Q&A: Interior Layout And Boat Selection

Question: I am looking at a cross-Atlantic trip and was thinking about a 1978 A Plan Endeavour 37, mainly because of the layout. Would you advise against this boat for such a long journey even with a good survey?

Answer: I can’t give an opinion on a particular boat’s suitability for an ocean crossing without having seen the boat in question, or at least a sister ship, neither of which I have done for the Endeavour. I would say that buying a boat for such a journey based on the interior layout would not be the way I would approach the selection process: I would be looking for good sailing ability, strength and seaworthiness first.

However, I can say that the layout looks less than ideal for offshore work since the double bunks will be useless at sea, unless divided by lee-cloths, and the salon area forward of the mast will be unusable in any sort of sea due to motion. Also, this many berths (six) will be less than ideal for cruising since there will be little room for storage.

If you really love the boat, you could go a long way to solving these problems by ripping out one of the aft berths and installing a good sea bunk. This process would probably improve engine access too and you might even be able to squeeze in a work bench and some additional storage.

Having said all that, there is no reason that you should not be able to get a decent ocean-going boat in this price range.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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