past summer. Our crossing lasted 7 days and two of them were fairly obnoxious. This couple had been out 13 (Yikes! I couldn’t imagine 13 days!) and had departed from a closer FL port. The sails were torn, everyone was dead tired, the crew abandoned them immediately on arrival, and the couple had all but given up their dream of crossing the Atlantic. Was this due to the boat? Once calm arrived and they were well rested, they began to look at what their issues really were: tired genoa on a less than capable furling system, an unreliable reefing set-up for the main, no inner stay nor suitable heavy weather jib to put on it, some fuel filtering issues for the engine, a self-steering system that needed a beef-up, and a lot of anxiety that made the rest of the experience even worse. To their credit, they sucked it up, worked with a rigger and a loft, improved the systems they had, did some needed maintenance and, in the end, decided to leave for Faial all by themselves. When we caught their lines in Horta, they were all smiles – it had been a relatively quick passage, nothing broke, and they were even well rested while short-handing 1700 NM. The boat they’d viewed with a disillusioned, jaundiced eye on arriving in Bermuda was truly their pride and their joy on arrival in Faial. Lots had changed inbetween the two passages, but the basic boat wasn’t one of them.

In my view E37’s, while they do have their performance issues, are not inherently unsuited for the task of longer-distance cruising; they are a compromise in many regards but then any boat meeting Chas’ three requirements is going to be. (OTOH I find E37''s more nicely finished inside than e.g. the H37 that was recommended). But more importantly, it is how such boats are sailed – and the willingness of the crew to optimize the boat for the task at hand – that can make a real difference.

Jack
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Jack,

I agree with the point you''re making about how an older boat should be judged on her updated systems today, and not her reputation at her released date. I have no problem with buying an older boat. They''ve proven over time to have held up very well. I thought I would provide a little more info. On the "how and why" of my recommendation of the H37C. First off, flicker''s requirements are the same as mine,i.e.-live aboard, coastal-blue water capable in the 37ft.range.My price range is a little higher than his-$55k, but I still refer to my list of potential boats as "the poor man''s wish list in blue-water boats." For someone with a tight budget, IMO, the PHRF rating of the boat has to be scrutinized. Don''t get me wrong, all the other design coefficients of the boat are very important, but to me, the PHRF rating translates to $$$. With a heavy boat, you''ve minimized your ability to sail in light air, thus requiring more motoring, which translates to more engine maintenance,and fuel costs. I set my criteria to a PHRF of 150.I really desire a lower rating, but with the money we''re talking, it''s even tougher to find. The H37C has a PHRF of 155.I let her remain on my list because I really like the separate shower from head area,and the many positive remarks I''ve read,and heard about the boat. To purchase a blue water capable boat for under $40k in the 37ft.range is a tough nut to crack indeed. I can think of a few other boats that I would recommend, but none have the room below of the H37C, or her sailing capabilities. I also agree with you on the fit and finish of the E37 being better than the H37C down below, but this is a minor issue to me.IMO,these are cosmetic issues that can easily be fixed with minimal skills, but I can''t change the weight of a boats hull, or her sailing qualities.Anyway, that''s my $.02 worth. Cheers!
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Jack,

While I agree with much of what you say, and I know that people have taken these boats all over the place, I really found our experience owning the Endeavour 37 to be a miserable one. I cannot emphasize too strongly what a miserable motion that these boats have. Mom''s boat was less than two years old when she bought her. The original owner was an experienced offshore yachtsman and candidly commented on the boat''s "poor motion" being one of the factors pushing him to sell the boat. When I say this boat had a lousy motion in a seaway I mean literally that this was a boat that would cause seasickness in people who told us that they had never been seasick in their lives. Coming back from the Bahamas my Mom became so seasick that she was taken to a hospital for rehydration when they reached Miami. These boats have his weird roll that swings through an exceptionally large angle and would suddenly fetch up with a hard lurch at each side of the swing. It also had one of the strangest yaw and pitch motions that I ever experienced. the two combined were a gastly combo. Bar none this was the worst motion that I have ever experienced on any boat (even old IOR era race boats).

This miserable motion was especially a problem when sitting in a marina where you could not orient the boat to the waves or on the anchor where you did not have the dampening of the sails to dampen the roll. If this is the boat on which Flicker hopes to "bring his wife to the Carribean" then he should pick a boat that is suitable for that venue which can have some pretty bumpy anchorages and passages.

While you are right about boats being upgraded over we found that Mom''s boat was full of factory installed No-no''s in inaccessible and uninspectable locations such as clear vinyl hoses used below the water line that ran through concealed spaces and used non-marine white nylon connectors (in one case without a hose clamp in a concealed space). Much of the boat was wired with single strand non-marine wire also run behind liners.

Mom''s boat had nearly new sails when she got the boat. They were reasonably well cut but were of a heavier than usual weight since the owner intended to go offshore. You could argue that with lighter cloth and more sail area they could improve light air performance, and that they were not very good for light stuff being cut pretty flat for higher windspeeds. But going lighter and fuller would add to the problems these boats had in heavier going. In higher winds the boat was frankly tender and could not stand up to its sail plan. In any kind of winds approaching the high teens the boat would be on her ear developing a lot of helm and trying to wipe out. Reefing helped some but then speed dropped down into the rediculously slow range.

This is not a boat that I am trashing without experience or on second hand info. We had one in the family that Mom used extensively and that I spent a fair amount of time aboard. For $40,000 I just think that Flicker would be better off with a Hunter 37 cutter or the Brewer designed Morgan 38. While they have less room both are better sailors and much more suitable for the venues in question.

Jeff
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Jeff, I yield to your first-hand account. I''m actually feeling sorry for your Mom right now.<g>

What you describe is different from other reports I''ve heard (two in-depth, based on sustained ownership) so I''m wondering if, during production, some major changes were made (for better or worse) in the ballast and/or sail plan. Manufacturers do mod their original products in a multitude of ways, as you know. Perhaps that accounts for the difference.

OTOH I''ll stand by my other comments, which I don''t think are in conflict with your specific E37 critique. Boats are helped to change over the years but we talk about them in a time-frozen way. And the grit and effort crews take with them into a voyage - and what they put into a given boat, before they leave - seem IME to be far more influential to the eventual outcome.

Jack
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Jeff, I just had a follow-up thought after posting that last item. I remember Byron Rose from St. Pete days, a fellow who''s now running a charter boat down in St. Thomas but who was involved in W Coast FL boat building for many years. He worked in many of the yards (Morgan, Gulfstar, and Irwin at the least) and once told us a great story. He was the ''night rigger'' at Gulfstar at one point, and worked in the Tool Shed along with one other night shift employee who checked out hand tools and such. There were maybe 25 folks on that shift at the time.

One night the St. Pete PD shows us and arrests every single employee with 4 exceptions: Byron & and other Tool Shed fellow, and the 2 ''employees'' who were actually officers and put in there to observe theft. One of the latter fellows walked Byron out into the ''back lot'' area and showed him an old mold in which the night shift employees were slowly building a ''spare hull''. All the materials were coming straight from the production line. The plan was to then move to an old deck mold, build the deck, and then somehow cart the mated pair off for later finish-out. Byron said he always wondered which set of buyers were worse off: the ones who bought right before the arrests (and who''s boats had probably furnished the resin, cloth, etc. that went into the pirate hull mold) or the ones who bought right after the arrest, then heard about it and worried about how their boats were really built.

It may have sounded a bit offhand in the last post, but such stories make me wonder about your Mom''s boat re: other E37''s.

Jack
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

Wow, with all due respect, this threads reads like a dog fight among gentleman dogs.

Maybe it seems more intense to me because I''m hanging on every word. Actually, I''ve been interested in a Gulfstar 37 with a beautiful interior, that could have been purchased for under $40K. Unfortunately, when the boat was hauled she had developed blisters in the last two years despite a barrier coat. When I added up the cost of all the things that I would want to add from a full bottm job to windlass to storm anchor, bow rollers, self-tailing winches, GPS/plotter, inverter, self-steering vane, a new jib, etc., the cost came up over $70,000.

I take this to mean that I can look for a better outfitted, well-maintained cruiser of the same or similar age and design at a significantly higher price range.

I appreciate all the helpful input everyone gave to this thread. While I''m not settled an any one boat yet, I''ll value any further comments or suggestions about the E37 or any other design one might consider to be right for long-term cruising.

Thanks again,
Chas
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Old 12-16-2003
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Endeavour 37, Aft Cockpit

While I like your line "a dogfight between gentleman dogs", I prefer to think that Jack and I are having a healthy discourse, exchanging ideas and trying to determine what we agree on and perhaps reach an understanding of where the other is coming from on those areas that we are not in agreement on. I have developed a lot of respect for Jack and his opinions. This kind of discussion is not about winning or proving the other person wrong as much as putting out a set of ideas for all sides to examine and explore in as intellectually honest a manner as we can muster. Thats a good thing for all involved. I was particularly intrigued with Jack''s point that well maintained and updated boats do not remain static and have been thinking about this idea at odd moments throughout the day.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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