NEWS | March 09, 2023
A variety of creative minds have lent their talents to the success of Horizon’s most popular yacht series.
J.C. Espinosa, Jonathan Quinn Barnett, Cor D. Rover. These names are behind some of the world’s most noteworthy yacht builds: think the 414ft Lurssen Octopus, the 130ft Feadship Gallant Lady, and the 190ft Royal Huisman Phi, to name but three. These same names are behind several of Horizon’s most acclaimed yacht models and series.
When Horizon founder and CEO John Lu transitioned the company from being mostly an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of 40ft - 60ft yachts for other brands to building yachts under its own name and brand, he knew the market was ready for larger yachts. After searching through yachting magazines for a style that suited what John Lu saw as an appealing concept for Horizon, he focused on a 145ft design drawn by J.C. Espinosa, and contacted him.
“I was working on the proposal for Horizon,” recalls J.C., “when some clients came to my office looking for a yacht that matched the requirements of the boat I happened to be designing for Horizon.
“I introduced them to Horizon and the rest, like they say, is history!”
J.C. Espinosa’s first design for Horizon was the P130, Miss Rose.
This first design was also the first build of the P Series, which J.C. designed, including motor yachts and explorer-style yachts.
While Horizon does not bill itself as a fully custom builder, each Horizon yacht model and series is a direct representation of owner requests or feedback. Every series has expanded and evolved to meet the varied demands of its target audience and Horizon excels at paying attention to and predicting the forward direction of the yachting market.
Recognizing the demand for modern-looking yachts with flowing lines, large outdoor entertaining areas and open views to the sea from within, Horizon again turned to J.C. Espinosa, who, in collaboration with the late renowned naval architect Donald L. Blount, designed the first (Raised Pilothouse) RP97.
“Raised pilothouses have a very distinctive look that separates them from other production line yachts,” says J.C. “As the years pass, it has become necessary to make small changes to enhance the original designs.”
The larger yachts of the RP Series continue to stand the test of time, with both the RP110 and RP120 models holding steady in their popularity, and a brand new RP125 having just recently been built for an Australian owner and an RP is now under construction for a U.S. owner.
The story of Dutch designer and naval architect Cor D. Rover and the inspiration that spurred Horizon’s acclaimed Fast Displacement Series has been repeated often since the first FD85 appeared in 2016. Today the Series has expanded to include eight models with over 65 yachts built and sold worldwide.
While Horizon now excels in the upper-mid-size yacht market, it has remained true to its roots in smaller yachts. Its extremely popular E Series spans 56ft to 100ft and its Power Catamaran (PC) Series - which also features styling by J.C. Espinosa with naval architecture by power catamaran specialist Angelo Lavranos - stays at the forefront of its type with a series that includes 52ft, 60ft, 65ft, 68ft and larger custom power catamarans.
The inspiration to design the smallest yacht that could still be comfortably operated by two people while offering the level of amenities found on larger yachts was what led famed Seattle-based designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett to create the Horizon V68.
Featuring a plumb bow designed by Stimson Yachts, the V68 is well-planned throughout with spacious accommodations, wide side decks, and a voluminous interior on a 19ft 6in beam that takes advantage of large windows throughout. She offers a flexible three- or four-stateroom layout, with optional crew quarters aft, as well as various configurations for all three decks, including an open or enclosed bridge design and option for a beach club.
As the aforementioned yacht series and models continue to win the hearts of yachtsmen and boaters worldwide, Horizon continues gathering feedback from its family of owners with a stable of leading yacht designers standing ready with their new concepts.
So what is next? Cor D. Rover has concepts for an FD125 and an FD140 that are teasing interest, while J.C. Espinosa is working on new raised pilothouse and tri-deck designs.
But really, when it comes to Horizon, it’s the clients who will spur the next design.