By the time most owners get around to building their sixth boat, they know exactly what they want it to look like inside and out, what equipment it should carry, how it should perform and where it should be capable of voyaging. That was certainly the case with the American couple who own the very first Horizon RP110 superyacht, Andrea VI. Both husband and wife were involved in every aspect of their new yacht’s design, right down to the colour of the deck caulking (grey – an unusual choice that wound up looking great).
‘We always believe the owners are the best designers,’ says John Lu, Horizon Group CEO. His yard’s willingness to listen to owners’ design ideas, offer multiple layouts for semi-custom models and accommodate changes beyond those GAs, has given Horizon an edge in the fibreglass yacht building market over less flexible competitors.
‘It’s fun to work on the details,’ says the husband half of the owning couple. This is the second yacht they have built with the Horizon yard – the first was a 25 metre launched in 2007 – and their enthusiasm for the process clearly hasn’t waned. ‘There’s nothing these people won’t do,’ he says. The couple decided to move up to a larger yacht to have more room for family on board. They selected Horizon’s brand new (33.5 metre) Raised Pilothouse 110 model, based on the drawings the shipyard had developed in collaboration with designer JC Espinosa and naval architect Donald L Blount.
‘Horizon had plans for the 110, but it had never been built,’ the husband says. ‘The design is very contemporary, but it had to be seaworthy because we really use the boat.’ He adds, ‘This boat ended up with a shallower draught than even the 82 – that’s a bonus.’
Blount’s hull design, which has a 1.8 metre draught and incorporates a double chine to optimise seakeeping ability in rough conditions, satisfied all the owners’ requirements. The yacht was constructed without an ounce of weight wasted thanks to Horizon’s high-tech SCRIMP cored lamination process. Next, the shipyard subjected the hull to its new NDT process, using ultrasonic testing to measure its thickness and lock-in thermography to scan the inner hull for any hidden voids or defects. The result is a high quality, highly consistent hull form offering excellent performance. In fact, while Horizon reports a top speed of 22 to 23 knots for the RP110 when powered by twin 1,935hp Caterpillar C32A ACERT diesels (the upgrade propulsion package specified by Andrea VI’s owners), her captain says he has seen her run as fast as 24 knots, fully loaded, at full rpm.
Horizon offers numerous layouts for the RP110, starting with the choice between a five-suite plan with a main-deck master or a four-suite version with a country kitchen and a full-beam master on the lower deck._ Andrea VI’s_ owners opted for the latter GA, which not only allows them to enjoy meals in the galley, but also offers more storage space to support the long-distance cruising they like to do. ‘We worked with JC Espinosa and found a lot of storage that wasn’t there to begin with,’ the husband says.
While the Horizon RP110 comes with a rear tender garage as standard, the owners replaced it with spacious crew quarters. ‘We sacrificed the garage. We didn’t mind. We wanted [the crew] to be happy,’ the husband says. ‘The whole key to boating, I can say in two words: good crew.’
The wife says their design goal for the interior was, ‘To produce a Nantucket beach house on the water; everything light and open.’ To translate this to the nautical realm, she hired interior designer Marty A Lowe to help her. ‘At boat shows, I would see a room I liked, and every time I asked who did it, the answer was “Marty Lowe”,’ she says.
No room-dividing cabinets or partitions break the flow in the public rooms aboard Andrea VI. Long, whitewashed oak flooring planks lead the eye forward through the uncluttered rooms and down airy companionways. Whitewashed oak cabinetry with a smooth satin finish, accented by fabric wall coverings and leather upholstery in relaxing hues of white, linen and beige, provide a neutral backdrop to the stunning views seen through Espinosa’s huge, frameless windows. There is nothing aboard this yacht to distract the eye from the water around it, which is entirely the point.
Andrea VI’s L-shaped open-designed galley/country kitchen, in particular, ‘took a tremendous amount of time to make it feel like home. We hang out in the galley a lot’, the wife says, adding, ‘We put an emphasis on storage and freezer space.’ Most of the galley appliances are by Miele, but a large Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer also are in the dining area, both with oak doors that help them blend seamlessly into the room’s décor. The chef has a second refrigerator by the range to hold staples.
The impact of the owners’ refined taste and cruising savvy is evident throughout the yacht’s interior. ‘We looked at it inch by inch,’ the husband says. ‘We had input into every room.’ But it is the exterior decks that really bear their personal stamp. Rather than putting a dining table on the aft main deck, for example, they chose to install a large wraparound sofa, creating a chic exterior space for greeting and entertaining guests. ‘Our idea was to make it like the lobby of the W Hotel,’ the wife says.
The flybridge is their real masterpiece, however. ‘When you walk up the steps, it’s all view,’ says the husband. The forward portion is protected by a hardtop that supports huge, transparent ‘canvas’ panels custom-designed by EZ2CY to enclose the deck on three sides. The two side panels each are about six metres in length, making them the largest continuous panels the vendor has ever manufactured. Horizon cut a track for the panels’ bottom zippers into the stainless steel side rails – a first for the shipyard. When the canvas is up, the owners and captain can enjoy cruising in air-conditioned comfort with near 360-degree views of the water. ‘We spend a lot of time on the flybridge,’ the husband says. ‘We designed it to withstand the weather. It allows you to live outside.’
As she has no garage, the yacht’s 4.9 metre Williams tender is stored on the flybridge aft. (The husband likes the fact that his diesel-powered tender means the yacht doesn’t have to carry petrol.) When the tender is in the water, the owners can use the deck for sunbathing. Although a spa pool is standard on the RP110, they decided against one on their boat. ‘If our family wants to jump in the water, they just jump in from the swim platform,’ the husband says.
Crew quarters have the same level of fit and finish as the owner and guest areas, a Horizon hallmark. The pilothouse’s whitewashed oak helm console and flooring, along with its leather-and-stainless sofas, make this an elegant inner sanctum where captain and owners can watch the water through more than 180 degrees of wraparound windows.
The aft crew quarters accommodate up to five in two bunkrooms linked by a ‘Jack-and-Jill’ head, along with an en suite captain’s cabin. The woodwork and furnishings here are finished to the same standard as the rest of the yacht; the only concession to practicality is the vinyl ‘faux wood’ flooring, which takes the crew less time to maintain.