Top Cat

Barry Thompson | VOLUME 28, ISSUE 2
The open flybridge version offers maximum space above and in the huge cockpit. It’s a 60-footer that’s got the capacity of an 80-footer, but rides like a 100-footer.
‘Simply unbelievable’ is probably the best way to describe the ride and handling of Horizon’s new PC60 powercat.

I had gone to Taiwan to do a sea trial on a Horizon PC60, the second one built by Horizon Yachts. The sea was extremely messy, to say the least, as a result of the trailing edge of a typhoon the previous day. Two-metre swells with half-metre breaking waves lashed across the bay, with 27 knots of wind really making the water conditions uncomfortable for boating. But it didn’t seem to matter which angle we attacked the breaking waves, the PC60 was unfazed.

The transition onto the plane was slippery and with almost no bow attitude. The big cat felt extremely stable and not once did we hear any tunnel slap or slamming or any harshness from the chines. In high-speed turns the heel was negligible.

Accompanying me was Australian Horizon agent Russell Wright. He was so impressed with the PC60 that he placed an order on the spot for the first enclosed pilothouse PC60, which will be on show at the 2013 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.

“Amazing. In all my 35 years of being involved in big boats I have never experienced anything like it,” said a very excited Wright after the trial.

“It’s a 60-footer that’s got the capacity of an 80-footer, but rides like a 100-footer,” he added.

Designer of the PC60, NZ-based Angelo Lavranos, says: “You need to compare an 80ft monohull to get the equivalent to our Horizon PC60 cat. Such a boat in GRP would weigh about 65 tonnes light and 78 tonnes loaded, compared to 33 tonnes and 37 tonnes for the cat.

“Consequently, to get 24 knots (44.5km/h) a mono needs about 1800kW (2400hp), which is 60 per cent more horsepower and fuel than that required for our cat.”

BIG BRIDGE

The wide beam of the PC60 allows for a huge flybridge area, covered with a fibreglass hardtop, either draped in clears or fully-enclosed in pilothouse form. The latter is a self-contained, air-conditioned biosphere completely unaffected by the elements.

This is designed to be not only a functional work station for the skipper, but also a great entertainment and relaxation space. The difference in the layout between the two options is quite significant. In the ‘open’ hardtop version (pictured), the dinette, with comfortable seating around a teak table mounted on adjustable stainless pedestals, is to starboard, with an offset granite countertop with two swivel stools, a prep sink, fridge and barbecue opposite. Plus, the finish is more durable fibreglass.

In the fully-enclosed pilothouse version (with the addition of a rear bulkhead with wide opening glass doors), there is much more emphasis on timber and a high-quality interior style finish. There is also a separate day head and vanity area to starboard, with a lounger and smaller coffee table opposite. The barbecue, fridge and wet bar area are all on the outside of the rear bulkhead.

I found the helm position to be extremely comfortable when driving and all controls and instrumentation were in clear view and easily accessible. The instrument panel presents every modern advance in navigation, with an optional electronics package.

PARTY CENTRAL

Like the flybridge, the aft deck is enormous and more akin to that of a 30m motor yacht. This is party central and has been designed as an extremely versatile area. Across the transom is a full lounge seat for up to eight, while aft is a livewell/ice chest built into the aft-deck sole. Beside the entrance to the main saloon is a well-equipped wet bar, with the curved flybridge staircase opposite.

In the boat I reviewed, the main dining table was situated in the centre of the cockpit with seating for eight, but other options are available.

Engine room access is via exterior, aft-deck hatches. Power choices include either Cummins 705hp QSM11 units or 715hp Caterpillar C12A engines.

Being a catamaran, there are two swim platforms and each offers ample space to deploy dive equipment or fight a fish.

Bow storage includes two lockers each side plus a huge step-in locker, almost big enough to call a utility storeroom.

SPLIT-LEVEL SALOON

Dividing the cockpit from the saloon is a 2.4m stainless-steel-framed, sensor-controlled saloon door. The saloon deck level is split between the port-side lounge, starboard-side galley and the main area. Horizon will customise the saloon layout to suit individual tastes and requirements.

The PC60 provides everything a galley gourmet needs, including customised cabinetry, large pantry, a four-burner cooktop, microwave/convection oven, fridge/freezer and dishwasher. Storage cupboards, drawers and lockers abound.

There is a small, but very handy work station and a laptop-friendly desk, a 42in flat screen TV and space below for an entertainment centre. The forward lounge area has twin sofas and a choice of either a coffee or dining table.

Forward to starboard, access to the enclosed flybridge area is via a stainless steel ladder.

MAINDECK MASTER

The PC60 is one of the few catamarans in production with a maindeck master suite. Storage is abundant, seamlessly hidden behind walls. There is a king-size walk-around berth, a bedside settee, plus large, separate closets for clothes, towels and linen.

Down a couple of steps into the port-side hull is the amazing master bathroom, boasting over 2m of headroom, a separate head, a raised bowl, cabinets and drawers aplenty and an en suite walk-in shower.

The VIP suite is situated forward of midships, with the raised queen-size berth allowing storage beneath.

The large, VIP en suite sports ultra-fine design, with copious mirrors and a full-size shower.

Over on the aft section of the port-side hull, the second guest stateroom offers split twin berths (convertible to a double), plus a swing-down bunk. The guest head doubles as the vessel’s day head.

EASY RIDER

The PC60 would unquestionably be the bestriding big powercat I have ever experienced when running hard and fast in rough water. It is free of vices and a credit to the builders and designers. Not only does it provide outstanding performance and handling, it also has the now legendary Horizon stamp of quality.

The spacious luxury of the PC60 is the same as you will find on a superyacht, but at a surprisingly lower price. There is also the choice of the original three-cabin layout or a four-cabin configuration. As with the PC58, the PC60 is available as an Open Flybridge or Enclosed Pilothouse. The first Enclosed Pilothouse PC60 will debut at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, in May this year.

The PC60 is the first of three models planned for the Horizon PC range, with a PC50 about to go into production and a PC76 already in the design stages.

SPECIFICATIONS: HORIZON PC60

LOA: 18.2m

Beam: 7.47m

Draft: 1.40m

Displacement (light): 35 tonnes (Open Flybridge)

Max speed: 25 knots (46.3km/h)

Cruise speed: 20 knots (37km/h)

Construction: GRP using SCRIMP resin infused

Fuel capacity: 3800lt

Water capacity: 1150 lt

Power: 2 x Caterpillar C12A 715hp

Base price: $2.8m, incl GST

For more information, contact Russell Wright, tel: 0411 724 176 or email: russell@hmya.com.au.


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