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Review: Horizon 52' Tournament Sportfish

 
 
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Review: Horizon 52' Tournament Sportfish

Horizon Tournament 52' Sportfish
Far East SportFish Ready to Fight

by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy

Horizon steps out of its noted, successful presentation of luxury motoryachts to enter the
strongly competitive world of Tournament Sportfishing with a secret weapon from the Far East.

Talk to a professional Tournament Captain about a new model sportfish; his first response is, “Will it bring up fish?” The yachtsmen, and women, who populate this highly competitive world of tournament sportfishing, recognize particular hull designs which seem to communicate with ... and attract big fish, enticing them to the baits they troll in their wakes. This accounts for the popularity of certain brands, certain winning boats, which win/place/show time after time in this unusual but vibrant, competitive niche of the boating world.

The sportfishermen who own, and crew these boats, are not your Sunday afternoon splashers; they crave, live and breathe competition: Winning. Their most prized possessions are trophies which place them in the top echelon of Tournament Sportfishing. They are doctors, lawyers, real estate tycoons, businessmen, executives who rate sportfishing as their foremost entertainment priority. To them, sportfishing is not just a hobby, but an obsession. They move their boats and crews hundreds of miles and spend outrageous amounts on fuel, entrance fees, dockage and parties, to fulfill that passion.
Horizon’s entry into this new market – its Tournament 52 – is so brand new its legacy hasn’t yet been written in the wind. But to honor past successes, this Taiwan builder bows to centuries of sea-going ancestry. Based at China’s wide Taiwan Strait on a long finger of land, similar to Florida, but a true island, it was called Formosa, “Beautiful Island,” by the Portuguese. Its center spine unfurls mountains in the 3,000’ range; the rest is tropical. At the Strait’s junction with the Pacific Ocean, its city, Kaoshiung, boasts an international airport. Horizon’s notable laurels include 300+ yacht builds, in 15 motoryacht designs, from 53’ to a colossal 130’ – all comfortable, high style. Horizon is ranked, according to various surveys, as the largest yacht builder in Taiwan; and anywhere from 6th to 12th in the world, depending upon whom you ask.

However, to answer the Captain’s query; this new Tournament hull design was inspired by well-respected, fiercely efficient, Japanese offshore fishing craft, which are long proven to find fish. That’s now Horizon’s secret weapon – plus gaining even further benefits from Horizon’s customer feedback.
Laid up using SCRIMP resin infusion technology, with a nice int/ext layout, this sportfisher shows great lines in its light but strong hull design. Single-skin or sandwich shell plates and the main longitudinal and transverse structures are infused. Horizon’s subsidiary, Atech, has been using infusion technology for the past 5 years. Still, this is a bold step for a boat category dominated by American builders. Yet it could have the correct ingredients – production capability and price – to compete in this volatile market. Its boldly flared bow provides a comparably soft and dry ride. At 17’2” the wide beam makes for a nicely spacious salon and galley arrangement.

So it appears this Far East necklace has added another pearl. At first look, the rakish slant of her bow pronounces an eagerness to get moving, out to the proving grounds, into the hunt. Above, her soaring tuna tower – a breathtaking 18 steps up the welded ladders to her shaded, top spy station – gives a salute on its flagstaff .
The flybridge features a built-in helm console and twin captain’s chairs, positioned aft, to monitor the anglers below. From here, and on deck, those professional captains and crews keep meticulous records of where and when each type of fish/prey are taken; statistics they will refer to for years in later tournaments. Horizon’s snow-white and rigidly ordered helm station hones in on the express purpose of this sportfisher. That is, nothing in the mind of the skipper and helmsman matters except to find that record fish. Everything else is out of sight – out of mind.

Bridge seating options allow for a single helm seat or double helm positions as shown, with preferences for seating material in leather, high-impact pseudo-leather, or smooth-lacquered chairs. Each as ordered, according to the owner’s preference.
Up close, a prerequisite block of mahogany gives rise to an etched wheel with long-arm controls, allowing the helmsman to instantly and precisely back down a fish or change direction according to the Captain’s orders. Fighting a giant marlin or 500-lb. tuna can be an exacting race, with a potential win or lose proposition, worth thousands in a timed competition; Judges are aboard each boat.
A stunning view of Horizon T-52’s foredeck emphasizes the cleanliness of design and spaciousness of this up-to-the-minute entry into the sportfish arena. Nothing on the bow but essential anchoring gear, and one small skylight to its forward quarters.
These close-ups of deck ventilation show the care Horizon takes with the manufacturing process; the intricate tooling pictured here could easily have been less decorative, but no more effective. Horizon strives to deliver outstanding, up-to-the-minute style.
Fighting chairs also can be specified according to the owner’s choice. This latest model shown here is typical of dozens of choices, priced upwards of $9,000.00.
Spacious yet welcoming in warm woods and leathers, the salon is utilitarian, with lined teak flooring and furniture. Centered, the coffee table also becomes a storage bin. The L-shaped galley, forward in the salon, is fully equipped for every meal occasion. One very clever, and useful feature: a Sub-Zero drawer-style 700 BCI refrigerator-freezer to store the catch of the day. Well padded couches face each other across the area beam to beam, with ample space for traffic as well as relaxation.
A view aft in the salon affirms the richness of its furnishings, a sculpted dining table in bleached teak, with sumptuous cushions. The unobstructed view toward the stern doors allows monitoring aft through wide window treatments. Sliding drapes can be closed for privacy.
Continuing the teak & holly motif, the hallway and stairs leading down to the staterooms feature cherrywood paneling, heavy on the red. Four steps down, the view opens to another, fully relaxing venue for the evening’s rest.
Centered amidships, the master stateroom features a raised queen-size berth, with stowage beneath, nestled among the richly paneled walls. Cherrywood cabinets accommodate hanging clothes as well as drawer needs. Lighting is overhead in addition to bedside. The ensuite head sports a shower spacious enough for two.
Rich cherrywood paneling and onyx countertops characterize the welcome of the head. Though strictly masculine in theme, its strictly modern fixtures are influenced by Horizon's luxury motoryachts.
Forward, the second stateroom also boasts a queen-size berth, precisely fitted into the allotted space, but well designed so that it is easily mounted. Well lighted, it has access to the walk-in closet, plus its own private ensuite head/shower. An alternate arrangement is available as three staterooms and two heads.
Down below decks, but well insulated against vibration and sound, the engine room virtually sparkles with its all-white walls, floors and fixtures, gleaming steel and aluminum for the 1,000 hp CAT C-18 diesels.

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