Over the moon

Kevan Wolfe | VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6

Its owners say Blue Moon is the most impressive Endurance yet – and our tester agrees …

The experience and expertise of Dean and Ryan Leigh-Smith, project director John Bennetts and the entire team at the Gold Coast City Marina, together with Jeff Chen, who owns Shanghai’s Hampton Shipyard (which builds Hampton, Alaska, and Endurance boats for the Australian market), has produced a brand new Endurance – the 720 Skylounge.

The first Endurance 720 Skylounge, Blue Moon, was built for owners John and Ann Oliver, who wanted to accommodate a growing family. The couple liked the Endurance design and the fact they could add their own touch.

With two layers of Kevlar from chine to chine and three layers in the forward collision zone, the hull runs in a displacement configuration at low speeds and transitions smoothly through the speed range into a planing configuration. With a top speed of 20 knots (37km/h) at 2030rpm, the boat runs flat at a cruising speed of 10 to 12 knots (18.5 to 22km/h), with the most economical speed being 10.5 knots (19.4km/h) at 1250rpm, where it’s using 52lt/hr, giving it a range of 2900nm (5370km).

The interior features high-gloss African cherry woodwork, wool carpet in the saloon and oak flooring in the dining area, the latter incorporating a huge galley with granite tops and floor, Miele appliances and ample storage space.

A second Portuguese bridge softens the lines of the enclosed flybridge and creates an open-wing bridge – handy when docking alongside. There are remote controls either side of the bridge and another two either side in the aft cockpit for backing into a pen. The 33hp bow and stern hydraulic thrusters make docking easy, and when safely away from the dock the two 873hp, CAT C18 Acert diesels spin 3in shafts and five-blade props.

The helm has the new Simrad NSS and NSO systems with a 12in NSS screen and three 15in NSO screens set in a leather-bound binnacle. Behind the helm station is a traditional bench lounge with a table as well as a dinette and a day head.

TWO TENDERS

On the aft deck are two tenders, a Sirocco RIB and a Zodiac, for ferrying loads large and small, while the crew quarters under the cockpit provide extra sleeping space for guests. Next door is a pump room and John’s workshop while the engine room is amidships.

The main accommodation is accessed by a curved, carpeted stairway. The full-width owner’s cabin has a king-size bed and there are two walkin wardrobes, a dressing table and an en suite. The overall finish is elegant.

The guest cabin up front and the third cabin with two bunks provide sleeping for six, and with the four in the aft crew quarters 10 can bunk down comfortably.

The Endurance 720 Skylounge is now the Leigh-Smith’s flagship. To celebrate the achievement Jeff and the Leigh-Smiths threw a launching party for Blue Moon, before John and Ann headed off to the Whitsundays. As if by design, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the full moon rose over the Gold Coast City Marina.

And, fittingly, it was a rare blue moon.

SPECIFICATIONS: ENDURANCE 720 SKYLOUNGE
Overall length: 22.17m
Length (hull): 21.95m
Beam: 5.69m
Draft: 1.52m
Displacement dry: 52,500kg
Sleeping capacity: 10 persons
Fuel capacity: 10,000lt
Water capacity: 1893lt
Holding tank capacity: 454lt
Power: 2 x CAT C18 Acert diesels (873hp each)
Price as tested: $3.95m
More information: contact Leigh-Smith Cruiser
Sales, tel: (07) 5502 5866.

To read a detailed review of this boat, go to www.clubmarine.com.au to view the bonus digital version of the magazine.


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