Horizon – Tango 5
Tango 5, the latest launch from Horizon Yachts, showcases the yard’s ability to customise on a series, while an owner gets the expedition yacht designed to cruise Southeast Asia
Tango 5 was quite a challenge for Horizon. It is only the second instance of fiberglass superstructure on steel hull for Horizon. It’s an impressive build for an owner – now on his fifth yacht – has developed a keen sense of what he likes and doesn’t like in a cruising boat. The owners, Mr and Mrs Tang from Singapore, are keen to explore Southeast Asia. They started with a Sea Ray and their latest was a high performance yacht from Palmer Johnson. Now, they’re done with speed and are more keen on distance and independent travel. Tango 5 is actually a modified Horizon EP110 (the EP signifies Expedition), and comes in at 115 feet, thanks to an adjusted swim platform that is now suited for Scuba divers and deep sea fishing. Tango 5 is the second yacht built by Horizon featuring a steel hull, and the first to have a fiberglass superstructure on steel hull. A cursory first glance reveals a tough boat that is probably over-engineered for where she’ll be cruising. Horizon built Tango 5 to Bureau Veritas certification, and the nods to safety at sea are found throughout. Toughened portholes and latches are everywhere, and doors tend to be simple affairs with straightforward latches. There are four stowaway liferafts, each designed for up to ten people, on the upper aft deck. I met the owner, a Singaporean businessman, during the first round of sea trials off the coast of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. As he put it, he and his family would do their traverses at night, simply going from one dive or exploration spot to another. Why then did he require oodles of power and the cost of fuel that went with it? For the owner, indulging in fishing and Scuba diving were his main priorities, with the aim of cruising from the remote Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal to the Micronesian Island of Palau in the Pacific. Awaiting Tang and his family are stunning destinations, and it was clear in talking to him that he was keen to get his boat ready.
In addition to the added space in the aft deck area, Tang spoke of the 15 sets of Scuba gear that would be stowed on board, as well as the Nitrox system, which allows for extended dive times. The transom bathing platform has been adjusted to allow for a lot of fishing, as the entire area is enclosed by a waist-high bulwark. A single gate opens onto a very small bathing platform.
Divers and swimmers are served by two tenders that are stored near the bow area, with a 19-footer serving as main and dive tender and a 13 footer, serving as rescue and work tender. These work areas are easily accessed via hatches from the crew spaces forward, which make the life of the crew a lot easier.Indeed, the owner did much to make the life of the crew easier. The standard EP110 layout has the captain’s cabin below decks, while the owner in this case opted for a large captain’s cabin right behind the wheelhouse, giving up some space in the upper deck in the bargain. For an owner wanting to do his passages at night, this makes a lot of sense. What also makes sense was the addition of an impressive array of nav equipment, including infrared scan, which can be used to check for semi-submerged objects in the sometimes crowded waterways around some Southeast Asian passages.
The crew will have the benefit of a spacious work and bunk areas in the bow below decks. The crew spaces are wide and the bunks are comfortable, a sign of an owner who appreciates the importance of a content crew. There are six crew cabins, with two discrete cabins for female crew members with separate bathrooms. There are even two sets of washer-dryer units to handle all the wet stuff coming after a day on the water. The engineering spaces were huge and would certainly please any engineer trying to fix something. Tango 5 is powered by twin MAN diesel engines. These have been located as far forward as possible to allow for a straighter shaftline. The generators have been located aft. The wheelhouse was as you’d expect for a yacht expected to do night passages. Views were excellent as we proceeded out into the Taiwan Strait for the first sea trial. The Portuguese bridge affords excellent access to the bow work area. There were pod stations on either side of the wheelhouse for easy manoeuvring in tight spaces, aided by her twin rudder system.
The weather was reasonably calm as we left Kaohsiung harbor and entered the strait. Winds were at about 12 to 14 knots, with some mild waves. For February, this was relatively mild stuff. But it was enough to see how Tango 5 would handle a bit of waves. Her captain would later report that Tango 5 handled the passage from Kaohsiung to Singapore – a run of over 1600 nautical miles – with ease. With her stabilisers on, Tango 5 exhibited little roll or motion. On the first sea trial, the engines at 1800 RPM yielded 11.2 knots (speed over ground) and a fuel consumption rate of 122 litres per hour, which yields a theoretical range of just over 3200 nautical miles. On our first test cruise, engineers were checking the decibel levels in the main saloon, with readings of just under 60 decibels at the cruising speed of ten knots – less than the sound of normal conversation.
I would see Tango 5 again when she was displayed in Singapore for Boat Asia 2013, with her interiors, designed by Ko Hui Huy, a Singaporean friend of the owner, now complete. The design ethos is simple but effective. The main saloon features the TV and sound system. The owner opted not to have a dining area on the main deck, but instead move it to the upper deck. The main saloon thus seems larger, with its entirety given over to lounging, apart from a small card table added in.
Despite the lack of a main deck dining area, the very large main galley opens directly onto the main deck. This galley has huge storage capacity, with large walk-in coolers designed to allow for extended time away. To the starboard side on the main deck is access to the owner’s area, with a study and then the master cabin itself. The master bath is forward still and full beam. Stowage space has been thorough researched for Tango 5, and the beds lift up to provide space for luggage, while hanging lockers are everywhere. The aft main deck area is a wonderful place to relax, with large awnings that can be quickly deployed to deflect the heat.
Just aft of the owner’s study is the stairwell, while nearby lies a small service station for drinks. Moving below decks, one finds four sizeable cabins that can sleep up to eight guests, with each of the cabins featuring floor-to-ceiling mirrors that reflect light and add to the spaciousness aboard. Moving to the upper deck, instead of a skylounge, as one would normally find on a yacht of this nature, you find a large dining/gaming area. This space is served by a dumb waiter from the galley a deck below, while a large round table with a lazy susan over a metre in diameter. Also, there is a gaming table in there as well, as a good bit of mahjong after dinner could be just the ticket. A dumbwaiter carries food up to the upper deck, where the formal dining area is.
The upper deck dining area is served by loose furniture, with a large round dining table and lazy susan duly in place. Aft of this area is a small cockpit space with access to the flybridge. On a standard 110 layout, this space comes with a bar area and lounges, with a small table for gaming set aside. The flybridge is very spacious, and as you’d expect with an expedition yacht, you have more area to utilize. The forward Jacuzzi beckons, though the owner insists that he and his friends actually spend very little time in Jacuzzis while onboard other yachts. The more particular feature is the huge BBQ and prep area that’s been installed at owner request – likely needed for all the caught fish that will be on the grill. It’s a telling sign that someone would base a yacht such as this in Singapore, where plenty of the world’s most fantastical cruising lies nearby. For someone who is now on their fifth yacht, the pleasures of going slow and seeing it all are becoming clear.
Technical Specifications – Horzion EP110
Engines: 2 x MAN 2842 LE410 1100HP
Generators: 2 x Onan 50KW (50HZ)
Construction: Steel Hull/Composite superstructure
Displacement (light): 260 tns
Fuel capacity: 36,000 lts
Water capacity: 6,000 lts