I can’t recall how many boats I’ve been aboard that can sleep X number of people but on which that same number are unable to find places to congregate as a group—or for that matter, even to share a meal together. Too often there isn’t enough seating for everyone to eat or sunbathe or watch a movie together. In short, the only time and place many boats can accommodate their touted capacity comfortably is at night, in the staterooms. Horizon’s V80 has no such issue.
While it can sleep eight in four staterooms (each with its own en suite facilities), it can also accommodate that number just about anywhere a group is likely to congregate: at the main-deck dining table, the foredeck sunning pavilion, the aft-deck dining area, the pilothouse dinette, even in the fishing cockpit. On this boat no one need be consigned to solitude unless they desire it.
Surely one of the explanations for such design savvy is the fact that Horizon builds such a remarkable variety of vessels. The V Series is but one of a multitude of model lines from a builder that has become known for both its versatility and its flexibility when it comes to customization.
The company’s motto, “Define Your Horizon,” is not an empty sales pitch. Its willingness to customize any of its production models is one of the things that sets this builder apart. Our V80 is a case in point. Although a stock boat, the dealer, Orange Coast Yachts, used its own interior designer to select and coordinate fabrics and finishes. Owners wishing to build their own V80 are invited to be likewise involved, even to the point of visiting the factory (one of four Horizon facilities) in China if they desire. However, to make things easier for buyers, the company has come up with packages that are optimized for different geographical areas—East Coast, Great Lakes, West Coast—and the V80 I was aboard was spec’d expressly for West Coast clients.
All Horizons employ a variety of corings and laminate fabrics, which are assembled using a version of SCRIMP resin infusion. But Horizon also uses something called “fiber precut technology,” a technique common to the aviation industry that minimizes excess material and so reduces weight.
And weight is important to Horizon. While the V80 is hardly a light vessel, her listed displacement of 136,687 pounds is relatively modest for a fully found motoryacht of this size.
If buyers visit the factory they’ll see firsthand the advanced construction techniques that along with optional 1,622-horsepower Caterpillar C32s (1,150 CAT C18s are standard), allowed our V80 to reach an impressive 25 knots. She feels light under hard acceleration but she also feels substantial shouldering into swells. On test day a brisk offshore breeze out of the northwest had generated sizable swells in the Santa Barbara Channel but the V80’s semi-displacement hullform handled them easily at anything below WOT while taking only a little spray aboard. Underwater exhausts with low-speed bypasses help keep sound levels in the living spaces to modest levels, although in some of the larger swells, the main ports occasionally uncovered resulting in a momentary rumble that disappeared as soon as the boat resumed normal running trim.
Our V80 was also surprisingly responsive to helm input, especially for a vessel of this size. Close-quarters maneuverability was also good thanks to hydraulic bow and stern thrusters, but because sightlines to the aft quarters from the elevated pilothouse helm are necessarily compromised, we especially appreciated the wireless Yacht Controller that Orange Coast Yachts specified.
Such maneuverability will be appreciated by anglers, as will the V80’s 8-foot-long fishing cockpit. While this boat is by no means tournament-ready, rod holders, a dedicated tackle locker, rod stowage, and an illuminated transom baitwell should allow the angler to satisfy his piscatorial urges. However, he’ll have to boat any fish of size from the swim platform, whose generous dimensions are aimed more at accommodating a PWC than making it easier to get a big fish aboard.
Horizon Yachts, 561-721-4850; www.horizonyachtsusa.com
: 136,687 lb.
: 1,800 gal.
: 300 gal.
: 2/1,622-hp Caterpillar C32 ACERTs
: 2/1,150-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERTs
: 2/1,622-hp Caterpillar C32 ACERTs
: 42 x 42 four-blade nibral