While Horizon calls the wheelhouse a skylounge, it's really more of an enclosed bridge, but it's definitely a comfortable one. There's a big L-shaped leather settee that should prove magnetic to guests while underway, and it can double as a pilot berth for anyone keeping the skipper company on long passages. The helm has a centerline Stidd chair behind the leather-trimmed instrument panel that held a single Furuno NavNet screen plus an array of displays for various systems. A large chart table to port has a pop-up television to amuse guests, and a double-wide companion chair is fitted to starboard.
There is a thoughtful half-door on the stairs down to the main deck to prevent a forgetful guest from suddenly disappearing down the rabbit hole. The stairs, by the way, would challenge a mountain goat: Those of us with older knees find them too steep and with too much riser.
Outside the wheelhouse is an immense full-beam boat deck that can handle a 14-foot tender, with a 1,500-pound Steelhead davit that extends far enough to launch it directly astern. Standard power is a pair of 1,001-horsepower Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels in an engineroom arranged to make the crew happy. This happy crew, by the way, has its own quarters just abaft the engineroom, with entry from the cockpit. A double cabin is to port with head, and the starboard side is devoted to a spacious workshop with metal-topped benches and tons of stowage for spares.
Sharing the very accessible engineroom are the standard Onan 27.5 kW and 17 kW gensets. The fuel manifold on the engineroom bulkhead is userfriendly and clearly marked, and the Racor filters are moved to the bulkhead as well. Welded rails protect the crew from the engines and, like all the metalwork on the Vision 74, it is perfectly bent and welded.
Underway, this Greg Marshall-designed yacht feels solid and has an easy motion. This particular 74, with an enclosed pilothouse and everything aboard except the tender and the owner's effects, topped out at 21.3 knots. That gives you the speed to outrun a front, albeit slurping diesel at a most unungreen rate. The "sweet spot" for the 74 seems to be at about 16.5 knots, at which speed she gets where she's going comfortably.
My persnickety comments aside about things that can easily be remedied, I liked the Vision Horizon 74 a great deal. She has an interior that reflects how people really spend their time aboard, she is built to very high standards, and she's fitted with the best equipment.
Oh, yes: She's a very pleasant shade of green, too.
Horizon Yachts, (561) 346-5966, www.horizonyacht.com