Bob Fraser made a career out of sailing and innovation. His Sydney-based sail loft produced a revolutionary new process in sail manufacturing technology which drew international attention. So when it came time to transition from sailing to motor cruising, he sought a boat which met his lifestyle requirements and satisfied his desire for quality and seamanship. He found just what he was seeking in the Integrity 320 Explorer.
With the D4 process, rather than using commercially available laminates that come on a roll, the membrane of the sail was manufactured as a custom lamination where the fibres are laid in curves to accurately match the load paths in the sail. This resulted in superior shape holding and increased longevity.
It revolutionised sail making and caught the attention of Doyle Sails, with Bob’s team supplying their worldwide network of sail lofts. Hood sailmakers, Quantum Sails and the French sailmakers, Sails Incidence also provided D4 sails to their racing customers. Notably, Incidence Sails provided full inventories for multiple winners of the Vendee Globe, single handed around the world race, using the D4 technology.
Then in 2003, German sailcloth giant, Dimension Polyant, bought the technology from Fraser Sails. Bob was appointed Managing Director with manufacturing continuing in their factory at Somersby, NSW and also in Germany. In that first year of Bob at helm of Dimension Polyant, the first four maxi yachts through the heads on the way to Hobart were equipped with D4 sails: Brindabella, Skandia, Nicorette and Zana. Skandia bested Zana for line honours by a mere 14 minutes.
Yet Bob was not just a shore-based support for the yachts. During his career, he has sailed 28 Sydney to Hobart campaigns in which he has taken handicap and line honours wins multiple times. Bob has also represented Australia and Hong Kong in five Admiral’s Cups, considered at the time to be the world championship of offshore racing.
In 2006, Bob retired from corporate life and turned his attention to more relaxed sailing. A decade later, he was approached by an octogenarian acquaintance looking for a boat and a co-owner with more experience. Bob then went to good friend, boat broker and authorised Integrity Motor Yacht Dealer, Adam Workman, seeking a great sea boat which would be easy to use and comfortable for both parties.
Adam found a 2013 model of the Integrity 320 Explorer of which there were only ever two built. It was laying on the Huon River in Tasmania and in 2018, Bob bought the boat. With two of his sailing mates, they delivered the boat from Hobart back to its new home in Bayview, Pittwater.
“We were going to be crossing Bass Strait in August – not the ideal time of year – so we wanted to be sure how much fuel we were going to need for the entire trip and there was some conjecture over the fuel consumption,” explains Bob.
“We set off from Hobart with a full tank and two 200 litre drums. We tested the consumption on the six-hour cruise to Triabunna and determined she consumed 8.9 litres/hour at 7.5 knots. We were happy with that and from Triabunna we set off, nonstop for Pittwater. With the support of, meteorologist “Clouds” (real name Roger Badham), we picked the weather window and had one of the most pleasant crossings of Bass Strait, flat water and even dolphins in the bow wake. Not my usual crossing, that is for sure.”
The trip was pleasant, and the boat handled it well. Now, Bayview inside the Pittwater is home although Bob has cruised up to Port Stephens and is considering something further afield this year.
“As a full displacement hull, the Integrity is a very stable boat. I have had two semi-displacement boats in the past and they are not as comfortable at sea or anchor. Also, I am retired, I do not need to get anywhere that fast anymore. I am happy with relaxed cruising. My co-owner appreciates the wide wrap around decks and the accommodation is perfect for our respective families,” says Bob.
The Integrity 320 Explorer has a full double forepeak cabin with separate shower on the portside and head on the starboard. The well-appointed galley and dinette are on the main deck, opening out to a large cockpit area.
“Integrity Motor Yachts suit a retired sailor and is certainly the range I favour. The real decision for a new owner would be which model to choose and I guess that depends on how much accommodation you would want,” states Bob.
If you are considering starting your Integrity Motor Yacht lifestyle, contact your nearest authorised dealer.