Mom had an old saying (usually when I’d outgrown a pair of jeans as a kid) that you can’t get 10 pounds of sugar into a 5-pound sack.
But Mom was wrong, and the Horizon FD77 is floating proof.
I never played three-dimensional chess, but I suspect that Dutch designer Cor D. Rover is a whiz at it because he’s managed to get all the niceties of a far larger yacht into a package that is 80 feet (24.56 meters) overall, including a 7-foot (2.1-meter) swim platform. That he did it without cramping anything is even more remarkable, and that includes a walkaround engine room, civilized crew quarters and a beach club hidden in the transom.
As I wandered through the FD77, I found myself chanting a mantra: ‘Only 80 feet—only 80 feet.’ If I were blindfolded and my captors threw me into the salon and my rescuers asked me to describe the yacht from within, I’d start by saying, ‘Well, it was easily over 100 feet, but it might have been larger.’
Think about it: The FD77 has a full-beam master stateroom (no side decks) forward of the salon, and that’s clearly big-yacht stuff. There are three guest staterooms below (including two VIPs), and all are en suite. And there is an upper deck big enough to host “Dancing with the Stars.”
The salon spans the nearly 23-foot (7-meter) beam (just 3 inches narrower than the one on Horizon’s FD85) and, with sole-to-ceiling windows and opening doors on each side, the space gives the impression of a luxe beach house overlooking the water.
As I wandered through the FD77, I found myself chanting a mantra: “Only 80 feet—only 80 feet.” If I were blindfolded and my captors threw me into the salon and my rescuers asked me to describe the yacht from within, I’d start by saying, “Well, it was easily over 100 feet, but it might have been larger.”
That same description would also have worked if my kidnappers had tossed me into the master stateroom on the main deck. Mantra: “Only 80 feet.” Rover and the Horizon team managed to fit all the niceties of a large yacht into a tidy package.
The galley is all about feeding a family, from the wide counter with barstools to the Sub-Zero fridge drawers for stores (I lost count at five) to the induction cookers, and a view so the chef can enjoy the scenery. The touch of a button raises a partition to close off the bar, while a hidden door on one side and a pocket door on the other tuck the chef or caterers out of sight.
The master stateroom has oversized windows on each side that Horizon refrained from blocking with the built-in bureaus and settee, so owners can roll over in the morning and gaze out at St. Barths, Saint-Tropez or even St. Louis, if they so desire. The absence of a walkaround deck on this level also means no crew is going to wander past as the owner pulls on his knickers.
Guests live in similar style and space, with a VIP forward on the lower level (chant now: “It’s only 80 feet”) and a second VIP stateroom aft to port. A stateroom with twin berths that slide together is on the starboard side. The en suite showers are sized for real people, too.
Should I call the uppermost deck the flybridge, the upper deck or the pilothouse? Yes, because it’s all of them. Hull No. 1 had an open bridge, but owners can have a fully enclosed sky lounge (called a Skyline) or a space that’s partially enclosed. Bulges on each side of the helm are wing bridges that place the skipper, with remote controls, right above the dock, just like on Cunard liners.
Aft, the boat deck is plumbed for a spa. There is a retractable barbecue and, on this yacht, a 1,500-pound crane for a 16-foot tender. The hydraulic transom also can carry a tender or personal watercraft.
The beach club is clever. With its door hinged up, it’s for guests, with sofas and chairs as well as a sink, cooktop and fridge. The clever part is that the crew cabin, accessible via a transom door when dockside or from the salon, is just forward. When guests aren’t using the beach club, it doubles as the crew mess.
The crew cabin, by the way, can be fitted with a queen berth or singles, depending on an owner’s needs. And it’s finished to guest-level standards.
The engine room has twin 1,200-horsepower MAN (or Caterpillar) diesels, walkaround space (insert mantra again) and access to all the tidy and seamanlike plumbing, wiring and systems. Expect 18 knots flat-out and a more than 3,200-nautical-mile range at 8.4 knots, according to Horizon.
Horizon has managed to create an 80-footer with the amenities of megayachts. So Mom was wrong: You really can get a lot of sugar in a small bag.
Spec for the Horizon FD77
LOA: 80ft. 7in. (24.5m)
BEAM: 23ft. (7.03m)
DRAFT (full load): 5ft. 5in. (1.6m)
DISPLACEMENT: 79 tons
SPEED (max./cruise): 18/10 knots
RANGE: 3,248nm at 8.4 knots
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Cor D. Rover/Horizon Yachts
EXTERIOR STYLING: Cor D. Rover
INTERIOR DESIGN: Horizon Yachts
BUILDER: Horizon Yachts
For more information: horizonyachtsusa.com