1978 Endurance 37 Center Cockpit

This saucy boat used to be in our own Foss Harbor Marina and we had noticed it for a long time. Whenever we left our slip and to take Moonrise out to Commencement Bay, we would pass by this boat and become curious. Why? Because this boat screams “BLUEWATER!”. It has an interestingly shaped hull, looks roomy, and looks like there is an aft cabin that would be comfortable. We wondered who owned it, and why we never saw it leaving the dock.

So when I found out that this boat had been donated to the Sea Scouts and I had an opportunity to see the boat in person, I couldn’t help but be interested. The story is that the owner of this boat had done a ton of work on her but his circumstances changed (as so often happens, more’s the pity) and so he donated the boat. Since I had never seen this boat leave the dock, I fully expected everything to be falling apart. I expected the interior to be damp and covered with mildew and for the cushions to be wet. Boy was I wrong!

What we have here is a great opportunity to own a blue water boat, or fabulous live-aboard, with modest up front costs. A lot of the heavy lifting has already been done, and done well. (That’s pretty key in our book. Sure, anyone can install a battery, but can they do it WELL!) The previous owner knew his away around woodworking, that much is sure.

A nice looking boat!

My first impression as I approached this boat was how stoutly built it looks. The bulwarks are nice and hefty, the chainplates are on the outside and easily accessible. The side decks are unencumbered by objects that would cause tripping and stubbed toes. Walking fore and aft is a breeze.

A wide expanse of a front deck.

And get a load of those stanchions! I admit to having a special place in my heart for sturdy, safe stanchions like these. And with a beefy stainless steel rail to boot. Be still my heart!

Looking from aft of the cockpit.

Looking from aft of the cockpit, you can see that the rear stanchions and safety rail are even larger. I don’t generally see this kind of thing except on steel boats and I am pretty impressed by this piece of work. It’s one of the things about this boat that would catch my eye as we motored by in Moonrise. It’s possible I would even let a toddler loose on that aft deck. Maybe.

One of the characteristics of a boat that is designed for ocean crossing is a cockpit that is protected and small, with large drains to get rid of collected seawater easily and quickly. That’s what we have on this boat. This is actually a very snug but comfortable cockpit, easily accessed by the main cabin with all lines within reach. Visibility to the front of the boat is excellent and this is something of which I am particularly aware. Many is the boat that I’ve been enchanted by, only to sit behind the wheel and realize that I can’t see where I’m going. Does that sound safe to you? It sure doesn’t to me.

So while I was initially thinking this cockpit wouldn’t do, I have completely reconsidered that opinion. Aft of the cockpit is a large flat area that is perfect for lounging and entertaining while at anchor or in a marina, or even sunbathing while at sea. This area is actually much more useful than a large cockpit because you get the best of both worlds. Can you say hammock and deck chairs while at anchor? Hmmm. I’m liking it.

This vessel has a raised cabin top that makes the cockpit a bit protected from the elements. The cockpit is very deep and getting in and out of it will take some getting used to. But I was becoming adept by the time we left the boat. And I can see the advantages of being that protected when things are getting uncomfortable, or even just to hunker down out of the wind. The benefits of this high cabin top are fairly obvious, especially when you go below. But it’s going to create windage that would take some getting used to. This is a ‘slow and steady’ boat, not a racer.

The rear of this boat reminds me just a little bit of the old Islanders. It’s a little bit ‘pirate’, but a lot comfortable inside.

This vessel has a serious double anchor roller and sampson post.


View of the pilot house from the port side.

In this photo you can see that the mast is on a tabernacle. This is very common in Europe, but not so much around here. However, since we’ve been looking seriously at Westerly Yachts, which are made in England, we’ve come to see the beauty of this system and are thinking it would be nice to have a set up like this. First of all, this system is designed to allow the boat to enter areas where there are low bridges. The canal system in Europe and inland waterways in England are places where a boat with a tabernacled mast is going to offer much more flexibility of movement. In addition, this mast is easier to remove (this means less money) to make repairs and to maintain electronics, etc. Tabernacled masts are used extensively in the North Sea and if they are good enough for those folks, they are good enough for me. I like that about this boat.

You can also see in this photo the substantial pilot house. There are days when I would almost kill to have a pilot house around here. I have never sailed on a boat with one, and I would like to because I know that we would use our boat much more in the winter if we could get out of the weather. This boat has two steering positions: one in the cockpit where I could see myself basically sitting on the side of the cockpit and steering with my foot like I do on Moonrise, and one just inside the cabin door.

Just inside the cabin door. Beautiful teak and holly sole! The real deal, too.

This photo shows the inside steering, which overlooks the cabin. The helmsman has almost a 360 degree view, plus easy access to the head and the stove. He can visit with people in the salon. This seems to me that it would be a very useful set up and reminds me a bit of Bernard Moitessier’s ‘bubble’ that he added to his boat so he could see the sea state and steer without leaving the cabin during his crossing of the southern ocean. It probably saved his life on a number of occasions.

In the photo you can also see some of the foam insulation this boat has. I imagine that’s going to make this a  quieter, dryer, and warmer boat. Engine access is under the steering pedestal and is excellent. I understand that the engine has less than 1000 hours on it. Nice.

Coming down the step and to port is the galley and the access to the aft cabin.

Partial view of the galley.

This boat is equipped with a diesel stove which is supplemented by a separate cooktop. That’s because these diesel stoves are excellent for keeping the cabin warm and keeping water warm, but they take a long time to heat up, and controlling temperature for cooking is difficult. This is a common set up when people keep a diesel stove like this on board. You cannot beat this on a winter night, or if it’s cold and rainy outside. And for my money it’s way better than a wood stove. It’s also saucy as all heck. But I would for sure keep the two burner on top.

More of the galley. What? A built in microwave?? And very nice woodwork. Love the curve on that corner. I would not get bruised by a sharp corner. This area is nice enough now, but has a lot of potential to be even better with a little effort.

Unlike the little Westerly 36 we looked at recently, this boat has a reasonable passage back to the aft cabin. The tall cabin top gives this 38 foot boat the feel of a much larger vessel inside.

The aft cabin.

The aft cabin in this boat is pretty nice with a double berth easily large enough for two. It also has the advantage of light coming through the portlights, but they do not open. The hatch, however, does open and offers more light. There is considerable storage underneath the mattress. You can see in this photo that this boat is a project, but, again, a little elbow grease goes a very long way.

Going through the aft cabin and out the starboard side, you pass through the only head on this boat. I say this because it’s a good thing! In spite of how big this boat feels, it’s only a 38 foot boat. Who needs two heads on a boat this size? What a waste of space. This is a good sized head, plenty comfortable with room for storage. It is easily accessible for the helmsman (very important to us middle aged women) and is easy to get to in the middle of the night.

The head is opposite the sink cabinet. Behind the door is an area that could be excellent storage.


Looking past the steering area to the small chart table. The entry to the head is aft of the chart table.

Going forward from the head there is a small charting table conveniently located next to the steering pedestal. It is not a huge table, but is adequate to the task and offers convenient seating as well.

Double settees and a fold down table make the salon comfortable and versatile.

Continuing forward is the salon with double settees and sea berths. Storage is behind the settee backs and there is actually room for more storage if you are not attached to having 4 sea berths amidship. Notice that the bulkhead looks new. That’s because the previous owner put in new coverings that are easy to clean and brighten up what could otherwise be a dark salon.

A real bonus is the v berth on this boat. It offers sleeping with two berths but in my dreams this area would offer one bunk and one workbench for an on-board workshop. Mike would be in a little bit of heaven!

The v berth.

Not shown in the photo is a swing arm for mounting a flat screen TV. It folds flat against the bulkhead in the V berth, and also swings out for viewing from the salon. There are also two brand new flat surfaces that pull out from under the starboard berth. We think they may be designed to hold a laptop computer.

The origin of this boat is hard to discern. My research leads to the probability that it was designed by Peter Ibold and built in the Windboats Marine yard in England. I am unable to find any data that I can be sure is correct for this boat, so the only way I can predict how well it will sail is simply by observation. It seems like a stoutly built fiberglass boat and appears to ride high in the water, leading me to believe that the sailboat data for the Endurance 37 may be accurate for this boat, even though the cabin top is different than it shows on that site. Unless someone can tell me otherwise (which I would welcome, by the way) it seems to me that this is a boat that will perform better loaded a bit, which would be good news for anyone. If the data on that site is accurate for this boat, it isn’t actually that heavy and it does look like it rides high in the water just now. Loaded it would probably take some wind to get this boat going, but once on her feet I’ll bet she offers a comfortable ride.  If you are looking for a boat that will get where you are going in some degree of comfort, and that offers a super live aboard or extended cruising set up, this might be the boat for you. There is still work to be done on this boat and thus it would technically be considered a ‘project’ boat. I can’t imagine any boat with these amenities in this price range being anything less than a project boat and my guess is that anyone interested in a boat like this is not going to be put off by that idea. Much work has been done, and been done well, already.

If you are interested in seeing this worthy vessel, give my friend Sue Schaeffer at Capitol City Yachts a call.

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