2014, September; Pittwater, Sydney: It’s always very pleasing to report on an Australian success, and especially so when that has been achieved during the recent tougher-than-usual economic times. Around a decade back, Gold Coast-based marine-industry entrepreneur Brett Flanagan found a common theme amongst clients. They mentioned that they liked a particular feature from one boat but another feature from a second boat and a third feature from elsewhere - and wouldn’t it be great if they could all be combined in one vessel?
Brett assembled this litany of desirable attributes and sought an established boat-builder who could bring the resulting design into reality. Brett’s wife Brenda is part of the team and develops the interiors for the boats. They commissioned the Guangzhou Jianguha Marine and Engineering Company Limited to use its existing expertise in top-quality trawler-style hulls and thus was born the Integrity marque. It has since seen more than 50 motor yachts cruising inshore and coastal waters in the hands of enthusiastic owners.
The first Integrity was the 350 Flybridge with subsequent models featuring an open connection between the cabin and cockpit to maximise space and to create an al fresco indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Larger versions followed too as market response to the new line of boats proved strong with the 380 and 440 Sedans coming on stream. The range now tops out with a 490 Flybridge and a 650 Pilothouse whilst this elegant 380 Flybridge makes for an ideal balance of capabilities and easy handling.
Featuring a generous beam of 4.11 metres, the 11.7 metre (38.5 feet) 380 offers a great deal of onboard room, especially as the flybridge has its own aft deck that extends back over the cockpit. With a basic theme of reliable simplicity, the Integrity packs a lot of standard features into its base price of $549,000 which, at the time of review, included a host of options such as aircon/heating, flat-screen TV, an outboard-powered RIB tender, an Onan 4kva generator, upgraded ultra-leather upholstery, teak and holly flooring, Corian counter tops, cockpit seating, camping covers and much more.
Power comes from a John Deere six-cylinder turbo-diesel rated at 168kw (225hp) that cruises the 380 at a comfortable seven or eight knots and can run up to around 10 knots. Twin fuel tanks provide 1,135 litres for extended voyages at an average 8 litres/hour and the hull design can easily handle offshore conditions. A full keel protects the prop and rudder and delivers directional stability even in difficult quartering seas. The standard feature of bow and stern thrusters make manoeuvering around marinas and jetties easy and relaxed.
Stepping aboard the Integrity gives the first clues as to its remarkable liveability as wide side decks below properly sized bulwarks, and with clip-out sections of the strong guard rails, make it safe and convenient to board or disembark from directly alongside. The full beam boarding platform offers an equally viable alternative (at a lower level) with another central guard rail across the back and a small step up into the cockpit through a starboard entry port in the transom.
The cockpit leaves plenty of floor space even with L-shaped lounges in the port quarter and a reclining lounge to starboard. Under the sole is a sizeable lazarette for storing bulky items such as fenders, and indeed throughout the whole of the 380 storage capacity is beyond generous.
Stainless-framed glass ‘hopper’ doors can seal off the main saloon but when opened – the lower door slides away and two upper doors hinge upward – they leave an unrestricted flow between saloon and cockpit. The galley is L-shaped in the aft starboard corner of the saloon so anyone prepping snacks or meals is right in the centre of both the saloon and cockpit for conversations and social mingling; any gregarious chef can prepare their masterpieces whilst still leading interactive entertainment amongst guests. A two-burner electric cooktop on the side Corian-topped work area is behind large sliding windows that admit all the light and fresh air you could want, whilst twin sinks in the work area facing the cockpit can be partially covered by a removable Corian panel. In craftsman-finished cabinets above and below are a microwave and fridge/freezer with doors and drawers opening into plentiful storage areas. For longer cruises, a second freezer can be fitted.
It was pleasing to see that the Corian worktops had integral fiddles which, although small, would help to keep things rolling off. The corners of the tops were thoughtfully rounded too for safety. Opposite the galley another L-shaped lounge forms a dinette around a table with fold-out panels so it can either be a compact coffee table or a full-size dining table. That area also converts to a double berth – as does the lounge/table combination in the cockpit. A large section of the beautifully finished teak cabinetry flowing back from the port front quarter lifts to reveal a flat screen TV. There too is a recessed area for keeping remotes and similar items.
The blend of cream-coloured acoustic vinyl in the overhead panels, the ultra-leather upholstery and the teak/holly flooring is both traditional and very appealing. The neutral tones mean that owners can create their own colour accents with cushions and other accessories, and also that it would be easy to change the accent and tone from time to time without having to amend the underlying finish. Integrity can provide alternative timber finishes such as Cherrywood or American Oak if required.
Deep and wide windows down the saloon sides and large screen panels across the front make the entire area light, bright and airy; blinds and curtains can turn the saloon into a more intimate setting in the evenings.
The main helm position is in the starboard front quarter of the saloon. It is both efficient and stylish with a stainless ship-style wheel and clearly-sighted dash panel. An overhead cabinet holds the stereo system control unit and a Raymarine VHF radio. There is plenty of space to add navigation electronics and a sliding door gives immediate access to the side deck and up to the foredeck for mooring.
Entry to the engine room is under the sole of the saloon. For routine checks, two panels in the floor lift on gas-assist struts and hinge to starboard for an easy step-down into a spotless engineer’s delight. For more serious work, another panel under the saloon table can be lifted. All the wiring and hoses were properly secured and – very impressively – there were clearly readable labels to quickly identify what was what. A non-mechanical owner or a technician new to the boat would soon find their way around. A level of redundancy is built in with the twin fuel tanks feeding through independent water-separating Racor filters and plumbed so that the engine can feed from either or both tanks. Should one tank or filter become clogged, it would be a moment’s work to switch to the other.
Also easily checked were the large raw-water filter and the shaft drive coupling. Aft was the Cummins Onan 4kva generator, and the battery boxes were properly installed with a beautifully made electrical connections bus-bar. The John Deere turbo-diesel was immaculate; these engines have a reputation for low maintenance and solid reliability. Because of that, they are often the preferred brand for commercial trawlers.
Back in the saloon, three steps centrally forward lead down to the staterooms and bathroom. There used to be two steps, but comments from owners indicated they were too steep, and so Integrity changed to the more easily-negotiated triple steps – an example of the company’s keenness to listen to feedback and to move quickly to adapt under a philosophy of continual improvement. To port is the guest cabin with double berth, hanging locker and other storage compartments whilst opposite that is the bathroom with electric toilet and separate shower area.
Further forward is the owner’s stateroom with island double bed, cedar-lined hanging locker, angled corner shelving and more stowage capacity as well as the second flat screen TV. All these accommodations are well lit through large portholes and, for the main stateroom, a screened overhead hatch. The quality finish of trim and timber with, for the bathroom, shiny white easy-clean surfaces and non-slip teak-grate under-foot platforms is welcoming and comfortable.
Put together, the interior of the 380 Flybridge is hard to fault for live-aboard enjoyment and relaxed entertaining. The two staterooms and the two convertible double berths in the saloon and cockpit mean you could sleep four couples, and there’s enough room for that to remain uncrowded over a weekend or so. The wide beam of the 380 not only adds to the interior spaciousness, but makes the Integrity very stable when moored. Two couples could enjoy life afloat for as long as they want; there are two fresh water tanks totalling 780 litres and the holding tank is 115 litres with Y-valving for discharge into shore facilities or overboard when out at sea.
And that’s before adding the extra space of the commodious flybridge which is reached up a set of rail-protected teak steps from the cockpit. Once aloft, a large floor space extends aft over the cockpit while forward are L-shaped lounges each side of a central helm chair. Triangular tables are perfect for holding snacks and drinks, and there are stacks of stowage spots under seats and in the front of the flybridge main moulding.
Overhead is a bimini for sun protection whilst the helm is a full duplicate of the one below with all the same instrumentation, although with the added benefit from the higher vantage point of a great view across the foredeck and the surrounding waters. The layout allows the skipper to be surrounded by crew and guests in a very convivial setting, and the aft extension allows for a quite separate group to mingle if required.
Matching all the upstairs/downstairs amenities, the anchoring/mooring facilities are well thought out with a strong power winch and plenty of room in the anchor locker. Those excellent wide and protected side decks mean getting around from cockpit to foredeck is safe even in a seaway, and the deck hardware is intelligently located and well-sized to take care of the boat in all conditions.
A smaller 340 Integrity was delivered from the Gold Coast to Cairns between two cyclones by Adam Workman from Integrity’s Sydney dealer Performance Boating. Adam noted: “I wanted to see what it was like as a true offshore boat. You wouldn’t imagine a 34 foot boat as being good to do it in when we went up with two cyclones north of Mackay. We had three to four metre seas on the beam and on the quarter and I was imagining we were going to slide off waves, but it just tracked so true – the keel helped and the low centre of gravity. We had one night where we had a beam sea and we thought we are just going to rock and roll and rock and roll – but really it wasn’t that uncomfortable at all.”
Accompanying Adam on the delivery voyage was Dale Cuthbert, a life-long boating man with plenty of experience. He added: “I was very impressed with the way it handled seaways; I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was and was pleasantly surprised. The beam-on seas threw everything at us as we dodged a couple of cyclones, but the Integrity ticked every box as far as I was concerned. It proved very reliable and was quiet and extremely manoeuvrable with the bow and stern thrusters – it’s just a great all-round boat.”
Dale’s wife Maureen has also been aboard countless craft and runs a business ‘Styling Boats For Sale’ which has given her a wide perspective on what appeals to boat buyers, especially for women. After our run aboard the 380 Flybridge, Maureen commented: “I think it’s the perfect marriage of the ultimate man’s toy and traditional lines whilst not compromising on modern luxury. Women are less wanting to cater and entertain at home, but on a boat it’s an icebreaker and on a boat this size you can have a lot of people and it’s not crowded. Where Integrity has been very smart is with the choice of wood and leather - with this boat every six months I could have the feel of a brand new boat just by changing the cushions.”
Maureen also noted: “The walk-around island bed and the head height downstairs is fabulous – and the size of the shower. The other thing is with the format of inside-outside, I’m not stuck in a downstairs galley away from my guests, I can actually talk while I cook and entertain.”
SPECIFICATIONS: INTEGRITY 380 FLYBRIDGE
Overall Length: 11.73 metres
Beam: 4.11 metres
Draft: 1.12 metres
Weight (dry): 10,000 kgs
Fuel: 1,135 litres
Water: 780 litres
Power: John Deere 6-Cylinder Turbo Diesel 225 hp
Top Speed: 9.3 knots
Price (approx. at time of review): $549,000