Brett Flanagan, seasoned boatie and founder of the extremely successful Integrity Motor Yacht brand, came across the world’s number one selling pontoon boat in the US, Hurricane, during his own search for the ideal family pontoon boat, or “deck boat” as they’re known in America.
“We have four new grand kids, between our daughters and son, with their partners, and the dogs we can’t fit them in the RIB, so I thought a deck boat/pontoon style would be the perfect boat for safe family boating around the Gold Coast. Not one to do things by half, ‘Flano’ jumped on a plane to the US to inspect the boats for himself.
“These are not your standard alloy pontoon boats,” he explained. “Hurricane pioneered the deck boat business in 1974 and can now claim to be the number one selling deck boat in the world, producing over 22,000 each year.
“They are tri-hull, moulded vynlester fibreglass construction, so they’re thicker and more durable than aluminium, and easily anti-fouled. They are truly limousine quality, beautifully finished with a wide body and ‘positive’ flotation. They turn like a sport boat, so you can tow and ski behind them at a top speed of about 28 knots.”
Hurricane have four state-of-the-art factories and can barely keep up with local demand. “The boats are all made to order and they are extremely fussy with the production process. They use the latest techniques and materials and have fastidious quality control. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I ended up leaving with four boats and the distributor rights for Australia and NZ. “These Hurricane boats are something else. Brenda and I have both had a hand in customising the boats for the Aussie market. They are really going to wow people!”
Hurricane produces a variety of deck boats up to 24-feet. Brett’s brother, Grant Flanagan and son-in-law, Paul Atallah will run the dealership from two sites, Sanctuary Cove and The Boat Works Coomera, we will start with the first model, the FunDeck range – an all-rounder ready to fish, entertain or cruise, a classic deck boat with a sporty edge.
The FunDeck is characterised by its secure high rails, plenty of seating and storage, and ease of operation. With a draft of 25cm, the FunDeck is able to access even shallow water close to the beach, ideal for safety and comfort for all passengers.
Hurricane Boats Australia will import a couple of the beautiful 196F model 5.74m with a beam of 2.3m and room for up to nine people and the larger 236F, which is a 7.16m boat with a beam of 2.5m and room for up to 13 people. Fuel capacity is 100L, and the team plans to have trailers custom-made so these nifty boats can be trailerable.
“They will suit the waterways of the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Port Phillip and Mandurah, as well as canals, lakes and dams – it’s the perfect all-rounder!
“We’ve loaded them up with all the gear, like lights, speakers, sounders, all the nav equipment, refrigeration, and bimini for a perfect day on the water. And we have an exclusive deal with Yamaha for 125hp to 250hp engines. They will arrive prior to Sanctuary Cove International Boat show, they will be turn-key and ready to rip.
“They are unbeatable when it comes to stability, and usability.” The cost of the FunDeck 196F with all the gear is around $89,000, while the 236F is likely to retail for under $100,000. “If you had a group of four couples/families who love boating together but do not have a spare 80 odd grand, they could get into a Hurricane for around $22K each, which is accessible,” said Paul.
The FunDeck is going to please all kinds of boaties, from first boat buyers and families, to people who have a larger motor yacht and just want something fun, fast, fuss-free and family-friendly,” said Paul Atallah.
Also on the cards, a syndication boat offering four lots of shares, which Flano feels will be a strong incentive for people looking to dip a toe in boating.
According to the manufacturer, the tri-hull outperforms alloy triple tube hulls and delivers better fuel economy, better banking and handling, and less drag for superior performance from smaller outboards, but Paul said “Seriously FIBERGLASS construction is far superior and will outlast the Alloy type pontoons currently being sold.”
With pop-up changing rooms, snap-in carpeting, freshwater washdowns, comfortable helm stations, refreshment centres, and huge in-floor lockers for stowing all your watersport gear, there’s more space, more storage, and more room for the whole family, dogs and all.
Seating is made from multi-density foam with triple-needle stitched vinyl. The Hurricane self-bailing system keeps the cockpit and everything in it dry and comfortable. A wide-body design and spacious floor plans create the ultimate comfort zone for any activity. Every available cavity is filled with urethane foam flotation. The foam provides structural rigidity, hull stiffening, sound dampening, and reduction of vibration, and minimizes water absorption. All hulls are backed by a 5-year structural warranty.
“It’s a great boat for multi-generational families, young people looking for a fantastic party platform, and groups of friends wanting to enjoy boating, skiing, diving, towing and anything ending in -ing! It’s a bloody ripper!”
The Hurricane FunDeck will make its official Australian debut at the 2018 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 24 to 27 May 2018.