Elizabeth and Alistair Dunn have owned Integrity 340SX “No Stress” for two years and according to Elizabeth, “it’s the best things that’s ever happened to us!”
Based at Paradise Waters, the couple enjoy heading out for a week or so on the Broadwater, up to South Stradbroke, Tipplers and Couran Cove.
“Living on the Gold Coast, the Broadwater is our playground,” she says. “We really enjoy bush walking and the walking trails from Tipplers down to Couran Cove. There’s so much to see and do.
“We usually spend five nights on the boat, which is as much water as we have on board. Any longer than that, we have to pull into a marina. We’re planning to get a watermaker on board, but for now, five nights suits us.”
The Dunns have friends who live across the Broadwater at Currigee and they often cruise by and pick them up for a meal on board, then mosey on.
“Some owners don’t cook on their boats. They’re happy to survive on bought meals. But we find you can get sick of that. Alistair is a big eater and I try to watch my weight! You can eat more when you’re out on your boat.
“We enjoy our food. I enjoy cooking but not slaving over the stove. I try to make it interesting, easy, yummy and healthy.”
So, to accommodate their needs and for easy entertaining, Elizabeth has come up with practical solutions. When you have limited space and would rather be relaxing, walking, socialising than reading recipes and measuring, preparation is key.
“We take plenty of packets of pasta and containers of sauce. Then all you do is add beef or chicken,” she says.
“I often make a couple of cottage pies, then add the fresh potato mash on the day,” says Elizabeth. “We have a microwave and stovetop on board, but no oven and no barbecue. I take an airfryer with us which is very compact and handy. In 10 to 20 minutes you have wedges and it does all kinds of baking and vegetables. There’s hardly any washing up.”
They also have retrofit a 22 Litre freezer under the seats in the cockpit, which is ideal for meat, frozen vegies and bread for their week away.
Elizabeth has found the collapsible type of silicone containers she bought from Aldi to be very practical. “I use them to store a couple of batches of savoury mince, they can go in the freezer, the fridge, goes in the microwave and airfryer.”
When it comes to storing vegies, it’s as simple as wrapping them up in a linen bag and keeping them in a cool, dark place.
“I put the sweet potato, potato and onion in the bag, pull the drawstring tight and store them in our second bedroom. They will last two weeks or so.”
Another tip is everybody’s favourite, croissants.
“We eat a lot of croissants. I put a couple of packs in the freezer and we have them for breakfast with scrambled egg, lunch as a salad roll and I make beef patties for hamburgers. We take a variety of salad leaves, such as baby spinach which lasts for ages.”
Trying to stick to the motto “fresh is best”, Elizabeth takes as many fresh fruit, salad and vegies as possible. “Alistair doesn’t especially like salad, so I take a couple of bags of frozen vegies and make stir fries from scratch using frozen chicken.”
And while they are not big on fishing, salmon and pasta is another firm favourite of this practical duo, for whom taste and convenience outweigh fussy fanciness.
For dessert, because every meal needs a sweet touch, Elizabeth makes a tasty jelly with fruit suspended in its wobbly goodness.
“We’ve found kiwi fruit and mandarins last well onboard, and we like to take them hiking as well. And you can always stock up on tinned fruit and vegies.”
Who doesn’t love beetroot on a burger?
Now it’s chilly, even out on the Broadwater once the sun goes down, soups, casseroles and savoury mince are on the menu, all easily frozen and reheated as required.
Over summer, Elizabeth organises the perfect Christmas dinner onboard for four people – a seafood platter followed by pre-cooked turkey warmed up in the microwave with roast potatoes in the airfryer, gravy and steamed vegies.
For those who don’t like Christmas pudding, Elizabeth serves a fresh fruit salad and ice cream and cream.
“We absolutely love spending time on our Integrity,” says Elizabeth. “They are fabulous boats – just the right pace and plenty of amenities for the two of us and some friends.”