The debut of Horizon Power Catamaran’s new flagship PC 74 inspires “ooohs” and “aaahs” from… well, everyone!
The saying “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” is apropos when it comes to boats and especially when builders add a new model to their fleet. So, when I stepped on board the new Horizon Power Catamaran PC74—the builder’s new flagship—after its debut at the Miami Boat Show, I put myself in the mindset of not only a marine journalist but also as other “beholders.”
As a former yacht charter captain, I was reminded of one important requirement for guests: multiple comfortable spaces. A wide-open salon and galley, roomy accommodations with separate entries, plenty of space on the swim platform, a wide bow for sunning, a large flybridge helm, and sundeck all translate into plenty of room for a family to play and relax. And during our sea trial back to Fort Lauderdale from the Miami
Yacht Show, there was no doubt the PC74 has the design, power, grace, and comfort to satisfy any charter guest, family member, crewmember, and anyone else who steps on board.
We headed out Miami’s Government Cut in an outgoing tide with a steep headwind chop, and the vessel’s seaworthiness was immediately put to the test. Maneuvering through the six- to eight-foot waves on the bow made for an exciting departure, and once out, this new addition to Horizon’s power catamaran fleet handled the swell combined with 15- to 18-knot winds on the starboard beam with ease and control.
“Cats inherently have a lot of stability,” says Stuart Hegerstrom, founder, and director of Horizon Power Catamarans. One essential focus of Horizon’s PC series’ design “is to give an owner peace of mind at sea,” he says and adds that each model has to have fantastic seakeeping and must be able to outrun a storm. “Typically, hurricanes come across at 15 to 18 knots average, so at the least, the boat has to do 20 knots and do it in most conditions.”
Development Pays Off
That’s where years of design hard knocks, lots of tank testing and on-water trials paid off. With 30-plus years of hull development in both monohull and catamaran, sail and power
configurations, naval architect Angelo Lavranos created Horizon’s unique semi-displacement hull. “Displacement boats are designed to go their hull speed, which is when your bow wave and your stern wave coincide and become one big wave,” explains Hegerstrom. “The boat is trapped in this wave pattern and can’t climb out of it.”
To allow the PC74 to break through its hull speed (about 11 knots), Lavranos designed the bow with a very sharp entry before it widens for the keel and follows with a rocker that levels into a flat transom, a true planing surface. “To reduce draft, we put a tunnel in the aft portion of the hull with the prop and rudder recessed into it,” says Hegerstrom.
In order to give the PC74 the push it needs to get up and out of its trough and into its optimal 18-knot cruising speed, twin EPA Tier 3-compliant Caterpillar C18ACERT, 1,150-hp engines were found to be the perfect size for the yacht and also allow plenty of space in the engine room for servicing.
When up on plane, the boat powered along at 20 knots through a side chop and swell without slamming, diving or taking away steerage, which makes it a bit easier on those
prone to seasickness. The enclosed flybridge and protected main deck aft kept away sea spray and provided plenty of fresh air. She performed smoothly and kept her cruise speed comfortably, which offers assurance when inclement weather or tight schedules make getting to your destination quickly of utmost importance.
Once anchored or at the dock, you really get a chance to feel the comfortable living arrangements of the PC74. Its 28-foot, 4-inch beam offers an impressive aft deck with
alfresco dining for 10, a large sofa, bar area with fridge, icemaker, and TV. Storage is abundant, including room for 12 dive tanks. Guests can step down to the swim platform
on either side, each with a shower, and the hi-low platform between can lower to make one continuous swim platform or position below the waterline for convenience while
swimming or launching water toys. The platform is large enough for a PWC and lifts up above the hull tunnel when underway.
Stepping through the double sliding glass doors, the interior opens to an expansive salon, galley and dining area. Large windows bring the outside in, and the high-gloss walnut woodwork lightens the room as does the white-washed teak flooring. The salon features a corner L-shaped sofa along the port side and two facing swivel chairs— simultaneously a cozy nook or opportune place for the family to play board games on the coffee table.
The walk-through galley tucks under the windows on the starboard side with walnut cabinet doors. Discretely nestled in the corner is refrigerator/freezer is with matching walnut coverings. A freestanding bar with stools gives more counter space and is the perfect spot to chat with the chef or pitch in during meal preparation. White Corian countertops add to the room’s clean look. When dinner’s ready, a formal dining table seats eight and completes the layout’s feng shui balance and simplicity.
Forward of the salon, owners or primary charter guests walk into the full-beam master suite with a walkaround king bed, vanity, double sofa, high-gloss cabinetry with high-gloss walnut elm burl counters, custom craved-leather inlay accents, and large windows offering a 180-degree view—a room with a view that changes with the yacht’s every move.
Lighted stairways curve from the salon down to guest accommodations on each side. On this yacht, two ensuite king cabins are forward to port and starboard, an ensuite guest cabin with two twin beds is located port aft, and a three-person ensuite crew cabin with kitchenette is aft to starboard. Each yacht is custom designed to the owner’s preferences and all four cabins can configure as ensuite kings.
Additionally, the partially enclosed flybridge is a special place, not only for entertaining but also as the yacht’s control center. The helm panel has a clean layout with plenty of room for instrumentation. The carbon-style display with 22-inch monitors provides information that’s easy to read. Two adjustable STIDD helm chairs are flanked by a twin bench seat and twin sunning lounger.
Behind the helm, a five-stool bar, positioned across from a large sofa with dining table for up to 10, includes two freezers, fridge, icemaker, sink, and TV. The open aft area provides access to a dayhead, barbecue area and room for chaise lounges or up to a 17-foot dinghy. Though the helm and seating area have a hardtop enclosure (with removable aft soft enclosures), the large windows provide 360-degree viewing. Again, a room with a view.
Cruising on and on and on and…
When asked why the PC74 is a perfect choice, Hegerstrom suggests, “Look at the key points of what makes a catamaran a suitable cruising yacht. You have the inherent
built-in stability; it’s far more comfortable at sea. Its seakeeping capabilities are comparable to a hundred-foot yacht, so you’re buying yourself comfort at sea and seakeeping at sea that’s comparable to a boat twice the price or at least 70 to 80 percent more expensive. Then you have the efficiency of the boat,” he continues.
“A comparable motoryacht’s going to have C32s in it, so you’re burning at least fifty percent less fuel. Then you have the maneuverability because with the motors being so far apart, you can spin the boat on her own axis. With the thrusters, you can walk her sideways. It’s very easy to operate; you don’t need a highly-skilled, trained captain to manage the boat. If you have a few experiences on the boat, you become quite comfortable very quickly,” he says. “And then there’s the space. You really feel you can live on the boat. There’s lots of privacy.”
After experiencing the PC74 for myself, the real question is more like “Who isn’t this yacht designed for?” Do you fish, have a big family, need extra cabins, enjoy space, like the outside, like the inside? I challenge anyone who “beholds” this yacht to find anything they don’t like and even if you do, Horizon Power Catamarans can design your ultimate getaway… within reason, of course.
LOA: 73′ 9″
Beam: 28′ 4″
Draft (half load): 5′ 11″
Displacement (half load): 163,142 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 2,000/400 U.S. gals.
Power: 2x Caterpillar C18 ACERT 1,150 hp
Cruise/Top Speed: 18/22 knots
Range: 400 nm @ cruise; 1,500 nm at 10 knots
Price: upon request
Contact: Horizon Power Catamarans
By Steve Davis, Southern Boating April 2018