Design study: 7 ways Horizon sisterships are one of a kind | Boat International
Design study: 7 ways Horizon sisterships are one of a kind
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Upward LOA creep vs. a perfect fit

At first glance, you might think Debbie Lou and hull No 323 from Horizon Yachts are identical – but the two motor yachts embody very different visions of life on the water

The two Horizon P-series tri-deck motor yachts are based on the same hull design by naval architect John Lindblom and showcase the same nicely proportioned exterior styling. But not one of the four yachts launched to date in Horizon’s P105-P110 series has been the same.

1. Upward LOA creep vs. a perfect fit

The third hull in the series, P110 hull No 323, is a yacht Horizon built on spec for its own inventory. At 33.5 metres, she continues Horizon’s trend toward “upward LOA creep.”

“From the P108, the yard said it was a natural progression to go to a 110,” said Horizon Yachts Director Roger Sowerbutts. “We could even do a 112.”

Sowerbutts explained that the hydraulic swim platform — the first for this series — had lengthened the LOA by two feet. As for the other three feet, he said, “You will see a little more room throughout the boat; an inch here and an inch there.”

Debbie Lou, the fourth hull in the P series, on the other hand, reverts to the original length of 32 metres, and for good reason.

“If it were one foot longer, it wouldn’t fit,” the owners said, referring to her home dock. These repeat Horizon clients moved up from an 85-footer and took delivery this past spring.

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Traditional vs. modern interior styling

Debbie Lou’s elegantly traditional interior design (pictured left) is a large part of what sets the yacht apart from other models in the series.

The wife designed the interior in collaboration with Horizon’s head of interior design, Esha Tsai. Taiwanese camphor and Carpathian elm burl, intricate handcrafted crown moldings, soffits, door frames and accent tables the wife designed herself add contrast to dark African makoré paneling and cabinetry.

“Unmatched” is the word her husband used to describe the shipyard’s woodworking skills. “Nobody else in the industry does woodwork like it,” he said.

By contrast, the P110 (pictured right) has a bright, contemporary interior design also created by Tsai and Horizon’s in-house design team. It features unusual light walnut paneling installed with the wood grain running horizontally instead of vertically and a glossy finish.

The P110’s interior design was influenced by feedback from Horizon customers,” Horizon's Roger Sowerbutts said. “They didn’t want to lose the classic woods and finishes, but wanted a more contemporary feel.”

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Formal vs. open plan living and dining

A wooden pillar helps set off Debbie Lou’s dining area (pictured left) from the saloon. Above, a deep soffit has a mirrored inset that reflects the graceful chandelier.

“When the grandkids are on board, we like to have the family sit together,” the husband said, so they requested a round table that seats six, with a leaf that expands it into an oval seating 10.

On the P110, the dining area (pictured right) is open to the saloon with a more modern style. Its table is rectangular, with eight chairs. A golden oyster shell panel mounted on the bulkhead adds texture, while the lighting fixture overhead looks like a galaxy of stars.

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Two different style country kitchens

Forward on the P110 is a country kitchen (pictured right) that is very light and open, with a large peninsula counter offering the chef an abundance of plating space. A huge white marble refectory table under the forward windows lets guests share a casual meal or watch the chef at work.

Debbie Lou also has a country kitchen (pictured left), but her owners made many changes to it because for them, it is an owner and guest area rather than a service area; the wife does all the cooking for the family when they are aboard.

Their galley features upgraded appliances, including a Wolf range, and an even larger peninsula return than on the P110. The U-shaped settee wraps around two granite tables.

“If it’s cold outside in New England in the spring, it’s nice to have a place to sit together while my wife cooks,” the husband said. “Boating is about being together as a family.”

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Customised layouts

Although a three-stateroom lower-deck layout is available, both yachts have four staterooms. The P110 (pictured right) has the standard plan, which includes a generous full-beam master suite aft, two twin staterooms that convert to kings when you slide one berth over the nightstand to meet its mate, and a forward VIP.

Debbie Lou’s owners added a Pullman berth to their starboard-side twin so that three grandchildren could bunk there together and made the port cabin a double. Pictured right is the master stateroom on Debbie Lou.

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Designed for charter vs. fit for private use

The two yachts’ flybridges show marked contrasts.

The P110, pictured right, has a Jacuzzi and a built-in counter with ice machine, refrigerator, grill and storage — making it equally well-suited for private cruising or charters — whereas on Debbie Lou, “We never use the Jacuzzi and we don’t charter the boat,” the husband said.

Debbie Lou’s owners love to cruise with their children and grandchildren, ages four and younger. They asked Horizon for protective Plexiglas panels on the safety rails and to forgo the Jacuzzi, although the deck is plumbed for it in case a future owner would want one. And there is ample comfortable seating for guests of all ages (pictured left).

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Building for a demanding owner vs. built on spec

The husband on Debbie Lou is an experienced owner/operator who brings a captain along only to take over the helm when he wants to relax with family. As such, he gave Horizon detailed technical and equipment specifications.

“If you ask the yard, they probably learned a lot from me. I am a demanding owner,” he said. “I got a lot of special things on this boat. I demanded a DNV Class document for Structural and Stability. I also got stainless steel pipes instead of hoses in the engine room for safety.”

Both the P110 and Debbie Lou are equipped with Maretron yacht monitoring systems, but the husband upgraded his yacht to an OctoPlex breaker system.

A more difficult demand for the shipyard was his request for Tier 3 Caterpillar diesels during a time when the yachting industry had just begun transitioning from Tier 2 engines to the new, higher-environmental-standard diesels. Debbie Lou has the first pair of Tier 3 Caterpillars ever installed in a Horizon. “They went out of their way to get the Cats,” he said. “There’s zero smoke.”

Horizon’s P-series models can best be characterized as “semi-production” with standard hull forms, superstructures, machinery spaces and general arrangements (see the P110 GA above), but these two superyachts clearly illustrate the shipyard’s willingness to meet or exceed owners’ expectations.

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