First FD102 Debuts at 2020 Horizon Yachts Open House
by Cecile Gauert
Horizon kicked off the new decade with two world debuts at its open house - the first FD102 Skyline and the FD75. The models were two of six new yachts on display at Horizon City Marina.
The FD line, which stands for Fast Displacement, was developed with Dutch designer Cor D. Rover and has quickly become Horizon’s fastest growing line thanks to the high volume to length ratio. People may have been taken aback by the different styling at first, but they quickly took to the concept. “People like space,” says Rover, who draws a parallel with the Porsche Cayenne. “When Porsche introduced the Cayenne, many said it was the end of Porsche.” It wasn’t true for the luxury car builder and it is definitely not true of Horizon, which now produces 25 different models.
“They look a bit chunky, but the performance is far from chunky. This has the SUV feel to it, a lot of space in a rapid motion,” Rover says of the FD line, which was unveiled in 2016 at the Taiwan Boat Show. It now stretches from 24 metres to 38 metres with a fully developed and ready to build concept known as the FD125 Skyline waiting for a client. Although each model has a different hull, developed and tank-tested in house, they share a similar hull form and wave piercing bow.
Of the current models in the FD line, the FD87 has so far proven the most popular. Horizon debuted hull 15 built for American clients at its Open House. Meanwhile hull 17, a stretched and customised version called FD92 Skyline, was recently ordered. The 33 metre FD102, a five-cabin yacht with a volume of 250 GT, is off to a good start. While the first hull Impatient IV is bound for Europe, hull two and three have been ordered by American clients. Hull two will differ greatly from the first one, with a different LOA, an open galley, an open deck aft of the pilothouse and many more custom features. Impatient IV, which is built to comply with BV charter class, has an enclosed skylounge connected to the bridge.
Part of the success of the Horizon yard is flexibility from outside to inside. “We are able to do the interiors to suit (the clients’) lifestyle,” says Lu, who trained as an architect and takes pride in Horizon’s 50-person design department. “It’s very rare in the industry to find so many in-house designers.”
The FD75 from Horizon’s Vision shipyard, was built on spec for Europe, with hull two going to the US. The entry level model into the FD line was designed for owners/operators and features a raised pilothouse, a master cabin on main deck, plus three cabins below, if desired. A crew area aft can be transformed into a beach club. The FD line’s expansion has contributed to make Horizon the 9th largest builder in the world in Boat International Global Order Book, which tracks shipyard production worldwide.
In 2012 Horizon CEO John Lu met Cor de Rover, who presented him with his idea for a voluminous yacht on a hull of just 24 metres. At first Lu wasn’t convinced by the unusual appearance (just a few years ago, the look of high-volume boats was a novelty), but he was intrigued by the idea and hit it off with the designer. “It is our company philosophy, we like to try something, dare to be different, be bold,” Lu said. Being bold has paid off and Horizon, which is just over 30 years old, as of January 2020 had delivered 835 boats worldwide.
Horizon kicked off its Open House with a gala dinner for 300 people, including dealers from around the world and owners, on January 14. The following day a tour of the main shipyard showcased the innovation that has allowed Horizon to infuse increasingly larger hulls faster. Horizon has been using SCRIMP (Seemann Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process) for more than years 20 to build strong fibreglass hulls quickly and with very few emissions. Its division Atech holds the world record for the largest single shot hull infusion for a 43 metre hull. The construction method and in-house design and production teams allow them to bring a yacht such as the FD102 from contract to market in as little as 12 months.
The day concluded with a cruise of Kiaohsung Harbour and a yacht hop. In addition to the FD line, Horizon presented a 20 metre PC65, part of its popular catamaran line and a 31 metre RP100 motor yacht, bound for the Australia. The 2020 Horizon Open House concluded on January 16 with a city tour and farewell dinner. Shortly after the event, a new FD87 bound for the US, will board a transport ship for its anticipated public debut at the Palm Beach International Boat March 26 to 29.