Review: Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge

By: James Dumergue, Photography by: James Dumergue

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  • Trade-A-Boat

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The Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge review is a world-class luxury cruiser, capable of reliable, safe and economical passagemaking.

Few boats display as much practicality as the Hampton Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge. It’s been designed with a great deal of thought, the seasoned owner of this boat contributing his knowledge, combining with the workmanship of the Hampton yard and the continued development by the team from Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales, resulting in a very liveable and workable craft.

Having owned many boats over the years, including a previous Endurance 65, the owner’s depth of experience has been incorporated into this semi-custom vessel and I was lucky enough to join him on the Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge and learn what makes it so appealing.

 

HAMPTON ENDURANCE 720 SKYLOUNGE

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge
At anchor the top deck skylounge beckons. The captain is about to move from the day anchorage to a more suitable overnight spot, so I head to the skylounge to watch. This area is comparable in size to roughly a 45- to 50-footer’s main deck and surrounded by low sill height windows. The head is the only interruption to an otherwise 360-degree view.

The 3.8m Brig tender with 50hp four-stroke motor is on the skylounge’s aft tender deck, the 1600kg davit crane placed it there so silently that you don’t even notice the operation.

This substantial tender deck can accommodate two tenders if required and is large enough that plenty of flat deck space still remains with them in place. The roof’s aft overhang provides cover for the facilities available on this outdoor deck, with a fridge and separate icemaker below the Corian benchtop that sports the 15amp electric barbecue. With this power the barbecue can reach teppanyaki grill temperatures, providing well for casual outdoor cooking without gas.

Inside the skylounge the plush C-shaped leather lounge seats at least seven or eight people and provides an impressive view for formal dining.

The well-equipped galley can service the skylounge via a novel electric dumbwaiter, hidden behind the centre door of the upper service area. The dumbwaiter is raised or lowered with a push of a button, whether it’s to have complete privacy or just a practical solution to moving plated food from one level to the next. Whatever the use, it’s a great addition to this boat.

The stairs leading down to the main deck can be closed off for safety and privacy. Close it and you have your own private, self-contained dining room or in reverse, you gain main deck privacy during passagemaking. Both applications benefit from the convenience of the internal head on the skylounge level.

 

WALKAROUND DECKS

Hampton 720 walkaround decks

Being a double Portuguese bridge vessel the Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge also benefits from full walkaround decks, accessible from the strong and sturdy helm door to starboard or from the aft deck. Basic advantages include making it easier and safer to keep the windows clean without harnesses, and giving the skipper an easy way to talk with crew on deck.

When I was on the foredeck I discovered another option to make anchoring communication easy – a microphone hidden in the foredeck and loud hailer system above the bridge overhang, allowing the skipper and crew to communicate hands-free without raising their voices.

The Portuguese bridge gives a big-ship feel to the third deck. It comes as no surprise that concealed behind locker doors either side of the bridge are flip-up control stations with full engine and thruster controls.

I can really see a use for these in the Pacific Islands for example, when you pull up to commercial wharfs with horizontal fenders in place to take the brunt of the pilings and old tyre smudges. From here the skipper is in the perfect position to line the boat up with full side vision. If you need to hold the boat on or off the wharf, the bow and stern thrusters appear to do a powerful job of it.

 

MAIN DECK

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge main deck

The inbuilt lounge and dining table are well serviced by the aft wetbar with fridge, there’s a decent-size head and surrounded by breezeway covers this area is private with a view.

Just inside the saloon door is a temperature-controlled wine fridge and the adaptable saloon. Movable tub chairs to starboard with nestled footrests can be removed for entertaining, leaving the fixed seating for at least eight in the leather L-shaped lounge to port. To prevent accidental falls, reduced machinery noise or for added privacy, the stairs leading down below to the crew area and engineroom can be closed off in the same fashion as the skylounge.

 

SALOON

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge saloon

Raised one step from the saloon on the pilothouse level is the lower dining area, galley and bar. It’s a very central area as it connects to the saloon, down to the accommodation and up to the skylounge. Dining can be casual, seated on a stool at the galley bar top or at the elevated dining booth, while the dining area forward is positioned for optimal viewing from the table.

For big groups or the host, bar stools are exactly the right height to use on the open side of the dining table thanks to the extension of the table edge that allows you to get in close.

With a separate fully-functioning bar, the stools will work well here too. An entertainer’s inventory of glassware is readily on hand with bottle storage below, while good bench space, sink, icemaker, fridge and dumbwaiter for skylounge service complete this functional bar. For entertaining this zone will come into its own and when there just a few on board it frees the galley of interruptions for beverages.

The galley is big and has all the conveniences: granite bench tops, full-size oven, four-burner electric cooktop, full-size refrigerator, dishwasher and opposite the galley, a trash compacter. The galley sinks are deep but positioned a little too close to the wall. Their functionality would be improved if they were shifted inboard a little to offer a clean and dirty side to the sink for dishes.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge cabins

The accommodation is understated luxury and accessed via the curved staircase to the side of the dining table. Handrails on either side of the staircase make for a very safe descent to the accommodation foyer.

A step down aft takes you past storage cabinetry and into the owner’s stateroom. Subtle opulence, the full-beam cabin has beautiful twin oversized horizontal portlights either side filling the cabin with natural light and fresh air via the opening upper portlights. It’s a cabin that is spacious and functional, making it a place for spending time in, particularly welcoming on those rainy days.

The bed is truly king-sized and at a practical height for getting in and out of, while the soft furnishings by Identity Interiors capture the ambience of this vessel. On the port side is a proper vanity area leading to a full-sized walk-in wardrobe. The storage for this cabin is so abundant that even the most extensive of wardrobes can be accommodated. On the starboard side a two-person settee is a lovely place to sit and read, and aft is the equally proportioned en suite for a cabin of this size. The large shower stall has practical safety rails for support while showering.

Two guest cabins are forward of the accommodation foyer, to port a twin cabin with side-by-side berths and forward, the VIP stateroom. The latter’s raised island berth has ample space and steps either side, an internal door on the starboard side revealing a decent en suite with ample storage and well-sized shower stall.

Having crewed on a few boats I appreciated the consideration that has gone into the crew accommodation. Accessible from the saloon or the watertight transom door, this area boasts the same high quality as the rest of the boat, making it the perfect arrangement as extra guest facilities with separate head and shower. 

 

ENGINES

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge engines

The engineroom is extremely well proportioned; it hasn’t consumed too much of the boat’s volume yet allows optimal access to all sides of the engines. Practical black non-skid lines the floor panels and the standing platforms around the engines. The same practical platforms with the same tread are also above the engines as tool platforms for convenience and there is air-conditioning for comfort.

Powered by twin 930hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT marine engines, this boat has a good power-to-hull configuration thanks to the dual-nature of the hybrid hull.

 

ON THE WATER

Hampton 720 motoryacht

The the Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge hull is something a little different than you would expect. With the traditional lines of this long-range vessel you’d anticipate displacement speed to be economical and it is – at 10kts the engines burn a combined 50lt/h. Holding more than 10,000lt of fuel gives the exploration-inclined owner a long range, with plenty of destinations to choose from.

The surprise is the lack of stern drag as this 70-tonner pops up on a plane. This is a hybrid hull with hydrodynamic lifting chines and props in tunnels and has a flatter aft section for less drag and more lift. The stable ride is tempered by the fins of the active hydraulic stabilisers. Strength wise these hulls have a strong foundation: three layers of vinylester resin are finished with two layers of Kevlar from chine to chine, and an additional third layer applied to the collision point forward for optimal safety.

 

THE TRADE-A-BOAT VERDICT

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge bow

With all the features that make this boat what it is, from the convenience, the privacy, safety, multiple zones indoors and out, and the size, there’s just so much serenity. The Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge offers everything that a house does, but this boat is more than a house – it’s a home and it can go places.

 

HAMPTON ENDURANCE 720 SKYLOUNGE SPECS

Hampton Endurance 720 Skylounge price: $4.25 million (price as tested)

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Raymarine package, 240lt/h desalinator, hydraulic winch, thrusters and davit upgrade, Brig tender and Pyrotek sound proofing 

 

PRICED FROM

$3.95 million

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Kevlar reinforced vinylester

TYPE Hybrid monohull

LENGTH 22.17m

BEAM 5.69m

DRAFT 1.52m

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 6+3 crew

FUEL 10,000lt

WATER 1900lt

HOLDING TANK 150lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Caterpillar C18 ACERT

TYPE Six-cylinder turbo-diesel 

RATED HP 930 (each)

 

MORE INFORMATION

Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales

Shop 42 D&E Quay Street,

Sanctuary Cove, QLD, 4212

Phone +61 7 5577 9200

Fax +61 7 5577 9077

Web lsyachts.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #463, March / April 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


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