Owner Perspective | Horizon Yacht USA

Owner Perspective

NEWS | July 31, 2023

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Owner Perspective 

Horizon E88 owners Ira and Wendy Levenshon share their experiences. Image 6890: THE ROAD TO ENLIGHTENMENT

A growing extended family led Ira and Wendy Levenshon from their 58ft Horizon to a V74, and then into their latest Satori, the new Horizon E88. We spoke to them while they were enjoying a few days with their children and grandchildren aboard in Boston, Massachusetts, just before they resumed their New England cruising adventures.

Image 6895: Stepping Stones

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Ira moved to Florida in 1971 and bought his first boat, as one often does. “It was more of a fiberglass bathtub than a boat,” he recalls. “It had a two-stroke 25hp outboard. I sat on the gas tank and I had a compass. That’s where it started.”

And, as they often do, the boats gradually got bigger over the years. In 1981 Ira bought his first Sea Ray, a brand he stayed with for nearly 20 years. “While company support was not good, the dealer support was, so I knew that as I moved on in size corporate support was going to be very important.”

In 2004, Ira was on the hunt for his next boat and came across a 2002 Horizon 58. “That’s when I met Roger [Sowerbutts of Horizon Yacht USA],” he recalls. “He made it clear that I was the third owner and there were no warranties, but that he would be a resource for me.”

Subsequent to that, Ira says, Horizon as a company became a major support, as did Roger. “Anytime I had a question, or something needed to be done or there was something I couldn’t do myself, they were my first call. They never let me down.”

Ira owned that Horizon 58, christened Satori, for six years. He married his sweetheart, Wendy, on the bow of the boat at Ocean Reef in Key Largo, Florida.  Image 6892: On the Path

The aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis affected yacht production worldwide, and by 2010 inventory was low and many builders, dealers and brokers were desperate for a sale to stay afloat. At a boat show, Ira and Wendy entertained an “unbelievable deal” offered by another yacht manufacturer but, having also toured a Horizon V74, they chose the Horizon.

The Levenshon’s took their new V74 up and down the East Coast of the U.S. several times, venturing as far north as Northeast Harbor, Maine. All in all, they put close to 3,000 hours on the boat, in all kinds of seas. Their V74 handled particularly well in rough weather during an Ocean Reef yacht club voyage to The Bahamas. “Anytime we had an issue, we had Horizon behind us – not just Roger, but the people in Taiwan as well.”

As owners often are, the Levenshon’s were soon ready for something bigger. A friend of theirs told them about the Horizon E88 he had seen at the 2016 boat show and wanted their thoughts on it. He bought that boat after their conversation. That owner was Jim Loomis (featured in Vol. 50) who, not long after purchasing his E88, traded it in for a brand new FD85. In a rare transaction, Ira and Wendy traded their V74 for Loomis’s E88.

“I was in the Emergency Room at the University of Miami, on the phone with Roger,” Ira recalls.

“I told him, you should never make a purchase when you’re not feeling well but he just looked at me, went back to Roger and said, ‘let’s make this happen!’” Wendy laughs.

No Wrong Turns

Wendy and Ira have just completed their 13th summer cruising from Miami to Maine. For the first few years they would stop and explore many different ports along the way, but now they prefer to stay longer at fewer ports and seek out the more isolated, off-the-beaten-path destinations. “We’ve taken our Horizons to every state on the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, as well as Cuba, The Bahamas and the Florida Keys. We do a lot of dockage in the middle of nowhere. This year, for the first time, we went from Miami to Maine in just six days!"Image 6899: After running their boats themselves, the Levenshon’s now have a full-time captain and stew/deck, the former being a requirement for a boat of this size. They live on the boat for six months of the year and when they return to Miami in November, keep the boat behind their condo on the beautiful Biscayne Bay.

Wendy and Ira say they have no regrets about joining the Horizon family. “Horizon builds a really good boat,” they say. “From [CEO] John Lu down, if something isn’t perfect, they will assist."

Even though the Levenshon’s have yet to build their own boat, they share ideas with friends to incorporate into their own Horizon builds. “I built buildings as a career, so I don’t want to build anymore!” jokes Ira. “But we do know that Horizon is the builder for owners who know what they want.“You can’t compare typical production boats with a Horizon build,” he continues. “Each series is markedly different, each yacht reflects the owner's preferences, and each is built to perform. We’ve unintentionally found ourselves in storms and high seas aboard our Horizons, which all handled themselves very well.Image 6891: “I like the flybridge for entertaining,” says Wendy. “We have parties with up to twenty people. The aft deck, the foredeck, the master stateroom, the quality of the finishes… it’s all great! It’s a phenomenal boat.” What’s the next step of the Levenshons’ journey? “We talk about that all the time,” says Wendy. “The FD series is voluminous and we have the dockage at home for it, but honestly we still love this boat.”Image 6889: As we said goodbye, Ira and Wendy continued on their journey, which will bring them back to Florida in time for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the end of October.Image 6894: Image 6887:  For more information, please contact Horizon Yacht USA at (561) 721-4850 or email [email protected]