Integrity 35 Review

Issue: September 2001

The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary uses the words wholeness, soundness and honesty to describe the word integrity and these are all words that define this model perfectly. Integrity is exactly what this 35 footer is all about, a sound, well designed and laid out flybridge cruiser that delivers everything her builders promise.

When I first saw the test boat at the Anchorage Marina at Port Stephens in NSW, I initially thought she was European, maybe a Phantom or the like. But as my family, who accompanied me on this test, and I got closer it became clear this was a completely individual boat and an impressive one at that. Beauty is sometimes only skin deep, but in this case there is performance to match.

Naval architect Bernie Cohen, from the Sunshine Coast-based company, Integrity Marine Australia, originally designed this boat to accommodate twin sterndrives and produced the hull in two formats. The first were fairly basic vessels for the bareboat charter market. They were powered by twin 50hp Volvos and designed to cruise around at about 10knts. The second were well-appointed, flybridge cruisers powered by twin Volvo Penta, 260hp, DuoProp diesel sterndrives that pulled more than 40knts at 3800rpm. But this vessel has completed a motive transformation and now she’s powered by two Yanmar 230hp shaftdrive diesels.

Not only has this made vast improvements to fuel consumption figures, but it makes berthing and slow-speed manoeuvring a breeze because the boat can be steered with the engines without using the rudders.

To accommodate the shafts, props and rudders, tunnels have been built into the hull, which reduces the chance of cavitation and limits below-keel extensions.

The hull is a monohedron design with a 15-degrees deadrise, which incorporates wide, downturned chines that generate exceptional lift. This helps the hull jump onto the plane, while remaining level with no bow-up attitude. The chines actually lift the transom rather than burying it when the power is initially applied. That’s unlike many other vessels in this class.

The monohedron hull also aids the boat’s turning ability. Like all shaftdrives with rudders, she won’t turn on a dime, but the turns are smooth, extremely stable and give the driver plenty of confidence in her handling abilities. There is also absolutely no cavitation during tight turns. The bow slices through chop easily and those big chines throw the spray well away from the hull to produce a dry ride.

There is also no “station-wagon effect” – where spray is sucked into the rear cockpit when underway – to dampen the spirits of anyone seated on the lounges. The boat is fitted with trim tabs and these need only be trimmed in slightly to gain a few extra knots out of the hull.

At rest the Integrity is also extremely stable because its oversized chines reduce lateral movement.

Like its predecessor this is a family orientated boat and it’s clearly evident in her internal layout.

The Integrity 35 features three private, double staterooms, two with double beds and the other with two 185cm-long bunks.

Up forward the main stateroom has an impressive island bed and there’s plenty of storage in the drawers below it. Twin hanging lockers keep the clothes off the bed and stylish down lighting creates a soothing atmosphere. A deck hatch with flyscreen and two opening port holes allow flow-through ventilation, which negates the need for noisy air-conditioning. The joinery here, like the rest of the boat, sports a cherrywood finish.

Guests are also well catered for in a suite situated under the saloon sole. This cabin has a double bed and there’s a separate closet with draws. His and hers night lights makes reading in bed possible without disturbing your partner.

Once again we find two opening port holes for ventilation plus a 12V, 34cm TV and VCR bracket mount so a gogglebox can be installed. Across in the third cabin twin bunks are the go, which are ideal for the kids. Even though you get another two port holes, a fan has been added to circulate the air. The head features a frameless glass screened shower with wall-mounted nozzle and there is ample standing room in this cubicle. A vanity unit and a Lectra San toilet are opposite the shower and towel rails have been placed on the head wall. Again there is an opening port hole for ventilation and the door locks.

A small set of steps takes you up into the impressive main saloon. High quality materials and fabrics have been used in its fitout and the effect is obvious. There’s a heavily padded and extremely comfortable L-shaped lounge to port and a large and fully appointed, sunken galley to starboard.

The galley features imitation-Corian bench tops for meal preparation and food can either be cooked in the microwave or on the two-burner gas stove. With a full sized sink and 140lt fridge with freezer compartment you’ll think you’re in your kitchen at home. There’s also heaps of cupboard space and stylish flickmixer tapware. The saloon is spacious, carpeted and features a handcrafted wooden coffee table.

A multi-stacker CD and cassette player supplies the music or you can watch another TV mounted in a custom-made timber cabinet in the ceiling. The removable dining table can also be used in the aft cockpit or up in the flybridge.

At the helm you have everything even the most fastidious skipper could want and it’s all ergonomically laid out. The helm station features full instrumentation and the single-lever Morse electronic-engine control are silky smooth. Trim tabs and hydraulic steering make controlling this boat easy, while the beautiful upholstery and a wooden sports steering wheel add a touch of class.

A 7″ Raytheon radar plotter and display incorporating GPS means you’ll always be on the right track.

Out in the aft cockpit there’s a 12V top-loading fridge so it’s a simple task to keep the drinks chilled.

Access to the engine room is aided by a hydraulically-operated hatch and there’s a hot and cold transom shower to wash off the grease should you get dirty. This cockpit is also self-draining.

A stainless steel ladder with teak inserts leads to the flybridge which is set up to look after the family. The area incorporates an aft-facing sun lounge, a huge U-shaped lounge under the targa arch and a three-person helm seat. The entire area is carpeted and twin speakers deliver music from the saloon CD player. The dash features full instrumentation and a colour fish finder, while the helm is a classic five-spoke, stainless steel, cruiser wheel.

As far as the family theme goes the Integrity 35 is an idea vessel for extended cruising. If mum, or dad for that matter, doesn’t feel like cooking a three course meal in the more than adequate galley, it’s out with the BBQ on the aft cockpit. You can watch a video after tea, or how about a game of Scrabble in the main cockpit ?

There’s plenty of room in this main saloon for entertaining visitors and at evening’s end mum, dad and the kids can bunk down. And there’s enough room for one set of grand parents to stay onboard should the need arise.

With a fuel capacity of 900lt and an hourly fuel burn rate of 42lt per hour at 22knts, the Integrity 35 can cruise non-stop for around 20 hours. You could go from Sydney to Brisbane in that time.

The gelcoat finish on the Aussie-built Integrity 35 is flawless, the joinery shows skilled craftsmanship and only high quality componentry has been used in the Aussie built Integrity’s fit-out. We often hear that many boats are better equipped and laid out than some people’s houses. And they cost more than some houses too. For owner David McElwaine this is especially relevant.

David hadn’t initially intended to buy a new boat but had placed a deposit on a three bedroom Port Stephens waterfront unit. As luck would have it, the home owner tried to bump up the price at the last minute and the deal fell through.

So David decided to take the better option of buying a floating three bedroom unit with an absolute waterfront. Now his address is to be advised…

The beauty of this boat goes under its skin. Dig deeper and you’ll discover the subtle differences that make it another Aussie winner. The Integrity 35 has all the luxuries that imported boats offer at an extremely competitive price of around $400,000.

Engine Room
The Integrity 35 test boat is powered by twin 230hp, shaftdrive diesels. The boat is rated to twin 300hp, six cylinder diesels, although this requires an upgrade to the ‘lengthened hull option’. We found the twin 230s able to handle anything asked of them and unless you want to go offshore racing, the bigger engines would be an overkill.

Yanmar’s 4LH-STE, 230hp also has a good power-to-weight ratio and can be used with either straight, angled, or V-drive Hurth gearboxes. They have also been slimmed down for easy insulation in tight situations so now the engine is slimmer, shorter and less bulky than its predecessor the 4LH-DTE.

These engines are also surprisingly quiet, even with the sound-insulated engine hatch open. They have been designed for low smoke emissions when accelerating or idling. The Yanmar 4LH-STE is an in-line four, direct injection, water cooled and turbocharged engine with a maximum output of 169kW at the crankshaft.

Considering the boat displaces 6.7 tonnes, its spritely performance is testimony to the excellent match of engines and hull. On the day of the test the Integrity 35 pulled 10knts at 1500rpm; 15knts at 2000rpm; 20knts at 2700rpm; 24knts at 3000rpm and 27knts at 3300rpm spinning a 20″ propeller.

Builder Bernie wasn’t entirely satisfied with these figures and a new prop, with a change of pitch and no cup has been fitted to the boat. Now she now pulls 30knts at wide open throttle. This is more than adequate for offshore cruising considering the boat’s optimum cruising speed is 24knots.

Story  by Ian MacRae