Yachting was recently invited to Horizon Yachts’ Open House in the company’s hometown, the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung. The biennial event, which Horizon is considering making annual, allows the builder to interact with international press and prospective owners in a way that it can’t at boat shows and other places, since the company’s facilities, as well as the Horizon City Marina, are close at hand.
The festivities included multiple parties, a sightseeing tour of the city and a gala, where Taiwanese performers delighted the crowd between courses and Horizon’s top sales performers from the world over were honored for their accomplishments by receiving customized Hublot watches made specifically for Horizon.
Horizon also had soft debuts for two new models, the FD87 Skyline, and the V68. The FD87 Skyline, which is both the name of the boat and the name of the model, will be used primarily in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Her proud owner was in attendance at the event and went out of his way to show guests the yacht’s strongpoints. Perhaps most notable about the model is the main deck, which has enormous windows in the salon and fully opening doors to the cockpit, which combine to offer excellent views and a connection to the sea, and also make the boat feel exceptionally big for a vessel with a 90 foot, 1 inch length overall (a wide 23 foot, 3 inch beam certainly adds to the effect). A spacious main-deck master complements the model’s big-boat feel. The FD87 is essentially the enclosed bridge version of the FD85, which to my mind was probably one of the most gabbed about boats at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The Skyline will make her official debut at this spring’s Palm Beach International Boat Show.
The other model that Horizon introduced was the V68, which will debut at the Newport Boat Show in California this April. The V68 is notable for a very open layout on her main deck as well, where the galley, salon and country kitchen meld into one airy space. The open-bridge boat was designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett to be used by owner-operators — a quality that particularly piqued the interest of the rather large Australian contingent at the Open House — and has wide side decks and customizable layouts down below. A remarkably large bowdeck lounge can comfortably sit up to 12 people, a nice touch for owners who plan on doing lots of outdoor entertaining.
On the last day of the Open House, journalists were treated to a tour of one of Horizon’s factories, where some of the company’s 800 employees work. There was an impressive resin-fusion process on display, and the towering CNC milling machine, which helps Horizon build yachts with utmost precision, also drew some oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
After a convivial farewell dinner, it was back to the airport, with most of the attendees looking at a long flight home, though not without lots of good memories.
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