The Evolution of Horizon’s High-Volume FD Series
How the pioneering Fast Displacement series evolved with each client to become the world’s fastest growing yacht series.
The Horizon Fast Displacement (FD) Series of motor yachts is known for its contemporary style lines, flexible cruising speeds, and, most importantly, its spacious interior volume, seakeeping ability, and stability which attracts seasoned owners as well as those wishing to explore more diverse designs and options.
At Horizon, owner input and feedback are critical components of the build process. Collaboration with clients has resulted in a number of new models and owners’ design requests have not only been engineered to meet the clients’ specific requirements but many have become standard features on future models.
Developed by renowned yacht designer Cor D. Rover in cooperation with Horizon’s in-house naval architecture team, the first FD Series model – the FD85 Raised Pilothouse – debuted in 2016. The FD85’s exterior and interior layouts were designed to take full advantage the volume provided by her 23’ 3” (7.11m) beam, with a total of five en suite guest staterooms on board, including a full-beam, on-deck master stateroom. The first semi-production build and arguably the pioneer of the high-volume design trend now embraced by production builders worldwide, this FD85 was a truly advanced, mid-range motor yacht that incorporated cutting-edge, high-volume design with functional living and entertaining spaces.
With the advent of volume-driven designs generated by the introduction of the FD series, new and existing Horizon clients recognized the potential for even more innovative designs for the interior and exterior layouts of their new builds. Enter experienced yacht owner and engineer Travis Fox, who was taken with the FD85’s design at its U.S. debut during the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Travis, whose previous boat was a Cor D. Rover design, sat down with Cor and Horizon CEO John Lu during the show to discuss an FD build. In contrast to the Open Bridge design of the FD85, Travis inquired about the possibility of an FD yacht with an enclosed skylounge – a design request that led to his FD87 Skyline and eventually to what became the FD90 Skyline model. While the original FD85 featured a raised pilothouse, Travis’s FD87 Skyline was designed with an uninterrupted main-deck level and enclosed bridge with a Portuguese bridge forward and a spacious boat deck aft, to further increase interior living space without compromising any outdoor entertaining areas.
A year after taking delivery, the Fox family remains proud of their Skyline. “We’re happy with the boat, happy with her performance and reliability, and happy with our decisions and relationship with Horizon,” says Travis. “If I could go back in time, I’d basically do the exact same thing again.”
While Horizon Yachts offers its clients a diverse range of motor yacht series designed to suit every lifestyle, the ability for each owner to customize a yacht – from amenities to layout to overall build – is unparalleled.
This willingness to embrace the investment in design and engineering that accompanies requests for customized builds has led to many new customer-driven innovations in the evolving FD Series, not only in length but also in deck design.
The first tri-deck FD yacht was inspired from a client meeting during which the client asked if it was possible to have both an enclosed skylounge and an open flybridge. Never one to shy away from a challenge, John Lu and his team set about creating the first tri-deck FD – an FD92 Tri-Deck – a pocket superyacht with even more interior space and al fresco entertainment areas.
“Horizon is truly a custom builder,” said the FD Tri-Deck owner. “Horizon will do as much or as little as you want and you can get as involved as much as you want. I was truly impressed with their organization.”
After enjoying his custom FD92, this client decided to build bigger and ordered a new FD110 Tri-Deck yacht, which is due for delivery this summer. “My first build exceeded every expectation I had for the project. The Horizon team were very professional and extended every courtesy to make sure our new yacht was designed and built to our dreams. Every part of the process, from design, to build, and through warranty was a pleasurable experience.”
Pioneering the high-volume trend that is now permeating the yachting industry, the Horizon FD Series range now includes six distinct models of Open Bridge or Tri-Deck variations and spans from an FD75 to the FD125, with an FD140 superyacht design concept in the works. What distinguishes the FD Series yacht from other high-volume builds, however, is its advanced composite construction technology and innovative and proprietary High Performance Piercing Bow (HPPB) and hull design. Not only are the Horizon FD Series yachts packed with amenities and plenty of space, they provide under-the-waterline performance and stability that guarantees comfortable and safe cruising.
“Traditional yacht design wouldn’t accommodate the layouts and features we wanted, so advanced engineering and careful planning has been a necessity for many of the FD models,” says John Lu. “This is exactly what sets Horizon apart from other builders – our drive for innovation and our willingness to push the proverbial envelope.”