Boat Review Date: August 2009
Author: Mike Brown
$2.975m is a lot of money in outright terms, but compared with what you get in the Horizon 65 it looks more like a bargain. The builders call it a motor yacht and it is hard to argue with them: the ambience is more small ship than boat.
Take the cockpit. Rather than having to climb out to reach the side decks you simply walk, because it is on the same level; instead of calling it a cockpit perhaps the ferry expression ‘back deck’ is the right one. And the side decks are shippy too, protected by solid bulwarks capped by stainless steel rails that share the motif of all the other stainless on board: massive and beautifully executed and finished.
Also ship-like is the access provided for maintenance. Wherever there are cocks, unions or anything else that might need attention hidden away behind the vessel’s lining, opening panels are provided. Typically discreetly concealed behind mirrors or within wardrobes, the panels are labelled, and the components are all – every wire, pipe, cock and switch – labelled as well.
All the daytime interior space is on the same level as the back deck. There is a lot to be said for the cook being able to join in the chitchat, and also for not having to carry food up stairs. The actual cooking gets all the facilities: oven, cook top, concealed fridge-freezer, dishwasher and all the rest in a wrap-around layout. Eating places get the works too. A dinette behind the lower driving position, with a table that slides away for more room when out of action; a casual table further aft at the large settee; and, through the sliding curved glass door, the table ahead of the settee on the back deck.
There is another table on the fly bridge, a ripper model that has a hand crank to get the height right. This is associated with the bridge’s barbecue unit, but it is worth mentioning here that not only does the unit have a hotplate, sink, fridge and ice maker, but even a filtering arrangement for drinking water.
The saloon is fitted out with a great deal of immaculately finished pale timber, fabricated to tight tolerances.. Cocktail cabinets, fridge, TV, sound system and the like are accurately fitted within it. Since all Horizons are custom built, anything you don’t like can be changed. You can even have it built to survey.
A deck down, the sleeping accommodation comprises two doubles and a single cabin, and two bathrooms. Each cabin has its own TV, air-conditioning system, intercom and ducted vacuum outlet. And clever touches like sliding Japanese-type screens over the portholes for diffused natural light. Lighting generally is a big feature. Snake lighting all over the boat, an automatic light inside just about every locker door, and controls to provide intensity for every mood.
The engine room is just that: you enter it through a door and it has full standing headroom. Also full walking around room. The builder’s thoroughness is as obvious here as everywhere else: the piping and wiring runs are clear and logical, all unions are double clamped, and the exhausts in their stainless cladding are braced by more artwork-quality stainless. The room is so big it swallows the two C18 Caterpillars, the 17.5KVA genset, air-conditioning, water maker, hot water system and a Karcher pressure cleaner piped fore and aft on deck. It is so big it has overhead grab rails. One big-ship feature down here is a constant circulation of hot water through the main engines: no cold starts.
The engine room – and crew’s quarters – lead off the swim platform, in turn reached by a pair of stairways. The platform is large, and effectively bigger because its rails allow all of it to be used. The rails are in segments that can be individually lifted out and retained in special racks.
Another curved stairway leads to the vast fly bridge, protected by hardtop and clears. Aft of it the tender mounts on the back deck’s hardtop, served by a hydraulic davit.
The driving position, and also the downstairs position, features an enormous stainless wheel. If you wish you can use it with your feet – without any effort because of power steering. There is actually a third station, a portable one with controls for the engines and two thrusters. You can walk around the deck letting go lines and driving at the same time.
Despite its mass, 34T dry, the 64 is as lithe under way as a boat half the size, but with the presence on the water that size brings. The twin 1015hp Caterpillars give it effortless performance and deliver a cruising speed of 21 knots at 2100rpm. This is a natural long-legged cruising boat, and the importers estimate a maximum range from the 3,700L tanks of about 900 miles at reduced cruising speed.
The Horizon 64’s design lets you reach every outside part of it more easily than lesser boats, and practically everywhere you reach has something clever, surprising or attractive to hit the eye.
Price as reviewed AUD $2,975,000
Length over all 20.48m
Waterline length 16.37m
Displacement, dry 34T
Fuel capacity 3,800L
Engines 2 x Caterpillar C18s @ 1015hp ea