A cat for the Masses
By Capt. Richard Thiel
Alot of boaters do not like catamarans because their interior spaces are too—well, cat-like. That typically means one giant saloon with unusable space and then a few cramped staterooms in the hulls. That complaint often includes the master, and if you’re the guy shelling out for a new boat, you’re most likely not going to want to feel like a sardine in a can when you’re sleeping onboard. The Horizon PC60 is different.
No boaters will feel like said sardine on this power catamaran, since the master is fully forward on the main deck. This not only allows for a much bigger stateroom but also great views out of the expansive windshield. The after part of that deck comprises the generously proportioned saloon.
The aft saloon doors open 8 feet wide onto a giant (13 feet long by 23 feet 8 inches wide) aft deck, where the six-person dining table sits, covered by the cockpit overhang. With the doors open, the saloon and cockpit become one huge space. Although there’s an L-shaped settee in the saloon, its table is too small for serious dining, thus the outdoor one will be the venue of choice for meals.
The PC60 has symmetrical semi-displacement hulls with “planing wedges” aft. (Basically they’re pads that produce lift to get the hulls up out of the water.) Each prop is in a tunnel and protected by a small keel that also enhances tracking.
Another notable design feature is the full-length “wave breaker,” a V-shape protrusion on the underside of the superstructure that disperses large waves that enter the tunnel. Many cats have a version of this, but I’ve never seen one that is full-length. The hulls’ interior sides also cant inward to give the boat a lot of reserve buoyancy. The idea is to avoid not only impact but a large wave closing off the tunnel, which can force spray back out the forward opening—the notorious “spitting” found in many cats.
It’s also worth noting that the boat was built using Divinycell coring laminated using the SCRIMP process, which should theoretically keep her weight down going forward. (My test boat was hull number one, and thus likely a bit beefier than her successors.)
I got an excellent chance to match the 60’s real-world performance against her theoretical design constructs thanks to 15-knot winds and 4-foot seas that occasionally piled up into 5-footers—perfect conditions to test seakeeping but not so great to measure test numbers accurately. I’m not in the habit of making excuses for the test results, and a top speed of nearly 22 knots is nothing to apologize for. But if we’d had flat water, I’m pretty sure the 60 would have squeezed out a couple more knots, if only because it would have allowed the planing wedges to work better.
Horizon Yachts, 561-721-6068; www.horizonyacht.com
: 77,000 lb.
: 1,000 gal.
: 400 gal.
: 2/715-mhp Cummins QSM 11 diesel inboards
: ZF 500 A, 2.003:1 gear ratio
: 32 x 25 4-blade Nibral
Air temperature: 75°F; humidity: 57%; wind: 13-15 knots; seas: 4'; load: 500 gal.fuel, 200 gal. water, 5 persons, 300 lb. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured w/ onboard Garmin GPS. GPH taken via SmartCraft monitor. Range is based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.