Joey Lu, the marketing director for Horizon Yacht, needs just three words to explain boatbuilding in Taiwan: “It was everywhere.”
Some 40 years ago, in just 14,000 square miles of space, the island had more than 100 shipyards—including Horizon, which has been building there since 1987. After decades of competition, survival of the fittest means there are far fewer shipyards today, and those remaining are much stronger. Horizon is among them and uses its strength to attract the most talented craftsmen and engineers in the region.
Most recently, that high level of in-house knowledge helped Horizon win a 2022 Taiwan Excellence Award for the Horizon FD92. It’s a substantial award, with the yacht being named a standout among more than 1,000 products reviewed by 140 jurors from Taiwan and around the world.
The Horizon FD92 is a model that, like all Horizon builds, can be ordered with a high degree of customization. The builder’s FD Series has proved popular for this reason. It includes models from 75 to 125 feet length overall, and the sheer quantity of orders from the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and beyond means about 90 percent of the factory is now devoted to building FD Series yachts.
The Horizon FD92 is a newer model, with five built so far. Buyers are attracted to the spaciousness on board in not only the salon but also the staterooms. “One of the key points on the 92 is the on-deck master,” Lu says. “Usually, on this size boat, the master is belowdecks. We have the master stateroom on the main deck.”
This positioning of the on-deck master is possible because the FD92 has a high-performance piercing bow, a Horizon engineering advancement that allows for more space in the yacht’s interior without affecting performance underway. And that’s not the FD92’s only notable feature. It’s also the first Horizon model built as a tri-deck, with another level above the main and upper decks. This extra level includes guest seating and an additional helm station.
Horizon got the idea for the tri-deck from a client and used the yard’s in-house expertise to manage the substantial engineering challenges. The tri-deck has proven so popular, Lu says, it’s now an official option on the FD92, and bigger models will have it in the future.
“These customers come to us with these innovative ideas because they know we are a shipyard that can make it happen,” Lu says.
Lu says some owners have asked for surprising changes on the Horizon FD92’s exterior, usually to accommodate specialty tenders and toys they like to use while doing their favorite type of cruising. Horizon and its in-house team can handle these kinds of requests, and they enjoy the challenge of making each client’s dreams come to life.
“One of our customers has a one-man submarine, for instance, a little bigger than a tender,” Lu says. “Another customer wanted a helipad on top. No matter what kind of requests a customer has, we can do our best to achieve that. We are building them now.”