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.
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.
“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.
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”
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...
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