Parry Endeavour

Collection Highlights | Updated 10 years ago

The Parry Endeavour, on display in the WA Maritime Museum
Parry Endeavour
Image copyright of WA Museum

Parry Endeavour completed its triple circumnavigation of the world in just under two years. Lone sailor, Jon Sanders, never set foot on land, never had another person onboard and survived solely on the three and half tonnes of provisions taken onboard when he departed Fremantle. Sanders’ only contact with the outside world was via electronic communication and a couple of parcels of mail thrown to him from another vessel.

In March 1988, Parry Endeavour turned into Fremantle and proceeded up the Swan River to berth at Royal Perth Yacht Club. Sanders stepped onto dry land for the first time in 658 days.

Jon Sanders' voyage earned him 15 world records for endurance and other unique achievements. Parry Endeavour had sailed continuously over a distance of 131,535 kilometres, during which Sanders became the first yachtsman (as crew or single-handed) to complete five circumnavigations via Cape Horn.

His reason for undertaking this epic voyages were quite simple: he enjoys the sea, it was an original thing to do, and it had never been done before. The reasons deeply contrast to the complexity and danger of the voyage.

Parry Endeavour was named after Sanders' boyhood idol, Captain James Cook's converted coal hulk, Endeavour and in honour of his major sponsor Kevin Parry who defended the America's Cup in 1987 at Fremantle with Kookaburra. Parry purchased the sloop (sail boat) for Sanders which was then called Challenger. This vessel had been designed by distinguished Perth naval architect Phil Curran for Dr Jim Chute of Parry Corporation. In celebration of Western Australia's 150th anniversary, Chute competed the Challenger in the Plymouth to Fremantle Parmelia Race in 1979.

Sanders' voyage was coordinated by Curtin University of Technology's Centre for Marine Science and Technology. Major modifications to the hull were undertaken by boat builder and accomplished yachtsman, Des Piesse in consultation with naval architects and engineers supervised by Kim Klaka at Curtin University. Modifications to the rigging were done by veteran yachtsman and sailmaker, Rolly Tasker.

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