In 1985 Endeavour yachts in Florida teamed up with America’s Cup designer Johan Valentijn to produce the Endeavour 42 and the Endeavour 51. The ‘Florida’ boats that Endeavour Yachts had previously been known for, with simple designs, big accommodations, shoal draft and shoddy windward performance, were giving way to the market demand for more performance based designs. The E42 still deserves it’s ‘floating hotel’ tag and is by no means a blue water cruiser, but more attention was given to performance by fitting taller rigs, moving the chain plates inboard and switching to balsa cored topsides. Around 257 of these boats were built between 1985 and 1991 and it is considered a comfortable, good value cruiser for those who fancy the Sonny Crockett Miami Vice liveaboard lifestyle.
Endeavour yachts was founded in 1974 by John Brooks and Rob Valdes in Largo, Florida. It was the heyday of Tampa Bay, Florida production with Morgan, Irwin and Gulfstar as well as Endeavour. Endeavour began with the launch of the E32 and later the E37, designed by in-house designer Dennis Robbins. When the 1980’s saw the change in focus from plump, short rigged tubs to high performance, center cockpits Endeavour brought in Johan Valentjin in 1985 to design the E42 and the E51. In 1986, the company closed and sold to Coastal Financial Corp, which, despite the name, had a 10 year run of financial problems. John Brooks stayed on with the company as production manager but Coastal eventually sold Endeavour in the 1990’s, where it ended up as an entirely different company building mainly cruising catamarans. In 1996, the history of Endeavour came to an end when Brooks was shot dead in an apparent burglary at his home. Some would say that the design lineage lives on in Island Packet Yachts as similarities have been drawn between Endeavour and Island Packets. Bob Johnson of Island Packet was on board as a designer with Endeavour in the late 1970’s.
The accommodations are what sells these boats and owners of the E42 are generally happy with the ‘floating hotel’ description. The Endeavour 42 has the center cockpit arrangement, with an island queen aft and V-berth forward, that is most desired layout among these type of cruisers. The galley is along the walkthrough with the sinks either under the companionway or outboard.
The hull has balsa cored topsides with plywood for compression strength and solid glass below the waterline. Molded liners were used which severely limit bilge access. The aluminum tanks are known to corrode and leak after 15 years of use. Of the west coast of Florida builders, Endeavour generally ranks second behind Gulfstar and ahead of Morgan and Irwin in quality construction. The engine is the common 62HP Perkins 4-154 which while excellent has limited support for replacement parts. Finding a rebuilt kit is near impossible.
Like Island Packets, the Endeavour 42 is a heavy, shoal draft yacht which performs poorly in light air and to windward. The design is specially attuned to the needs of sailors in South Florida and the Bahamas with her 5′ draft. A stout boat is nice in trades too.
Endeavour is well known to have poorly thought out access. The molded liners really limit bilge access. To compound this mistake, Endeavour sunk the aluminum water and fuel tanks deep into the bilge on the Endeavour 42. These tanks last 15 years and then will need to be replaced. Replacing them is at least a $50,000 refit project because of the impossible access.
As of 2010 the asking prices are in the approximate range of:
Endeavour 42, 1985-1991, $75k-$125k USD