I have owned an Endeavour
Sailcat 44 for a little over two years. I purchased it used in Florida
and brought it up to NC. My Wife and I were new to Sailboats, at least large ones so I still take things pretty conservatively. Given the "Floating Condo" looks of the boat she actually sails
pretty well. She likes a broad to beam reach the best, where I've seen 8.5 Kts when there weren't even any white caps. While she'll point to about 45 degrees, she's side slipping at least 10 degrees at that angle, so though the bow might be pointed 45 degrees your probably making 55. She'll go pretty fast to windward in a stiff breeze, but she gets a bit
squirrelly at about 10.5 knots ( boat speed, not Wind!). That's when I know its time to reef. Even with a reef in she'll stay in the high 9s or low 10s. When she starts getting squirrelly on the first reef I put in the second. She's got a narrow beam for a 44 so she heels a bit more than other cats I have been on.
That narrow beam causes another issue, she rolls. The cockpit is well above the CG so the roll is really exagerated when your sitting at the helm. In a beam sea when one hull is on a crest and the other in a trough sometimes it feels like your going to get tossed overboard. The key to stabilizing her is to have the sails up. If I have any kind of sea running from the beam I'll put the sails up. It really helps tremendously. This is even if I'm motoring directly into the wind.
I basically spent my fist year inside the Pamlico Sound/Neuse River system getting to know the boat, but started taking he out into the Atlantic last year. I find she does pretty well offshore. The boat is awfull in 2-3 foot waves on the bow. Below that she doesn't really notice them, above that she rides over them. At 2-3 feet she slams.
I haven't had any comfort issues down wind
, though a following sea tends to push her around a bit. The camber spar make wing on wing very easy and if you get the main and jib
balanced she is pretty stable, though doesnt track as well as my friends high displacement
full keel monohull
, but then I wouldn't expect her to.
I took her to the Bahamas
for 6 weeks from the end of December to early February. We had a short weather
window going south with storm conditions forecast
from Cape Hatteras to the Fl/GA border so we ran 24/7 offshore from Morehead City
to St. Augustine in seas up to 7 feet with possibly 8 feet one night, but sea state is often hard to judge at night. At that point the wind was on the stern the sails were up and we heading south at 8Kts. As long as the sails were up she was pretty confortable. We stayed in the Intracoastal from St Augustine to Ft Lauderdale as a front came through and the winds were out of the North at 20-30 for several days. We crossed the stream from Angelfish creek to Bimini
. Unfortunately the wind was right on the bow and the waves about 2 feet. We motored across at about 7 knots but it wasn't fun.
We had her in all kinds of conditions in the Bahamas
. Anything over 3 feet with the sails up was quite comfortable and of course under 2 feet. The most annoying trait was her ability to roll at anchor
if there was any sea at all running cross ways to the wind. We were anchored up behind Whale Cay one night with the wind blowing 20-30 out of the north. We were well sheltered from the wind, but a refracted swell about 8 inches was running from the starboard beam. While I don't have a inclinometer on board, I'm sure we were rolling at least 20 degrees maybe 30. It was rolling us over in our bunks. We did just about everything we could think of to stop her but had little success. Once she started a rolling session the amplitude would just keep increasing until things started flying around. After a while things would stabilize and then it would start over again. We hung some 5 gallon buckets over the sides and that seemed to improve things a bit. If the wind and waves were from the same direction there were no issues. In the Bahamas we saw waves over 8 feet with no issues, though a 2-3 ft chop started to build on them that sent us looking for a harbor.
The boat is built like a tank, I don't think she'll have any structural issues. I guess every boat has its tradeoffs, but I don't think you can beat the accomodations. I don't know if your looking at a new boat or a used one. One of the issues with my boat is the Yanmar SD40
sail drives. On the bahamas trip the starboard drive developed a front main seal leak and started spraying 90 weight oil
all over the engine
room. It probably only leaked a quart the entire trip, bu a quart of 90 weight is a lot and it stinks. When I got the thing hauled out at the end of the trip, not only had the seal failed, it cut a groove in the pilot shaft and that had to replaced too. Seems like awfully early at 1200 hours. Yanmar's response...Yeah that happens. Also the port engine
started leaking water
around the prop shaft. Yanmars response... We don't stock prop shaft seals
in the US!!!!! You can have them in 3 to 4 weeks. Each prop shaft takes 2 seals
by the way. So the local Yanmar
mechanics wanted me to sit on the hard
and wait 3 weeks at $44 /day. I got on the Internet
and had them overnighted from the UK for an additional $35. I don't believe that Endeavour
is still using saildrives on the new boats and that is probably a good thing.
Another issue I had was in the holding tank plumbing
. The instructions on the head
, holding tank
, and Macerator pump all say don't put any 90 degree elbows in the plumbing
or you'll get clogs. Guess what, Endeavour put two 90 degree elbows in the overboard
pump out system. The outlet for the overboard dump is at the bottom of the tank along with all of the solid sediments. We found that after heading into a two foot chop for a day, The sediment was thrown forward into the down tube and packed like concrete from the boat slamming. At this point we could not empty the holding tank. This is not an issue in the states where pretty much every facility has a pumpout, but it's a big issue in the Bahamas where they're pretty much unheard of. Fortunately I carried a spare macerator and rigged it so we could pump it overboard from the top. Unpleasent but effective. This happened twice on the trip, even after disassembling the system once and cleaning
out the down tube. When I got home I replumbed the holding tank so that the elbow
now faces upwards and I have a big sweeping loop that goes above the top of the tank before heading down and sweeping diectly into the macerator. We tried it while we were off shore about 20 miles two weeks ago and it worked perfectly, though because the tank was only half full it took about a minute for the pump to prime.
One other issue I had was the Katadyn
Pur Survivor 160 water
maker. The previous owner had never used it, and I never had occasion to use it until the bahamas trip. It made great water and we filled the water tank twice with it during 8 hour days running. At about 20 hours total run time the thing suddenly changed the sound it was making and we shut it down. Upon inspecting the system we found that the bolts holding the high pressure pump together had snapped. That was the end of fresh water making on the trip. Fortunately only the bolts seemed to be damaged and after sending Katadyn
a little over $100 for a new seals kit, the graciously sent me 4 bolts to replace the failed ones. I don't know what the issue was, but Katadyn had never heard of it happening before. In any case, it seems to be working again, but I only have about 1 hour on it so I don't know how long it will last. These things have a pretty good reputation on the net, so it may have been just my bad luck.
Now that I've given you most of the horror stories, I still think she's a good boat for what my wife and I plan to do with it, which is use it as a retirement
home and go cruising up and down the east coast
and Carribean for several years.