While continuing to produce and market numerous product lines vigorously, the Horizon product planning team also began to develop yet another subset in response to a growing demand for trawler-style displacement yachts capable of passagemaking range, lower fuel consumption, and onboard comfort consistent with the demands of extended cruise itineraries.
Smallest of this series—a 77-foot version is in full production and a steel-hull 148-footer is nearing completion—the Horizon EP (for Efficiency Pilothouse) 69, made its North American debut last summer in Seattle.
The first impression is, well, impressive. Although a compact 69 feet 5 inches in LOA, the EP69 appears every bit the seagoing voyager, offering an aptly tall, burly profile and a broad-shouldered demeanor, the product of her 20-foot beam and a restatement of the EP77’s proportions and style.
The Horizon Yachts team has specified all-composite construction using SCRIMP technology, a vacuum-assisted lamination process developed to offer greater strength at reduced weight compared to conventional fiberglass construction methods. The layup schedule includes a solid fiberglass underbody, with foam coring above the waterline and in the decks and superstructure. At locations for window openings or through-hull fittings, where cutouts or penetrations otherwise would expose coring and thus subject the core to water intrusion or localized compression, Horizon engineers specify areas of solid fiberglass to achieve a secure, permanent seal.
Twenty feet of beam on a 69-foot displacement motoryacht will get you a generous measure of interior volume, which the Horizon design team has put to good use in a straightforward, logical arrangement in the lower deck plan. The layout allows for three en-suite staterooms: a midship master with king-size berth, a forward VIP with island queen berth, and a starboard-side guest room with adult-size upper and lower berths and, unusually, its own head with stall shower and vanity. The full-beam master includes a starboard-side head with large vanity and separate compartments for the toilet and shower. In the port hull side is an oval portlight of a size to brightly illuminate the entire space while offering a remarkable sea-level view; here, the installation of sliding or hinged mirrors above the vanity would produce a similar benefit on the starboard side. A fourth accommodation, nominally designated for crew but well suited to serve as an additional guest stateroom, lies aft, accessible via a watertight transom door.
At 7.3 knots, according to the MAN engine instrumentation, the two engines together deliver a bit under 1 nautical mile per gallon for a 1,938-nautical-mile range (factoring in a 90% reserve), respectable by any measure, especially so for a sub-70-foot motoryacht. During a recent trial on Lake Washington, a freshwater body extending some 22 miles north to south along Seattle’s eastern boundary, the 69 demonstrated predictable handling and tracking, and a comfortable angle of heel in hardover turns.
The cored hullsides and round bilges combined to mute hull noise to a subdued murmur, even at a brisk 9-knot cruise. The added muscle of the second main often can spell the difference between a daylight arrival at a distant port or groping through an unfamiliar and darkened anchorage. It also makes reaching a sheltered cove ahead of an approaching squall that much easier. Still, for simplicity, cost, and reduced maintenance, a single-engine installation seems worth considering, naturally with provision for some sort of get-home drive.
: 167,551 lb.
: 2,360 gal.
: 530 gal.
: 2/560-hp MAN D2876 LE402 diesels
: 21.5 kW Onan
Steelhead 1,500-pound hydraulic davit; ABT Trac 250/9 Stabilizers; 38-hp ABT hydraulic stern thruster; Additional 21.5 kW Onan generator.
Speeds are two-way averages measured with GPS. GPH taken from engine-monitoring electronics. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at lower helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.