HORI­ZON FD87

When West Aus­tralian land de­vel­oper Garry felt lim­ited by the en­ter­tain­ing op­tions aboard his ex­ist­ing Hori­zon E67, he didn’t just look at the next model up, he stepped for­ward in time.

trade a boat - - CONTENTS - Tim van Duyl Supplied STORY PHO­TOS

Hori­zon FD87

This is our first in-depth look at the revo­lu­tion­ary Fast Dis­place­ment (FD) se­ries from Hori­zon Mo­tor Yachts. De­signed with efficient low-speed cruis­ing and en­ter­tain­ing in mind, its bold ap­pear­ance has cap­ti­vated many, but there is more to this FD87 than looks alone.

This ves­sel is a kind of hy­brid that pairs the FD87 Sky­lounge with top­sides from the slightly shorter FD85. This out­come ben­e­fits from the 87's longer hull, while the open-air bridge of the 85 is bet­ter suited to the WA cli­mate she calls home. Owner, Garry, was speaking hon­estly when he re­marked that he's no longer look­ing for the ideal boat. His cu­ri­ously named FD87 Hue Mun­gus, is gen­uine per­fec­tion.

THAT DESIGN

“Good design is not done on a nap­kin, it takes trained eyes and ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate some­thing as in­di­vid­ual yet func­tional as the FD se­ries.”

The look is sim­ply stun­ning up close. A strik­ing pres­ence is cre­ated by the wide beam and flow­ing lines, both hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cally. There's an im­mense sense of power im­parted by the nearver­ti­cal plumb bow and the ta­pered hull win­dows that lean for­ward to­ward the an­chor-guides to em­pha­sise flying but­tresses.

From side on, the FD87 looks to ad­vance not only with speed, but with pur­pose.

Good design is not done on a nap­kin, it takes trained eyes and ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate some­thing as in­di­vid­ual yet func­tional as the FD se­ries and for that, Hori­zon turned to Cor D. Rover.

Look­ing through the Dutch-based com­pany's port­fo­lio you dis­cover a mix of well-known brands and be­spoke builds. Az­imut has utilised their ser­vices, so has Sirena and Zee­lander, and pep­pered in-be­tween are su­pery­achts and in­te­ri­ors to match and evolve with the ev­er­chang­ing tastes of the high-end mo­to­ry­acht buyer.

The abil­ity to mould lines and draw at­ten­tion to ex­ter­nal design high­lights, such as the but­tresses and an­chor guides, is one part of the process but there is more. Gain­ing the envy of fel­low boat­ies on the wa­ter is one thing, but own­ers and guests also re­quire that such high stan­dards flow through as they step on­board, as the evening wears on and well af­ter they de­part. Plus, there has to be some go to match the show.

BOARD­ING PAR­TIES

Whether you're at the helm, on the swim­plat­form, at the sa­loon's for­mal din­ing ta­ble, on a bow sun­pad or in the cockpit, the fo­cus is on an adapt­able en­ter­tain­ing space that can eas­ily be made dis­creet and pri­vate.

Step­ping on the swim­plat­form, you won't be fight­ing your way past a ten­der. Though the plat­form is ca­pa­ble of hold­ing one up to 650 kg, most own­ers, like Garry, will opt to keep theirs

on the aft of the bridge deck. Thanks to the beam of the FD87 the swim­plat­form is, well ... Hue Mun­gus, and ben­e­fits from a full-size lazarette that's ca­pa­ble of swal­low­ing mul­ti­ple toys, dive gear and hous­ing an ad­di­tional cold-store, dive com­pres­sor, bar­be­cue and hot shower. This is where the ex­tra length be­tween the 85 and 87 is most pre­cious and ob­vi­ous.

In the cockpit, Garry chose a built-in rear lounge with a cool store, plenty of gen­eral stor­age and a ded­i­cated and well-po­si­tioned shoe drawer.

The fixed lounge is com­ple­mented by a trio of out­door set­tees and a cof­fee ta­ble, all able to be eas­ily re­moved should the area be needed for big par­ties. Speaking of par­ties, un­der the star­board stair­case that leads to the bridge is a wet bar com­plete with ice­maker, sink and cock­tail bar.

Fur­ther­more, just in­side the sa­loon is a favourite fea­ture of mine, a large pow­der room. It is much larger than ex­pected and is po­si­tioned in such a way that guests of both the cockpit and sa­loon can en­ter and use it with good pri­vacy.

One step into the sa­loon and the be­spoke chevron par­quetry floor stands out as a dom­i­nant fea­ture.

The dark Wenge wood soft­ens the aes­thetic to pro­duce a warm and invit­ing space, con­trast­ing well with white mar­ble laid flush un­der the bi­fold doors to the teak cockpit.

The di­chotomy be­tween nat­u­ral light ver­sus pri­vacy is often hard to bal­ance on mo­to­ry­achts, let alone for wide beam ves­sels like the FD se­ries.

The use of floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows along the sa­loon sides bathes this space with nat­u­ral light yet their one-way fin­ish and the ad­di­tion of storm shutters un­der the rear but­tresses cre­ate pri­vacy, should the own­ers wish to dine in real soli­tude.

For­ward and to star­board is the gal­ley with twin sinks, full-size oven, dish­washer and fridge. An induction cook­top sits at the cen­tre of U-shaped Co­rian bench­tops with stain­less steel splash­back and range­hood.

It is a smart meals space, with the only gripe be­ing the nar­row walk­way, mean­ing mul­ti­ple users will have to be care­ful ma­noeu­vring.

A FLOOR FOR ONE

To the port side of the gal­ley there is ac­cess to the main stair­well, which con­ceals con­sid­er­able stor­age be­neath and pro­vides an en­trance to the own­ers' state­room.

It is not un­usual to see a mas­ter suite po­si­tioned in the bow of say, a 40-foot ves­sel, but in most boats be­tween 60 and 100 feet, the mas­ter tends to have a full-beam con­fig­u­ra­tion that backs onto the en­gine room.

Not here though. The FD87'S con­sid­er­able 7.07-me­tre beam means the lower deck can be split length­ways with dou­ble state­rooms ei­ther side. The claims from the fac­tory that the FD87 has sim­i­lar to­tal floor space to the RP110 seems be­liev­able as you wan­der be­tween the VIP, twin dou­bles and twin sin­gle state­rooms, all with their own en­suites; the vol­ume of the lower deck of the FD87 is se­ri­ously im­pres­sive.

Back on the main deck, in the mas­ter, the stand­out is the en­suite ac­cessed by a cen­tre slid­ing door. In­side are his and hers sinks with a toi­let and shower to their flanks. The floor and walls are mar­ble, the same bright, clean stone used in the sa­loon en­trance, ac­cented with el­e­gant tap­ware and bright­work. Am­ple stor­age in­cludes twin walk-in robes and there's ex­cel­lent lighting through the sky­light and win­dows to each side.

“The soft­ness the dark Wenge wood gives is warm­ing and invit­ing, con­trast­ing well with white mar­ble laid flush un­der the bi-fold doors”

COM­MAND STA­TIONS

In­ter­nal ac­cess to the bridge is via the helm room, set split-level be­tween the bridge and main deck. I must ad­mit, when ap­proach­ing Hue Mun­gus from the dock, it seemed as if vis­i­bil­ity from the main helm would be lim­ited. It is not. The tinted glass does not af­fect vis­i­bil­ity from in­side and the steep rake will help keep glare down.

On rougher days, the cap­tain will ap­pre­ci­ate the com­pany fa­cil­i­tated by an L-shaped lounge, as well as the com­fort of the op­tional (and frankly out­stand­ing) Bensen­zoni pilot chair. Ad­di­tional to the cockpit ac­cess, the bridge can be en­tered through the storm door be­hind the helm.

PARTY UP TOP

The bridge helm seems sim­ple in com­par­i­son to the main helm but still con­tains all you need in terms of en­gine man­age­ment sys­tems, twin high def­i­ni­tion mul­ti­func­tion screens, ra­dios, thruster con­trollers and sta­bil­i­sa­tion.

Be­hind the helm is a wet-bar with up­graded cool-boxes from Dometic. An ex­pen­sive op­tion at around $8000 per unit, they add a sig­nif­i­cant vol­ume of cool stor­age to Hue Mun­gus and are po­si­tioned right where you want them – near the jacuzzi. Fully decked in teak, the bridge is com­fort­able un­der­foot, even in the heat of sum­mer and with the ten­der down, there is room to party, with the pol­ished stain­less rails set nice and high to keep rev­ellers safe.

Ac­cess to the bow sun­pads and an­chor lock­ers is split be­tween steps down from the bridge to the port side and steps up from the main deck to star­board. The asym­met­ri­cal design took some get­ting used to but the value is ev­i­dent in that both crew and guests can eas­ily flow from the sa­loon to the bridge and bow as re­quired.

UN­DER THE WA­TER

Al­though the FD87 uses the same foam-core, resin in­fused con­struc­tion, di­men­sion­ally, the FD range is a change in di­rec­tion from the more tra­di­tional E and V Se­ries yachts cur­rently in the Hori­zon sta­ble.

Due to its beamy na­ture, when you see the FD87 at the dock you might ques­tion the ves­sel’s ride and sea­keep­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics, but the wa­ter con­ceals a clever design. To pro­vide a bet­ter ride and aid ef­fi­ciency, the wa­ter­line length is in­creased through adding a wave-pierc­ing bulb.

Direc­tional sta­bil­ity un­der­way is aided by a near full-length skeg which, when cou­pled with the lift that wave-pierc­ing bow adds, creates a smooth ride into an on­com­ing swell. As stan­dard, the FD87 has a shal­low draft of only 1.65 metres at half load; the FD85 draws around 1.75 metres.

“The FD87’S con­sid­er­able 7.07m beam means the lower deck can be split length­ways with dou­ble state­rooms ei­ther side”

In the 87/85 hy­brid, with its up­graded 16-inch ABT TRAC sta­bilis­ers, draft is closer to two metres – still very good for a boat dis­plac­ing around 89 tonnes. Garry chose the up­graded digital fin sta­bilis­ers to help coun­ter­act the lo­cal rolling swells blown in from his beloved Rot­tnest Is­land. We were lucky not to en­counter the con­di­tions needed to be able to con­fi­dently com­ment on their vi­a­bil­ity, but Garry and his crew agree they were a nec­es­sary up­grade.

LET THE CATS OUT

Twin V10 MTU 2000 M96LS which pro­duce 1,600 horse­power each re­side mid­ships driv­ing five blade, Prop­speed-coated pro­pel­lers through ZF gear­boxes. These pow­er­plants were up­graded over the stan­dard Cater­pil­lar C18 ACERT in-line six cylin­ders for the smooth­ness and low noise of the MTUS, some­thing that im­pressed in test­ing. Un­der­way, the most dom­i­nant sound was that of the en­gine room in­take fans, though there was some mi­nor res­o­nance just no­tice­able through the hull when bare­foot.

The MTUS fea­ture tech­nol­ogy that I think is im­por­tant to long term own­er­ship – in­di­vid­ual cylin­der heads for ease of ser­vic­ing and a sec­ondary PTO for steer­ing re­dun­dancy. The fact that both engines have this fea­ture gives Hue Mun­gus twin steer­ing back-ups in the un­likely event of stan­dard hy­draulic sys­tem fail­ure.

It also al­lows for one en­gine to pro­pel the ves­sel while still steer­ing both, a ma­jor boon for keep­ing en­gine hours down and low­er­ing fuel con­sump­tion. In a quick test of the idea, we saw 9.1 knots at 1400rpm while burn­ing only 77 litres per hour through a sin­gle en­gine.

Com­pare this to the same en­gine speed with both run­ning where we saw 10.6 knots and 66 litres per hour through each en­gine and the sav­ings are ob­vi­ous. For a small re­duc­tion in speed of 1.5 knots, Garry can save 55 litres per hour and halve his en­gine run­ning hours.

A touch over 13,100 litres of fuel are stored in alu­minium tanks po­si­tioned cen­trally to aid bal­ance and fuel is con­tin­u­ously pol­ished by a Rev­erso FPS 210 gal­lon per hour sys­tem. We were supplied fuel con­sump­tion data from the ves­sel’s com­mis­sion­ing which we ver­i­fied in calm con­di­tions off the Perth coast.

Optimal cruise came at a se­date five knots, where a range of over 1250 nau­ti­cal miles with ten per cent fuel in re­serve is pos­si­ble. This puts Bali in Garry’s sights though a stop in Ex­mouth would give some peace of mind. It cer­tainly means Hue Mun­gus can choose her ports of call should she em­bark on a cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion.

A must-have op­tion for Garry in windy WA, or oth­ers in sim­i­larly blowy lo­ca­tions, is the thruster up­grade pack­age. Up from 30 to 55 horse­power each, they make park­ing Hue Mun­gus a lot less daunt­ing in a sea breeze.

WHAT IS MISS­ING?

Not much, to be hon­est. Garry told me he feels the 87 is the right bal­ance of size ver­sus sim­plic­ity. In fact, he has not con­sid­ered a larger or dif­fer­ent hull.

He did con­cede that he would ap­pre­ci­ate larger ca­pac­ity de­sali­na­tion sys­tems for planned trips to the Kim­berly where river flows mean the abil­ity to turn brack­ish wa­ter to fresh wa­ter is lim­ited due to high lev­els of con­tam­i­nants. Also, the op­tion of a car­bon fi­bre-re­in­forced hard­top to carry the weight of a small he­li­copter would be handy to ferry guests into re­mote an­chor­ages. Lit­tle things...

THE WRAP

This FD87 and the range as a whole, pushes the bound­aries of lo­cal design in the right di­rec­tion.

By us­ing smart tech­nol­ogy for both sta­bil­i­sa­tion and in hull design, Hori­zon has cre­ated great looks with out­stand­ing space to length ra­tio – im­por­tant in tight mari­nas.

More im­por­tantly, this par­tic­u­lar FD shows off the boat­builder’s flex­i­bil­ity in design by cre­at­ing a hy­brid of two mod­els which can hon­estly be de­scribed as per­fectly suited to both its new owner and our out­doors-friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

“Hue Mun­gus can choose her ports of call should she em­bark on a cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion.”

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Un­der­way the FD87 can main­tain 9.1 kts on just one en­gine, con­sum­ing only 77L/hr; The bow lounge is the apex of op­u­lence; The bridge helm mir­rors the main in crit­i­cal con­trol gear.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Par­quetry floor­ing is a high­light in the sa­loon; Belowdecks, the crew quar­ters are su­perbly out­fit­ted; The spa­cious mas­ter state­room en­joys nat­u­ral light from large hull win­dows.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT The hall­ways fea­ture the same white mar­ble as the sa­loon en­trance; An up­grade, the Bensen­zoni helm chair is out­stand­ing in quailty and com­fort; The set­tees are re­mov­able to al­low the cockpit to be used for large par­ties.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Twin sin­gles can be re­con­fig­ured to form a dou­ble; The gal­ley is a study in econ­omy of work­able space; Each of the VIP suites in­cludes a spa­cious en­suite.

RIGHT The up­graded V10 MTU pow­er­plants; BELOW The bridge deck houses the jacuzzi and davit for a ten­der.

BELOW Floor-to-ceil­ing glass floods the large sa­loon with nat­u­ral light, bring­ing out the best in the be­spoke wood­work

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