Naming your boat Adagio is a clear statement of the kind of boating you intend to enjoy. Proud owners of their new Integrity 440 Sedan, Alan and Margaret Pearce, previously passionate yachties, like nothing more than savouring the silence at anchor, catching the breeze in Pittwater, Lord Howe and Tasmania, and entertaining friends and family onboard.
“I come from a sailing family,” said Alan, a retired electrical engineer. “We have always had yachts. Our most recent was a 40-footer. We cruised Pittwater and Sydney Harbour, the Whitsundays and Tasmania. We love boating in the open ocean. But it’s always weather dependent.”
At their home port of RMYC, Newport, Alan and Margaret frequently spotted visiting Integrity motor yachts, and they always caught their eye for their “interesting design”.
“They fit our concept of a ‘proper boat’ for their classic shape, seaworthiness and endurance,” said Alan.
Now in their mid-60s, this dynamic couple admits their priorities and preferences have changed and they are looking for more comfort and more freedom for long-range cruising whatever the weather.
“We still want to do the coastal cruising and 60-mile passages, but it’s just the two of us and we want fewer demands, physically. We felt it was time to move on, and we wanted more space and more features.
“Our sailing boat, which was basically a submarine with a mast, had steep stairs, so we knew we didn’t want a flybridge power boat. And we didn’t want to use a lot of fuel or require a lot of maintenance.
“The Integrity 440 seemed like a manageable size. It’s light and airy, spacious, as comfortable as our house, and we can travel in a straight line!”
From the outset, Alan was extremely hands-on during the build, especially with the engine and systems, revelling in his three factory visits.
“We had a spec list that was several pages,” Alan said. “I went to the factory to see the progress of the hull, then the layout and finally, the timberwork.
“During my career, I travelled to China frequently, so I’m familiar with the landscape, the people and manufacturing,” he explained.
“I was impressed by what an artisan environment the Integrity factory is. There are no robots! All the timber work is done expertly by hand, using the craftsman’s eye, pencil and traditional tools, matching that with cutting edge materials and machinery, superbly overseen by Ryan Hanson.
“There are a lot of bespoke elements in Adagio,” Alan continued. “In the Master cabin, we worked with Ryan to raise the bulkhead so we could have a full size bed and not feel like we were sleeping in a tunnel! I wanted a shelf for my glasses above my side of the bed, so the craftsman at the factory took a template from my glasses and used that and custom-made a beautiful timber shelf.”
“Nothing was ever a problem,” added Margaret. “Ryan was very amenable to our input. We extended the swim platform so we can have chairs and a table there if we want. In the saloon, I wanted a raised back rest on the lounge so I can sit and read there, and Ryan worked out exactly the right height and weight so it wouldn’t affect the sightlines or the boat’s performance.”
“We wanted an extra-large table on the aft deck, and the factory crafted a beautiful table with an extra leaf, in perfectly matching teak, for when we have guests on board. We just bring out the chairs and there’s plenty of room for 10 people.”
A dyed-in-the-wool yachtie at heart, Alan insisted on a chart locker next to the dual helm seats. “I still use paper charts and need somewhere to store all our bits and pieces. Ryan worked out a nifty hinge system to accommodate it.”
Down the stairwell, the Pearces wanted storage for additional gear and the result is seamlessly crafted cupboards that are accessed at the press of a button.
The guest cabin is a V-berth in the bow with wide twin beds in cross orientation. “They are adult size with heaps of storage,” said Margaret, who worked with the designers at 3Beaches Textiles to devise the fresh nautical-themed interiors.
“We loved the original designs by 3Beaches,” said Margaret. “They had a peacock fabric which we asked them to make into a bedspread for us and they persevered until it was perfect. Things like that make our boat a cosy home on water.”
“But it’s not so fussy that we can’t enjoy it,” said Alan. “We want it ‘bruised and used’, not precious and pristine.”
The 2kg Daewoo mini washing machine is concealed in a cupboard below decks. Another triumph of power over sail, in terms of space and amenities. “We absolutely need a washing machine for extended cruising,” Margaret affirmed. “It just makes life easier.”
The galley comprises all the mod-cons the couple needs for long stints a sea, including wide bench space, storage, a convection microwave, stove top and fridge.
On the transom, there’s a Galley Mate barbeque and a 2.6m Highfield RIB tender. “The stainless-steel rail, tender supports and crane were custom made by Davco on the Gold Coast. It makes launching the tender a breeze. We wanted an extended swim platform with teak inserts and a swim ladder. Nothing has been a problem.”
In a perfect evolution from their yacht, Adagio was built to be environmentally-conscious. There is no air-conditioning and much of the power is provided by solar panels on board.
“We wanted a very quiet boat,” said Alan. “There’s no generator required. The solar panels provide electricity for the electronics and watermaker. We have a diesel heater for ducted heat, which you need for cruising in Tasmania. That will be our first long-distance trip in January. Then the Whitsundays and Cairns. We have all of next year mapped out.”
Adagio is powered by a single 225hp John Deere engine and equipped with Raymarine electronics. “On the helm panel, I specified dedicated dials for every function, including windspeed, which is what yachties do,” quipped Alan.
The Pearces’ yachtie friends were equally impressed when they saw Adagio for themselves. “They were blown away!” said Alan. “They spent most of their time in the engine room. It’s a much bigger and more spacious engine room than a yacht. We have a 1,500L fuel capacity and 1,000 nautical mile range.”
From purchase to delivery, the build process took 14 months. “During that time, Whitehaven took over Integrity and there were a few changes. I would say we were ‘patiently impatient’. It was worth the wait – every bit! The after-sales service has been excellent. We have been really impressed with the depth of talent in the contractors, boat builders and sales team. Adam Workman at AWMarine, the NSW Integrity dealer, was great. Everybody has really gone above and beyond to get Adagio ready.
“We’ve spent four and half weeks on the Gold Coast, around the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and we have enjoyed every minute of it. There was great interest in our boat at SCIBS and we are now looking forward to our next era of cruising.
“We love that we can go anywhere, do anything. No limits.”