ENDEAVOUR - 1934The most beautiful J Class ever built.

In 1934, Sopwith challenged with Endeavour. She was Charles Nicholson’s third J-Class design and he said of her: “She will have quite a normal hull... because I have thought it right to suppress possible experimental form, which would be most interesting to try out, but which I have to leave to American designers.

12th January 1934: Construction of the America's Cup challenger yacht 'Endeavour' for British aircraft designer and sportsman Thomas Sopwith, in Gosport.He did, however, produce the most beautiful J-Class and her rig was innovative. Sopwith experimented with new running backstay strain gauges, which controlled the trim of the mast and used electronic windspeed and direction indicators. It has since been suggested that part of the reason for her failure in the Cup was due to all the gadgets on board.

Originally, Endeavour had a "North Circular" bending boom, later a "Park Avenue" boom. She pioneered the development of the Quadrilateral genoa, a two clewed headsail offering immense sail area and power, and still used on J Class yachts racing today. She also had a larger and better designed spinnaker but Sopwith was let down by poor crewing. Just prior to departure for the USA, his professional crew went on strike for more money and Sopwith was forced to round up keen amateur sailors, who had the enthusiasm but not the experience.

Unlike his opponent who had a Tobin bronze plating over steel frames and duralumin mast, Endeavour had a steel hull and a steel mast. This is what allowed him to resist so long against corrosion.


Designer Charles E. Nicholson
Builder Camper & Nicholsons
Owner Thomas, Octave, Murdoch Sopwith
Club Royal Ulster Yacht Club
Cup Edition 15 (1934)
Skipper T.O.M. Sopwith
Afterguard Charles E. Nicholson, Mrs. T.O.M. Sopwith, M. Paul, Frank Murdoch, Gerald Penny
Launching April 16th ,1934
Type J Class
Hull material Steel
Mast material Steel
L.O.A. 39,57 m
L.W.L. 25,60 m
Beam 6,70 m
Draft 4,57 m
Mainmast 46,47 m
Mainboom 18,95 m
Displacement 143,1 tons
Sail area 7561 sq. ft.
Rating J Class, 76.0. - Sail Number : J K4
End of life Never


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