From the flybridge down Integrity’s 380 Flybridge is exactly the same boat as their 380 Sedan, but it’s a boat that will appeal to a different market.
To flybridge enthusiasts a choice between the two is one of those proverbial no-brainers – they’d opt for the ‘bridge version every time. For others, the choice might not be so clear cut. So to begin with perhaps we should take a close look at the Sedan, remembering all along that we’re looking at the lower part of the Flybridge at the same time. For convenience let’s just call the boat an Integrity.
Integrity’s 380 models were developed from a previous slightly smaller boat the 330. It grew half a metre in length and half a meter in beam, gained a second double bed stateroom set port side of a central companionway “downstairs,” saw the head incorporated into the bathroom, gained a power increase from 150 to 225hp, new 4hp thrusters bow and stern, added 3 tonnes displacement; and in the region of an extra 100K on the price tag! All of which, with the obvious exception of the higher price tag, were demonstrably changes for the better to a predecessor that was something of a standout amongst its peers to start with. One thing they didn’t change was the salon’s aft bulkhead.
This, the salon’s aft bulkhead, in itself was a significant contributor to the 330 Sedan’s popularity. It was and still is a clever arrangement of glass door and hopper window which, when opened, creates a singular open living space all the way from the stairs down to the sleeping accommodation forward past a helm station on the starboard side, through the salon dinette/lounge and galley to a stern with an outboard boarding/swim deck.
In between, where the galley bench top partly returns across the aft bulkhead, there’s a sink with infill panels to convert it to a mighty handy servery between the galley and a roomy cockpit lounge dinette located across the stern. Alternately, with the door and hopper window closed the salon is snugged away against the worst of weather extremes, hot or cold, wet or dry; thanks to (16,000BTU) reverse cycle air-conditioning run off an Onan gen set more than able to cope with all onboard electrical demands, and supplied from the main fuel tank.
For a boat its size, the amount of floor space available with that door and hopper window open is simply enormous, and it expands the amenity of a configuration based around accommodating two couples for extended periods to twice that and a few more on short term social occasions.
It sold a lot of Integrity boats and will continue to do so whatever Integrity continue with the arrangement. Which they’d be crazy not to – and they’re not crazy – their boats, in fact, exhibit a great deal of on water experience translated into commonsense design throughout.
So for all the right reasons well enough was left alone while the most profound change goes almost unnoticed. That would be a higher cabin roof profile introduced with the 380 Sedan and now seen in the 380 Flybridge.
This is where Integrity was very clever indeed. They only raised the roof of the downstairs area a few centimetres but in the bow cabin (which is ostensibly the master stateroom), in particular, while the actual gain in headroom is considerable, the perceived gain is much more than that. Some new portholes set high in the hull just below the gunwale add even more light and expand the perception of space even further.
And they can be opened to admit some fresh air if desired, but not insects thanks to built in screens. Now, raising the downstairs cabin roof isn’t necessarily all good for some people if it raises the boat’s superstructure so high it causes issues getting underneath the bridges, so common in places like Queensland’s Gold Coast. And that’s where Integrity was clever, juggling dimensions so the top of the 380 Sedan’s hardtop isn’t so high it won’t fit under bridges.
Which is, of course, a simple and straightforward reason for some people to choose the lower sedan version, but we’ll leave the sentiment there before going on to look at what the flybridge contributes.
The other thing juggling dimensions achieved meanwhile was to minimise how much the side and foredecks were raised. If they’d ended up high enough to compromise the boat’s stability underfoot while moving around the side decks and onto the foredeck, that wouldn’t have been a good thing. In a few words, they haven’t. The boat remains comfortable steady underfoot, which no doubt is helped along by the additional 3000 odd kilos more than the 330 model it displaces. As is not affecting the excellent security offered on the side decks and foredeck by a high rail along each side and around the bows.
This too sells a lot of Integrity boats; to experienced crews particularly…
Downstairs then the only changes are those portholes and a new arrangement in the bathroom where the shower is now a spacious cubicle. It’s a very generously sized bathroom with a big shower cubicle for a boat this size – it’s a big bathroom and shower for a boat any size actually! Designer bedding packages are chosen with the client as is the decor throughout, which is fairly flexible according to Integrity Motor Yacht’s Aussie connection Brett Flanaghan.
In the salon the Integrity 380 features a teak timberwork, classic upholstered in ultra leather and colour co-ordinated Corian benchtops, and teak and holly flooring. There’s a Fusion sound system integrated with an I Pad compatible Raymarine navionics package, and a VHF radio.
The galley is equipped with a twin ring ceramic (electric) cooktop in the benchtop to starboard. A microwave and a refrigerator are integrated into the cabinetwork underneath it. Additional refrigeration and freezer space are optional. Out in the cockpit lounge, the deck, and the swim deck out on the transom are both teak. The (cockpit) lounge itself can be optioned with a table for “outside” dining and that makes it into a convertible dinette arrangement adding another double bed to sleep occasional extras aboard.
As does the salon dinette making comfortable short term sleeping space available for 4 couples. The 380 Flybridge reviewed was fitted with one option I’d personally find it hard to do without; a set of “camper” covers fitted to the underside of the full length hardtop. These can be rolled up and stowed out of the way, or clipped down around the stern. Once clipped in place, along with infill strips to seal off the side decks, the windows can either be zipped open revealing insect screens to ventilate the cockpit lounge. Or if left closed and the salon bulkhead opened, the air-conditioning can control the climate in the cockpit lounge along with the salon.
All in all, the way the salon and cockpit area are set up on Integrity 380’s makes a number of options available to suit conditions and circumstances at any given time.
The swim deck is accessed through a gunwale height transom door secured with a locking rail for the safety of any little folk aboard. A stainless steel ladder flips up onto the swim deck when stowed and reaches well down into the water for easy access when a swim is on the agenda. There’s also a hot and cold freshwater shower available on the swim deck to keep salt water and sand out of the boat’s interior.
Brett told me their intention is to offer turn the key and drive away packages so extras like ground tackle, mooring lines, and safety gear are all part of a “package” they offer. While at the same time they habitually work with clients to ensure, their boat is set up to suit the individual.
As far as performance and fuel efficiency go the 380 Flybridge is virtually identical to the 380 Sedan. A single six cylinder 6.8 litre freshwater cooled 225hp John Deere diesel supplies motive power. This engine was chosen on the basis of an enviable reputation amongst commercial users for longevity and economical operation. In use, displacement trawler style cruisers like this aren’t at all about reaching top speeds around 12 knots, depending, of course, on load, and the effects of wind and current.
Cruising speeds around 7-9 knots are achieved while consuming around 10 litres of fuel per hour. These figures are hardly precise I know, however they are realistic ones based on the observations of several 380 Sedan owners I’ve spoken to who were experienced skippers when they bought boats they’ve now been using for 12 months or more.
All of which relates equally to either the Integrity 380 Sedan of the Flybridge. What does the ‘bridge contribute then? Literally another storey.
The flybridge ladder is set against the salon bulkhead where it does occupy space normally available to the hopper window. So the flybridge’s hopper window is commensurately smaller. There’s still a pretty wide open salon bulkhead once it’s open though.
Like the 380 Sedan the hardtop extends from the front windscreen all the way to the stern, the difference being that this becomes a deck once “upstairs” aboard the flybridge model, and quite an expansive one too. It’s a big hardtop, so it’s a big upper deck, the aft area of which is surrounded by a stout stainless steel rail around the perimeter. A hatch in the upper deck secures the ladder if required. The boat reviewed had material matching the bimini top over the upper helm station around the upper deck rail. An essential with children aboard… Thus, there’s quite a big extra living/social space “upstairs” in the flybridge model. I imagine most people would arrange a barbecue up here on the aft end of that rail, it’s the perfect location for one. Socially there’s a lot going for the added “storey” of the flybridge version.
At the ‘bridge helm station Integrity have incorporated another development over earlier flybridge models. Where the previous central console has been replaced with bench seating. I think most people would agree this is an improvement.
It’s interesting that the flybridge version of the Integrity 380 doesn’t displace much more than the Sedan. Integrity rate them both at 11 tonnes, so there’s apparently not a great deal of weight in the bimini top and upper deck rail. I guess an upper helm station won’t add much to a boat that’s already got a hefty full length hardtop.
If some won’t choose a flybridge because the extra top hamper won’t allow them under bridges, others would choose a flybridge just because they prefer flybridges.
Nevertheless there are real advantages in a flybridge’s high helm position. There’s a better angle of view into the water around the boat, which somewhere like the Gold Coast where Integrity Motor Yachts’ Australian connection are based, isn’t to be underestimated. It helps dodge unpredictable sandbars – helps a lot!
And a high set helm is sometimes a great asset when snuggling into awkward berths. Integrity boats generally have a sliding door beside the lower helm which makes it a couple of steps from the steering wheel to the dock to secure lines, etc, and that’s yet another great thing about these boats. But low bridges aside, a helm station up on a flybridge offers several distinct advantages.
Hmm, maybe I’m one of those people who’d choose a flybridge anyway…