Brace yourself for the Hurricane

Versatility, safety and family fun are just some of the reasons Aussies will be blown away by the award-winning, US-built, fibreglass-hulled Hurricane pontoon boats poised to touchdown in mid-January.

Brett Flanagan, tired of retirement, came across the world’s number one selling pontoon boat, Hurricane, during his own search for the ideal family pontoon boat, or “deck boat” as they’re known in America.

“We have four grandkids, our daughters, their partners, everybody, and the dogs. We can’t fit them in the RIB, so I thought a pontoon boat would be the perfect boat for safe family boating around the Gold Coast.”

Not one to do things by half, ‘Flano’, the founder of Integrity Motor Yachts, which was recently bought by Whitehaven Motor Yachts, jumped on a plane to the US to inspect the boats for himself.

“These are not your standard 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 22,000 each year.

“They are tri-deck, moulded fiberglass, 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 excellent flotation. They turn like a sport boat, so you can tow and ski behind them at a top speed of about 22 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.”

After a few months of semi-retirement, Flano said his batteries are recharged, he’s reinvigorated, enthused and now working “for the fun of it”.

“There are only so many golf games and cups of tea you can have before you’re looking for the next challenge. I have been self-employed my whole life and love seeing people discover the pure joy of boating.

“These Hurricane boats are something else. Brenda and I have both had a hand in customizing the boats for the Aussie market. They are really going to wow people!”

Hurricane produces a variety of deck boats up to 38-feet. Brett’s brother Grant Flanagan and son in law Paul Atalla will run the dealership from two sites, Sanctuary Cove and The Boat Works, Coomera, will start with the first model, the FunDeck – an all-rounder ready to fish, entertain or cruise, a classic pontoon with a sporty edge.

The FunDeck is characterized 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 the compact 196F model, 5.74m with a beam of 2.3m and room for up to nine people and the larger 226F, which is a 6.76m boat with a beam of 2.3m 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.

“The FunDeck is going to please all kinds of boaters, 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 Atalla. “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, and bimini for a perfect day on the water. And we have an exclusive deal with Yamaha for 150 to 250hp engines. They will arrive in mid-January, turn-key and ready to rip.”

The cost of the FunDeck 196F with all the gear is around $89,000, while the 226F is likely to retail for under $100,000.

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-deck hull outperforms triple tube displacement hulls and delivers better fuel economy, better banking and handling, and less drag for superior performance from smaller outboards.

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 10-year structural warranty.

The Hurricane FunDeck will make its officially Australian debut at the 2018 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 24 to 27 May 2018.

For more information visit www.hurricaneboats.com or call Paul Atalla 0421 859 273 and Grant Flanagan 0402 811 175. Local website launching soon.