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.