Sunday, January 20

New Horizon 65 Power Cat: A Blend of Luxury, Space and Performance

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I thought I’d take a quick tour of the new Horizon 65 Power Catamaran during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where it was just launched. Then I realized there’s no such thing as a quick tour of this boat. It’s huge. It’s luxurious. It has beautiful woodwork – as in the curved railing on the stairs from the salon to the skylounge; it’s like a work of art. You don’t just glance at it and look away. You want to get up close and personal.

I forgot about the quick tour and settled in to enjoy this new cat, hull number one of Horizon’s 65 PC series, a boat that combines the best aspects of a high-end motoryacht with the stability, efficiency, performance – and space – of a large cruising catamaran. Horizon builds its boats per the owners’ specifications. The 65 comes with either four en suite staterooms (two with king berth, two with queens), or three en suite staterooms with crew’s quarters. The twin hulls provide enough space so that these are all large, comfortable and filled with light from hullside windows.

And this cat performs. Powered by standard twin 850-hp CAT diesels, it tops out at 26-plus knots, and has a cruising speed of 22 knots. Range at cruising speed is 500 nm.

Stuart Hegerstrom, the co-founder of The PowerCat Company, which distributes Horizon power cats, said the hull design is the result of long-term research and tank testing. “We are in the enviable position of being at the leading edge of the power catamaran revolution,” he said. The symmetrical, semi-displacement hull was designed by Lavranos Marine Design of New Zealand, and it has a sophisticated planing wedge that provides a stable, soft and level ride, even in rough conditions.

The first thing you notice when you climb on the new Horizon is the cockpit: It’s huge (the boat has a 24’ 6” beam) and it’s luxurious enough to be at home on a megayacht. There’s a curved settee across the transom, a high-gloss centered dining table, a wet bar and fridge, and enough space to hold a crowd. Indeed, at a media event there I counted 21 people in the cockpit, and there was room to spare.

Horizon customizes the interiors to fit the owner’s wishes. The wife of this boat’s owner (it’s his third Horizon) is a chef, so the galley, with counterspace that stretched on forever, is dominant in the salon. Up top, the skylounge (the boat also comes in a plain flybridge configuration) also is huge. Twin Stidd helm chairs are forward, then there’s another wet bar with stools to port, plus a day head aft; a large L-shaped settee is aft to starboard. The boat deck all the way aft is large enough for a  good-sized dinghy and any assortment of water toys.

The 65 is built for owner/operators, liveaboards or the charter trade. Richard Ford, the other co-founder of the Powercat Company, said “the PC 65 allows you to own a boat with larger engines, more fuel for longer-range cruising, and ticks the box of a well-appointed fourth cabin. For owners who choose to put their PC 65 into our charter program, it also offers comfortable crew accommodations.”

Horizon offers a management program for owners who want to put their boat in charter when they’re not using it. Part of the charter program is a try-before-you-buy offer, Ford said, where a potential customer can charter the boat for about 1 percent of its price before he makes a final decision. The base price of the new 65, Ford said, is about $3.9 million. The charter price for a week is $35,000. “We’ve sold so many yachts to people who charter before they buy,” he said. The Horizon power cat fleet ranges from 52 to 74 feet.

Specs: LOA: 65’1”; Beam: 24’6”; Draft: 5’3”; Disp.: 111,250 lbs.; Fuel: 1,500 gals.; Water: 300 gals.; Power: 2×850-hp CAT C12-9.





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