Horizon — EP105
In 2010, Horizon Yachts launched its EP105, a design that featured long range, independent cruising capabilities, and this yacht is now the basis for a new range of expedition yachts from the Taiwan builder
Horizon Yachts is one of Taiwan’s premier builders, and certainly, its most visible. The company has enjoyed several recent successes, including the sale of two of its Raised Pilothouse yachts, the RP110 Lady Gaga and the RP120 Muses, to mainland China buyers.
But one of the first successes was the yacht formerly named EP105, a long-range exploration yacht featuring the design of Greg C. Marshall, whose creations include the famed explorer yacht Big Fish. The EP105 is no longer in production (though buyers can certainly order one – it just takes some extra time to rebuild the moulds and get permissions. It is being replaced by the EP110, a steel-hulled version of the yacht that features a wider flare at the bow-deck area, allowing for a davit and tenders forward. But much else, including the character of the yacht, remains the same.
First, some background is required. Horizon was employed some years ago to develop an exploration yacht for a US company called Caliaxas. This was to be the Caliaxas 105, featuring design by Canadian naval architect Marshall, produced on an OEM basis by Horizon. Owing to the financial hardships of 2008-9, Caliaxas went under, but the production on its 105 continued, with Horizon eventually rebranding it under its own name and purchasing the rights to production from Marshall. Two were built and ultimately sold to Asia-based clients. One was sold at last year’s Boat Asia.
Horizon can produce another 105 on demand, though the company is pushing ahead with its new 110, whose steel hull can be mated to a fibreglass superstructure. Much of the basics of the yacht remain the same, though Horizon General Manager James Fwu makes the point that the extra five feet went to creating a much bigger bow, which allows for a tender and davit to be located right up front.
The 105 is a full-displacement yacht featuring high freeboard that is clearly meant for some serious, independent cruising. The 105 opens up extended tours through the Philippines, Indonesia or the South Pacific. Moreover, Horizon builds their yachts to DNV standard, unmatched by other Asian yards. The company has not been shy about investing in the latest technology either.
But one thing that Asian buyers will surely appreciate is the amount of internal volume on this yacht. This 105-footer feels like a something much larger when you step on-board. The layout reminds one of a much larger superyacht, albeit with smaller individual rooms. Partly, this is down to the segmentation of space that is prevalent on the 105.
Looked at from the outside, the EP105 seems to combine the looks of a traditional superyacht with an expedition yacht akin to a Nordhavn. The high freeboard is there, ensuring a good bit of safety in bigger seas. And though this is meant to be an expedition yacht, there is a strange sleekness to the 105’s exterior lines. The forward rake on the windscreens offers beautiful visibility for the captain, or even the owner/operator – something that might be expected on a yacht such as this.
The Portuguese bridge is complemented by wing stations on either side, a nice feature. The forward roof features secure walkways from the bridge down to the bow working area, past a small sunpad big enough for two to lounge at. It certainly goes to making the crew’s life easier, especially if a crewman is required to do double duty as look out and being at the bow when anchoring somewhere new.
Looking slightly out of place is the round, split port-hole style windows in the forward area of the main hull section. Though these are slightly jarring compared to the rest of the lines of the yacht, the effect on the interior is hard to argue with. All that light makes the dining area feel like a room on the sea, rather than a dark place to hide.
Going on-board, one enters from the aft deck into a main saloon area that is smallish, but comfortable. A C-shaped settee is paired with a low coffee table, making a comfortable lounging spot just forward of the main aft deck. On the starboard side of the main deck, one finds a passageway that connects a series of social spaces right up to the main stateroom, which is full beam and has hatchway access to the forward bow area, in accordance with DNV requirements.
The main saloon is partitioned, with the settees closed off against a full-service bar station, complete with discrete crew access to the main galley area. Here, designers performed a clever trick – the port-side galley can open up to serve the saloon bar area, or a sliding door access at the other end of the galley opens up to a secluded dining area.
The dining room is of particular interest to owners wishing to entertain business clients. In a style that recalls Japanese shoji, the dining area sliding doors can open up to the passageway beyond to enhance the space, or they can be shut, creating a private chamber suitable for up to eight guests to dine and converse. It is in the dining room that the first set of large, round windows comes into play.
With the blinds fully opened and doors apart, the dining room is flooded with light, while brilliant views have been created for those seated at the table. In some beautiful location, with blue seas and tranquil surroundings, this would surely be a magical place to enjoy a fine meal. Closed up during the evenings, the fine cream fabrics and walnut wood panelling would make this an intimate place for a fine meal with friends or a place to discuss a proposal.
Heading forward from the dining area, just ahead of midships, is the forward-facing, full-beam master cabin. The bed faces forward and is slightly off-centre alignment, allowing for the placement of a sizeable vanity/desk area to starboard with a small seating area to port. The master bathroom is forward of this, and features a small step down to his-and-hers basins on either side, with a sunken bathtub providing secluded luxury at sea.
The master cabin also benefits from another set of those large round windows. They can be easily covered for privacy, or opened up to allow light and those wonderful views. If ever there were a place for a remote office, this would be it.
Throughout the main deck, cream fabrics are matched against dark walnut woods or wenge, with countertops and flourishes in coloured marble. It’s tasteful and interesting, but slightly conservative. The décor says much about this yacht as well. Eschewing electronically operated sliding glass doors to the aft deck may seem rough and tumble, but also makes sense if one expects to be in a remote location for awhile.
Taking the central staircase or the aft deck stairs up to the top deck, one finds a more compressed space, but still very comfortable and kitted without large windows that afford excellent views. This is the spot for people hoping to enjoy a bit more outdoors feel while on-board.
The smaller size of the interior space has yielded a much larger aft deck with covering. A small settee and round table offers a respite from inclement weather while still offering magic views. Another wet bar service space can either be used to tend to the needs of guests both inside and on the upper aft deck. A skylight feature has also been incorporated, which makes the upper deck interior very bright indeed.
Up top, one finds all the necessities of flybridge living, including Jacuzzi, barbeque and wet bar, seating for six, and a davit for lowering tenders. The Jacuzzi has been thoughtfully positioned forward and surrounded by sunpads.
But what really intrigues is the addition of an observation pod on the radar arch above the flybridge. The climb up is a bit of a handful, but once on top, you are about four-and-half storeys above the waterline – a great place to be and an unusual viewing point for a yacht just over 100 feet. For wildlife buffs, the photography from here would be perfect, while sitting quietly at anchor in some far-flung locale.
One of the great aspects of a yacht that first time buyers may overlook is the crew quarters. A happy crew stays on longer and does a much better job, and this makes a huge difference to the owner experience. On the EP105, this has been accounted for quite nicely. Spacious cabin spaces, large work areas below decks and aft, plus plenty of stowage space add up to good working conditions all around. The captain is also well-looked after, with a good-sized cabin just aft of the wheelhouse (this accounts for the shrinkage of space of the upper interior deck).
For power, the EP105 runs on twin Caterpiller C-18s, achieving 3000 nautical miles range at nine knots. Given the large volumes and displacement characteristics, this would be a great yacht for exploration. Indeed, the new 110 version can be done in steel hull or full composite, with a potential Russian customer considering BV Ice Classification. Such options make this long-range expedition yacht a good first start for owners wishing to see and do more with their yachts.
Long range displacement hulls are not perceived as the norm among Asia-based buyers, but with two of these CC105s going to Asia buyers, and a new series based on the 105 coming onstream, Horizon Yachts may indeed have owners looking to their own horizons soon.
Technical Specifications – CC105
LWL: 28.38 m
Beam: 7.91 m
Draught: 2.3 m
Engines: Twin CAT C18A A-rating @ 1800rpm
Generators: Twin Onan 50KW
Displacement (lightship.): 225 Tonnes
Fuel capacity: 23,900 lts
Water capacity: 5,200 lts
Cruise speed: 9 kts
Range at cruise: 3000 nm