2024 Horizon Open House: A Celebration of What Is, and What Is To Come


When it’s time to celebrate, Horizon Yachts knows how to throw a party. From March 5-7, 2024 CEO John Lu and the Horizon team hosted the Horizon Open House at their factories in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. With the theme “Welcome Home”, Horizon opened their doors to owners, captains, international journalists, special guests and friends from all over the globe to celebrate the debut of four new yachts as well as to show off the additions to the shipyards. For three days, attendees were able to closely inspect the new offerings, participate in factory tours, learn about the science that goes into each Horizon yacht, ride along on a cruise, tour the city and get a taste (quite literally) of the Taiwanese culture.

On the docks at the Horizon City Marina in Kaohsiung, Horizon had the new yachts open and ready for guests throughout the event. Hull # 30 of the FD90 (Fast Displacement) was ready to head off to owners in Australia. Designed by Cor D. Rover, this FD90 is a 5-stateroom model with main deck master. The immense salon and luxurious flybridge deck are certain to catch the discerning eye thanks to the afforded living and relaxation spaces.

Another yacht destined to the Australian waters was one of the new FD80’s (Hull #12). Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows open the salon space and floods in ambient light while offering commanding views. An on-deck master is sure to be of interest to owners. The layout is conducive for private ownership or is well suited for chartering.

Hull #14 of the FD80 series on display is headed to the U.S. market and sports the popular Skyline configuration. Features include a full-beam master on deck and three staterooms below, along with an enclosed flybridge and aft beach club. Twin Caterpillar C32A diesel engines boasting 1,600hp each give this yacht the speed it needs.

Rounding out the display was the brand new V77 Cockpit Motor Yacht (CMY). Not only is this a spectacular V-series model, but it now can be configured with a game-changing large cockpit for blue-water fishing. Twin bait wells, rod holders, power for electric reels, outriggers, and dedicated storage space is included. And the hydraulic aft transom folds down for more deck space and room to fight and land the catch. Aft facing mezzanine seating lets crew watch the lines while trolling or guests to be close to the action.

One key aspect of the event is that John Lu makes himself available to all the guests, owners and journalists alike. He is there to field questions, discuss the operations, offer insights to the business functions and be the top ambassador for the brand. Along with naval architect Cor D. Rover, and Austin Lin, President of Vision Yard (a Horizon company), the team answered queries during a Press Preview on the first day in the salon of the FD90 (yes, it’s that big). Then the yachts were open and available for detailed tours.

The first evening was the Gala Dinner, where the global Horizon Yachts teams were honored for their continued successes in bringing the Horizon Yachts brand to the far reaches of the globe. Mr. Lu highlighted his speech with a new partnership with Lexus Yachts to have Horizon build their new LY680, the yard expansions and new technology in resin infusion that will help Horizon venture into building fiberglass yachts over 130 feet in length.

It’s not all business but also pleasure and that’s how Day 2 started. Horizon charted several open-air buses for a guided tour of Kaohsiung, highlighting the growth of the city and working waterfront. This is the main port city of Taiwan, and as expected there’s large industrial areas as well as commercial docks for shipping of goods. There’s a growing street art scene, with art and structures dotting the Pier 2 waterfront area, including restored port warehouses that galleries, restaurants and bars, and the Kaohsiung Music Center, whose building is an architectural amazement.

One feature is the Great Harbor Bridge, the largest swing bridge in Asia. Horizon takes pride in this structure as they fabricated the long fiberglass arch work along the bridge’s length.

If you weren’t up for the city tour, Horizon had a few of the yachts available for a harbor cruise, giving a taste of the size of the port.

Not to be outdone by the gala dinner, the second evening was a yacht-hop and cocktail party under the stars. Held at the Horizon City Marina, the yachts on display were radiant with their interior and deck lights illuminating the dark evening sky. On the terrace, specialty cocktails and all types of gourmet food dishes kept the guests well fed and “hydrated”.

Tours of the shipyards on Day 3 were both impressive and educational. With the expansion of the build sheds, Horizon can now have up to fifteen yachts under construction at any time. With a change in the process of construction, no longer do yachts need to be moved from one production line to the other during the build lifecycle, a process that added unnecessary time to the build schedule. Now, a hull is placed in the shed and is completed in that shed. It also results in more time with the craftsmen working on the yachts, not waiting around. Add in a new 5-axis CNC router and a new employee cafeteria and other enhancement, Lu spent about $30M USD for his new and improved shipyards.

During the tour, we met with the team at the subsidiary company owned by Horizon, Atech Composites. Here, they produce all of the hulls, decks and superstructures for every Horizon yacht. Founded in 2000, Atech is the premier large-scale fiber reinforced plastic builder in Asia, and subsequently supports other industries including aviation, transportation, wind farm components and others. They did the actual build of several components of the Great Harbor Bridge.

For Horizon, Atech is responsible for a number of scientific advancements that enhance the Horizon components, in cases where yacht issues can be found before the hull is completed and shipped.

A major process at Atech is the patented “6D Resin Infusion Technology” they developed. Formerly, resin infusion was a “3D” process that facilitated the flow of resin up and down internal stiffeners allowing for large fiberglass hulls to be crafted. The new “6D” resin infusion process includes 3D structural fiber cloth with the 3D resin channeling process, guaranteeing an even resin distribution around corners, over integrated stringers and throughout the laminate for lighter and stronger hulls. Horizon can now build any length hull in a single shot with this new process. Atech achieved their largest hull infusion process on a 140-foot hull with girders and framing in 2006.

Before sending us back to our home ports, John Lu and team hosted a farewell dinner at a local warehouse brewery, Beer Talk. They had just about every imaginable beer flavor you could ask for. Of course, there was singing and dancing by the guests as the beer flowed. Not to worry, we all had rides to the hotel.

There are so many benefits to everyone when Horizon Yachts opens their doors and welcomes us home. Seeing first-hand the processes, gaining an understanding of the battery of testing performed from tensile strength to color longevity to non-destructive load analysis, and having direct contact with John Lu and team is priceless.
Here’s to the future and to all the great things to come at Horizon Yachts!

Watch the Full Event Video: https://bit.ly/3UcfwKn

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