High Ambitions

The most compact of Horizon’s trawler-style series promises extended cruise range and admirable interior volume.

While continuing to produce and market numerous product lines vigorously, the Horizon product planning team also began to develop yet another subset in response to a growing demand for trawler-style displacement yachts capable of passagemaking range, lower fuel consumption, and onboard comfort consistent with the demands of extended cruise itineraries.

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Smallest of this series—a 77-foot version is in full production and a steel-hull 148-footer is nearing completion—the Horizon EP (for Efficiency Pilothouse) 69, made its North American debut last summer in Seattle.

The first impression is, well, impressive. Although a compact 69 feet 5 inches in LOA, the EP69 appears every bit the seagoing voyager, offering an aptly tall, burly profile and a broad-shouldered demeanor, the product of her 20-foot beam and a restatement of the EP77’s proportions and style.

Construction:

The Horizon Yachts team has specified all-composite construction using SCRIMP technology, a vacuum-assisted lamination process developed to offer greater strength at reduced weight compared to conventional fiberglass construction methods. The layup schedule includes a solid fiberglass underbody, with foam coring above the waterline and in the decks and superstructure. At locations for window openings or through-hull fittings, where cutouts or penetrations otherwise would expose coring and thus subject the core to water intrusion or localized compression, Horizon engineers specify areas of solid fiberglass to achieve a secure, permanent seal.

Accommodations:

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Twenty feet of beam on a 69-foot displacement motoryacht will get you a generous measure of interior volume, which the Horizon design team has put to good use in a straightforward, logical arrangement in the lower deck plan. The layout allows for three en-suite staterooms: a midship master with king-size berth, a forward VIP with island queen berth, and a starboard-side guest room with adult-size upper and lower berths and, unusually, its own head with stall shower and vanity. The full-beam master includes a starboard-side head with large vanity and separate compartments for the toilet and shower. In the port hull side is an oval portlight of a size to brightly illuminate the entire space while offering a remarkable sea-level view; here, the installation of sliding or hinged mirrors above the vanity would produce a similar benefit on the starboard side. A fourth accommodation, nominally designated for crew but well suited to serve as an additional guest stateroom, lies aft, accessible via a watertight transom door.

Performance:

At 7.3 knots, according to the MAN engine instrumentation, the two engines together deliver a bit under 1 nautical mile per gallon for a 1,938-nautical-mile range (factoring in a 90% reserve), respectable by any measure, especially so for a sub-70-foot motoryacht. During a recent trial on Lake Washington, a freshwater body extending some 22 miles north to south along Seattle’s eastern boundary, the 69 demonstrated predictable handling and tracking, and a comfortable angle of heel in hardover turns.

The cored hullsides and round bilges combined to mute hull noise to a subdued murmur, even at a brisk 9-knot cruise. The added muscle of the second main often can spell the difference between a daylight arrival at a distant port or groping through an unfamiliar and darkened anchorage. It also makes reaching a sheltered cove ahead of an approaching squall that much easier. Still, for simplicity, cost, and reduced maintenance, a single-engine installation seems worth considering, naturally with provision for some sort of get-home drive.

69’5”
20’0"
5’9"
167,551 lb.
2,360 gal.
530 gal.
2/560-hp MAN D2876 LE402 diesels
21.5 kW Onan

Steelhead 1,500-pound hydraulic davit; ABT Trac 250/9 Stabilizers; 38-hp ABT hydraulic stern thruster; Additional 21.5 kW Onan generator.

Speeds are two-way averages measured with GPS. GPH taken from engine-monitoring electronics. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at lower helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.